2017 Vegas Uncork’d reveals celebrity guests and programming schedule

January 31, 2017

Giada De Laurentiis and Gordon Ramsay at Vegas Uncork'd 2016
Giada De Laurentiis and Gordon Ramsay at Vegas Uncork’d 2016. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit)

The 11th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit (which takes place April 27 to 30, 2017, at various location in Las Vegas) has announced its star-studded lineup of events. Celebrity chefs expected to attend include Wolfgang Puck, Alain Ducasse, Bobby Flay, Buddy Valastro, Charlie Palmer, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, José Andrés, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Michael Chow and Nobu Matsuhisa.

Additionally, Chase Sapphire returns for the fifth consecutive year as the presenting sponsor of Vegas Uncork’d. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve card members can enjoy unique access to select experiences and interaction with celebrity chefs throughout the four-day festival. Cardmember packages will be available for purchase through April 12, 2017, while supplies last.

Here is more more information about the 2017 edition of Vegas Uncork’d from a press release:

New and notable:

  • Master Series: Rao’s 10th Anniversary Dinner (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: Rao’s is widely regarded as the hardest reservation to land in the country, if not the world. Guests will have the opportunity to grab a seat at Rao’s in Las Vegas as the Rao’s family celebrates its 10th Anniversary on the Strip and their newest cookbook, “Rao’s Classics,” written by Rao’s owners Frank Pellegrino Sr. and Frank Pellegrino Jr.  From time-honored Italian staples to classics that are uniquely Rao’s, like their famous lemon chicken, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate this milestone with a multi-course meal at an Italian-American dining institution.
  • Master Series: The Ultimate Throwback with MR CHOW (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: Celebrate the first Anniversary of the only Las Vegas location of the internationally renowned MR CHOW with a throwback dinner. Michael Chow and Maximillian Chow will lead diners through a menu featuring dishes from the original UK location—now celebrating its 49th anniversary. This spectacular and exotic culinary arena brings guests straight to the front row—for an amplified and theatrical dining experience.
  • Quickfire Happy Hour with Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: Ever wondered what it takes to win a quickfire challenge? Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to feel like a contestant on a cooking competition show. Put your culinary chops to the test and become part of the action! Guests will divide into teams and compete in a series of quickfire challenges all while enjoying free-flowing cocktails, cool craft beers, and signature Border Grill bites. Celebrity chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger will be on hand to coach the teams and provide participants with top-notch advice before they face the panel of judges.
  • Three-Kitchen Tasting at SUGARCANE raw bar grill with Chef Timon Balloo (The Venetian), Thursday, April 27: Kick back, eat well, and stay awhile at SUGARCANE raw bar grill! At this event, sip signature cocktails featuring rum from all over the world, while award-winning Executive Chef & Partner Timon Balloo presents a selection of SUGARCANE’s globally inspired small plates. Enjoy dishes from three kitchen concepts: the open fire grill continues the timeless tradition of cooking over blazing fresh fire fueled by locally-sourced wood; the raw bar dishes are served in both their “classic” form as well as SUGARCANE’S own innovative interpretations; and the traditional kitchen creates dishes that represent Chef Timon Balloo’s signature style – the juxtaposition of bold flavors made for sharing.
  • Celebrate Spago: 25th Anniversary Lunch with Wolfgang Puck (Caesars Palace), Friday, April 28: Acknowledged as the spark that ignited the city’s culinary phenomenon, 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Spago by Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas! Join the renowned chef and restaurateur as he showcases his favorite dishes and Spago classics. Lunch will begin with a premium cocktail reception, followed by a seated lunch in the dining room.
