VegasUncork’d 2014 was one of the most exciting and fun food festivals I’ve been to in a long while. The weekend, by Bon Appetit and sponsored by Chase Sapphire Preferred, was filled with demonstrations, meet and greets, tastings and special events, like Pastry Making with Chef Francois Payard.
In Part 1 of this series I wrote about the event in general and about Sushi making with Chef Nobu. This is Part 2, the grand tasting.
The grand tasting was held at Caesar’s Palace Garden of the Gods Pool. There were dozens and dozens of celebrity chefs in attendance including Thomas Keller; Nobu Matsuhisa, Gordon Ramsay; Francois Payard; Michael Mina; Giada De Laurentiis; Bobby Flay; Buddy Valastro; and Joel Robuchon just to name a few. The grand tasting, and other events, allow every day people to mix and mingle with top chefs, journalists and celebrities while eating and drinking some of the best food and drinks in the world.
Chase card members were invited into a VIP Chase lounge where Chef Nobu, among others, hung out for hours apparently. I was not at the 2013 event, but heard from others that this year’s Chase VIP lounge was leaps and bounds above the 2013 lounge. I was impressed.
The event was, to put it mildly, crowded. Purchasing early admission for an extra price might be worth it if you want the best chance of seeing the chefs and getting warm/hot food. Towards the end of the night the crowds thin, and so do the celebrity chefs, leaving their staff behind to tend with the throngs of hungry party-goers
There were so many good dishes, way too many to write about, but here were a few highlights. There were cocoa with miso foie gras macaroons from Michael Mina and black truffle macaroons from Francois Payard. Mini Burger on a doughnut from Fukuburger and from KGB. There was a carpaccio fritter from Jean Georges, sticky toffee pudding from Gordon Ramsay, cake pops from Haakasan, Meyer lemon tarts from Bobby Flay, cupcakes from Sprinkles, and much, much more!
The grand tasting began at 7pm (for early access guests) and 7:30pm for general admission guests. I would suggest getting to the grand tasting as early as possible! The tasting was amazing and something I’d definitely attend again!
Did you attend? What was your favorite?