What celebrity chef leaves you foodstarstruck? Leave a comment.
When you’ve learned as much about cooking from television as I have, seeing a celebrity chef in person is like seeing a movie star. I’m giddy. I’m flustered. I’m wondering, “is there anything in my teeth?” You might say I’m foodstarstruck. So just imagine how excited I was to meet and interview Chefs Wolfgang Puck, Cat Cora, Kerry Simon, Jet Tila and Scott Linquist at Vegas Uncork’d! What did I ask and what did they say? Watch Foodstarstruck: Vegas Uncork’d and find out now!
I’ve done a lot of things in Vegas. Some I can even talk about. And Vegas Uncork’d is one experience I just can’t stop talking about! This is not only the best food event Vegas can offer, it’s quite possibly the best food event the world can offer. Held every Mother’s Day weekend, Vegas Uncork’d boasts the world’s top chefs in the most opulent locations on the Vegas Strip. Hint: If you’re planning for next year’s Mother’s Day, The Grand Tasting alone will rock Mom’s world.
It’s not often that B-roll makes headlines, but Vegas Uncork’d B-roll is an exception. The footage dispersed throughout Foodstarstruck (referred to as “B-roll”) is ridiculously awesome with so many celebrity chefs in amazing venues it almost speaks for itself. But here’s what the B-roll can’t tell you…
THE GRAND TASTING
This may come as a surprise, but I don’t dine at places like Joël Robuchon every night, lol. So The Grand Tasting is right up my alley. Party goers can sample the best of the menu from Wazuzu, Simon, Dos Caminos, Border Grill, Fleur de Lys, Guy Savoy, Bradley Ogden and about fifty other top restaurants in Las Vegas. For about the cost of dining at one of these eateries, you can sample all of the finest restaurants in one delicious night and at one beautiful venue. Plus, you have the chance to mingle with some of the world’s top chefs! I am convinced, The Most Interesting Man in the World would have a one word review of The Grand Tasting: “Yes!”
The Ultimate All Star Interactive Luncheon delivered in a big way. It was ultimate. It was all star. It was interactive. We ate lunch. The Beethoven Ballroom at Wynn was set up like any grand dining room (read: wedding) with the addition of cooking stations at every table. David Middleton, Chef Tournant of Alex Restaurant at Wynn (above) gave us table side instruction while Chefs David Walzog, Alessandro Stratta and Paul Bartolotta prepared their signature dishes on stage.
The first course, David Walzog’s Steak Tartare, was prepared by a fearless dining companion and devoured by all. This was my first Steak Tartare. I felt a little Rocky Balboa, but I enjoyed it — the pairing with Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut may have helped.
Raw meat and sharp knives out of harms way, I volunteered to cook Alessandro Stratta’s Sweet Pea and Morel Mushroom Risotto. Another first. Though I’ve eaten my share of risotto, I have never made it. Under Chef David’s careful supervision I went from Risotto Rookie to Morel Master! See this and much more in Foodstarstruck: Vegas Uncork’d.
Dessert was the only part of the meal that was not interactive, i.e., we didn’t have to make it. We could simply relax and enjoy the last course. Shown above, dining companion Steve Dolinsky and I enjoy Frederic Robert’s Wild Raspberries in a Sundries Trifle with Lemon Yogurt Sherbet and Glazed Pastry Sticks.
DINE AND DASH
Crime doesn’t pay. And it felt like committing a crime to leave before the third course at Chef Joachim Splichal’s Masters’ Series Luncheon at Pinot Brasserie in The Venetian. An appointment to interview Wolfgang Puck could be the only reason to miss out on such a meal. My apologies, Chef Splichal. I hope to sample more of your creations and interview you at Patina LA!
I did snap some delicious photos of Chef Splichal’s super-fresh cuisine, which is also featured in Foodstarstruck B-roll. Shown above is the Tower of Tuna: avocado, tomato, soya onion, yuzu granite. Yes, please!
PLEASE PASS THE STEAK
I don’t really order steak when I go out to eat. I don’t usually prepare big cuts of meat for myself at home. However, if I ever get the chance to revisit Michael Mina’s Stripsteak, I will order steak. Because it’s really butter masquerading as steak. I tried a few different cuts and preparations thanks to my generous dinning companions and each mouthful was butterier than the next.
Normally I’m not turned on by steak house sides, but the spinach souffle, scalloped potatoes and wedge salad were exceptional. And a variety of duck fat fries were a fun way to start. Several spectacular plates from Stripsteak are used in Foodstarstruck B-roll. Can you spot them?
CELEBRITY CHEF BLACKJACK TOURNAMENT
It’s no secret that you’re on camera the minute you set foot into a casino. But that doesn’t mean you can video tape inside the casino. In fact, if you want instant attention from all the wrong people just start recording video in a casino. So filming the Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament was a bit strange and a lot of fun. Set poolside at Encore, we had the green light to photograph and video the entire high stakes celebrity chef tournament and capture some of the competitive fire behind so many famous food personalities.
If game faces could predict tournament winners, my money would be on Bobby Flay every time. But, for the third year in a row Paul Bartolotta won the Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament. Shockingly, some questioned whether the three year winning streak was more than just good luck. Fuhghetaboudit!
Link to the Foodstarstruck video.
If you are a food and wine lover, you have to experience Vegas Uncork’d! Mark your calendars for Mother’s Day weekend and plan to take mom to Vegas for the epic food event of her life, Vegas Uncork’d! Look for me with microphone in-hand chasing down celebrity chefs!
More Vegas Uncork’d coverage to come… featuring full length interviews with the chefs, and bonus Mahi Mahi Taco cooking demonstration with Scott Linquist of Dos Caminos. Thank you R&R Partners, Vegas Uncork’d, Bon Appetit and Food Wishes.
Disclaimer: Average Betty was invited to cover Vegas Uncork’d as a member of the Vegas Uncork’d Press and made possible by R&R Partners, Vegas Uncork’d and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.