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October 24, 2014

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Dig in to Uncork’d

Las Vegas will be the epicenter of all things epicurean this weekend: Uncork’d is back for its third year and once again has attracted the best and brightest chefs in the country.

There will be scrumptious dinners, insightful workshops and a host of other events to please a range of palates. From ardent meat and potatoes types to the strict, snob food-only set, the annual event offers something for everyone.

Yet while culinary circles are converging in Las Vegas, I’m leaving town: A friend of mine is getting married and I have to not only fly to another country to attend, but bake the three-tier wedding cake, too.

So while I’m about to embark upon a culinary odyssey of my own, here is a sampling of the Vegas Uncork’d-related events that I sincerely hope you will enjoy in my absence.

After all, just because I’ll be busy fighting with fondant doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious dinner; broaden your horizons (or palate) with a culinary conversation or workshop; or rub elbows with some of the nation’s most notable chefs.

Bon appétit!

Vegas Uncork’d 2009

Thursday:

Five different Masters Series dinners at Caesars Palace (all sold out)

“Chefs for Three Square” party at Pure

- Hosted by Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild

- On the guest list: Bobby Flay, Cat Cora, Kerry Simon, and Rick Moonen.

- The $75 ticket price includes beer, wine, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres – and supports a very worthy cause, too.

Classic French cooking meets French-Canadian circus with “Theater in the Kitchen” at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand (sold out)

Friday:

“Wine Immersion Experience: Taste Wine Like a Master Sommelier” with Master Som Jason Smith at Tuscany Kitchen at the Bellagio ($65).

Bobby Flay cookbook signing

- 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace

Grand Tasting

- Fleur de Lys, Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Okada, Restaurant Guy Savoy, Simon, Table 10, Valentino, craftsteak, Nobhill Tavern… the list goes on and on, and they’re all going to be there.

- Taste the flavors of the city’s top tables during one massive night of delicious excess.

- From 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the pool deck at Caesars.

- Tickets are $150 advance or $175 at door – if it doesn’t sell out.

Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament

- Your chance to sit at the same (blackjack) table as Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, and Joël Robuchon, as well as at least 15 other top-notch chefs.

- The $10,000 prize purse would be more than enough to eat at all of their restaurants at least once -- including tip!

- While entry fee is $350, those who wish to watch can do just that – and enjoy a few of the complimentary cocktails while they’re at it. (Spectator admission is $100.)

- The event will take place on the Encore pool deck and inside XS nightclub.

- The party will continue once the cards have been dealt: Players and spectators will get free admission to XS afterward.

Saturday:

Ultimate All-Star Luncheon (sold out)

The chance to cook with Paul Bartolotta, Daniel Boulud, Marc Poidevin and Alex Stratta; rub elbows with Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild and a handful of the magazine’s top writers; and the oh-so-yummy offerings of pastry chef Frédéric Robert all in one luncheon. No wonder it’s sold out.

A pair of Vegas-style, “Iron Chef”-like Culinary Challenges

- Caesars Palace vs. MGM Grand followed by Wynn/Encore vs. Mandalay Bay

- Both hosted by “Iron Chef” and Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora

- The challenges will be held in the Premier Ballroom at MGM Grand, giving Mary Sue Milliken and Carlos Buscaglia a slight home turf advantage.

- Admission to each of the hour-long events is $75

Gala Dinner

- Hosted by Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild

- Each of the meal’s six courses will be prepared by a different leading restaurant:

- Todd English (Olives) will provide hors d’oeuvres

- Akira Back (Yellowtail) will follow with Japanese snapper carpaccio with micro shiso

- Julian Serrano (Picasso) will present roasted scallops with asparagus

- Michael Mina (Michael Mina) will prepare crispy pork belly with vegetables á la Grecque and wild arugula

- Robert Moore (Prime Steakhouse) will tred diners to his dry aged A5 wagyu ribeye with grilled shiitke mushrooms

- Jean-Philippe Maury (Jean-Philippe Pâtisserie) will provide the sweet ending with what promises to be a grand dessert.

- Wine pairings are included in the ticket price, which is $275 per person.

Sunday:

Mother’s Day Brunch (sold out)

- “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio invites diners to toast Mom with a glass of Mumm Napa sparkline rosé over brunch on Sunday at his restaurant, Craftsteak.

- Those who already secured their tickets will leave with both a belly full of scrumptious brunch and a signed copy of Colicchio’s cookbook, “Craft of Cooking.”

Chocolates, Bubbles and Ice - A Decadent Slice of Heaven

- Two of life’s great pleasures, chocolate and wine, are combined as executive pastry chef Megan Romano and wine director/master sommelier William Sherer (both of Aureole) treat Uncork’d audiences to seven of their specialies

- Seven chocolates and seven wines will be presented, each paired to perfection.

- The sinfully rich and intoxicating journey will take place at Charlie Palmer’s Michelin Star-winning restaurant at Mandalay Bay, Aureole.

- Tickets to the 90-minute session are $75.

To view the complete listing of all that Uncork’d has to offer and purchase tickets for any of the events, click here.

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