  • Lunch like a Spaniard with José Andrés at Jaleo (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), Friday, April 28: Experience a taste of Spain with internationally acclaimed culinary pioneer and innovator, Chef José Andrés. Join José as he prepares lobster paella over their renowned live fire pit in a dish-and-tell session, and shares his favorite stories behind the unique restaurant’s menu items, like José’s Taco, a slice of jamón ibérico de bellota topped with osetra caviar and gold flakes; Coca con Erizas del Mar, crusty Spanish cristal bread topped with sea urchin, ibérico bacon and butter; their renowned Gin and Tonic program, and more.
  • The Hog in the Hen House: Yardbird Presents A Pot Belly Brunch (The Venetian), Friday, April 28: From the fried green tomato BLT with house-smoked pork belly to maple-glazed bacon doughnuts, Yardbird’s exclusive Pot Belly Brunch will be a hog heaven for lovers of all things bacon and pork belly. Enjoy a range of Yardbird’s inventive Southern comfort dishes while sipping on a bloody mary with bacon infused vodka.
  • A Movers & Shakers Mixology Journey with Mariena Mercer (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), Saturday, April 29: Guests will travel through the iconic bars and lounges of The Cosmopolitan to experience four unique cocktails guided by The Cosmopolitan’s Chef Mixologist Mariena Mercer. Beginning in The Study, tucked inside modern superclub Rose. Rabbit. Lie., guests will be transported to a speakeasy-like atmosphere complete with a record player where guests are invited to play their favorite vinyl. Next, they will journey to Vesper Bar, where classic charm meets a contemporary setting and long-forgotten recipes are the centerpiece of the cocktail menu. CliQue Bar & Lounge is the next stop, where artisanal cocktails and house-made mixers pair with savory bites and shareable plates. Guests will end their journey at The Chandelier, a decadent three-tiered bar and lounge where each level boasts a new experience and cocktail menu.
  • Brunch with Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: This event is so popular it has two seatings! Make your way to Mesa Grill for an outstanding morning with one of America’s most beloved chefs. Guests will indulge in an array of delicious brunch dishes prepared by Chef Bobby Flay, served alongside perfectly paired cocktails in an intimate private dining room setting.
  • Montecristo Cigar Bar—Up in Smoke (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: Lovers of the old-school Las Vegas vibe will relish in this exclusive event. Guests will gather at the swanky Montecristo Cigar Bar for curated pairings of premier scotches, cigars and mouthwatering bites from Old Homestead.
  • Picnic in The Park with Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Shawn McClain, Roy Ellamar, Akira Back, the Voltaggio Brothers & More (The Park, located between Monte Carlo and New York-New York), Saturday, April 29: Enjoy a Picnic in The Park Vegas style! Featuring live music and some of MGM Resorts’ most notable chefs including Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer, Julian Serrano, Michael Mina, Shawn McClain, Roy Ellamar, Akira Back, and the Voltaggio brothers, Picnic in The Park will offer creative twists on classic picnic dishes. We encourage you to embrace your inner-child with coloring books, classic board games and a variety of social games such as foosball, shuffleboard, ping pong and corn hole. And don’t forget to take a selfie with Bliss Dance, a 40-foot-tall sculpture by artist Marco Cochrane and a focal point of The Park experience. Located on the Las Vegas Strip between Monte Carlo and New York-New York, this new outdoor dining, and entertainment district will provide an ideal backdrop for you to enjoy a fun, interactive afternoon picnicking with celebrated chefs.
    EARLY ACCESS: Gain early admission to the event with an Early Access ticket. A limited number of tickets are available to deliver the undivided attention of experts on site, an exclusive signature cocktail available only to early access guests, and an opportunity to interact with the chefs in a more intimate setting.
  • Sweet Escape: An Evening of Buddy, Beignets, Bon Bons & Booze (The Palazzo), Saturday, April 29: Buddy “Cake Boss” Valastro hosts a decadent evening to surrender to the sweet side of life, featuring the Chefs of The Venetian and The Palazzo, each preparing a unique take on beignets or bon bons. The poolside reception will include an excited live band and delicious specialty cocktails. Special appearance by Chef Lorena Garcia of Chica, opening at The Venetian in 2017.
  • The Ultimate Big Cake & Craft Cocktail After-Party (The Venetian), Saturday, April 29: Celebrate the evening with an official after-party at the latest hotspot, The Dorsey, with a colossal cake baked by the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro. The Dorsey is a high design, memorable spot for the worldly, curious and engaged featuring a hand crafted cocktail menu.

