Sunday, May 24, 2009

The 3rd Annual Bon Appetit Vegas Uncork'd kicks off over looking the famed Las Vegas Strip






























Where else can you enjoy the view from the world famous nightclub PURE overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and rub shoulders with many celebrity chefs including Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Kerry Simon, Rick Moonen and enjoy wine, beer, specialty cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres ? The answer is Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncork'd !














In 2008 Las Vegas became the fourth city to be profiled by the authors of the Michelin Guide , the very prestigious restaurant guide book to the world. This year, the 2009 guide features 140 restaurants and 32 hotels. Bon Appetit Magazine declared Las Vegas one of the top 5 restaurant cities.













In 2009, two Las Vegas restaurants were awarded with a five-star rating by the Mobil Travel guide . Alex at the Wynn resort and Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand. Other award winning restaurants such as Bellagio's Le Cirgue ( 6th consecutive year ) and Picasso ( 8th consecutive year ) and Caesars Palace's Guy Savoy have all taken their place amongst the worlds best.



Vegas Uncork'd shows off Las Vegas's more than a decade climb as one of the top centers for fine dining in the world. This trend shows no sign of stopping with more premiere Chefs and guests coming to Las Vegas to sample the best the world has to offer.

Bon Appetit , with it's 3rd Vegas Uncork'd has taken its place as one of the premiere Culinary events in the world and grown into an event that sets a very high bar. We can only look forward to the 4th Bon Appetit Vegas Uncorked as we have no doubt the bar will be raised even higher

From the cut of Chef Guy Savoy' s knife to open the first bottle of Champagne to the last sip of Champagne with Chef Megan Romano's confections , The 3rd Vegas Uncorked will be remembered for a long time.

Congratulations Bon Appetit and all of the people who put this premier event together. Cheers ! , and we look forward to see you all again next May !



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Vegas Uncork'd French Culinary Conversation makes culinary history

Perhaps Culinary history was made when
a lineup of some of the most legendary French Chefs in the world , including Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, François Payard, Guy Savoy and David Werly, offered their views into why Vegas has the hottest French chefs in its kitchens. Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild hosted the discussion along with special correspondent Alan Richman and Las Vegas restaurant expert John Curtas.






















Bon Appetit's Vegas UnCork'd provided many opportunities for foodies to savor and enjoy culinary dishes and meet the creators of some of the best cuisine in the world. The "French Connection" provided the rare opportunity to interact with the best French Chefs in the world.












This was a very special opportunity where guests were given the opportunity to write down a question for this prestigious panel. One of the first questions asked was "Why are you here in Las Vegas" ? The overall answer from the panel was that Las Vegas is constantly changing and despite what may be happening elsewhere , the people come to Las Vegas to seek out great food.



This panel discussion provided insight into these great French Chefs. They love the competition as it brings out the best in them . "Fusion is Confusion" from the great Chef Daniel Boulud emphasized that great French cuisine is basically simple. The other point that echoed from the panel was that Las Vegas is not saturated with fine dining and will not disappear but get even better with competition.

When you assemble these great Chefs and have a open honest discussion you can't help but be in awe of what you are seeing and hearing. Not only did guests have the opportunity to interact with this great panel but also tasted the craft of renown French Chef David Werly the Executive Chef of Le Cirque at the Bellagio .

David Werley's delicious treat of Vacherin of Foie Gras, Rhubarb Compote Fresh Strawberry & Lava Salt and

Citrus infused Salmon Gravlox, Spot Prawn Cucumber Bloom & Cream Fraiche

was mouth watering. It was a real experience to be around these great French Chefs in a Panel discussion that perhaps has never been done before. Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncork'd really pulled out all the the stops to bring world wide culinary talent together as only they can.

Chef Carla Pellegrino and Frank Pellegrino Jr show off RAOs at Caesars Palace for a Vegas Uncorked Master Series Dinner


Caesars Palace brought to Las Vegas the one-and-only Rao’s, the 110-year-old, 10-table, East Harlem Italian restaurant, considered by many as the ultimate New York dining experience.





Rao’s has been called a “culinary national treasure,” widely acclaimed for its authentic, southern Neapolitan Italian cooking and its home-style family ambiance. It was honored with a pinnacle three stars from New York Times . Rao’s at Caesars Palace is its only location outside of New York and opened its doors in December 2006.


One of the many Vegas Uncorked Master Series Dinner's was held at Rao's at Caesars Palace. Renowned Chef Carla Pellegrino and Frank Pellegrino Jr showed off their wonderful restaurant and some classic Italian artistry in the kitchen to its guests.

The always delightful Chef Cat Cora , Bon Appetit's executive chef was on hand to host the event and mingle with the guests .

Greeted with Champagne as we entered this classic restaurant , the first thing we noticed was the gorgeous Caesars Palace pool. Rao's patio provided a relaxing venue as we enjoyed the Champagne. We then entered the dining room with great anticipation of the dining experience we were about to have and found the tables were beautifully decorated with rose petals for a touch of class.






We took a look at the menu found a nice variety of classic Italian seafood, pasta , and beef dishes paired with none other than the renown Antinori wines. Chef Carla and Sommelier Crista really teamed up for what was going to be some great pairings of classic Italian dishes and wine.


MILLE FOGLIE DI FUNGHI E FONTINA:

Puffy pastry stuffed with mushroom ragu and Fontina cheese


PROSCIUTTO E MELONE
Parma prosciutto-wrapped honeydew melon balls

SALMONE & ENDIVE
Salmon mousse, endive and salmon roe




ANTIPASTI:

POLIPO E PATATE

Warm octopus, fava beans and boiled potato salad

CAPRESE SALAD
Buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, pesto sauce

Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2006



PRIMI PIATTI


RAVIOLI CON CAPESANTE E GAMBERI

Ricotta and spinach ravioli in shrimp and scallop sauce

GARGANELLI CON CAVOLLINI E PANCETTA
Fresh penne pasta, Brussels sprouts, bacon

RAO’S MEATBALLS
Traditional veal, beef and pork meatballs
Marchese Antinori 2004


SECONDI PIATTI:

BRANZINO IN ACQUA PAZZA
Wild sea bass poached in fish stock, poached vegetables

TAGLIATTA DI MANZO
Seared slices of beef sirloin tossed in warm baby arugula salad
Guado Al Tasso 2004


DOLCE:

TORTA DI NOCCIOLINE
Peanut butter tart

MISTO DI FRUTTO DI BOSCO
Mixed berries marinated in red wine, vanilla gelato
Muffato Della Sala 2005




The RAO's signature traditional Meatballs were a favorite of ours with the pairing of Marchese Antinori 2004 being spot on. Another favorite was the TAGLIATTA DI MANZO, seared slices of beef sirloin tossed in warm baby Arugula salad with the very aromatic Guado Al Tasso 2004.



Chef Carla Pellegrino was meant to be a chef from the young age of 10 and refined her skills over the years to graduate with honors from the prestigious French Culinary Institute in 2001. Chef Pellegrino has recreated those classic Rao's New York dishes as well as added her own touch to make Rao's Las Vegas a culinary destination.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

VINO LAS VEGAS samples wine with Master Sommelier Jason Smith at Vegas Uncorked



There are more Master Sommeliers in Las Vegas than any other city in the world. 18 Master Sommeliers call Las Vegas their home.





According to the Court of Master Sommeliers, the entity that certifies and educates master sommeliers, there are less than 100 professionals who hold the title Master Sommelier in North America. There are 158 master sommeliers world wide.




The Bellagio Resort has established the record for the most Master Sommeliers at a single property. Jason Smith is the properties Director of Wine , Robert Smith of Picasso and Joseph Phillips of Michael Mina .

We have had the pleasure of meeting many of the Master Sommeliers here in Las Vegas . Jason Smith at one time was the country's youngest Master Sommelier. As Director of Wine at the Bellagio Jason overseas 32 venues and leads wine education for 3500 service employees and is responsible for hiring and training an unprecedented 15 sommeliers including two other Master Sommeliers.

Jason did not just " fall" into his current position. After attending the renown Culinary Institute of America Jason realized he had a passion for wine. Before he was 21, Jason was cellar master at the 21 Club in New York city became a sommelier. Jason later refined his skills in such acclaimed restaurants as The Little Niel, Charlie Trotter's and Michael Mina.

