Foodies flock to Vegas for Uncork’d

Foodies are getting ready to flock to Las Vegas for one of the city’s biggest culinary festivals.

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit brings celebrity chefs, sommeliers and mixologists together for one-of-a-kind events May 8 – 11.

Guests can interact with culinary stars from Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and The Venetian. This year’s program will be hosted by celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Buddy Valastro, Daniel Boulud, Giada De Laurentiis, Joёl Robuchon, Julian Serrano, Guy Savoy, Mario Batali, Pierre Gagnaire, Masayoshi Takayama, Michael Mina, Nobu Matsuhisa, Shawn McClain, Thomas Keller and more.

Grand Tasting Event. Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images for Bon Appetit

Now in its eighthyear, Vegas Uncork’d features favorite events like the Grand Tasting May 9. Enjoy a massive array of signature dishes prepared by the chefs. The Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace will feature more than 50 award-winning chefs and more than 100 of the best wines and spirits from around the world. The after party will be held at Fizz Las Vegas where guests can indulge in the best of champagnes and mingle with celebrity chefs.

Other highlights of this year’s Uncork’d include:

–        Krug Chef’s Table at Master Series Dinner: Dinnertime Decadence with Guy Savoy, Thursday, May 8: Be one of six people at the chef’s table at Guy Savoy’s restaurant at Caesars Palace. At the only Krug Chef’s Table in the U.S., guests will sip Krug Champagne and dine on a special menu prepared by the Michelin-starred chef. $315.

–        The Night Market: East Meets West, Thursday, May 8: Join top chefs from The Venetian such as Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and Buddy Valastro, as well as chefs from Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands as they bring the true night market experience to you with an array of Asian-inspired dishes and drinks. $140.

–        A Twist on Dinner: The Perfect Pairing of Shawn McClain and Pierre Gagnaire, Thursday, May 8: Join Mandarin Oriental’s Pierre Gagnaire, a Michelin three-star chef, and Aria’s award-winning chef Shawn McClain as they put their signature fresh-flavor twists on a unique dinner featuring thought-provoking wine pairings. $400.

–        Master Series Dinner: French Elegance with Francois Payard, Thursday, May 8: Dine at Chef Payard’s charming bistro and enjoy Parisian favorites and award-winning pastries. $175.

Francois Payard. Photo by Isaac Brekken for Bon Appetit.

–        Michael Mina’s Poolside Pig Roast & Beer Garden, Friday, May 9: Michael Mina hosts a an outdoor party complete with whole roasted pig, barbecue favorites, and a bevy of ice-cold beers. Relax outside to the sounds of live music and savor special dishes from Michael Mina’s Pub 1842 at MGM Grand. $125.

–        Baking with The Boss, Friday, May 9:  Enjoy an interactive experience with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro at his restaurant at the Venetian. Sip prosecco and taste a sampling of savory dishes as well as sweet treats. Buddy will share his baking tips during a live demonstration. You’ll meet Buddy and take home a special gift. $125.

–        Sommelier Feud: Gals vs. Guys, Saturday, May 10: It’s the sommelier girls vs. the guys in this fun “Family Feud” style game show. The audience will provide the “survey says” answers and enjoy passed cocktails, appetizers, and a blind tasting of a mystery wine along with the contestants. $85.

–       Chefs’ Counter: All Star Feast, Saturday, May 10: Aria’s chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael Mina will take over the Buffet at Aria. Enjoy Champagne as you indulge in gourmet dishes from the celebrity chef stations. $175.

Tickets for Uncork’d won’t last long. Purchase them at


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.