Sabers and sushi, chefs and champagne: Let the Vegas Uncork’d festivities begin

Some of the world’s top chefs are in Las Vegas this weekend. At 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Chef Alain Ducasse popped a bottle of champagne with a saber at his restaurant Mix with Bon Appétit Editor Barbara Fairchild and Mayor Oscar Goodman to kick off  Bon Appétit’s Vegas Uncork’d festivities.

From left to right: Chefs Alain Ducasse, Kerry Simon, Pierre Gagnaire
From left to right: Chefs Alain Ducasse, Kerry Simon, Pierre Gagnaire

Chefs in attendance included Alex Stratta,  Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino, Bradley Ogden, Bobby Flay, Adam Sobel and Pierre Gagnaire. After the opening ceremonies, some of the top restaurants in Las Vegas opened their doors to anxious food-loving guests for the Master’s Series dinners. Guy Savoy, Bradley Ogden and Rao’s were among the restaurants providing a multi-course meal, complete with wine pairings, to lucky patrons.

After dinner, guests were offered a sushi and sake late night party at Shibuya in MGM Grand.  Sushi and sake have gained popularity in Las Vegas in recent years. Though a few restaurants like Sushi Roku and Koi have been around for years, many others have opened up recently.

Some popular newer sushi establishments include Yellowtail at the Bellagio,  Khotan at Treasure Island and Bar Masa at Aria. One of my new favorites is Mozen at Mandarin Oriental. Delicious handmade nigiri, sashimi or rolls like toro and eel come out of Mozen’s kitchen.

At Shibuya, sushi and sake are important enough on the culinary scene to have their own event, complete with sake tasting station with more than 200 varieties. There is also a sushi station and a teppenyaki station.

The next stop on the Vegas Uncork’d itinerary is cocktail hour with Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim and the Wynn Las Vegas bartenders, followed by the Grand Tasting — the ultimate food tasting event where Robuchon meets Rao’s and Bradley meets Bobby. Stay tuned!