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Life is Beautiful Festival announces tasty culinary details

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Chef Natalie Young’s Eat is one of the Downtown restaurants that will be featured at October’s Life Is Beautiful Festival.
Photo: Leila Navidi

Life Is Beautiful, the music, food and art festival set for October 26 and 27 in Downtown Las Vegas, has unleashed specific details about its interactive culinary programming. Translation: now we know what we’re going to eat.

The most significant food component is the Culinary Village, a Moroccan-style bazaar featuring food stations manned by more than 60 celebrity and local chefs and accessible to those with a general admission or VIP festival ticket. But your festival ticket does not include any food; the additional cost for dishes and drinks will be determined by each vendor. Local restaurants represented with booths in the village include Blue Ribbon, Honey Salt, Fleur, Stripsteak, Nobu, Due Forni, Yellowtail, Kumi, D.O.C.G., Lavo and Tao, Bratalian, LBS Burger, Eat, Chocolate & Spice, Origin India, RM Seafood, Kuma Snow Cream and Forte Tapas. There will also be food trucks and outside-Las Vegas restaurants such as Donald Link’s Herbsaint and Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto slinging food for festivalgoers.

Within the Whole Foods-sponsored Culinary Village, guests will also be able to witness chef demonstrations at Chefs on Stage and experience more specialty food and drink in the Alchemy Garden.

“The food experiences were carefully designed to be interactive, innovative and unexpected,” says Jolene Mannina, head of culinary arts for the festival. “We’ve created an approach that we feel will set us apart from other food festivals, giving both our patrons and chefs a chance to enjoy something new, fresh and, of course, delicious.”

In addition to those experiences, LIB offers a series of individual ticketed events:

• Flight tastings in the Alchemy Garden (Saturday from 1 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 11 p.m.) are priced at $40 with a general admission or VIP festival ticket.

• The Take a Stand grand opening soiree to benefit Three Square, hosted by Elizabeth Blau and Hubert Keller, has 40 seats available at $5,000 a pop and is set for a secret Downtown location on Friday, October 25, at 7 p.m.

• Grills & Guitars (Friday, October 25, at 8 p.m.) is a kickoff event with a backyard barbecue theme featuring beer, wine and cocktails and celeb chefs Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Cat Cora, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Scott Conant and more. Tickets are $175-$225.

• The Culinary Crawl is a three-hour dining tour taking place on both days featuring different chefs, dishes and cocktail pairings at different Downtown restaurant locations. Tickets are $130-$290.

New chefs and mixologists participating in Life Is Beautiful also were announced today, including Nancy Silverton, Akira Back, Richard Camarota, Frank Goriceta, Carlos Guia, Joseph Leibowitz, Hiew Gun Khong, Nina Manchev, Tony Abou-Ganim, Drew Levinson, Andrew Pollard, Eric Swanson, Kent Bearden, Thomas Burke, Michael Shetler, Kevin Vanegas, Jack Kramer, and Mike Tadich.

Regular two-day general admission ($159.90) and VIP ($349.50) tickets for the festival remain on sale, and tickets for special culinary programs go on sale July 19 at lifeisbeautifulfestival.com.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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