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Life Is Beautiful’s chefs rival its musical acts for star power

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Michael Mina is part of an impressive chef roster for Life Is Beautiful.
Photo: Isaac Brekken for Bon Appetit

Are Tom Colicchio and Michael Symon more famous than The Killers and Kings of Leon? Depends who you’re asking.

Even with Monday’s flashy announcement of the bands coming Downtown, it’s clear the Life Is Beautiful Festival will be a well-rounded affair, balancing food (and art) with the big names and edgy acts on the musical roster. Organizers have been touting LIB as a locals’ event designed by and for Las Vegans, so it makes sense that the culinary component is as thoughtfully assembled as the music.

“It’s important that people know this is a full-blown food and wine event, something you don’t normally get with a music festival,” says Jolene Mannina, the longtime local food scenester who is heading LIB’s food developments. “You’re going to walk away having had a full experience.” Festival-goers will gain access to some food events with their general ticket, while other special food events will have their own tickets. Participating chefs will be involved in more than one event.

The chef lineup may be more impressive than the bands. There are local celebrity chefs (Rick Moonen, Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino), big-timers with Vegas restaurants (Colicchio, Scott Conant, Michael Mina) and famous names without local ties (Jonathan Waxman, Chris Cosentino). Also, hyperlocal chefs like Eat’s Natalie Young, Le Thai’s Dan Coughlin, Border Grill’s Mike Minor and Central’s Todd Harrington will take part, further proving that Life Is Beautiful is keeping it real.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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