This was my first year attending the trendy food festival, VegasUncork’d, by Bon Appetit Magazine. Chase Sapphire Preferred was an event sponsor and hosted several special events for their members and offered up extra special experiences at other events.
Part 1: Sip, Slurp, Roll: Sushi Making with Chef Nobu (I promise this won’t be a 37 part post…it’s just way too much for 1!) Part 2 will cover the Grand Tasting and pastry making with Francios Payard.
Card members could purchase tickets via Chase using points or by charging them to their card. There were a variety of events offered at a discount to members. Those included The Night Market: East Meets West; Sip, Slurp, Roll: Sushi Making and Saki Tasting with Chef Nobu at Nobu Las Vegas (for card members there was a special Ramen presentation); The Grand Tasting; Spanish Brunch with Julian Serrano and Pastry Making with Chef Francois Payard at Payard Patisserie. In addition to the Chase events, there were numerous others to choose from.
I made the mistake of not staying at Caesars Palace where the majority of events, including the grand tasting, took place. Next year, I’m staying at the “host” hotel to make logistics easier.
The first event I attended was Sip, Slurp, Roll: Sushi Making with Chef Nobu. The event ran from 12:00 – 2:00 with the special Chase Ramen tasting at 2:30. It’s really hard to put into words how fun the event was. About 40 people sat at small tables of 6-8 people with Chef Nobu in the center. Each table also had a sushi chef preparing samples for tasting. I am a huge fan of Nobu and make a habit of visiting whenever I’m in a city with one. Having sushi prepared under the direction of Chef Nobu himself – a once in a lifetime experience.
The food was absolutely amazing and left me ready for my next visit to Nobu. The Saki was good, though I only had a sip of each one. There was so much saki served you could easily have been drunk mid-day. The sake’s served included: Nobu TK 40 Daiginjo Sake described as medium bodied, delicate & creamy. A 1.5L bottle (50 oz) will run you $340 and a single glass, $27; Nobu “The Sake” Junmai Daiginjo described as a medium bodied, clean & complex sake with floral notes. Slightly more reasonably priced a 1.5L bottle will run you $295 and a glass $24. Hokusetsu Onigoroshi known as “The Devil Killer” and described as light bodied, crisp, dray and spicy was the most reasonable of the sake’s at $220 for a 1.5L bottle and $14 for a glass. Coming from someone who is not a sake aficionado, the TK40 was by far the best and easiest to drink. The final sake of the evening served with a savory egg custard was a Hibiscus, Lycée fruit sake made by the pastry chef. It was delicious and should have been called the Devil Killer because you could down a few of those shots without even thinking about the alcohol content.
Following the event Chase card members were treated to a photo opportunity with Chef Nobu and given a Herschel Tote bag filled with goodies. Perhaps the “sweetest” part of the event were the Nobu chocolates in the bag. They were not only amazingly good, but very unique. Included in the box were a Yuzu Confit – dark chocolate with a dark creamy Yuzu lemon ganache – it was one of my two favorites. Passion fruit – a white chocolate with passion fruit ganache filling. Macha Green Tea – dark chocolate with creamy white ganache infused with Macha Green Tea – this was very good as well. Yuzu Lemon Meringue – white chocolate with a yuzu lemon ganache and meringue swirl – my other favorite.
One of the most surprising aspects of the event was how friendly and interesting the people were that I met. In addition to Bon Appetit editors, including the editor in chief, Adam Rapoport, and members of the Chase events and PR teams, I met a group of points & miles enthusiasts who were all doctors and who I had a great time chatting with. We even exchanged emails so we could keep in touch about travel!
It was an absolutely fabulous event worth every penny and point! I learned more than I’d ever known about sake and picked up some great sushi tips – not that I’ll ever be making it on my own. I can’t wait until 2015!
Did you attend Uncork’d 2014?