Las Vegas is known as a city built on excesses, but over the past decade gambling and late-night debauchery has increasingly given way to Michelin-star feasts and award-winning craft cocktails. It’s no coincidence that the timeline of this trend coincides with rise of Vegas Uncorkd, and annual festival of sorts that brings together some of the best and brightest in the food and wine industry for a weekend full of, well, awesomeness.
Grace Bascos for USA TODAY explains it well:
It’s the kind of weekend where you can rub elbows with Gordon Ramsay as he explains his Hell’s Kitchen-themed menu, drink through a cooking class helmed by Border Grill’s Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, follow Michael Mina off-Strip as he cooks in vintage steakhouse Golden Steer, brunch it up at Cake Boss Buddy Valastro’s local restaurant or with Giada de Laurentiis for her first Uncork’d appearance, or learn the secrets of French pastries with Francois Payard. There’s even an opportunity to taste your way through the Bacchanal Buffet completely blindfolded. For more elaborate meals, Master Series dinners return on Thursday, April 28 with tastings at Restaurant Guy Savoy, Old Homestead and newcomer Mr. Chow. The $1,000 price tag on Nobu Matsuhisa’s Ultimate Omakase dinner will turn heads, but proceeds benefit Keep Memory Alive.
There are numerous events spread over the three-day affair, with special lunches and intimate dinners available at a price. The main event, called the Grand Tasting, takes place on Friday, August 29 around the Caesars Palace Garden of the Gods Pool. While we plebs will have to wander around and taste food from 50 of the world’s best culinary minds (and hands) under the power of our own two feet, there are also VIP tables available with the added bonus of a private server, not to mention a VIP-only bar.
The 10th anniversary blowout also features something extra special:
In the spirit of extravagant meals, The Venetian and Emeril Lagasse celebrate 10 years of Vegas Uncork’d with the first ever Dinner on the Strip — and they mean that literally. Under the bright lights and with Las Vegas Boulevard as stunning backdrop, Lagasse will prepare a multi-course, family-style feast for hundreds of guests outdoors at the Italian-themed property’s picturesque Doge’s Palace Piazza, along with chefs Daniel Boulud, David Werly, Kim Canteenwalla and Olivier Dubreuil who all have restaurants in Las Vegas.
Sure, once upon a time Las Vegas was “Sin City,” a place rife with 99-cent shrimp cocktails and buffets that were about quantity with little regard for quality, but these days, this coming April to be exact, you can dine with the the neon majesty of Las Vegas surrounding you and the edible creations of legends laid out before you. How cool is that?