Vegas comes Uncork’d

Payard pastries

I was privileged enough to get a sneak peek at the lineup of “Bon Appétit’s” Fourth Annual Vegas Uncork’d yesterday while lounging by the new Garden of the Gods pool at Caesars Palace. Extraordinary French Pastry Chef François Payard was present to explain his take on the event.

After timidly excusing his “thick Fraah-nch accent,” Payard said it’s not only the guests that get excited.

“When the young team [members] ask us, ‘Chef can you introduce me to Joël Robuchon please, Chef can I speak to Alain Ducasse,’ for them, it’s incredible,” said Payard.

Payard was also at Caesars Palace last night for UNLVino’s Bubble-Licious event, where he was honored with the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence.

With more than 80 food and wine stations participating in Uncork’d this year — more than ever before — Vegas Uncork’d has quite possibly become the culinary event of the year inVegas. Culinary heavyweights expected to attend  include Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Joël Robuchon, Paul Bartolotta, Cat Cora, Alain Ducasse, Todd English and more.

During the four-day event, there are Masters’ Series dinners with noted chefs and “Bon Appétit” staffers like Editor-in-Chief Barbara Fairchild and Features Editor Hugh Garvey. There are also lectures and lunches where you can schmooze with your favorite chef. There is also a Grand Tasting, where restaurants from many Vegas properties will give tastings of their best and brightest dishes.

With the new and improved Garden of the Gods pool area, Uncork’d’s Grand Tasting will be bigger and better than ever. Vegas Uncork’d festivities are at various restaurants and locations in Las Vegas,  May 6 – 9, 2010. The Grand Tasting takes place at the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.