Chefs bring star-power, crave-worthy food to Las Vegas events

MGM Resorts International hosted several star-studded culinary events over the weekend that brought together top chefs from within and without the local restaurant world.

Mandalay Bay and the Delano Las Vegas hosted six meals over three days, featuring seven of their top chefs. Hubert Keller, Charlie Palmer and Michael Mina hosted individual events at their restaurants, while Shawn McClain invited off-Strip chef James Trees into Libertine Social for two nights of collaboration.

Friday night, Alain Ducasse hosted Keller, Palmer, Mina and McClain, plus Susan Feniger and Akira Back, for a seven-course dinner at Rivea called Dine Under The (Michelin) Stars.

Observing the kitchen with Ducasse before service began, Palmer noted, “There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen, but it’s always fun. And the camaraderie, and being together, this doesn’t happen a lot. So it’s special.”

“I think it’s the first event that really we are doing together,” Keller noted as he chatted with Feniger, Back and McClain. “We have done several events. (But) this time every single chef almost, on the property, we are cooking together. So we’re excited.”

“The great thing about chefs,” added Feniger, “is there’s such an amazing community. And as much as you could say it’s an industry that could be competitive, there’s such camaraderie. So to bring us together is really wonderful. It’s a very special time.”

McClain noted that with all of the marquee chefs who come to Las Vegas every year, it was nice to see some of the pioneers honored.

“A lot of these guys have been part of this property for a long time, so sometimes maybe their names aren’t always as fresh to everybody. But if you look at their accomplishments across the board it’s amazing. And as always, every time I’m in Vegas I’m always continually humbled and proud to be a part of the community and a community of chefs.”

Prominent chefs also were part of the Saturday evening James Beard Foundation dinner at Luxor, led by culinary lion Jeremiah Tower. Tower’s first-course Mad Salad of squab, haricots verts, black truffle and crayfish — inspired by a creation by the storied chef Auguste Escoffier — was born, Tower said, of his recent attendance at a meeting of the Escoffier Society.

“The dish is classicism reinvented in Las Vegas,” Tower said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to do it.”

It was followed by courses by fellow top toques Nancy Silverton, Mary Sue Milliken, Jimmy Schmidt and Stephan Pyles. (Schmidt was a friend of Beard, the second chef to cook at the Beard House in New York, suggested Saturday’s dinner and was followed by a contingent from Los Angeles.) Luxor chef Justin Frederickson led a team that created the dessert course.

Milliken, a member of the James Beard Foundation board of trustees (and who said she walked over to the event from her Mandalay Bay restaurant) mentioned some of the foundation’s initiatives, including the Women in Culinary Leadership Program.

“When I started cooking 40 years ago, I didn’t think in 2018 we would need to do this,” she said of the program.

Another woman prominent in the foodie world headlined the Saturday afternoon Wine & Food Experience featuring Martha Stewart at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on the northern end of the Strip. More than 30 local restaurants — both on and off the Strip — set up booths offering tastes of their food; other booths served wine and cocktails, and presenters of live programs included Stewart herself.

Krystan Lordahl of Chicago was there for a girls’ day out with her niece, a local resident whose family Lordahl was visiting. She said the event compared favorably to a similar one in Chicago in that it wasn’t as crowded and wasn’t as expensive.

“Theirs is half the size and three times as many people,” she said.

Lordahl also lamented that the Chicago event involves mostly new restaurants, and not the best in town. That wasn’t the case at the Saturday event, where Strip headliners in some cases were lined up next to neighborhood spots.

Among the off-the-Strip restaurants represented was DW Bistro, and owner Bryce Krausman praised the smooth operation of the inaugural event.

Krausman said since his restaurant debuted a new menu a few months ago, the event was a good way to expose people to it — especially since many of the attendees were visitors who probably are most familiar with the city’s tourism corridor. Krausman was serving beet-cured deviled eggs with caviar, short rib agnolotti with tomato cream sauce and prickly pear tarts.

Across the festival grounds, off-Strip restaurant The Black Sheep went another step to familiarize attendees with itself, handing out vouchers for free wine to anyone who said they were a local or planned to be in town for a while.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or Al Mancini at amancini@reviewjournal.com.

