Vegas Uncork'd draws stellar chefs from Giada De Laurentiis to Lorena Garcia
Las Vegas has become renowned as a desert oasis for dining, having undergone a restaurant revolution in the ’00s that drew the highest-caliber chefs from around the world to open establishments on the Strip. It also became a prominent location for food and wine festivals, and this week’s 12th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit was cited in a Forbes March 2017 headline as “America’s Top Culinary Event.” The festival features prominent chefs, sommeliers and mixologists representing Caesars Entertainment, The Cosmopolitan, The Cromwell, MGM Resorts International, The Venetian and The Palazzo, all gathered for a luxurious celebration of fine dining that remains unchanged in its mission.
That mission includes chefs participating in the Master Series. Opening night on May 10 kicks off with events such as “An Anniversary Celebration with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa,” during which Matsuhisa will celebrate both authentic and Japanese fusion fare, as well as the fifth anniversary of his eponymous restaurant in Caesars Palace’s Nobu Hotel. Also at Caesars Palace Thursday night, Gordon Ramsay prepares his acclaimed Beef Wellington for guests of his new restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, while Rao’s pays tribute to its late patriarch Frank Pellegrino, Sr., who passed away last year, by preparing some of his favorite dishes. Ramsay returns to Caesars Saturday afternoon for a craft beer tasting at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill.
On Saturday evening as part of the series, Restaurant Guy Savoy hosts “The World’s Best, An Epicurean Affair with Guy Savoy,” during which guests will pair Savoy’s signature dishes with award-winning wines. Earlier that day at Border Grill in The Forum Shops at Caesars, Susan Feniger, Christina Tosi, Elizabeth Blau, Saipin Chutima and Nicole Brisson will gather for a “Women’s Power Lunch and Conversation.” Feniger has her own event at Border Grill, “Tacos, Tequila & Salsa with Susan Feniger,” which takes place Thursday evening. That same night, The Cosmopolitan hosts a sunset clambake by its Boulevard Pool.
As the last date of Uncork’d falls on Mother’s Day, moms get to celebrate, too. Giada De Laurentiis holds a pre-Mother’s Day brunch at Giada inside The Cromwell on Saturday, while Chef Lorena Garcia celebrates the first anniversary of Chica at The Venetian with a “Mom-Mosa Brunch” on Sunday. If Mom likes vodka and caviar, “Vodka & Caviar Happy Hour with Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim” at Libertine Social inside Mandalay Bay might be a good choice for Saturday night, unless she’s an ace lip-sync battler. In that case, take her to “Burgers & Beats at Black Tap with Chef/Owner Joe Isidori” inside The Venetian.
Few Vegas Uncork’d attendees skip Friday night’s The Grand Tasting at Caesar’s Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, but a few chefs—including Roy Ellamar of Harvest by Roy Ellamar at Bellagio—may have to spend that night preparing for Saturday afternoon’s second annual “Picnic in The Park.” The event features chefs from MGM Resorts properties around the world, including Masaharu Morimoto, the Voltaggio Brothers, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano and Shawn McClain. The focus is on classic open-air dining, for which Ellamar plans to serve pork bellies with skin grilled to a crisp over open fire. “It was so fun last year,” says Ellamar. “I believe it was said it was the best event of Uncork’d.”
May 10-13, locations, times and prices vary, 21+. vegasuncorked.com