Returning favorites include:

  • Master Series: Rich Tradition with a New Twist with Old Homestead’s Greg & Marc Sherry (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: A delicious evening awaits guests at this year’s Old Homestead Dinner. Greg and Marc Sherry’s event is back by popular demand, and this year they present a stellar menu of divine dishes and pairings featuring steak, premium wines, and chocolate.
  • Master Series: The World’s Best, An Epicurean Affair With Guy Savoy  (Caesars Palace), Thursday, April 27: Guy Savoy, a Michelin-starred chef, will present a multi-course epicurean affair with premier pairings, serving signature dishes normally found at his Paris location alongside some of the world’s great wines and champagnes. With his Paris restaurant recently receiving the “Best Restaurant in the World” acclaim from La Liste, this meal will take diners on a truly special adventure across Chef Guy Savoy’s empire of tastes and influences, celebrating his achievements through his signature creations. Don’t miss this rare opportunity for an intimate dining experience with a world-renowned legend.
    Krug Chef’s Table: Experience exclusive like never before and be one of six at the extremely intimate Chef’s table—your portal into the chef’s den. At the only Krug Chef’s Table in the U.S., guests will sip the luxurious Krug Champagne and dine on a special menu prepared by Chef Guy Savoy right in front of them. For a smaller party, please inquire.
  • #FoodPorn Cooking Demo & Luncheon with the Too Hot Tamales (Caesars Palace), Friday, April 28: Bring your camera phone and appetite, as you get up close and personal at a fun-filled live cooking demonstration featuring chef duo, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Prepare to laugh, taste and sip as the Too Hot Tamales fix a feast for the eyes and shake up creative cocktails. Guests will not only learn the dynamic duo’s innovative recipes and cooking techniques but also get the lowdown on how to shoot epic food porn photos with expert tips and tricks from Bon Appétit magazine’s social media gurus. Meet the chefs, enjoy a multi-course lunch with specialty cocktails, a takeaway recipe booklet and a chance to purchase personalized cookbooks following the event.
  • Robin Leach & Gary Selesner Invite You to a Culinary Journey Around the World at Bacchanal Buffet (Caesars Palace), Friday, April 28: Join “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” host Robin Leach and Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner for a culinary adventure at Bacchanal Buffet—named the #1 buffet in Las Vegas. It’s here the renowned chef team will present an around the world culinary journey that showcases dishes from different countries and cuisines, paired with premier global wines, all while listening to Leach and Selesner recount their worldly travels and the authenticity of each bite.
  • The Grand Tasting (Caesars Palace), Friday, April 28: The Grand Tasting is the signature event of Vegas Uncork’d, where over 2,500 food enthusiasts enjoy a staggering variety of signature dishes prepared by some of the world’s most celebrated chefs. The dramatic five-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino will feature more than 50 award-winning chefs and over 100 of the best wines and spirits from around the world.
    EARLY ACCESS: Gain early admission to the event with an Early Access ticket. A limited number of tickets are available to deliver the undivided attention of experts on site.
  • Brunch at GIADA: An Italian Inspired Feast (The Cromwell), Saturday, April 29: Join chef Giada De Laurentiis for brunch at her award-winning first and only namesake restaurant. Guests will be delighted by GIADA’s brunch menu, highlighting her California-inspired Italian cuisine, indulge in limitless mimosas, live entertainment, and more with the Emmy Award-winning celebridy chef and New York Times best-selling author. Guests will also receive a signed photo with Giada.
  • Master Series: Chef Gordon Ramsay Dinner (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: Turn up the heat during Vegas Uncork’d with an unforgettable dinner with multi Michelin star award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay and the all-stars from his hit competition series. Guests will get to experience a range of Ramsay’s signature dishes while interacting with the chef.
    MEET & GREET: Guests will have the opportunity for a meet and greet with Chef Gordon Ramsay during the event, featuring passed hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails. Guests will then gain preferred seating in the larger dining room for dinner.
  • Master Series: Nobu Matsuhisa’s Ultimate Teppan Experience (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: The perfect event for fans of the culinary master and connoisseur, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa! During two seatings, he’ll showcase his skills on the traditional Teppanyaki grills inside his Caesars Palace restaurant, giving guests a live view of their food prepared before their eyes by the celebrity chef. As the first Nobu location in the U.S. to feature Teppanyaki grills, guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience with Chef Nobu.
  • Master Series: The Beauty of Sushi with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: Journey inside legendary Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s expansive Las Vegas destination restaurant for a rare opportunity to hear about the philosophy of sushi making from one of the world’s foremost artisans and restaurateurs. Born in Japan, Chef Matsuhisa has used his travels around the globe to create both authentic and inventive Japanese cuisine. This signature event will give guests the chance to see Nobu’s sushi making in action while also sipping premier sake from some of Japan’s finest producers. Discover his inventive “Nobu Style” that fuses classic sushi-making techniques with unexpected ingredients.
  • Master Series: Transcendent Tapas & Worldly Wines with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Caesars Palace), Saturday, April 29: A one-of-a-kind dining experience from celebrity chefs, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, at the award-winning Border Grill at The Forum Shops, named Las Vegas’ Best Latin American Restaurant. Join the chefs and pioneers of modern Latin cuisine in lively conversation, dancing and festive music as guests explore their unique twist on tapas, expertly paired Latin wines and top shelf tequila cocktails at a seated dinner.
  • Little Italy From City To Strip: Rao’s Italian Brunch with The Rao’s Family (Caesars Palace), Sunday, April 30: Transport yourself to Southern Italy at this intimate afternoon affair at the exclusive Rao’s Restaurant. Guests will join the Rao’s family for a premium experience, enjoying a seasonally inspired multi-course brunch, featuring authentic family recipes, distinctive cocktails, and non-stop entertainment at this traditional Italian feast.

About Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit is where food and culture meet. The award-winning No. 1 food lifestyle brand covers food through the lens of cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design, and home. Under editor in chief Adam Rapoport, the brand has been named AdAge Magazine of the Year in 2015, and has been nominated for 22 National Magazine Awards, including wins in 2014 for General Excellence and Photography. In 2015 Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Pamela Drucker Mann was named AdAge Publishing Executive of the year, the magazine was also named A-List Magazine of the Year in 2013 and “One to Watch” in 2014, and has been Adweek’s Food Magazine of the Year in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

 

S.Pellegrino announces details for Young Chef 2018 contest

January 25, 2017

S.Pellegrino Young Chef

S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water has announced that the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 will accept applications from February 1 to April 30, 2017.  Now in its third edition, the S.Pellegrino Young Chef contest recognizes leading young chefs wrldwide, with the competition lasting 18 months. The S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 winner will be announced in Milan in June 2018.

The third edition of this global competition will also feature a distinguished panel of judges, named the Seven Sages, which is comprised of some of the most celebrated culinary masters of the world. These judges are responsible for deciding the winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 at the finals in Milan, Italy.  Past judges include Wylie Dufresne (USA), Elena Arzak (Spain), Mauro Colagreco (France) and Roberta Sudbrack (Brazil).

Winners of S.Pellegrino Young Chef are presented with the opportunity to gain global visibility, as well as the chance to take part in several of the brand’s annual events around the world, including those related to the Young Chef competition. Previous winners of the competition are Ireland-based Mark Moriarty (winner in 2015) and U.S.-based Mitch Lienhard (winner in 2016). Lienhard worked closely with chef Dominique Crenn, who served as his chef mentor leading up to and during the competition.

2017 Austin Food + Wine Festival announces lineup

January 19, 2017
Austin Food and Wine Festival

The sixth annual Austin Food + Wine Festival takes place April 28 to 30 at Auditorium Shores and Fair Market in Austin, Texas.

Here are some of the highlights, according to a press release from the festival:

  • Hands-on grilling demonstrations, hosted by Tim Love, on April 29 and April 30.
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Interactive fire pits helmed by an all-star lineup of chefs on April 29 and April 30.  Participants include chefs Sonya Coté (Eden East, Hillside Farmacy); Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie); Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Odd Duck); Kent Rathbun (Shinsei); Blaine Staniford (Grace, Little Red Wasp); and Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo, Contigo Catering, Chicon).
  • Live musical performances
  • Chef tastings
  • Book signings
  • Lone Star Nights on April 28 at Fair Market (1100 East Fifth Street), with music by DJ DM. The event will also have dishes from Matt Balke (Bolsa); Julian Barsotti (Nonna); Junior Borges & Coner Sergeant (CBD Provisions); Thai Changthong (Thai-Kun); Luis Colon (Folc); Andrew Curren (ELM Restaurant Group); Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye); Ford Fry; Diego Galicia & Rico Torres (Restaurant Mixtli); Steve McHugh (Cured); Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller Barbecue); Paul Qui (Kuneho); Ryan Shields (Bullfight); and Danny Trace (Brennan’s of Houston).
  • Rock Your Taco competition on April 29. Chefs will square off against one another to create the ultimate taco, with winners chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, including Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro) and FOOD & WINE’s Editor, Nilou Motamed. Chefs include Hugh Acheson (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The Florence, The National, Spiller Park); Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven); Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (The Purple Pig); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); Tyson Cole (Uchi/Uchiko); Jason Dady (Jason Dady Restaurants); Jodi Elliott (Bribery Bakery); Amanda Freitag (Chopped); Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Trois Familia, LudoBird); reigning Rock Your Taco champion Tim Love; Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez Restaurants); Alon Shaya (Shaya, Domenica, Pizza Domenica); Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar); Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon, Blue Ginger); and Jonathan Waxman (Adele’s, Bajo Sexto Taco, Barbuto, Brezza Cucina, Jams, Waxman’s San Francisco).
  • Sunday Gospel Brunch with the Warrior Gospel Band on April 30.
  • Food, wine and cocktail tastings in the Grand Taste Pavilion on April 29 and April 30. Participants include Joe Anguiano (VOX Table); Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery); John Bates & Brandon Martinez (Noble Sandwich Co.); Stephen Bonin (Geraldine’s); John Brand (Supper at Hotel Emma); Taylor Chambers (Justine’s Brasserie); Tyson Cole (Uchiko); Austin Ewald (Grizzelda’s); Kazu Fukumoto (Fukumoto: Sushi and Yakitori Izakaya); Albert Gonzalez (Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile); Daniela Herrera (Counter 3. FIVE. VII); James Holmes (Lucy’s Fried Chicken); Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table); Clinton Kendall (East Side King); Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew); Nathan Lemley (Parkside); Mia Li (Kuneho); Geronimo Lopez (Botika); Rick Lopez (La Condesa); Harold Marmulstein (Salty Sow); Brian Moses (Olive & June); Josh Neises (Lonesome Dove); David Norman (Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden); Michael Paley (Central Standard); Ji Peng Chen (Wu Chow); James Robert (Fixe); Amanda Rockman (South Congress Hotel); Eric Silverstein (The Peached Tortilla); Marco Silverstrini (Dolce Neve); Anthony Sobotik (Lick Honest Ice Cream); Eddie Solis (Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ); Philip Speer (Bonhomie); George Thomas (Unit-D Pizzeria); Jim Tripi (Eberly); Carmen Valera (Tamale House East); Abby Yates (NO VA); Jacob Weaver (Juliet Ristorante); Martin Wilda (Sway); and Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616).
  • A star-studded collection of sommeliers, wine, beer and spirits experts rounds out the Austin Food + Wine Festival line-up, including Master Sommelier Devon Broglie; Master Sommelier Craig Collins; FOOD & WINE’s executive wine editor Ray Isle; and author Mark Oldman.
  • The pre-Festival Feast Under the Stars, on April 27, is an intimate outdoor celebration, at Austin’s Auditorium Shores, offering a five-course, family-style menu with wine pairings from Jackson Family Wines.  Chefs David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen, La Corsha Hospitality Group); Tyson Cole (Uchi); Omar Flores (Casa Rubia); Ford Fry (State of the Grace); and pastry chef Janina O’Leary will prepare a collaborative, al fresco meal.  Feast Under the Stars tickets are $250 per person (inclusive of wine pairings and parking) and must be purchased separately from any festival tickets.

