Luxe Life Blog
Counter Intelligence: Bon Appetit vs. Food & Wine, World Pastry Forum
It seems as if Las Vegas is finally being acknowledged as a dining and celebrity chef Mecca because yet another monster food festival is on its way. Last Thursday, I told you about the new World Food Championships with Adam Richman, and we’ve reported on Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit.
Now I’ve learned that “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons is leading a rival, three-day All Star Chefs Weekend for her Food & Wine Magazine at MGM Resorts properties from Oct. 5-7 at the Mirage, Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. My inside spy told me: “This has become a turf war between MGM chefs with Food & Wine Magazine and Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d.”
Vegas DeLuxe is first to report this new festival, which will be a major expansion of the past two years’ events with Gail. At Mandalay Bay, master chocolatier Vincent Pilon, Aureole chefs Charlie Palmer and Vincent Poussel, Michael Mina, Hubert Keller, Rick Moonen and Susan Feniger host events Oct. 5 and 6.
On Oct. 5, there’s a three-hour poolside all-star tasting at the Mirage with 19 MGM restaurants and their celebrity chefs At Aria, there’s an all-star lunch at Sage with Jean-Philippe Maury, Michael Mina, Shawn McClain, Julian Serrano, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Masa Takayama, who also will pair sashimi with champagne at his celebration sabering in Masa.
Gail will host a champagne dreams and dim sum wishes luncheon (that sounds a little familiar!) at Jasmine and a four farms, three chefs, two brothers, one table Grand Patio luncheon both in the Bellagio, which also will host a class by master sommeliers who’ve become winemakers. There will be six events at MGM Grand -- including an afternoon tea of pastries and desserts with Gail -- plus a red carpet rollout at Joel Robuchon, Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak and a tequila tasting at Diego with “Chopped” winner Christina Olivarez.
*Chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay appears on Dan Rather’s new HDNet hit show “Rather Reports” on Tuesday to discuss Bristol Bay, Alaska, which Rick is dedicated to saving and preserving as one of the world’s most pristine sources for sustainable salmon. He is hosting a viewing party at RM Seafood on Tuesday.
*For the past five days, pastry chefs, culinary professionals and students from around the globe have been prepping desserts at Red Rock Resort for the 15th Annual Amoretti World Pastry Forum. Today, the most coveted championship event in the pastry industry is decided. Teams of three from as far away as China, Japan, Morocco, South Korea, the Netherlands and Mexico have battled our U.S. team. They were given 13 hours to complete sculptures in sugar and chocolate to fit the theme of astrology and horoscopes. The awards ceremony will be followed by a gala dinner honoring the winners.
The four-hour public chocolate festival and pastry show was held Saturday at the Venetian to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and it was the first official function for newly crowned 2012 Miss Nevada Randi Sundquist and 2012 Nevada’s Miss Outstanding Teen Ellie Smith. I introduced the event with 42 pastry chefs who spent some 36 hours creating masks from sugar and chocolate in a tribute to “Phantom of the Opera” for the fashion show. Randi and Ellie wore them in the show. Our thanks to Christopher Rauschnot @24kMedia on Twitter for his videos posted on YouTube.
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.
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