Entertainment Videos
Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures
Kassandra Lopez at Tattoo'd America invites you to have fun and take pictures. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making gluten-free pizza at Good Pie in Las Vegas
Good Pie owner/pizzaiola Vincent Rotolo makes his gluten-free pizza.
Rockabilly fans enjoy Las Vegas weather poolside
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender runs Thursday, April 18th through Sunday, April 21st with a huge car show on Saturday featuring The Reverend Horton Heat, The Delta Bombers and The Coasters. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Brownie sundae at VegeNation in Las Vegas is completely vegan
Donald Lemperle, chef/owner of VegeNation in Las Vegas and nearby Henderson, NV, makes his sundae with ice cream made with coconut and almond milks, a brownie made with coconut flour and oil and organic sugar and cacao, and fresh fruit. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Taste of the Town: Henderson Booze District
Those who like to support local businesses and sample local products will find the best concentration in an unlikely spot: a Henderson industrial park.
Founder of Las Vegas theater talks about a favorite play
Ann Marie Pereth, founder of A Public Fit Theatre Company, speaks to the Review-Journal about which play she would see every day if only given one option. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N interactive exhibit
The new exhibit features original and recreated props and plenty of interactive features. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas
The Writer's Block and Lucy are open in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas ice cream shop offers everything in the kitchen sink
Have you ever wanted to eat an ice cream sundae out of a kitchen sink? Who hasn't, right? At Sloan's, located inside the Venetian, you can do just that. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Maxie’s in Las Vegas puts eggs Benedict in a box
Chef David Mangual at Maxie’s in The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas makes his eggs Benedict in a brioche “box” layered with spinach, bacon and tomatoes and topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caviar Twinkie Served at Stripsteak in Las Vegas
Stripsteak Executive Pastry Chef Vivian Chang and Chef Gerald Chin create a novel savory food item that looks like a familiar sweet treat at the restaurant in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
NAB attendees battle to qualify for Fortnite event
NAB is sponsoring an online video game event with Epic Games’ Fortnite allowing attendees to qualify to go head to head with top players. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Arctic Shrimp Sandwich at Saga near Las Vegas
Chef Gert Kvalsund, a native of Norway, founded Saga Pastry + Sandwich in Henderson to give Scandinavians a taste of home. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk UNLVino
Guy Fieri and Sammy Hagar talk about the upcoming UNLVino vent. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Christie Brinkley at Smith & Wollensky
Christie Brinkley, in town for her run in “Chicago” at the Venetian Theatre, paid a visit to the Grand Canal Shoppes’ still-under-construction Smith Wollensky on Monday for a ceremonial first toast at the bar. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Two artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas
2 artists create a mural for peace in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside Kaos nightclub and dayclub
A look at new club at Palms.
CinemaCon Brings Theater Professionals To Caesars
CinemaCon is not just celebs, it's also a place where theater owners can browse the latest in seats, projectors and concessions. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas restaurants provide a taste of ballpark food
The Las Vegas Ballpark, home to the Las Vegas Aviators, will serve food from Giada De Laurentiis and a team of favorite local restaurants. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Taste of the Town: Bobby Flay Opens Shark at the Palms - VIDEO
Bobby Flay opens Shark at the Palms; his first high-end restaurant in 15 years.
Chef Marc Marrone at T-Mobile Arena
Chef Marc Marrone has opened a bao cart at T-Mobile Arena. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio fountains celebrate 'Game of Thrones'
A medley of the theme for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and the song “Winter Is Here” from the show premiered at the Bellagio Fountains water show on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, March 31, 2019. The new number will run in rotation through April 13. The series premieres its eighth and final series on April 14. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegan Aunt Chippy talks about being on Jimmy Kimmel's show
Concetta Potenza, Aunt “Chippy” to Jimmy Kimmel, talks about her first time being featured on her nephew’s show. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro at Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails
The "Flight Unknown" At Bar Centro At Bazaar Meats Las Vegas Features 5 Innovative Cocktails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cotton candy crowns pancakes in Las Vegas
At Maxie’s at The Linq Promenade in Las Vegas, executive chef David Mangual fills pancakes with fruit and cream cheese and piles on pastel cotton candy, which is melted in a stream of chocolate syrup. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Bananas Foster Pancakes go up in flames at The Stove near Las Vegas
Chef Antonio Nunez at The Stove in Henderson, near Las Vegas, flames the pancakes tableside for a fiery presentation. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
El Loco Rollercoaster at Circus Circus' Adventuredome
The El Loco rollercoaster opened at the Circus Circus' Adventuredome in February 2014. It features a 90-foot ascent, followed by a drop that produces a negative 1.5 "verticle G," a 180-degree turn, and reverse 240-degree roll that turns into an inverted drop. The coaster reaches a maximum speed of 45 mph and is the only indoor coaster of it's kind in the U.S., and is the second indoor El Loco coaster in the world, according to MGM Resorts.
Bartending flair competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show
Highlights from the ten contestants who competed for the Shake It Up Flair and Classic Competition at the Nightclub & Bar Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Justin Kingsley Hall shares details on his next gig
Chef Justin Kinglsey hall shares some details about the newArts District restaurant he's developing with Kim Owens. (Al Mancini/Las Vegs Review-Journal)
Film prompted Carrie Hogan to found 2 farmers markets in Las Vegas
Carrie Hogan founded Fresh 52 Farmers and Artisan Market in Las Vegas after realizing she had to do something about the influence of factory farms on the food supply. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing