While Las Vegas hosts Bon Appétit’s annual Vegas Uncork’d fête each year, there are many culinary festivals around the country of which to take note. One such event is the super-swank Pebble Beach Food & Wine event (pbfw.com), which happens during April in California. Vegas Seven was on the scene and reports on the most notable happenings.
The Lexus Grand Tasting not only saw the debut of the brand-new LC 500h, but also had Chef Michael Mina plating and sharing that his namesake restaurant at Bellagio will undergo a total remodel later this year.
The Lexus Opening Night Reception gave forum to many chefs with strong opinions on Las Vegas. Gordon Ramsay cohort Graham Elliot shared that he “love[s] Vegas. I am doing something with MGM in Macau later this year, and if that goes well we’ll see about Vegas.” Dean Fearing of Dallas, known as the “father of Southwestern cuisine,” sadly noted Las Vegas is not in the cards for him because, as he puts it, “I don’t need to.” As for Ming Tsai coming to Sin City, he emphatically said, “Absolutely not!” The original Top Chef Stephanie Izard, however, said Las Vegas “is definitely on my list for something in the future.”
Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson hosted a 21st-century Southern breakfast and discussed the importance of a perfectly cooked 63-degree egg (his trick is an immersion circulator). As for Sin City, he says, “I would definitely consider it. I think there is a lack of great Southern-inspired food in Vegas, though Yardbird filled some of that void when it opened two years ago. It is Las Vegas, and I love the town. Great food, wonderful stream of people to feed and access to some amazing products.”
Lexus culinary master Dominique Crenn, San Francisco’s Michelin-starred chef, hosted a swanky lunch with New York’s Carlo Mirarchi. Crenn tells us that while she doesn’t see Vegas on the horizon for her, she would consider opening an outpost of her more casual Petit Crenn restaurant in Los Angeles.
As a marquee sponsor, The Venetian was everywhere. First, a Dorsey pop-up on the seventh green of Pebble kept golfers in the celebrity chef tournament well lubricated, then Sugarcane and Sushi Samba nourished guests at an invite-only happy hour at the Inn at Spanish Bay, and finally, The Venetian presented the Bocuse D’Or dinner. The latter was an epic soiree set in a $30 million estate with chefs Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Matthew Peters, Philip Tessier, Gavin Kaysen and Paul Bartolotta plating. The wine pairings were equally insane and gave guests a taste of what they might expect if they attend The Venetian’s Ultimo this December. The night celebrated the U.S.’ first-ever win at international cooking championship Bocuse d’Or and raised money for Ment’or (mentorbkb.org), a nonprofit that seeks to inspire culinary excellence in America. Notably, Tessier said he is coming out with a book on the Bocuse d’Or and will be opening a restaurant in Napa. And while Peters will be opening a restaurant in Austin, he said if the right opportunity arises, he would consider Las Vegas.
If all that weren’t enough, Dacor, a super-swank kitchen appliance brand, enlisted Top Cheftestant Fabio Viviani and supermodel Molly Sims to host an over-the-top dinner party and showcase the brand’s new Modernist Collection.
For those looking to head to PBFW next year or to simply have an epic escape, the Pebble Beach Resorts Company offers accommodations at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay and Casa Palmero. We managed to sneak a peek at their newest offerings that will debut later this year, and they are nothing short of amazing. The project, dubbed Fairway One, will be adjacent to The Lodge, but on the first fairway of Pebble. Stand-alone rooms will start at north of 660 square feet, and there will be three two-story buildings with 30 guest rooms and two four-bedroom cottages with eight rooms.