McCormick & Company reveals 17 new products for spring 2017

January 19, 2017

McCormick and Company
(Photo courtesy of McCormick and Company)

McCormick & Company has launched 17 new products for spring 2017:

McCormick Grill Mates: With Hawaiian cuisine taking over the mainland, and churrascarias and Korean BBQ in towns across the country, these new Grill Mates liquid marinades, mixes and seasonings allow grillers to add flavors they enjoy at restaurants to cook-out staples this spring and summer.

Stubb’s: New seasoning mixes were specially created to flavor different types of meat, from pork to steak and chicken, with big Texas taste.

Zatarain’s: Hot sauce and biscuits are staples of the Southern food scene. Zatarain’s first-ever hot sauce is made with aged red peppers, Cajun spices and big chunks of flavorful garlic. And, new mixes for flaky biscuits and crumbly cornbread are made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

All photos courtesy of McCormick & Company.

Coffee Mate Natural Bliss introduces four new creamers

January 18, 2017

Coffee-Mate (Photo courtesy of Nestle USA)
(Photo courtesy of Nestle USA)

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss has launched four new plant-based creamers: Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, Hazelnut Almond Milk and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk.  The flavors are available at retailers nationwide except the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer, which is sold exclusively at Target retail stores.

According to Coffee Mate, the new coffee creamers are made with simple ingredients, such as real almonds, coconuts from Sumatra, vanilla from Madagascar and pure cane sugar to offer consumers an all-natural alternative to traditional dairy creamers. Made with no GMO ingredients, Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy and offer a new way to add a hint of flavor and touch of sweetness.

2017 All-Star Chef Classic announces lineup

January 12, 2017
All-Star Chef Classic

The fourth annual All-Star Chef Classic takes place March 8 to 11, 2017, at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District. Here are some of the highlights, according to a press release from the festival.

New in 2017: a strolling event called the Italian Masters Dinner presented by Melissa’s Produce and Southern Eats.

Returning to L.A. LIVE’s custom-built Event Deck, which includes Restaurant Stadium and the Chefs’ Tasting Arena, will be the Masters Dinner series dedicated to French, Italian, American, and Asian talent and preparations

Little Masters presented by Le Creuset and Grill & Chill presented by DCS and Stella Artois.

Restaurant Stadium’s 300-plus seats bring fans “kitchen-side,” allowing them an intimate and memorable culinary venture.

The 2017 edition of All-Star Chef Classic is partnering with L.A. Kitchen benefit the local non-profit that combines the potential and power of food and people, ensuring that neither goes to waste.

The 2017 All-Star Chef Classic will include more than 55 internationally-renowned chefs and personalities including:

