Thanks to shows like Chopped, Master Chef and Food Network Star, cooking competitions have gone from spectator sport to something that anyone can try his hand at, spawning a breed of rabid fans who not only want to taste what their idols are making on the screen, but also make it themselves. Bellagio has wisely served up a duo of opportunities for guests to get their hands in the game, or if they are so inspired, get them dirty.
Chopped fans recently got to watch Sensi (693-8800) executive chef Royden Ellamar join the ranks of the show’s champions, when he survived three rounds of Mexican secret ingredient challenges. Sensi guests can judge the results themselves when they order the three-course menu for $60, including the crispy pork terrine and jicama salad, tequila-grilled goat tenderloin hash and his airy yucca malasadas, Portuguese doughnuts.
An Executive Chef’s Culinary Classroom takes it one step further. The monthly series of interactive cooking classes led by Bellagio executive chef Edmund Wong and his team guides students through the preparation of a three-course meal. Next up on May 29, participants learn the secrets of barbecue. Tickets are $95 per person at 866-406-7117.