Celebrity chefs plan Mandalay Bay food fest in October

Mandalay Bay is gathering its top culinary stars together for a property-wide food festival Oct. 12-14.

“The Chef’s Table: An EPICurean Experience” will include five events by Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer, Susan Feniger, Hubert Keller, Shawn McClain, Michael Mina and Akira Back.

The flagship event will be a seven-course dinner by all seven on Friday night at Ducasse’s Rivea and Skyfall Lounge atop the Delano tower.

“I think it’s always exciting to get all of us together in one place,” Charlie Palmer says of that meal. “And believe me, when a group of us, a group of this caliber, puts their heads together, not only is it a little bit competitive, but it’s just really great. Because spending time in the kitchen with people you really like and chefs you really respect is always a fun thing. And it doesn’t happen often.”

Palmer also says that meal will be an intimate event, “so that the guests can really get to know the chefs and shake hands and see people and talk to them.”

Several of the chefs will host their own events over the weekend. Mina will host a Bloody Mary Brunch the Oct. 13 at StripSteak, while Palmer will host a four-course lunch that day, with wine pairing by Foley Family Wines. On Sunday, Keller will collaborate with Fleur executive chef Robert Camacho on a cooking demonstration — Secrets of a Chef, Brunch Edition — which will be followed by an interactive cocktail demo and five-course brunch at Fleur.

McClain will mix things up a little by welcoming off-Strip sensation James Trees of Esther’s Kitchen into Libertine Social on Saturday and Sunday nights to collaborate on a special a la carte menu as well as a prix fixe progressive dinner.

“I was interested in bringing in somebody local because I wanted this weekend to attract Las Vegas, and not just people who are at the hotel,” McClain says. “I really thought it would be great to have someone who was local, who had a local following, who we could really have a symbiotic relationship with and bring off-Strip and Strip together for an event.”

The timing of Chef’s Table coincides with the outdoor Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience on Oct. 13 on Las Vegas Boulevard, and the separate James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour visit to the Luxor that evening. Both will feature MGM Resorts International chefs and restaurants.

Chef’s Table, however, brings seven big-name chefs to one place.

“Vegas is forever looking for the next thing,” McClain says. “But all those names on the list are highly successful not only in Vegas but in other cities as well, some internationally. So I think it’s a great point to say ‘These guys have great restaurants here. And the fact that they’ve been around longer than most doesn’t mean that they’re any less important.’ ”

Prices for the ticketed events at Chef’s Table range from $75 to $195, and are available at mandalaybay.com.

Contact Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.

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