Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What I Missed @ Home


The hugely successful, four-day Vegas Uncork’d food and wine festivities wrapped yesterday after everything from a beachside barbecue to a late-night star chef DJ session to elegant and exotic Mother’s Day brunches. All were the topping on the cakes served by a cadre of celebrity chefs during the 96-hour, fifth annual, nonstop dining extravaganza.

Bon Appetit and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority sponsored the festival, which proved not only that Las Vegas is Star Chef Dining Capital of the World, but also that this ultimate, top level of star power could only happen on the Strip.

There were more than 24 food-related events during the marathon of meals, and they sadly ended yesterday with first-time Uncork’d brunches at Chef Guy Savoy’s self-named restaurant at Caesars Palace and at current Top Chef Masters contestant Mary Sue Milliken’s Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. The barbecue at Mandalay Bay Beach on Saturday night feature Chefs Charlie Palmer, Alain Ducasse and Rick Moonen serving behind the grills and Megan Romano presiding over an amazing array of desserts, and Hubert Keller spinned the wheels of steel at his nearly Fleur.

Sounds like so much fun... And sadly, I had to miss it!

And wow! Who would have thought this could happen?!

But the one event that stood out was the debut vegan experience co-hosted by hotel mogul Steve Wynn and Tal Ronnen, a vegan culinary pioneer and bestselling author of The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat, along with the award-winning chefs of the Wynn and Encore.

Finally, people are waking up and realizing meat isn't necessary for a great meal. When one gets creative, the possibilities really can be endless for great vegetarian and vegan cuisine. I hope this starts a trend for more daring vegan dishes at more Vegas restaurants. Or at least, it would be nice not to be mocked for going meatless. ;-)

Hopefully, I'll be able to stay in town next May so I don't have to miss this kind of fun again!

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