Some of Las Vegas’ top chefs have been added to the lineup for the Evolution Las Vegas Food and Wine Experience, scheduled for April 18 at the new Caesars Forum conference center. Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, Buddy Valastro and Steve Martorano will join Bobby Flay for the festival’s inaugural edition. Actor John O’Hurley has also signed on to serve as the evening’s host.
The new event continues the 45-year tradition of the UNLVino Festival — which grew out of an intimate educational seminar held in a Southern Wine and Spirits Warehouse in 1974, into a weekendlong annual event. Like its predecessor, it will be presented by UNLV hospitality students receiving college credit for their work and will use proceeds from ticket sales to fund scholarship programs.
Another UNLVino tradition that will continue at the new festival is the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence, honoring prominent members of the local food and beverage community. This year’s recipient will be Flay.
For most attendees, however, Evolution is about sampling bites from over 50 restaurants and sips from more than 400 beverage providers. The former will include eateries from Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, The Cromwell, Mandalay Bay, the Palms, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and the Forum Shops, as well as neighborhood restaurants such as Mordeo Wine Bar, EDO Gastro Tapas, Saffron Flavors of India and SkinnyFats. A full list of participating restaurants will be available Tuesday at evolutionlv.com.
Guests will be able to choose from over 150 sakes, 100 sparkling wines and champagnes, and 300 different red and white wines from around the world, as well as “celebrity beverages” including Voli 305 (Pitbull), Hampton Water Rosé (Jon Bon Jovi), The Keaton, Red and White Wine (Diane Keaton), Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum (Sammy Hagar), Aviation Gin (Ryan Reynolds), Palagio Wine (Sting) and Foley Family Wines (Bill Foley).
Tickets for Evolution, scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. April 18, start at $150 and are available at evolutionlv.com. For an extra $100, VIP tickets will offer early access, a private VIP lounge, a Dom Perignon toast with Bobby Flay, and access to ultra-premium beverages by producers such as Caymus Vineyards, Darioush, The Macallan, Gaja and Opus One.