  • Hugh Acheson (The National, Georgia)
  • Govind Armstrong (Post & Beam, Los Angeles)
  • Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Boston, New York)
  • Ashley Christensen (Poole’s, North Carolina)
  • Adam Cole (Maple Block Meat Co., Los Angeles)
  • Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb, San Francisco; Acacia House, St. Helena)
  • Francis Derby (The Cannibal, Los Angeles), Chris Oh (Hanjip, Los Angeles)
  • Brian Dunsmoor (Hatchet Hall, Los Angeles)
  • Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station, Los Angeles)
  • Neal Fraser (Redbird, Fritzi, Los Angeles)
  • Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish, Los Angeles)
  • Della Gossett (Spago, Los Angeles)
  • Duff Goldman (Cake Mix, Los Angeles)
  • Scott Howard (Citizen, Los Angeles)
  • Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
  • Joe Kindred (Kindred, North Carolina)
  • Mike Lata (Fig, Charleston)
  • Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Los Angeles)
  • David Lefevre (MB Post, Fishing With Dynamite, Manhattan Beach)
  • Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots, Los Angeles)
  • Samuel Monsour (Preux & Proper, Los Angeles)
  • Dahlia Narvaez (Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles)
  • Jason Neroni (Rose Café, Los Angeles)
  • Mirko Paderno (Culina, Los Angeles)
  • Greg Schroeppel (Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, Los Angeles)
  • Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo (Son of a Gun, Los Angeles)
  • Art Smith (Reunion Florida Garden and Kitchen School, Florida)
  • Curtis Stone (Maude, Gwen, Los Angeles)
  • Jet Tila (Los Angeles)
  • Kris Tominaga (The Hart & The Hunter, Los Angeles), Brandon Boudet (Little Dom’s, Los Angeles)
  • Fabio Viviani (Siena Tavern, Chicago)
  • Fabian von Hauske & Jeremiah Stone (Wildair, Contra, New York)
  • Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery, The Tuck Room, Los Angeles)
  • Sang Yoon (Lukshon, Father’s Office, Los Angeles)
  • Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays, Los Angeles)

Jim Beam Bourbon enters legacy partnership with Chicago Cubs

January 12, 2017

Jim Beam and Chicago Cubs
(Photo courtesy of the Chicago Cubs)

Jim Beam Bourbon and the Chicago Cubs have signed a multi-year legacy partnership beginning in 2017.  Under the deal, the Cubs have named Chicago-based Beam Suntory, the world’s third-largest premium spirits company, as the official spirits partner of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. According to a press release from the Chicago Cubs, the exclusive distilled spirits sponsorship will feature multiple brands from Beam Suntory including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Effen Vodka and Hornitos Premium Tequila. Maker’s Mark has launched a Chicago Cubs-themed, limited-edition bottle offered in stores throughout the Chicagoland area. Jim Beam will release a Chicago Cubs co-branded offering by springtime.

As part of the partnership, Jim Beam will have long-term naming rights to the new first base club at Wrigley Field, as well as a new left field bar concept at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. The upper deck patio at Wrigley Field will feature a Jim Beam theme for two seasons leading up to the space’s transition to an upper level club. The existing Hornitos Hacienda, which was named in 2015, will remain in the left field bleachers. The deal also includes in-game signage behind home plate and on the Wrigley Field video board; fixed signage along the third base wall; presenting sponsorship of several promotional giveaways throughout the season; and other digital and hospitality activations at Wrigley Field and Sloan Park.

2017 Kosher Food & Wine Experience Los Angeles announces details

January 8, 2017
Kosher Food & Wine Experience

The ninth annual Kosher Food & Wine Experience (KFWE) Los Angeles, the largest public kosher food and wine event in California, is to be held at the Petersen Automotive Museum on February 15, 2017, at 6 p.m.

According to a press release, KFWE Los Angeles brings kosher wine and spirits to Southern California from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. The evening also spotlights fine kosher cuisine from restaurants such Tierra Sur, La Gondola, and Meshuga 4 Sushi.

Herzog Wine Cellars, a California-based operation, has developed a partnership with the Petersen Automotive Museum to house the Los Angeles event for the next three years. The KFWE venue is estimated to host more than 1,500 attendees at the 2017 event, including celebrities­­­, winemakers, culinary chefs and retailers.

Before the event opens to the public, there is an exclusive, invitation-only trade portion of KFWE Los Angeles that is extended to guests of Herzog Wine Cellars and its parent company, Royal Wine Corporation. The trade portion includes a media lounge for interviews with winemakers from around the globe, such as Herzog’s head winemaker Joe Hurliman; celebrated chefs; the organizers of KFWE, including the Herzog family; and industry experts such Joshua Greenstein, an authority on Israeli wines, and Ira Norof, a certified wine educator and director of education for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

MGM National Harbor: Inside the $1.4 billion resort in Maryland

December 15, 2016

MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, held its grand opening on December 8, 2016. The event included appearances by Sarah Jessica Parker, who greeted fans and signed autographs at her shoe store SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, her first permanent retail outlet. Celebrity chefs José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, who all have restaurants at the resort, also attended. Performances at the grand opening included those from Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil artists and dance group Jabbawockeez. Here’s an overview of the $1.4 billion property from MGM Resorts International.

