Five things foodies can look forward to at Life is Beautiful

Go to a typical music festival and you’re probably going to be dining on hot dogs, nachos and cheap beer. But this is Vegas and we like to step it up a notch. Go to the Life is Beautiful music festival and you’ll be savoring things like creamy corn soup with duck confit ravioli from Hubert Keller.

Sure, you can get a hot dog at this festival, but it’ll be a shrimp hot dog topped with chipotle aioli, cabbage slaw and togarashi chips created by celebrity chef Rick Moonen.

The Moon Doggie from Rick Moonen

The Life is Beautiful Festival, which runs Oct. 24 – 26 in downtown Las Vegas, is a celebration of music, art and food.

The food part of the festival is led by an advisory board of world-class chefs and features the best local restaurants that Las Vegas has to offer as well as curated, handcrafted pairings of beer, wine and spirits. You’ll find food from acclaimed chefs like Shawn McClain, José Andrés, Cat Cora, Scott Conant and many more.

There’s a lot to be excited about at Life is Beautiful but here’s what we’re most looking forward to from the culinary program this year:

Chef Rick Moonen

1)     Chefs on Stage demonstrations. If you’re one of those people who loves the Food Network, this is for you. You can get an up close and personal look at chefs’ techniques and inspirations.

2)     Grills and Guitars. True foodies will want to check out the festival’s kickoff party, Grills & Guitars on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Gold Spike. This walk-around event features celebrity chefs at gourmet food stations, live music, beer, wine and cocktail tastings. This is a separate ticketed event from the festival and tickets are $175 plus fees. Participating chefs and restaurants include: Bruce & Eric Bromberg (Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn Bowl), Kim Canteenwalla (Honey Salt, Buddy V’s, Made.LV), Cat Cora (Co-Founder of Chefs for Humanity), Marc Forgione (Restaurant Marc Forgione, American Cut), Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill Restaurants & Truck) and many more.

A sampling of the cocktails that will be quenching your thirst at Life is Beautiful

3)     The Life is Beautiful Dutch Mule. We love a festival that has a signature drink and this one sounds like it’ll quench our thirst after we’re done singing along to the Arctic Monkeys at the top of our lungs. It’s made with Ketel One Citroen flavored vodka, fresh lime and Barritt’s Bremuda Stone ginger beer.

Yusho's massive barbecued turkey leg

4)     Yusho’s barbecued turkey leg. If you’ve ever been to a state fair you’ve probably seen someone eating a giant turkey leg. But you haven’t seen one like this. Yusho’s turkey leg is massive and it’s cooked by one of the hottest new Asian restaurants in town. It can be yours for $16 and it’ll give you tons of energy for dancing yourself into a frenzy during Skrillex’s set.

O Face S'mores doughnut

5)     O Face Doughnuts. Start your days at the festival off with one of these gems from Chef Crystal Whitford. One bite of these doughnuts and you’ll understand where the shop gets its name. Doughnuts come in traditional and yeast-raised varieties in flavors we’ve never dared to dream about like bacon maple, strawberry shortcake, Key lime pie, Nutella glazed and rosewater with roasted pistachio.


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.