This is a very delayed post, but over Mother’s Day weekend last month I was fortunate enough to attend the Vegas Uncork’d event in Las Vegas, hosted by Bon Appetit Magazine. I attended the Grand Tasting on the Friday eve at Caesar’s and the Fashion Feast Gala Saturday eve at the Bellagio. Both events were so impressive but also very different.
The Grand Tasting, as you can probably guess from its name, was a very large spread at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesar’s. There were over 75 chefs representing more than 50 of the famous restaurants in Las Vegas plus over 100 wines and spirits from around the world. I’m sorry to say but it definitely kicked Arizona/New York/and London’s food festivals out of the water. Here’s a list of the highlights from the event that made it such an unforgettable experience:
- THE SET-UP : The organizers for this event did such a great job ensuring that the many restaurant booths and lounges were spread out and accessible to everyone. There weren’t that many places to sit or tables to stand at, but it didn’t feel like an issue. Also, it was great that food and beverages were mixed so the lines were spread out.
- THE FEE : In addition, the event had a flat fee which meant you did not have to buy additional ‘food or beverage’ tickets like many food festivals do. Even though the entrance fee was much higher, it meant the lines were much shorter and you were therefore able to visit more booths.
- THE CHEFS : Bon Appetit really delivered and there were several famous chefs actually making and/or serving food at their booths including Cat Cora (Exec Chef for Bon Appetit), Bobby Flay, Charlie Palmer, Jean-Philippe Maury and many more. As the event began to wind down, I saw many of the chefs going around to other restaurants and sampling their competition. It was really fun to see them socializing and also the camaraderie/respect shown amongst the chefs. Every chef we spoke to was extremely nice and enthusiastic about the event (especially Cat Cora!).
- THE DRINKS : Again Bon Appetit delivered in regards to the variety of wine, beer, champagne and spirits at the event. The only downside was that when they gave you your plastic wine glass at the entrance, they failed to tell you that you had to hold on to that glass. After awhile it was a fight to find clean glasses, but we managed.
- THE FOOD : The most important point of course! The food was, of course, delicious. It was such a treat to have samples from some of my favorite Vegas restaurants and also to try ones I’ve never been to. I tried my best to keep track of what I was eating from where, but it was excitement overload for me as you can imagine. Some highlights include the miso-glazed cod from Nobu, the signature Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup from Guy Savoy and the brown-sugar brined pork chop with Black Mission fig-Bourbon barbecue sauce from Country Club.
Now here are some photos from the Grand Tasting for you to enjoy. Apologies for some of the blurriness and poor lighting. I tried my best to take photos and eat at the same time!
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