Imagine Coachella for the culinary world, where once a year, renowned culinary wizards from around the world fly to Sin City for one of the nation’s most anticipated food events, Vegas Uncork’d hosted by Bon Appetit. Top Michelin Star chefs like Alain Ducasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Julian Serano all participate. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feninger led the charge this year and were given their own personal sabers to recognize the occasion. The festivities were held by multiple Five-star properties; MGM Grand, Ceaser’s Palace, Cosmopolitan and the Venetian and The Palazzo properties.
Many different events make up the weekend of festivities. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feninger created a cooking demo at Ceasar’s Palace, where they shared their exquisite recipes and also showcased how to take the perfect food porn picture.
Another experience featured was José Andrés “Dining like a Spaniard” at The Cosmopolitan. Chef Andrés cooked over a fire pit while sharing some of his favorite stories behind some unique items on the menu like his paella and chicken.
While at the Libertine Social event, we interviewed their modern mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim, about their cocktail program.
“The Libertine Social focuses on classic cocktail preparation featuring premium spirits, seasonal, fresh fruits and juices and refined technique while honing in on details such as ice, water, glassware, and garnishes. We aim the program to be approachable and fun while educating our guests on lesser-known cocktails and techniques. Above all, we emphasize the importance of hospitality with our bar staff. As Dale DeGroff once said, ‘I don’t go to bars I go to bartenders!’ The overall goal is for guests to leave happier than they came in.
Libertine Social has two bar concepts – the Main Bar and Arcade Bar. The Main Bar celebrates lesser-known classics such as the Queen’s Park Swizzle.(add in a description of the swizzle) It also features our own original twist on classics like the Milano Fizz and the ZigZag bottled cocktail. In addition to showcasing retro cocktails like the Lemon Drop and one of my classics, The Cable Car which I created in 1996, the Arcade Bar showcases pre-prohibition cocktails while celebrating the bars and bartenders who created the original recipes of these oftentimes forgotten cocktails” – Tony Abou-Ganim.
It was a decadent experience indeed. The following afternoon, we went to an intimate lunch experience with chef Nobu Ho at his restaurant.
He shared his background story with us and curated an exquisite sushi pairing. The master chef had a crew of ten staff who sliced and diced sushi for our experience.
Following the Nobu lunch, our team lavishly enjoyed the pristine weather with the “Picnic in the Park” experience with Alain Ducasse, Charlier Palmer, Michael Mina, Julian Serrano, Tom Colicchio, Shawn McClain, Rick Moonen, Roy Ellamar, Akira Back, Bryce Shuman, David Werly, and more. Located between the Monte Carlo and New York-New York, we enjoyed sipping Veuve Cliquot and relishing in the variety of dishes from the chefs at the park.
View last year’s Vegas Uncork’d festivities here.