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Vegas Uncork’d Day 4: Star chefs salute Mother’s Day with brunches

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2012 Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit’s Mother’s Day brunch at Aureole in Mandalay Bay on Sunday, May 13, 2012.
Photo: Isaac Brekken for Bon Appetit

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2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Mother's Day Brunches

2012 Vegas Uncork'd: Augustus Caesar Dresses Up

It was an appropriate ending to the spectacular, four-day, super-chef Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit feasting. It wrapped Sunday where it all began Thursday -- under the watchful eye of the iconic statue of Augustus Caesar in front of Caesars Palace himself clad in a chef’s hat and apron. After a record turnout of guests and more than 60 chefs and restaurateurs at some 30 events, Las Vegas proved itself again as the world’s most exciting culinary destination.

For Mother’s Day on Sunday, Caesars featured two of its top culinary stars: Guy Savoy and Frank Pellegrino Jr. The morning, however, began with a “Steak & Eggs” brunch at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in Mandalay Bay. Vincent Pouessel, executive chef of Aureole, and Vincent Pilon, Mandalay Bay executive pastry chef and master chocolatier, cooked mouthwatering bites as guests watched their kitchen talents, and the taste treats were teamed with sparkling wine.

There were more bubbles and sparkles at Guy’s Michelin-starred Restaurant Guy Savoy in Caesars. The world-renowned French chef met all of his guests and ordered the champagne to flow with his mouth-watering menu. The hottest of all, though, was at Rao’s, hot because of the spicy tastes but also because it was the launch of Frank’s new cookbook “Rao’s on the Grill,” and he insisted that the entire brunch was served from the back-patio BBQ.

Temperatures were at the 100-degree mark, but Frank weathered the heat to cook everything himself, from grilled seafood salad and roasted red peppers to barbecued vegetables to sausages, the famous grilled lemon chicken and a combo dessert of cherry cobbler and grilled pound cake with summer berries as the crowning jewel of the festival. Beyond delicious! Diners loved it so much that there were no leftovers, and that was at the end of four days of nonstop eating.

Everyone received a copy of “On the Grill” because each of the eight menu items is a featured recipe. Then everybody with cookbooks aloft posed for a group photograph that will go on the wall of the restaurant. As Frank said: “One of the recipes in the book dates back 450 years.” He greeted every guest and found one couple celebrating 67 years of marriage on Mother’s Day.

Our thanks to Isaac Brekken for his photographs of all three brunches and his great coverage with David Becker over the past 96 hours of Vegas Uncork’d. Vegas DeLuxe congratulates all the star chefs for staging the best yet. It was a triumph from start to finish each day, as you can see from our daily coverage.

With Wolfgang Puck celebrating his 20th anniversary on the Strip, Gordon Ramsay opening his Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris, Nobu unveiling his plans for a boutique hotel and restaurant at Caesars and the massive, sold-out Grand Tasting, it was all one for the history books.

We’ll post our Nobu story soon, so please check back. On Tuesday, “My Dinner With Gordon,” then we wrap it all up Wednesday with my highlights and our conversation with culinary king Alain Ducasse about his other successful career.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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