Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Paris chef Robert Butler wins first World Food Championships
To determine the first World Food Championships winner, it came down to Sunday’s battle between America’s traditional favorite burger and England’s legendary sandwich. The burger lost, and chef Robert Butler at our Paris, with assistant chef Lowell McCain, was crowned champion with his two-bread encased pulled pork.
Robert won $50,000 for the title on top of the $10,000 he’d won in the preliminary Best Sandwich contest that took him to the Final Table Robert was one of seven chefs competing at the Final Table, and I was one of seven judges, As host Adam Richman of the Food Network and Travel Channel said: “This is not about fine dining, but all about comfort foods.”
The categories included best chili, barbecue, burger, side dish and recipe. The front-fountains area of Caesars Palace had been turned into a large open-air outdoor kitchen for the chefs who had marinated and then labored over hot stoves for 3 hours to appeal to our palates.
Slowly but surely, we eliminated the finalists’ dishes one by one until it came down to Jason Stuckey’s monster burger or Robert’s sandwiches. The voting was at 3-3 until one deciding final vote was cast by Antonia Lofaso from “Top Chef All-Stars,” and the local kitchen king was crowned victor.
WFC and Caesars execs said the debut four-day event had been a success with more amateur and professional chefs competing and people attending than they’d expected. More than 250 chefs traveled here from as far as Puerto Rico to take part, and fans were on hand to cheer.
Top officials for Caesars and WFC said it will definitely be back next year bigger and better, and they’re hoping that they can sign a 10-year contract to keep the event here permanently.
Adam, ex-host of “Man vs. Food” and now tonight’s debut of “Best Sandwich in America” on the Travel Channel, told me: “It was fantastic in every way. Las Vegas was the only place to do this, and we’re already looking forward to returning next year.”
MORE COUNTER INTELLIGENCE
Hot off the grill! Congrats to restaurateurs George Harris, Mingo Collaso and chef partner Robert Solano for their downtown Design Center restaurant Mundo being named one of America’s Top Restaurants for 2013 by Zagat, its second consecutive distinction.
The chic Latin restaurant located across from the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health mixes old-world Mexico with Las Vegas glam. The trio plan to open their second restaurant Mingo in the downtown Art Square before the end of the year.
*Chef Michel Richard (Central at Caesars) is the latest to join the list of culinary’s finest as a professor of the inaugural Food University at Caesars in December. The 16 courses over three days transforms 80 foodies from across the country into competition-ready chefs.
They also get to rub elbows with top chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, cheese experts, fine food purveyors and farmers who will serve as Food U “faculty.” Michel said: “I love food, and I love cooking. Sharing my passion with others is always so much fun. Come to Food University and let me teach you what I know about cooking, and let’s see what kind of chef we can make out of you.”
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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