Las Vegas Uncork’d
Sunshine and warm gentle breezes are nature’s gift to adventurers everywhere. Summer is no doubt the best time to travel and explore the many amazing spots here in the U.S., and also to taste new or traditional regional foods. Anywhere you go food is always a grand part of the experience.
Teresa and I travel in our RV trailer searching for really cool dishes and what makes them special. We make our way to sin city for the unofficial start of the foodie tourism high season.
Under a rare cloudy summer afternoon sky in Las Vegas wildly aromatic smells of searing lamb, sirloin steak, and seafood appetizers fill the air of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas poolside. The tasty bites are even more delightful. Blue Ribbon’s Chef Bruce Bromberg skillfully un-corks a bottle of champagne – the ‘saber-off’ launch of the 13th Celebrity Chef’s Uncork’d Food, Cocktail and Wine Celebration in 2019.
And, with the saber-off, the partying begins. More than a dozen celebrity chefs, including Giada, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, Timon Balloo, Steve Martorano, Gordan Ramsey, Guy Fieri, Lisa Vanderpump, and Guy Savoy host their own meet and greet events at their restaurants. It’s impossible to attend all of them.
Teresa and I are given a wonderful opportunity to be guests of the premiere Vegas Uncork’d Party – ‘The Grand Tasting.’ The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Bon Appetit Magazine and the Caesars Hotel group are the hosts. Walking about the ‘Garden of the Gods Pool’ area of Caesar’s Palace – a place featuring massive marble columns, beautiful fountains, gardens, and grand statues – you find folks taking selfies with their food at just about every turn.
The setting looks as though ancient gods might have commissioned its designs for their very own personal pleasure. Being at this party is sort of like that feeling you might have when you get a rare moment of luck and you beat the house at a hand of blackjack. The food here reflects the city’s eclectic diversity.
A few of the celebrity chefs make themselves available for fans and also serve up delectable specialty bites. Some fans press for attention wanting a quick photo. The chefs remain super cordial and charming.
Recognizing an extremely rare opportunity to meet so many master, executive and sous chefs in one location – some of the best award-winning food artisans in the world – we politely ask a few brief questions about their personal food inspirations- how is success defined, including Guy Fieri.
We ask if it’s possible for ordinary folks to replicate some of the dishes at home or on the road. One of the chef’s saying that he’ll share anything we wanted to know if we ask the right question. So, we ask, what’s in this dish and how to prepare it. He jokes- that’s not the right question to ask. There’s a long pause before loud laughter. The true answer is yes you can make similar dishes but with some modifications.