Las Vegas will be the epicenter of all things epicurean this weekend as Uncork’d is back for its third year and once again bringing with it the best and brightest chefs in the country.
There will be scrumptious dinners, insightful workshops and a host of other events to please a range of palates. From ardent meat and potatoes types to the strict, snob food-only set, the annual event offers something for everyone.
Yet while culinary circles are converging in Las Vegas, I’m leaving town: A friend of mine is getting married and I have to not only fly to another country to attend, but bake the three-tier wedding cake, too.
So while I’m about to embark upon a culinary odyssey of my own, here is a sampling of the Vegas Uncork’d-related events that I sincerely hope you will enjoy in my absence.
After all, just because I’ll be busy fighting with fondant doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a scrumptious dinner; broaden your horizons (and palate) with a culinary conversation or workshop or rub elbows with some of the nation’s most notable chefs.
Five different Masters Series dinners at Caesars Palace (all sold out)
“Chefs for Three Square” party at Pure Hosted by Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild the guest list includes Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Kerry Simon, and Rick Moonen. The $75 ticket price includes beer, wine, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – and supports a very worthy cause, too. 10 p.m.
Classic French cooking meets French-Canadian circus with “Theater in the Kitchen” at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand (sold out)
Bobby Flay cookbook signing - 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace
“Wine Immersion Experience: Taste Wine Like a Master Sommelier” with Master Som Jason Smith at Tuscany Kitchen at the Bellagio ($65).
Grand Tasting with Fleur de Lys, Joël Robuchon, Okada, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Simon, Table 10, Valentino, craftsteak, Nobhill Tavern… the list goes on and on, and they’re all going to be there. 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the pool deck at Caesars. Tickets are $150 advance or $175 at door – if it doesn’t sell out.
Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament - Your chance to sit at the same (blackjack) table as Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay and Joël Robuchon, as well as at least 15 other top-notch chefs. The $10,000 prize purse would be more than enough to eat at all of their restaurants at least once – including tip! While entry fee is $350, those who wish to watch can do just that – and enjoy a few of the complimentary cocktails while they’re at it. (Spectator admission is $100.) The event will take place on the Encore pool deck and inside XS nightclub. The party will continue once the cards have been dealt: Players and spectators will get free admission to XS afterward.
Ultimate All-Star Luncheon (sold out) - The chance to cook with James Beard winner Paul Bartolotta, Daniel Boulud, Marc Poidevin and Alex Stratta; rub elbows with Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild and a handful of the magazine’s top writers; and enjoy the oh-so-yummy offerings of pastry chef Frédéric Robert all in one luncheon. No wonder it’s sold out.
A pair of Vegas-style, “Iron Chef”-like Culinary Challenges -Caesars Palace vs. MGM Grand followed by Wynn/Encore vs. Mandalay Bay Both hosted by “Iron Chef” and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora. The challenges will be held in the Premier Ballroom at MGM Grand, giving Mary Sue Milliken and Carlos Buscaglia a slight home turf advantage. $75. 3 p.m.
Gala Dinner - Hosted by Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild. Each of the meal’s six courses will be prepared by one of the following leading restaurants: Todd English (Olives) will provide hors d’oeuvres. Akira Back (Yellowtail) will follow with Japanese snapper carpaccio with micro shiso. Julian Serrano (Picasso) will present roasted scallops with asparagus. Michael Mina (Michael Mina) will prepare crispy pork belly with vegetables á la Grecque and wild arugula. Robert Moore (Prime Steakhouse) will treat diners to his dry aged A5 wagyu ribeye with grilled shiitke mushrooms. Jean-Philippe Maury (Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie) will provide the sweet ending with what promises to be a grand dessert. Wine pairings are included in the ticket price, which is $275 per person.
Mother’s Day Brunch (sold out) - Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio invites diners to toast Mom with a glass of Mumm Napa sparkling rosé over brunch on Sunday at his restaurant, Craftsteak. Those who already secured their tickets will leave with both a belly full of scrumptious brunch and a signed copy of Colicchio’s cookbook, Craft of Cooking.
Chocolates, Bubbles and Ice - A Decadent Slice of Heaven - Two of life’s great pleasures, chocolate and wine, are combined as executive pastry chef Megan Romano and wine director/master sommelier William Sherer (both of Aureole) treat Uncork’d audiences to seven of their specialties. Seven chocolates and seven wines will be presented, each paired to perfection. The sinfully rich and intoxicating journey will take place at Charlie Palmer’s Michelin Star-winning restaurant at Mandalay Bay, Aureole. Tickets to the 90-minute session are $75.
To view the complete listing of all that Uncork’d has to offer and purchase tickets for any of the events, click here.