Among the myriad of weekend experiences taking place in Las Vegas, The Venetian and Palazzo Hotels bring the ultimate experience in fine-dining. The Destination Luxury team was invited by the Venetian and Robb Report along with celebrated chefs – Thomas Keller, Curtis Stone, and an all-star international roster of culinary personalities for the 4th annual Ultimo weekend to support m’entor BKB Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and preserve the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. “Le Grand Voyage,” was the theme of the weekend, which unfolded around The Venetian and Palazzo Hotels, and for the first time ever, across the Las Vegas valley.
The event started on Friday, December 9th in Venetian’s Paiza Club (High-Roller Suite) on the 36th floor for their Belvedere and Caviar Welcome Reception. Serving several delectable delights from their hand-made pasta, fresh seafood, truffles, and prime rib, we enjoyed three Belvedere concoctions from their bar.
Following the dinner, guests were escorted down the hall to Venetian’s Presidential Suite to feast on a dazzling display of desserts presented by Rolls-Royce for the Dom Perignon and Desserts Reception.
Fanatics of luxury vehicles, we decided to test-drive the Rolls-Royce automobiles. We circled the Las Vegas Strip in style, taking all of their models for a spin.
Immediately following the previous experience, Dom Perignon hosted an incredible picnic brunch at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The Red Rock Canyon is located 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip and is visited by more than two million people a year. Typically, it is known for its hiking trails, horseback riding, and mountain biking, but guests of the Ultimo weekend do things differently.
The Bouchon picnic baskets contained a plethora of treats, ranging from a bottle of Dom Perignon, Bouchon sandwiches, macaroons, and baguettes.
Before the Grand Banquet, we coordinated a photo shoot with fashion blogger, Korin Avraham. Her blog covers the best of international fashion events and works with major fashion houses.
Saturday-night saw the return of the spectacular Grand Banquet in the iconic Grand Colonnade. More than 140 guests dined together at the 153-foot-long table, adorned with $2 million worth of crystal objets d’art from French luxury lifestyle brand, LALIQUE. The grand frescos that adorned the ceiling complemented the impressive display of LALIQUE crystal and sumptuous floral arrangements.
Chefs Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, Emma Bengtsson, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Vikram Vij, Pierre Thiam, Paul Bartolotta, Shaun Hergatt and Mourad Lahlou prepared a decadent international-inspired dinner, transporting guests around the world with courses celebrating each chef’s country of origin.
Wine highlights included the debut of DAOU Vineyards’ spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon Patrimony, which has earned 99 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.; and Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial 1986, a white Rioja that earned an astounding 100 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.
“The Ultimo weekend is one of those dinners where we bring our colleagues together, we bring our friends together, we bring our suppliers together, and are able to really give to those guests tonight an extraordinary experience,” said Chef Thomas Keller. The evening was a spectacle.
“And at the same time, have an extraordinary experience ourselves. So that’s what it’s all about. This will never happen again – this collection of chefs, this collection of servers, this collection of guests – will never ever exist again… so it was very unique,” said Chef Curtis Stone.
We concluded our evening in the 10,000 square foot ‘Chairman’s Suite’ at the Palazzo property which was just completed a few months ago. Guests sipped on Patrón cocktails by Francesco Lafranconi and showcased a tasting of the prestigious Lalique Patrón. Cocktails included the Ultimo “75,” a luscious and zesty combination of gran Patrón Platinum. Grapefruit and rosemary flavors are enriched with brut champagne. The El Sueno is a sexy and sophisticated cocktail of choice by connoisseurs with a mix of Patrón Piedra Extra Anejo, chamomile liqueur, and Madeira. The last cocktail featured is the ‘VIP Treatment’ which is served with Patrón Burdeos with drops of Patrón XO Espresso Mix.
The grandest drink of them all was the Patrón en Lalique which has a distinct amber color with agave and oak notes. The taste includes hints of sweet caramel, honey, vanilla, dried fruit, and nuts. It has a complex, well-balanced finish and comes in an exclusive handmade French crystal decanter. This is an exceptional blend of the oldest and rarest Patrón Tequila with only 500 bottles produced.
To complete the Ultimo weekend, the Venetian put together a taco-tasting brunch at the Doge’s Palace. This wasn’t your typical taco tasting, but included innovative creations by Sushi Samba, Hong Kong Cafe, Otto, B&B Ristorante, and more. The gourmet tacos they served were the Hamachi grilled tacos, Peking Duck tacos, and 28-day dry aged steak tacos among the featured food. We listened to the tunes of a live Mariachi band, sipped on Patrón Bloody Marys and enjoyed a view of the Vegas Strip and Venetian Canals for the last hurrah.