Jason then became a Master Sommelier after years in the industry , a rigorous exam composed of Wine Theory, Service and of course, Blind Tasting. The title of Master Sommelier takes years to achieve and requires passion and dedication that few can posses

Vegas Uncorked gave its guests a unique opportunity to taste selections from around the world as Jason guided them through a behind-the-scenes look at the methodology and rationale behind blind tasting from a Master Sommelier.

Join Scott from VINO LAS VEGAS has he speaks to Master Sommelier Jason Smith at Vegas Uncorked about the Bellagio and his remarkable rise to the top of his profession.

VINO LAS VEGAS samples Culinary Artistry from many of the World's Best Chefs at The Vegas Uncorked Grand Tasting















There is nowhere else can you experience the exciting Las Vegas food and wine scene all in one place, in one night than the Vegas Uncork'd Grand Tasting .











If you could only choose one event to attend , the Vegas Uncorked Grand Tasting would be the one. We strolled around the classic beautiful pool at the Caesars Palace Resort sampling culinary delights from many of the world's best Chefs.



We have said for years that Las Vegas has become a culinary center in the world. If one had any doubts about that then the Vegas Uncork'd Grand Tasting would have changed your mind. Where else in the world could you see Chefs Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon and Paul Bartolotta walking amongst the guests and serving their dishes ?












In addition to these legendary Chefs, rising star Chefs like Adam Sobel, Zach Allen and Carlos Buscaglia were side by side with Chefs like Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Kerry Simon. Even Actor Kyle MacLachian from the TV hit show "Desperate Housewives " was in attendance enjoying the great food and wine.











Bon Appetit has done it again for the third straight year with a wonderful Grand Tasting . You cannot but be in awe of the whole experience as you walk and sample dishes from world renown restaurants like Ristorante di Mare at the Wynn, Mario Batali at the Venetian , Mix by renown Chef Alain Ducasse at the Mandalay Bay , Aquaknox at the Venetian, RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay, Daniel Boulud at the Wynn, Switch at Encore, Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace and of course Joel Robuchon at the MGM .


Join VINO LAS VEGAS as the world comes poolside to Caesars Palace for the Grand Tasting . Lets enjoy some food, speak to some of the guests and of course spend some time with these incredible Chefs from around the world.

Until next year, Bon Appetit !







Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Vegas Uncork'd Blackjack Tournament provides a chance to play along side a celebrity Chef










The renowned Chefs of Vegas Uncork'd got together along with the public for a Blackjack Tournament and some recreation.













Encore's European pool provided the background for this great Tournament with total cash prizes of $ 10,000.

This was a great opportunity for the public to play along side their
favorite Chef or for those who just wanted to watch, Vegas Uncork'd and ENCORE provided an open bar featuring Patron Spirits.





The Red Carpet started this off with Culinary legends like Joel Robuchon , Daniel Boulud, Rick Moonen , Alex Stratta and many others stopping to met and greet the guests











Multiple James Beard award winner Chef Paul Bartolotta had a very good month winning his second James Beard award a few days before he won the Vegas Uncork'd Blackjack Tournament.





























RAO's Executive Chef Carla Pellegrino tried her blackjack skills and showed that this event was about having fun as well.





The tournament brought out a who's who's of celeberity Chefs from all over the world.

Daniel Boulud, Daniel Boulud Brasserie
Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare
Kim Canteenwalla, Society Café
Tom Colicchio, Craftsteak
Bobby Flay, Mesa Grill
Jean Joho, Eiffel Tower Restaurant
Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys
Kyle MacLachlan, (celebrity co-host)
Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill
Rick Moonen, RM Seafood
François Payard, Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro Caesars Palace
Carla Pellegrino, Rao's Caesars Palace
Joël Robuchon, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Richard Sandoval, Isla Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
Theo Schoenegger, Sinatra
Alex Stratta, Alex
Jet Tila, Wazuzu
Laurent Tourondel, BLT Burger
David Walzog, SW Steakhouse











Vegas Uncork'd has many Venues and all types of events that provide fun, education, great food, wine and spirits for its guests. The Blackjack tournament is chance to have some fun and mingle with the Travelocity gnome some of your favorite Chefs along side the beautiful pool at ENCORE Resort and Casino.

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott