Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Celebrity Chefs Shine at the Venetian / Palazzo Resort's Annual Winter In Venice Celebration.

The Venetian and The Palazzo Resort’s Las Vegas Winter in Venice Festival Brings An All-Star Line Up of Celebrity Chefs and World Class Events.


The holiday season is behind us and we all look forward to a successful and healthy 2014. The Venetian and Palazzo Resorts once again ended the year on a very high note with their Winter in Venice Celebration and their best festival yet.

venetian-resort-hotelThis 49 day celebration of food, beverage and culture is an event that should not be missed when in Las Vegas for the holidays. This year’s theme “A Gift of the Venetian” was just that!  . It was a 49 day multisensory experience that made history.

Guests enjoyed kicking the celebration off with the Celtic Woman, Home for Christmas Symphony Tour. The 90-minute breath taking show featured music and the beautiful, talented women of the all-female music ensemble.
Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris and a Winter  In  Venice friend .
Cuisineist Editor-In-Chief Elaine Harris and a Winter In Venice friend .
During the 49 day celebration, guests enjoyed two specialty weekends that were a reason to celebrate. The La Cucina Italiana Weekend featured Chef Mario Batali, Dario Cecchini, Chef Wolfgang Puck, Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro, Roberto Caporuscio, Anthony Giglio and Robin Leach in conjunction with Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. The ultimate dining experience was The Grand Banquet. This mouthwatering Italian experience of a life time was held Grand Colonnade, at the Venetian Resort.

Guests enjoyed a gastronomic Italian feast featuring new and old-world Italy, prepared by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini, the legendary Chianti “Butcher of Panzano.”  This one of kind banquet was served Tuscan-style and included such delights as veal Carpaccio, 24-month Galardi prosciutto, risotto with white truffle, and aporchetta created by Cecchini that Chef Batali refers to as “the porchetta to end all porchettas.” Each course also featured a world-class wine pairing by Carmelo Messina and Anthony Giglio to the delight of all that enjoyed this once in a lifetime event.

The Palazzo’s Waterfall Atrium was turned into an Italian Village as we enjoyed an afternoon of Food & Fun.  Guests strolled the Italian village and took the opportunity to experience Italy and learn about authentic Italy from the world’s greatest chefs and culinary celebrities. As the afternoon turned into evening many joined Robin Leach   at the “Bella Notte” event.

This all-star evening was a celebration of Italian-Americans who have made a significant impact on the culture of the United States. Guests mingled, dined and sipped alongside of the honorees as they enjoyed camaraderie and music into the night.
The Culinary Clash was back again this year which pitted the best Chefs of the Venetian and Palazzo against each other to vie for the prestige of the Venetian Culinary Clash Award. The one and only Chef Emeril Lagasse presided over a judging panel that featured restaurateurs and journalists over a hard fought two days. When the burners were off and knifes back in their cases Chef Tim Doolittle from Table 10 emerged the victor and earned a trip to Italy for his win.

Chef Tim Doolittle
Chef Tim Doolittle

The final event of the weekend was The Great Venetian Truffle Hunt. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day looking for truffles, possibly win a trip to Italy and enjoy a lunch featuring renowned Urbani Truffles?  We can’t think of anyone. We joined in the hunt that took us to Chef Mario Batali’s B&B Ristorante, Carnevino and OTTO to find the magic truffle that would send us to Italy. After a long night, the last day kicked off with breakfast that included Cipriani-style Bellinis and Italian coffee at OTTO .
We received half of a golden-colored truffle and the hunt was on as we sampled truffle dishes and wines at each stop. The last stop was Carnevino where one guest found the matching truffle and won an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy to visit the famed La Cucina Italiana Cooking School.
The afternoon was exciting and delightful. Even though most of the guests did not win the ultimate prize, enjoying a 4 course truffle and wine paired lunch was a tasty way to end the final day of this annual celebration.

The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts never ceases to amaze us with their imagination and quality of events hosted in their world class venues. We can only imagine what’s in store for the holiday season next year. Whatever it is, we know it will be done with the class that these two resorts are renowned for.

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