MGM National Harbor
Fresh air meets breathtaking views on MGM National Harbor’s incredible outdoor plaza, which features a beautiful fountain alongside sweeping vistas overlooking the harbor, Potomac River and the nation’s capital. (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
Architecture. Inspired by the site’s high-profile hilltop and waterfront location where Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia come together, architect HKS Hospitality Group sought to design a monumental landmark that embodies the strength and timeless qualities of the Capital’s architectural legacy. Rising 24 stories, the hotel tower’s angled and knife-like edge recalls the strong vertical form of the Washington Monument. The tower is rotated 33 degrees from the project’s axis to be parallel with the National Mall, deepening the relationship between the site and the heart of the District.
MGM National Harbor
High atop the MGM Grand National Harbor Resort & Casino awaits the 23rd Floor view, which takes in much of Washington, D.C., as well as portions of Alexandria Virginia, Prince George’s County Maryland and parts of Arlington County, Virginia. (Photo by Rob Scharetg)
Accommodations. Designed by Studio Gaia, MGM National Harbor’s 308 rooms, including 74 suites, are a well-appointed getaway with floor-to-ceiling windows, rich wood and earth tones. For a special occasion, guests can indulge in one of the property’s 10 luxury suites, including the 3,210-square-foot Chairman Suite, which features panoramic views; up to three bedrooms; kitchen, wet bar and dining room table for eight; a secluded library and optional butler service.
MGM National Harbor
Short ribs from Marcus by Marcus Samuelsson (Photo courtesy of MGM Grand National Harbor)

In-Room Dining. Hotel guests can feast on the cuisine of James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson as he presents his first in-room dining experience. The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised celebrated chef revives American comfort classics with gourmet cuisine worthy of a heralded restaurant, yet specially crafted to be enjoyed in the serenity of guests’ private retreats.

MGM National Harbor
The Theater at MGM National Harbor (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
Entertainment. The Theater at MGM National Harbor is an  entertainment venue designed by Scéno Plus showcasing a caliber of artists normally reserved for large-scale arenas in an intimate setting. The Theater’s initial lineup of A-list performers includes Bruno Mars, Cher, Sting, Ricky Martin, Duran Duran and Boyz II Men.
MGM National Harbor
Marcus by Marcus Samuelsson (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
Marcus by Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson debuted his first restaurant in the Capital Region–Marcus–designed by Parts and Labor. Offering all-day dining selections, the restaurant celebrates classic American dishes with the chef’s signature twist, inspired by local Maryland ingredients and traditions. The beverage program also highlights local craft breweries and an extensive bourbon selection. The back of the restaurant features a French-colonial sliding door that opens up to Sammy’s, a prohibition-style supper club offering live musical acts reminiscent of Harlem’s blues clubs.
MGM National Harbor
Voltaggio Brothers Steak House (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
 Voltaggio Brothers Steak House. Voltaggio Brothers Steak House marks the first joint restaurant venture for brothers and proud Maryland locals chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, known for their shared successes on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Reflective of its namesakes, the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House concept by Design Bureaux mirrors the rooms in a home, with each reflecting a different personality. The menu features both familiar and nuanced offerings, including playful riffs on classic steakhouse fare.
MGM National Harbor
Fish by Chef José Andrés (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
 Fish by José Andrés. Featuring indoor/outdoor seating overlooking the Potomac, Fish by chef José Andrés is a unique seafood-focused concept. The menu at Fish encompasses local favorites like Maryland blue crab and Rappahannock oysters, while incorporating time-honored cooking techniques from around the world through the preparations of dishes such as Tuna Tartare and Lobster Jambalaya. Guests also can choose from an array of innovative, hand-crafted cocktails and wines produced in regions known for the world’s best seafood. The restaurant was designed by Avenue Interiors and Capella Garcia.
MGM National Harbor
The National Market at the MGM Grand (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

National Market. Inspired by outdoor urban markets where a variety of tastes, spices and culinary experiences can be found, the Marshall Moya-designed National Market is an authentic, intimate and casual setting that transports guests to an epicenter of good eats. For the Market, MGM National Harbor’s Executive Chef Jason Johnston created original dining concepts inspired by his global travels and family recipes including Amos Los Tacos, Bánh Mì Vietnamese Kitchen, District Deli, Bento, GWBW George Washington Beer & Wine, Honey’s Fried Chicken & Doughnuts, S’Cream and ZiZi’s Pizza, joined by Maryland staple Pappa’s Crabcakes and national favorite Shake Shack.

MGM National Harbor
Tap Sports Bar (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Tap Sports Bar. When dining at this high-energy restaurant and sports bar designed by Studio McCormack, guests can enjoy the latest sporting events on more than 90 TVs while surrounded by memorabilia from beloved local sports teams including the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and Washington Nationals. The menu features American sports bar favorites with a local touch, such as lobster beignets, Maryland crab soup, burnt ends BBQ pork baguette and Maryland crab cakes.

