Annual food festival returns to Las Vegas Strip
By Jack Houston
Las Vegas is blessed to have a number of top-notch food festivals each year, from Vegas Uncork’d in May to the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend, which returns for a third year, Oct. 5-7. Hosted by Top Chef judge and Food & Wine special projects director Gail Simmons, the weekend brings together some of the city’s top chefs and restaurants to showcase their cuisine in a series of intimate events and tastings.
The weekend kicks off with tea at Joël Robuchon (MGM Grand, 2-4 p.m. Oct. 5, $95), with desserts from pastry chef Kamel Guechida. Other events that day include a tasting with sommeliers who make their own wine (Bellagio, 3-4:30 p.m., $85), a tequila tasting happy hour with Chopped winner Christina Olivarez at Diego (MGM Grand, 5-7 p.m., $50) and a night of cocktails and desserts at Mix (Mandalay Bay, 9-11 p.m., $125). On Oct. 6, guests can enjoy a cooking demo and lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (MGM Grand, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., $110), an all-star lunch with Aria chefs Shawn McClain, Masa Takayama, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Mina and Julian Serrano at Sage (Aria, 12:30-2:30 p.m., $150), a seasonal pasta demo with Aureole executive chef Vincent Pouessel (Mandalay Bay, 3-4:30 p.m., $100), a sashimi and champagne tasting with Chef Takayama at Bar Masa (Aria, 3-4:30 p.m., $150) and a wine pairing dinner with California winemaker Todd Anderson at Craftsteak (MGM Grand, 7-9 p.m., $275).
The weekend’s crowning event just might be the Surfside Soirée at Mandalay Bay Beach (7-10 p.m., Oct. 6, $257), hosted by chefs Mina, Pouessel, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Hubert Keller and Rick Moonen. Live music and cocktails set the tone for a community-style dining experience in the lush environs of the beach. Capping it all of is Sunday dim sum and champagne at Jasmine (Bellagio, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., $125), featuring traditional Chinese dishes as well as brunch favorites including crab legs, sushi, eggs cooked to order and carving stations—with the Fountains of Bellagio serving as the perfect backdrop.