Taste

MGM brings many of its top chefs and restaurants together for three days of culinary activities

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Libertine Social’s steamed clams and Jack Daniels single barrel Manhattan, which will be featured at the Hey Chef! event.
Photo: Wade Vandervort

If you’ve been to a culinary festival on the Strip, you know they tend to be the kind of occasions food lovers shouldn’t miss. And if you haven’t, now’s a perfect time to treat yourself.

This Friday through Sunday, MGM Resorts International will marshal its award-winning roster of chefs for a series of culinary experiences at Mandalay Bay, the Delano, Luxor and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. The events should offer tastes for all types of eaters, from the adventurous foodie to the celebrity chef-obsessed.

“[This] culinary experience was created to showcase the best of the Las Vegas’ dining scene, whether it’s a festival of gourmet samplings from on- and off-Strip chefs, purveyors and mixologists or an intimate dining experience hosted by your favorite celebrity chefs,” Dominique Bertolone, MGM Resorts’ VP of Food and Beverage Operations, says via email.

Having trouble choosing among the various options? Bertolone suggests the Chef’s Table EPICurean Experience series at Mandalay Bay, which will offer a variety of fun dining moments all weekend long. Kicking it all off will be the sold-out Dine Under the (Michelin) Stars, a seven-course dinner inside Alain Ducasse’s breathtaking French-Italian Rivea on the 64th floor of the Delano, presented by Michelin award-winning chefs Alain Ducasse, Charlie Palmer and Akira Back, along with James Beard award-winning chefs Shawn McClain, Michael Mina, Hubert Keller and Susan Feniger.

If you didn’t score tickets to that one, don’t stress. Spots were still available at press time for plenty of others. Bertolone recommends Michael Mina’s Bloody Mary Brunch at Stripsteak (October 13, 10:30 a.m.) and Charlie Palmer’s Wine the Day Away lunch at Aureole (October 13, 11:30 a.m.). “Both will be intimate events where guests can sit back, feast and interact with the participating chefs,” she says.

Mandalay Bay’s Libertine Social will host one of the weekend’s most unique options—Hey Chef!, pairing acclaimed off-Strip chef James Trees of Downtown’s Esther’s Kitchen and James Beard Award-winning chef McClain for two days (October 13-14) centered on sharable plates like foie gras torchon toast, bacon and fontina pizza, ricotta gnudi and agnolotti with mint pesto. It’s also one of the most affordable options, with an la carte menu starting at $14.

“Incorporating off-Strip restaurants is important, because the local restaurant scene has played an integral role in the evolution of Las Vegas’ food and beverage culture,” Bertolone adds. “Combining forces of Las Vegas Strip and neighboring community restaurants showcases the epicurean powerhouse of the city’s chefs and offers attendees an exclusive opportunity to see a unique collaboration that celebrates its culinary landscape.”

Also on October 13, guests can take a culinary tour of Las Vegas with the Martha Stewart Wine & Food Experience. Presented by USA Today Network and MGM Resorts International, the Stewart event will feature restaurants including Bellagio’s Michael Mina, Harvest by Roy Ellamar and Rivea, along with cooking demonstrations, beverage seminars and more.

And on October 14, Hubert Keller fans can treat themselves to the Secrets of a Chef: Brunch Edition, during which the French chef will teach guests how to prepare an assortment of his brunch favorites while they delight in a five-course menu, all for $65.

MGM RESORTS' CULINARY WEEKEND October 12-14; times, prices & locations vary. For the full lineup & tickets, visit mgm resorts.com/en/restaurants/culinary-weekend.html.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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