It’s a new, top-secret The Food Network reality TV show elimination project to be shot here in Las Vegas, and all I can confirm is that it will take place set against the fountains of Caesars Palace. I know Flamingo headliner Nathan Burton is attached to the show, but he’s forbidden to talk about it and won’t confirm that he’s shooting the program.
However, a Caesars Palace spokesman confirmed that filming starts next month. I’ve also learned that Nathan will perform magic related to food on each episode and that contestants will have to make magic with their food and that their creations also must be magical. Nathan will be a celebrity judge and a magic mentor to the competitors.
As we learn more details, we’ll report them right here at VegasDeLuxe.com.
*Triumph and recognition for our Las Vegas restaurants -- finally! Contributors to Zagat went on record this week saying that Las Vegas has better food and restaurant service than New York, where they are published. Zagat compared the food scores of 23 restaurants with outposts in both cities. Tourists invited to rank the cities gave overwhelming approval to Las Vegas, ranking Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace far better than Chef Bobby Flay’s original in New York, Palm at Caesars Palace higher than Palm in Manhattan and Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel higher than the Big Apple’s location. Sushi Samba at the Palazzo outscored its two East-Side Gotham outlets. It used to be NYC vs. Brooklyn, but now Mayor Oscar Goodman can crow over Mayor Michael Bloomberg that we beat them both.
*Rao’s owners Frank Pellegrino Sr. and Frank Jr. will serve as guest chefs on Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars next Wednesday. The father and son Italian restaurant legends with an outpost in Caesars Palace filmed segments with Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Anthony Bourdain and actress Lorraine Bracco at the upper Manhattan flagship.
*Morel’s French steakhouse has named Alexandre Brand as sommelier at the Palazzo restaurant where the veteran will create and expand a new wine program and educate staff on a handcrafted cocktail program. He offers more than 60 wines by the glass and more than 450 bottles.
*Congratulations to the Golden Nugget for winning the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for excellence, the only downtown destination so honored.
*Reluctant romance rogue Brad Womack, who now swears he’s ready for a relationship on Season 15 of The Bachelor, will be seen on Monday’s Episode 5 behind-the-scenes at Viva Elvis at MGM CityCenter’s Aria. He takes two of the bachelorettes on a two-on-one date to the Cirque du Soleil show and receives a tour that will be featured on the ABC reality TV series.
*Gorgeous 1985 Playmate of the Year and cover girl Kathy Shower decided on a new hairstyle makeover on her mini-vacation to Las Vegas now that she’s back home in L.A. after a 15-year run with European-based movies. The blond beauty and former Santa Barbara star is back on the West Coast and is about to film a reality TV series about the experience of finding bigger stardom overseas than here. Hair guru to the stars Michael Boychuck was the only one for her makeover at his Color salon in Caesars Palace. Michael is launching lines of hair and makeup products this spring.
*The excitement and glamour of Oscar night in Hollywood will be duplicated here officially at Brenden Theaters at the Palms on Feb. 28. The party here is just one of 50 nationwide officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to benefit Variety Children’s Charity in Southern Nevada. Red carpet arrivals will precede the direct telecast from L.A. on the big screens. Owner Johnny Brenden is hosting a VIP bash in his private penthouse to raise additional funds, with each guest receiving a copy of the official Oscar program and a commemorative poster.
Chad Kroeger and members of his band Nickelback dined at Japonais at The Mirage last night. Afterward, they took off to listen to DJ Crooked over a magnum of Grey Goose vodka at Lavo at the Palazzo. Destin Pfaff and Rachel Federoff of Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker watched Viva Elvis. They enjoyed cocktails at Gold Lounge beforehand and said they’re in town relaxing and attending Cirque shows as fans before filming begins on the new season in March.
Pint-sized sex symbol Carmen Electra hosts the 5th Annual Tao A-Go-Go party at The Venetian, where the actress and Playboy beauty will hand out a $10,000 grand prize to the winner. Chelsea Lately regular Chris Franjois is the featured comic at The Playboy Comedy Lounge at the Palms through Saturday night’s two performances.
The spotlight is on Priscilla Presley and daughter Lisa Marie when they attend the Nevada Ballet Theater Black and White Ball. I’ll be handling the paddle raise auction at what’s always the year’s most glamorous event, and we have the advance details. Plus, our weekly weekend celebrity forecast of who’s coming to play and perform on and off The Strip. It’s all about new and old music maestros Ozzy Osbourne with Slash at Mandalay Bay to Foghat at The Orleans and Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine at Green Valley Ranch.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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