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July 22, 2014

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Emeril Lagasse is ready to kick it up a notch at Culinary Clash at Venetian

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The Venetian

Round 1 of Culinary Clash featuring Sebastien Silvestri, Laurent Tourondel, Claudine Grant, Dana White, a guest and Emeril Lagasse at the Venetian on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.

2012 Culinary Clash at the Venetian: Round 2

Round 2 of Culinary Clash featuring Mario Batali, Larry Ruvo, Denise Valdez, Sebastien Silvestri and Susan Stapleton with emcee Robin Leach at the Venetian on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Launch slideshow »

2012 Culinary Clash at the Venetian: Round 1

Round 1 of Culinary Clash featuring Dana White, Sebastien Silvestri and Emeril Lagasse, with emcee Robin Leach, at the Venetian on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Launch slideshow »

It’s time to “kick it up a notch” when chef Emeril Lagasse presents his Culinary Clash Master Chef Competition at the Venetian this Friday and Saturday.

It’s part of the Winter in Venice holiday celebration for the second year in a row. Emeril, a James Beard Award-winning chef, returns as a celebrity judge as 16 chefs from Venetian and Palazzo restaurants are pitted against one another inside mobile food truck kitchens.

I’ll MC in the outdoor Doges Palace plaza for the revised, all-in-one-weekend format and try to keep order among the rival chefs and their good-natured trash talking in this culinary smackdown. The chefs will be challenged to create recipes under in 30 minutes using ingredients provided in a mystery basket.

Last year, chef Herb Wilson of Sushi Samba won the title of Culinary Master, and Mario Batali’s chef Nicole Brisson of Carnevino was runner-up. This year’s final is set for 10 p.m. Saturday.

Additionally, a new element will be added this year, Masters of Mixology, a spirited competition among resort bartenders hosted by master mixologist Dale DeGroff. During the competition, celebrity mixologists Tony Abou-Ganim and Francesco Lafranconi will each lead a team of four bartenders.

All chefs and mixologists from the nearly 40 restaurants, food outlets and lounges inside the Venetian and Palazzo have been invited to compete. The winning chef and mixology team receive a trip to Italy.

The culinary wars will be projected on giant screens visible along the Strip, and admission is free. There will be VIPs and celebrities attending and on the prestigious judging panel, but we’re keeping the names confidential to avoid any underhanded ploys by the competing chefs.

Ahead of the competitions, Emeril will be honored along with restaurateur Sirio Macchioni and “Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon at the Silver State Awards at the Venetian Showroom on Friday evening. More than 130,000 votes have been cast for Nevada’s best restaurants and lounges in 18 categories, and more than 300 industry leaders will be on hand.

Emeril also hosts the sixth-annual Carnival of Cuisine poolside at the Palazzo deck on Saturday afternoon with three hours of tastings from more than 20 of the sister hotels’ restaurants to benefit our Three Square food bank.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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