Popular 'Vegas Uncork'd' Culinary Event to Return on April 23
Photo courtesy of Vegas Uncork'd Twitter page
Vegas Uncork’d by "Bon Appetit," the star-studded culinary event, will return to Las Vegas on April 23 and run until April 26.
The annual event, celebrating its ninth anniversary, will feature 10 new events, and interactive culinary experiences this year, while also introducing some first-time participants such as celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.
Jason Smith, who started out working as sommelier at Michael Mina Bellagio, is now master sommelier and director of wine at Bellagio. He has participated in Vegas Uncork’d for the last eight years.
“Vegas Uncork’d by 'Bon Appétit' brings an incredible array of culinary and wine talent to Las Vegas and it allows our guests to have personal time with them,” Smith said.
“It has been very fulfilling to see how it has grown every year, and the events that we are offering become more and more unique,” he added.
Smith is most involved in California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir: A Tasting of Balance this year. Slated for April 25, the tasting will feature four member wineries of In Pursuit of Balance, an organization that promotes balanced and top-tier pinot noir and chardonnay. An expert panel including Rajat Parr of Domaine de la Côte, Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards, Matt Licklider of Lioco, and Steve Matthiasson of Matthiasson will discuss food and wine pairings, the art of winemaking, and their definition of "balance" during the tasting of eight wines. Smith will moderate while "Bon Appetit" Wine Editor David Lynch will provide color commentary.
“Some of the best wine makers in the country will be on a panel with David Lynch and I,” Smith said. “It will be an excellent opportunity to find out a lot of behind-the-scenes information.”
Newcomer Legasse will host two events at the MGM Grand: The New Orleans Fish House Experience with Emeril Lagasse (April 23) and Emeril’s New Orleans Seafood Extravaganza (April 25). For the New Orleans Fish House Experience, guests will be treated to Emeril’s “New New Orleans” style of cooking, featuring market fresh fish, shellfish creations, flavorful signature dishes, and a selection of wines off the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. Guests will be able to munch on freshly shucked raw and grilled oysters, whole grilled market fish, New Orleans-style boiled seafood, chilled salads, and seafood ceviche poolside at the MGM Grand Producer’s Pool at Emeril’s New Orleans Seafood Extravaganza. A variety of craft beers will also be on tap, and live music will be performed to top off this “Big Easy” type of experience.
Other experiences at MGM Grand include Creative Cantonese & Wine at Hakkasan (a six-course Cantonese dinner courtesy of Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon coupled with fine wines) and the Third Annual Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge (two Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts students team up with two celebrity chefs, including Lagasse, and compete for a $20,000 scholarship, courtesy of Chase Sapphire Preferred) on April 25.
ARIA Resort & Casino will showcase Farm to Table Fête with Flowers Winery at Sage on April 25. The event, hosted at James Beard Award-winning Chef Shawn McClain’s Sage restaurant, will pair McClain’s food-to-table cuisine with vintage wines from Sonoma County’s Flowers Vineyard and Winery. The five-course dinner event will come complete with wines selected by Flower’s Estate Director Greg Miller and ARIA Director of Wine Kim Wood.
Beyond that, Caesars Palace will host a variety of new and notable events.
That includes Tequila and Tacos with Too Hot Tamales on April 23, featuring signature tacos, ceviches, seafood cocktails, oysters, and more from Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.
On April 24, Pastry Savvy with Francois Payard includes a behind-the-scenes look at how exquisite French pastries are created.
On the same day, The Chefs of Wolfgang Puck: A Lunch Across the Empire will also take place at Caesars Palace. Hosted by Spago Executive Chef Eric Klein, the event features courses by Klein, Chef Dustin Lewandowski (Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill), Chef Mike Tiva and Jorge Martinez (Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina/Trattoria del Lupo) and Matt Hurley (CUT), and desserts by Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Kamel Guechida & Corporate Director of Pastry Nicole Erle.
Caesars will also host three culinary experiences on April 25.
Michelin-starred Chef Guy Savoy will host the first KRUG Champagne event of its kind during Premier Pairings with KRUG Champagne & Guy Savoy. The event will pair KRUG champagne with four courses from Savoy, including signature dishes artichoke and black truffle soup and colors of caviar.
A Taste of Bravo’s Best New Restaurant will treat guests to an exclusive four-course seated dinner during the debut event of Pop-Up at Caesars Palace.
And Brunch Demo with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger will be a brunch cooking class with the Border Grill chef-owners inside The Forum Shops at Caesars. Guests will be treated to a five-course menu, five cocktail pairings, and a recipe booklet at the demonstration.
Chase Sapphire Preferred will return as the presenting sponsor of Vegas Uncork’d this year. Chase Sapphire cardholders will receive even more perks, including exclusive access to interactive experiences with chefs such as a Spanish brunch with acclaimed chef Julian Serrano and an opportunity to mingle with chefs inside the Chase Sapphire Preferred VIP lounge atop the Neptune pool at Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods during the Grand Tasting.
Yep, it sounds like Vegas Uncork’d should be another success this year, adding to Vegas’ reputation as a premier food, beverage, and entertainment hotspot.
“Las Vegas has become one of the top locations for food and wine in the world,” Smith said. “Visitors come to Las Vegas every day of the week for all of the amazing restaurants, shows and attractions. When they attend Vegas Uncork’d, they are adding even more excitement to their visit.”
Other chefs participating in this year’s event include Gordon Ramsay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Steve Martorano and Brian Malarkey.
Tickets are available for purchase at www.VegasUncorked.com.
More by Ryan Rudnansky
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