More than 12 James Beard Award Winning Chefs take us on a trip aound the U.S at the JBF Gala at the Venetian-Palazzo Resorts

The James Beard Foundation' s Taste America spent 3 days in Las Vegas where this special group of JBF award winning chefs showed off their skills to benefit the James
Beard Foundation.

" Taste America Las Vegas will salute America's newest and most exciting culinary capital in fitting style, with exclusive dining experiences , educational events and an all-star list of participating James Beard Foundation Award-winners," said Susan Ungaro , President of the James Beard Foundation.

The Gala event held at the Venetian/Palazzo was hosted by Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation and JBF Award Winner Charlie Trotter , Restaurant Charlie.

Many local Las Vegas Chefs hosted the event as well . Zach Allen , Carnevino/B&B Ristorante/Enoteca San Marco , David Burke, David Burke Restaurant, Olivier Dubreuil and Long Nguyen from the Venetian Palazzo Resort , Ludovic Lefebvre , LAVO, JBF Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini , Valentino and David Robins, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group all welcomed more than a dozen JBF award winners to the Gala.

After a warm welcome from Terry Jicinsky, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors authority and JBF President Susan Ungaro the festivities began.

We began the coast the coast tasting trip with Chef John Sundstrom of Lark, Seattle . His Hamachi Crudo with Fennel, Preserved Lemon, Picholine Olive and Wild Fennel Salt paired with Au Bon Climat 2004 "Hidegard" Estate.

Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino , Las Vegas was back
at work again with his Creamy Rabbit Spezzatino with
Fontina-Stuffed Bucatini and Funghi di Bosco this wonderful creation was paired with Umani Ronchi San Lorenso 2004 Montepulciano

R.J Cooper III from Vidalia, Washington, D.C was next with his creation of Sage Fennel Sausage, Stuffed Stoltzfus Farm Suckling Pig with Rye Berries, Huckleberry
Mustard and Rye Jus. The David Bruce 2005 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired well with this dish.

Adam Siegel of Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee finished up the 4 course meal with Strauss Free Raised Veal Cheeks with Onion Compote , Arugula and Celery Root Salad. Hahn Estates 2006 Meritage complemented Chef Adams creation very well.

As we were taken on this culinary journey throughout the U.S , Restaurant critic Allan Richman and local critic John Curtis conducted the live auction which featured items that many could only dream of and the James Beard Foundation could make a reality.

These items included many tempting choices like a culinary road trip stopping at over 7 culinary cities and dining at the JBF Award winners home restaurants , Dinner with JBF Award winner Charlie Trotter, Las Vegas shows with VIP treatment and many more. The funds raised from the dinner and auction help to support many JBF programs such as their large scholarship program , the award ceremony that is know throughout the world and educational conferences. What a better way to enjoy some VIP treatment and support a great culinary organization.

In accordance with JBF tradition, the local host chefs join the featured chefs on stage for a procession of chefs. It was truly an amazing site when more than 12 JBF Award winners took the stage in Las Vegas. Patrick Connolly, Bobo NYC , RJ Cooper III Vidalia, Washington D.C, Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere, San Francisco, Jean-Louis Gerin, Jean-Louis, Greenwich Ct, Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans, Shawn McClain, Spring, Chicago, Adam Siegel,Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee, Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita, Kirkland Wa, Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston SC, John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle, Celina Tio, Julia, Charlotte, NC and Fabio Trabocchi, Fiamma, NYC were joined by the seven host chefs for the procession .

For us at VINO LAS VEGAS this whole event awe inspiring. Meeting many young "upcoming" chefs along side these legendary chefs was a humbling experience . These JBF Taste America events are something we will soon not forget.

Join Elaine and Scott Harris of VINO LAS VEGAS as we take you inside the Gala and meet some of the people involved.

The James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating America's culinary heritage. To find out more about the James Beard Foundation you can visit

VINO LAS VEGAS kicks off the James Beard Foundation's Taste America with JBF Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini at Valentino in the Venetian Resort

JBF Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini is the Executive Chef at JBF Award Winner Piero Selvaggio's Valentino located inside the Venetian Resort. Chef Luciano really
out did himself with a white truffle extravaganza that was creative and on the cutting edge of what you can do with these truffles.

Valentino is a classic Italian Restaurant located on the first floor in the famed Venetian Resort. As we walked in the staff escorted us to the
Champagne Reception to get things going.

The Aperitivi :

Mini Pizza al Tartufo Fried Lobster Milanese with Spicy Aioli Veal Tartar with Tartufo Crostini with Quail Pate and Tartufo Nero
Louis de Sacy , Brut Rose N.V.

The Reception was hosted by the James Beard Foundation and was only the beginning. Chef Luciano joined us at the reception and escorted us to the intimate private dining room for the dinner.

The Menu
Fresh Australian "Spanner" Crab cakes
with Porcini Salad and White Truffle
Clerget, Les Chevalier, Meursault 2000

Quail Meatloaf on Polenta and White
Truffle Bergstrom, Cumberland Reserve
Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Fontina Stuffed Bucatini with Crescenza Sauce
and White Truffle
Beni di Batasiolo , Reserva , Barolo 2000

Buffalo Medallion with White Wine Demi

and White Truffle
Leone di Castris " Donna Lisa" Salice Salentino

Cheese 3 Ways, Hot , Cold , Crispy with
Dried Fruit and Nuts
Schlumberger , Vendanges Tardives , "Cuvee Christine"
Gewurztraminer, Alsace 2000

White Chocolate and Gianduja Truffle with
Candied Asparagus , Sauteed sugar Pumpkin
and Orange Zabajon
Ben Rye , Passito di Pantelleria 2006

This was not just a meal but a culinary experience prepared by JBF Award Winner Luciano Pellegrini . The experience started from the second we walked into this beautiful restaurant and crescendoed throughout the evening like a fine musical masterpiece with a wonderful finish. As we look back on that evening it WAS a masterpiece conducted by maestro Luciano Pellegrini and his wonderful orchestra in and out of the kitchen.
Bravo , Bravo Chef !

Join Elaine and Scott of VINO LAS VEGAS as we speak with Chef Luciano Pellegrini about the food and wine parings and what it means to be a JBF award winner.

VINO LAS VEGAS dines with the next generation of Chefs at the Rising Stars Revue and Awards

As the recent Michelin awards proved Las Vegas has become a world class center for Food and Wine came to Las Vegas to award
the next generation mentored today by Chefs that are known through out the world. These young "rising star " Chefs are recommended by the advisory board which is made up of over 20 of the country's top Chefs. Some of these Chefs include Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Noman Samuelsson and Bobby Flay. These Chefs went through in-person tastings and interviews to become a finalist. These young Chefs represent the future. They are creative and think "outside the box ".

The 2008 Rising Stars Revue was held in Las Vegas at the
Green Valley Resort . VINO LAS VEGAS attended the event and were very impressed with what the future has in store for us with these Rising Stars.

We knew we were in for an extra special experience when we arrived at the VIP Champagne reception and enjoyed Nicolas Feuillate Champagne 1997 and four different types of Caviar . Green Valley Ranch Chef David Root did a great job getting our palates ready for the Gala and hosting the reception. Then it was time to meet the future greats of the culinary world.

Zach Allen is only 31 years old and oversees the three Batali / Bastianich restaurants in Las Vegas. Carnevino , B&B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco. We had the great opportunity to speak with Zack and talk to him about his three kitchens he is responsible for.

Anthony Amoroso can be found in the kitchen of Michael Mina and is known for his philosophy of "less is more " His Pancetta-wrapped Quail , Marcona Almonds , Brown Butter jus and Almond Milk Foam was a favorite of ours.

Gerald Chin was the Executive Chef at the Mansion which is the exclusive private dining room at the MGM Villas. He can now be found at PiPs Wine Bar and Cucina creating some delicious Mediterranean dishes.

We have met Gegeory Engelhardt in the past on a few occasions. He is in the kitchen at the Michelin Star winning restaurant Andres. He truly has the passion for fine French Cuisine that is evident in is creative dishes.

Another young rising star that has a passion for French cuisine is Wesley Holton . Wesley is rising to the top at Daniel Boulud Brasserie.

Brian Rae is Chef de Cuisine at RM Seafood and is mentored by none other than Chef Rick Moonen . Chef Rick has instilled his passion for sustainable fish and seafood to Brian who has embraced the passion as his own as well.

Joe Isidori formally of DJT of the Trump International Hotel has
had to wear many hats. While at DJT Joe was responsible for all
aspects of food and beverage on the Trump Property. His business sense has taken him to Manhattan where he has some big plans. awarded Chef Isidori its Hotel Chef Award which is quite an honor. We spoke with Joe at the gala and cannot wait to visit him in New York to see his new project.

The winner of the Sustainability award is Mike Minor of Border Grill. Mike is such a believer in sustainability that he teams up with fellow Chef Rick Moonen to teach students at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu school.

Restaurant Guy Savoy is a renown restaurant in Paris and Las Vegas. Uyen Nguyen is the Executive Pastry Chef here in Las Vegas . At 29 years old she is already a rising star and really has no end to where her star will take her. Her Fresh Dates with Fromage Blanc Sorbet was a desert we will not forget .

Elaine from Vino Las Vegas spoke with rising star Mixologist Amanda Gager for quite some time as they enjoyed one of Amanda's creations " Honey Love ". She was a flair bartender for years but now creates works of art at Strip Steak. She prefers to work with bourbon and fresh fruit to give us all a nice surprise.

We did not have the opportunity to meet rising star Sommelier Michael Shearin who was Trump International Beverage Director and is now in Los Angeles. He not only knows wine but can take you on a journey with sake ,beer and spirits as well.

This was an event that was inspiring for us . It was an honor to meet these young chefs who have focus and passion for their professions. We commend an organization like that promotes the culinary world and brings together renown Chefs and the next generation of Culinary professionals.

Join Elaine and Scott of VINO LAS VEGAS as well take you to the Gala ,the Awards presentation and talk to some of these remarkable young professionals.

Las Vegas Restaurants rise to the top with the 2009 Michelin Awards

Las Vegas once again has its place among the worlds best culinary citys. The 2009 Michelin Awards for Las Vegas were reveled at the Wynn Resort Hotel and Casino. Joel Robuchon once again was awarded the coveted three star Michelin Award. Only six restaurants in the United States and 69 worldwide received this honor.

The Michelin Guide uses a system of symbols to identify the best hotels and restaurants within each comfort and price category. For restaurants, Michelin stars are based on five criteria:
The quality of the products
The mastery of flavor and cooking
The "personality" of the cuisine
The value for the money
The consistency between visits
Michelin stars are awarded to restaurants offering the finest cooking, regardless of cuisine style. Stars represent only what is on the plate. They do not take into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings.

* A very good restaurant in its category

** Excellent cooking and a detour

*** Exceptional cuisine and worth the journey

Every restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide is recommended by our team of professional inspectors. The ones listed below have earned stars that reflect their exceptional culinary achievements, regardless of cuisine style. Stars represent only what is on the plate. They do not take into consideration interior decoration, service quality or table settings.

The Las Vegas 2009 Awards winners are :


Alize Palms
Andre’s (Downtown) Downtown
Aureole Mandalay Bay
Bradley Ogden Caesar’s Palace
Daniel Boulud Brasserie T Wynn
DJT Trump InternationalHotel & Tower
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon The MGM Grand
Le Cirque Bellagio
Michael Mina Bellagio
miX Mandalay Bay
Nobu Hard Rock
Restaurant Charlie Palazzo
Wing Lei Wynn


Guy Savoy Caesar’s Palace
Picasso Bellagio


Joel Robuchon MGM Grand

Congratulations to all of these award winning restaurants and a job well done

The New Vista Community Center is a wonderful organization that helps disadvantaged people find self worth and contribute to society here in Las Vegas.

New Vista holds numerous events all year around to raise funds for the organization. One of our favorites is the Wine Walks. This provides the community a chance to give back and enjoy some great wine while strolling past great shopping and restaurants.

VINO LAS VEGAS attended the last Wine Walk of the season at The District in Green Valley Ranch. The weather was perfect as we walked amongst hundreds of other guests that came out for this worthwhile cause. As usual this was a great event and we look forward to starting these events all over again. The season will start with " The Big One " which is always worth a visit.

Join Elaine and Scott of Vino Las Vegas as you walk with us and enjoy the wine, weather , and shopping .

Join VINO LAS VEGAS at the James Beard Foundation Taste of America weekend of events Oct 24-25th 2008



.Friday, October 24, 2008

Join JBF Award Winner Alessandro Stratta for a champagne welcome followed by an intimate dining experience in his renowned restaurant.


Alex at Wynn Las Vegas


$500 per person, includes wine, tax, and gratuity
This dinner is exclusive to American Express Card Members


7:00 p.m. Champagne Welcome with Chef Stratta followed by Seated Dinner


JBF Award Winner
Alessandro Stratta

Friday, October 24, 2008
James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Piero Selvaggio helped define contemporary Italian food and wine for Americans at the acclaimed Valentino in Los Angeles. For this special Taste America dinner, Selvaggio will join his James Beard Award-winning chef Luciano Pellegrini at Valentino in Las Vegas for a white truffle extravaganza like no other. Pellegrini will prepare a six-course dinner featuring white truffles and paired with exceptional wines for an unforgettable culinary experience.


Valentino at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino


$350 per person, includes wine, tax, and gratuity


7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8:00 p.m. Seated Dinner


JBF Award Winner
Luciano Pellegrini

Friday, October 24, 2008
Celebrity chef Kerry Simon and James Beard Award Winner Michel Nischan are more than just friends—they are two of the hottest, most talked about chefs creating contemporary American cuisine today. They are teaming up for this special Taste America four-course dinner that will include signature sushi and sake pairings and the vibe promises to be as coolly cutting-edge as the cooking.


Simon at Palms Place Hotel and Spa


$175 per person, includes wine, tax, and gratuity


7:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8:30 p.m. Seated Dinner


Kerry Simon and special guest JBF Award Winner Michel Nischan, Dressing Room, A Homegrown Restaurant, Westport, CT

Friday, October 24, 2008
Fiamma doubles up on talent for a special night of Mediterranean hospitality and Italian contemporary cuisine. 2006 Award Winner Fabio Trabocchi joins Vegas Fiamma's own Carlos Buscaglia in the kitchen to create a signature Taste America menu.


Fiamma at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino


$175 per person, includes wine, tax, and gratuity


7:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception
8:00 p.m. Seated Dinner


Carlos Buscaglia and special guest
JBF Award Winner Fabio Trabocchi, Fiamma, NYC

Cooking Demonstration with Famed Chocolatier François Payard

Join JBF Award Winner François Payard at Caesars Palace’s Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro for a hands on demonstration of some of the most decadent and delicious desserts featured in his latest book, Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone.

A book signing with François Payard will occur after the demonstration with books available for purchase.

François Payard, Owner, Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro

This event is generously supported by Green & Black’s® Organic Chocolate.

When: Saturday, October 25th from 4:00 p.m–5:00 p.m.
Where: Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Price: $20 per person
Seating is limited so reserve your tickets now!

Saturday Night Gala
October 25, 2008

James Beard believed American cuisine was regional cuisine. Join us for a virtual road trip of the best cooking in America as JBF Award-winning chefs from across the country team up with Las Vegas host chefs at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino—some 16 chefs in all—to prepare this once-in-a-lifetime gala dinner. One word of advice, save room for dessert!

Click here for event information

Featured Chefs:

  • JBF Award Winner Patrick Connolly, Bobo, NYC
  • JBF Award Winner R.J. Cooper III, Vidalia, Washington, DC
  • JBF Award Winner Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco
  • JBF Award Winner Jean-Louis Gerin, Jean-Louis, Greenwich, CT
  • JBF Award Winner Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
  • JBF Award Winner Shawn McClain, Spring, Chicago
  • JBF Award Winner Adam Siegel, Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Milwaukee
  • JBF Award Winner Holly Smith, Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA
  • JBF Award Winner Robert Stehling, Hominy Grill, Charleston, SC
  • JBF Award Winner John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle
  • JBF Award Winner Celina Tio, Julia(n), Charlotte, NC
  • JBF Award Winner Fabio Trabocchi, Fiamma, NYC

The Palazzo

The Palazzo Ballroom
The Venetian Palazzo Congress Center
Level Five

Tickets: $350.00 per person, includes wine, tax, and gratuity
VIP Tickets:

Exclusive to American Express Card Members
$500.00 per person, includes wine, tax and gratuity as well as:

  • JBF Award-winning host seated at your table
  • Premier dinner seating location
  • Listing as a Platinum Partner in the dinner program
7:00 pm Cocktail reception, silent auction
8:00 pm Seated four-course dinner with wine pairings, live auction
10:30 pm Dessert reception

Seating is limited so reserve your tickets now!

Join VINO LAS VEGAS as we see the the cream rise to the top over this incredable 3 day event in Las Vegas


Date/Time Event Venue/Location Tickets
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 6:30 PM
$500 JBF Taste America Dinner at Restaurant Charlie Restaurant Charlie at Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:00 PM
$175 JBF Taste America Dinner at Fiamma Fiamma at MGM Grand
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:00 PM
$200 JBF Taste America Dinner at Rao’s Rao’s at Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:00 PM
$300 JBF Taste America Dinner at Bartolotta, Ristorante di Mare Bartolotta, Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:00 PM
$350 JBF Taste America Dinner at Valentino Valentino at Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:00 PM
$500 JBF Taste America Dinner at Alex Alex at Wynn Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Fri. 10/24/2008
at 7:30 PM
$175 JBF Taste America Dinner at Simon Simon at Palms Place Hotel and Spa
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Sat. 10/25/2008
at 4:00 PM
$20 Cooking Demonstration with Famed Chocolatier François Payard Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info
Sat. 10/25/2008
at 7:00 PM
$350 / $500 JBF Taste America Gala Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Tix & Info

Bledsoe Family Winery Opens Its Walla Walla Winery At The Box Factory Location.

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