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All the Gossip and News Coming out of Vegas Uncork'd

Chef Michael Mina sabers off the cork of a customized, hand-painted magnum of Mionetto Prosecco.
Chef Michael Mina sabers off the cork of a customized, hand-painted magnum of Mionetto Prosecco.

[Photos: Chelsea McManus]

Four days of star-studded events with more than 50 chefs from the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay kicked off on Thursday as Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit took over the Strip. Dozens of events gave guests one-on-one experiences with chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay while others gave guests access to myriad dishes and drinks during the Grand Tasting on Friday. Here, a look at all the gossip and news coming out of Vegas Uncork'd.

1. Michael Mina was asked not once but three times to saber off a customized, hand-painted magnum of Mionetto Prosecco to signify the opening of Vegas Uncork'd. Mina nailed it all three times on the first try with Joel Robuchon and Ho Chee Boon of Hakkasan by his side. More than 40 chefs attended the event.

2. Hakkasan showed off the new restaurant during an opening event for Vegas Uncork'd. Among the notables to check out the new Cantonese restaurant: Border Grill's chef Mary Sue Milliken joking with executive chef Mike Minor; chef Bobby Flay of Mesa Grill, Gordon Ramsay, Masaharu Morimoto, Rick Moonen, Jason Smith, Joel Robuchon, Francois Payard and Bon Appétit's Adam Rapoport, Pamela Drucker Mann and Andrew Knowlton.

3. Mina called closing Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand in March, "The most emotional closing yet."

4. Masaharu Morimoto walked the red carpet at the Grand Tasting inside the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace in anticipation of his eponymous restaurant coming to the Mirage in early 2014. "It's always been my dream to open a restaurant in Las Vegas," he said.

5. Masa Takayama, also on the red carpet, is getting ready to open Tetsu in New York City in November as well as a second BarMasa in an undisclosed location in Manhattan, according to his executive chef Takahiro Sakaeda.

6. Christina Wilson, who won Season 10 of Hell's Kitchen and a job at Gordon Ramsay Steak, says the restaurant just celebrated its one-year anniversary. "It's good when you open a monster that big and you don't have a lot of turnover," she says.

As far as working at the restaurant, Wilson says, "It took me maybe three months to really get my feet on the ground, get comfortable in the kitchen and slide into that leadership role. The first couple of months I just wanted to learn, kind of the same thing I did on the show."

And the only thing she misses about Philadelphia? "I miss the water. More than anything, I miss the ocean. Sometimes when I'm at work, I'll volunteer to shuck oysters, hand to God, I smell the saltwater. It puts me at ease."

She also plans to head over to the Back of the House Brawl at Tommy Rocker's where she could be tempted to participate, and given her track record in competitions, thinks she may have a shot at winning.

7. Graham Elliot, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Bobby Flay, Jo?l Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, Todd English, Francois Payard, Charlie Palmer, Rick Moonen, Ho Chee Boon and Michael Mina were among the notables who were at the Grand Tasting.

8. Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill says she is still actively looking for a second location in Vegas. For now, she's anticipating the opening of Border Grill at LAX.

9. Charlie Palmer and Aureole executive chef Vincent Pouessel served up chilled East and West Coast oysters, fried Wellfleet oysters and oyster and sangritas shooters.

10. Chef Rick Moonen and master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim paired cocktails and food during the Hand-Crafted Collaboration at RM Seafood.

11. Chef Hubert Keller, Laurent Pillard and Nevada's only female Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson took over the Mizuya Lounge at Mandalay Bay and converted it into a beer garden complete with an Alsatian brasserie menu paired with live Irish music.

12. Speaking of Hubert Keller, he says he was surprised that he couldn't Tweet or access Facebook while he was Beijing to open Burger Bar there. He sent a photo to his wife who tweeted if for him.

He also said Top Chef: The Cruise enjoyed him on the ones and twos so much that they asked him to take over the decks for a second night while on the cruise.

13. Todd Huelsman, a student at Le Cordon Bleu Las Vegas, won the Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge and a $20,000 scholarship at the Bellagio's Block Party. Huelsman, a fan of Todd English, wrote to him for advice, and he inspired him to follow his dream and go to Le Cordon Bleu. English helped Huelsman win the cook off.

14. Rob Moore of Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria says Jean-Georges Vongerichten can be found dining at Noodles at Bellagio any time he's in Vegas.

15. Sage chef Shawn McClain says the restaurant was a last-minute addition to the Bellagio Block Party. He did find a house to rent for the summer in anticipation of FIVE50 opening in July.

16. And here's the Amateur Gourmet's take on dining at Rao's, Border Grill, the Grand Tasting and Blueberry Hill.
· All Coverage of Vegas Uncork'd [~ELV~]

Mesa Grill

3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 731-7731 Visit Website


3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89158 877-230-2742 Visit Website

Michael Mina

3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 693-7223 Visit Website

Border Grill

3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119 702-632-7403 Visit Website

Burger Bar

3930 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119 702 632 9394


3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (866) 259-7111 Visit Website


3730 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 590-8690 Visit Website


3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109 1.877.230.2742 Visit Website

Joël Robuchon

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-891-7925 Visit Website

RM Seafood

3930 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119 702-632-9300 Visit Website

Jean Georges Steakhouse

3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89158 702-590-7111 Visit Website

Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub

3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 891-3838 Visit Website

Gordon Ramsay Steak

3655 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 946-4663 Visit Website


3950 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 632-7427 Visit Website