GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

November 7, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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Page 16 of 59

3. The best chefs from all over the world come to Las Vegas Wolfgang Puck, the global culinary icon who's considered the first big-name chef to land in Las Vegas, was celebrating the 20th anniversary of Spago last year when he took some time to reflect on the vastly changed Vegas food landscape. No one else was here when Puck pioneered fine dining in the Forum Shops, and now, he said, "you have to ask who's not here." The list of legendary chefs operating restaurants on the Strip—not celebrity chefs, necessarily, but true innovators, masters of cuisine—is long and impressive. Americans Thomas Keller, Michael Mina and Paul Bartolotta. Spaniards José Andrés and Julian Serrano. Frenchmen Hubert Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Joël Robuchon, Pierre Gagnaire and Guy Savoy. Gagnaire's Twist is his only restaurant in the States; likewise for Savoy at Caesars Palace. They all specialize in mind-altering food and stunning service, and in Las Vegas there's high demand for just that. There's no other place in the world where so much talent is crammed so closely, and there's on-the-rise talent, too: David Myers, whose Hinoki & the Bird in LA has been lauded as one of the best new restaurants in the country, maintains Comme Ça at Cosmopolitan. But wait, there's more: Foodie emperors Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali have or are expanding their local presence. Chicago's Graham Elliot is working on a Vegas deal. Masaharu Morimoto is coming to the Mirage, and after a first try at Wynn, the great Daniel Boulud is returning to the Strip, this time at Venetian. Las Vegas has always been known as the entertainment capital of the world, and its magnetic pull on the planet's top culinary artists has established it as a fine dining capital, too. –Brock Radke 4. Big tasty events happen here > Uncork'd If you haven't been paying attention, you might not have noticed that Las Vegas has joined the exclusive list of destination cities where food mega-fests happen on the regular. You've got Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncork'd and Food & Wine's All-Star Weekend, to start, and the World Food Championships—built for Vegas—take over the Fremont Street Experience this weekend. Edgier national touring fests like LuckyRice and Cochon 555 keep coming back, and the 59th General Assembly of French Master Chefs (so serious!) lands at Venetian/Palazzo in March. ¶ A new dimension came into focus last month—a great big local food festival. "I've been here for three years, and I have to admit that at first I didn't get it, but this really is one of the top dining destinations in the country," says Bruce Bromberg, chef, restaurateur and co-chair of culinary programming for Life Is Beautiful. "It's not just the Strip; it's all these little pockets of development in Downtown and Summerlin and Henderson. There's really a renaissance going on, and Life Is Beautiful is just a barometer of where this thing is going." –Brock Radke UNCORK'D BY ISAAC BRECKEN FOR BON APPÉTIT 16-17_Feature_Dining_20131107.indd 17 NOVEMBER 7–13, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 17 11/6/13 2:56 PM

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