Life Is Beautiful’s culinary adventures await

Brian Howard by Nick Coletsos/Special to Weekly; Justin Kingsley by Steve Marcus/Staff; Gina Marinelli by Wade Vandervort/Staff; Vincent Rotolo by Miranda Alam/ Special to Weekly. Photo Illustration

You come for the music, but you leave talking just as much about the food. It’s been Life Is Beautiful’s not-so-secret weapon since the beginning, and this year’s culinary lineup looks like it could be LIB’s best yet.

Culinary event organizer Lee Flint, who already has Whiskey in the Wilderness and Motley Brews on his work résumé, has always been a part of the LIB food and beverage team, but this is his first year running the show. He came in with a clear strategy. “No. 1 was focusing on the local community and working with the local talent and making it more accessible to restaurants that may not have been able to participate in the past.”

That means utilizing some of the Valley’s best chefs to curate programs throughout the festival. Justin Kingsley Hall of the Kitchen at Atomic (and Flint’s Whiskey in the Wilderness partner) will be cooking proteins over an open fire a la Francis Mallman. Joining him in the general-admission food area will be local culinary stars including Brian Howard of Sparrow + Wolf, Harvest’s Royd Ellamar,Hemant Kishore from the Toddy Shop and Good Pie’s Vincent Rotolo, who will be building a pizza oven on a truck.

Other Las Vegas favorites, including District One and the Black Sheep can also be found in the GA footprint, while VIP ticket holders can enjoy the grilling skills of Gina Marinelli of La Strega, Gareth Coleman of Masso Osteria and Sam Marvin of Echo & Rig at daily pop-ups.

Life is Beautiful September 21-23, gates open at 2 p.m., $135/day (Friday & Saturday sold out), $655 3-day VIP (3-day GA sold out).Downtown Las Vegas, lifeisbeautiful.com.

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