MGM National Harbor
Ginger (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Ginger. A Pan Asian restaurant, Ginger offers authentic cuisine from regions throughout the continent including Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean. The concept was developed by a team of expert chefs from MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties and named for a common ingredient found in all Asian cuisine. Warm organic wood interiors by Studio McCormack create an inviting space to enjoy traditional dishes including dim sum, congee, curry, fried noodles and kimchi among many other offerings.

MGM National Harbor
Macarons at Bellagio Pâtisserie (Photo courtesy of MGM Grand National Harbor)

Bellagio Pâtisserie. Paying homage to the iconic European-inspired pastry shop at Bellagio in Las Vegas, this wonderland of sweets created by world-champion pastry chef Sylvain Bortolini features pastries, danishes, gelato, coffee drinks and retail items. Guests also can enjoy an array of savory delights, from Caprese Paninis to Quiche Lorraine, in this whimsical spot created by Design Bureaux.

MGM National Harbor
Conservatory (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Conservatory. The centerpiece of MGM National Harbor is a floral wonderland that spans 15,000 square feet and features flowers grown by beloved local nonprofit Melwood. The property has partnered with famed designer Ed Libby to conceive the seasonal exhibits for The Conservatory, including one specially designed for Lunar New Year. The current display, “Holiday Reflections,” features more than 150,000 flowers in a contemporary holiday scene.

MGM National Harbor
“Portal,” a sculpted iron archway designed by Bob Dylan for MGM National Harbor, is his first permanent display of public art. (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Art. MGM National Harbor’s Heritage Collection of art showcases commissioned and procured works by visionary local and international sculptors, photographers and mixed-media artists including Alice Aycock, Bob Dylan, Terry O’Neill, Margaret Boozer, Sam Gilliam and Ron Beverly among many others. The thoughtfully curated collection creates a bridge between art and entertainment integrating remarkable works throughout the resort’s public spaces.

MGM National Harbor
Spa & Salon (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Spa & Salon. MGM National Harbor sets a new standard for the luxury spa experience in the Capital Region. Spanning two floors and 27,000 square feet, the Spa & Salon is an oasis with an expansive menu of treatments and products designed by renowned spa and skincare brand Clarins. Guests can indulge in 11 treatment rooms; separate men’s and women’s spas, steam rooms and saunas; a full-service salon; deluxe fitness center; barber shop; and retail space all created by Daroff Design. The Spa also features couples’ suites, hydrotherapy and a Vichy room for the ultimate weekend getaway.

MGM National Harbor
Felt Bar & Lounge (Photo by Robb Scharetg)
MGM National Harbor
Blossom Cocktail Lounge (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Nightlife. Boutique nightlife operator Clique Hospitality has brought the Las Vegas nightlife scene to the East Coast with two distinct venues by KNA Design: Felt Bar & Lounge, which offers the region’s first tableside mixology program; and Blossom Cocktail Lounge, a 24-hour gaming lounge that pays homage to Washington, D.C.’s iconic cherry blossoms.

MGM National Harbor
MGM National Harbor’s casino floor. (Photo by Robb Scharetg)

Casino. MGM National Harbor’s 125,000-square-foot casino floor by KNA Design houses 124 table games, 39 poker tables, 10 craps tables, 12 roulette, 25 variations of carnival games, 58 blackjack tables, 25 baccarat tables and 3,300 slot machines. Guests can play first-to-market games, including a baccarat progressive, and enjoy a designated Asian gaming pit decorated with red lanterns symbolizing fortune and joy.

MGM National Harbor
Sarah Jessica Parker at SJP at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on December 8, 2016. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for MGM National Harbor)

Retail. The District is MGM National Harbor’s luxury retail corridor, spanning 18,000 square feet and offering first-to-market shops from celebrated brands and personalities, including Sarah Jessica Parker’s first standalone boutique, SJP, showcasing her coveted line of shoes and SJPLBD collection of little black dresses. Additional retailers include Las Vegas-born Stitched, local women’s boutique Ella Rue, designer sunglasses store Specs and world-renowned watch brand Rolex.

MGM National Harbor
Ballroom at MGM National Harbor (Rendering courtesy of MGM National Harbor)

Meetings & Event Space. MGM National Harbor features more than 50,000 square feet of meeting and convention space by Studio Gaia designed to host events of all sizes, including small gatherings, business meetings, wedding receptions and galas. The 16,200-square-foot MGM Grand Ballroom houses a stunning vantage point of the Potomac River and a 6,000-square-foot terrace overlooking the surrounding landscape.

Sustainability. MGM National Harbor has achieved LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it one of only six casinos worldwide and the second building in Prince George’s County to achieve this status. Key sustainability initiatives include an underground cistern to collect rain water for landscaping and a co-generation system to help channel waste heat through a chiller, cooling the resort.