Vegas Uncork'd came earlier than ever this year, and with it came cooler weather, winds and 70-plus chefs taking over the Garden of the Gods during the Grand Tasting on Friday night. Emeril Lagasse made his first appearance at the festival, Gordon Ramsay had crowds eating out of his hands and Wolfgang Puck made a surprise appearance at his lunch at Spago. Here, a look at everything you may have missed from the four-day festival that wrapped up on Sunday.
1. Props to Gordon Ramsay, who didn’t leave the Grand Tasting until 9:40 p.m. He posed with guest after guest after guest at his three booths at the event.
2. Brian Malarkey of Searsucker was there the whole night too. He says that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight is overshadowing the Kentucky Derby, so his new restaurant at Caesars Palace won’t have any specials that day.
3. Aureole and Portofino both had truffles on the menu at the Grand Tasting. Payard served up Sabatino white truffle, Sabatino black truffle and Sabatino truffle pistachio macarons. And Bacchanal Buffet served up tins of caviar.
4. Yusho’s Brian Lhee worked with IBM’s Chef Watson on dishes for the Grand Tasting. Lhee tweaked the ingredients while Watson came up with the recipe.
5. Bobby Flay apparently has no plans to bring El Gato to Las Vegas. "He has enough on his plate right now," an employee at his Mesa Grill booth said. Flay, however, was not at the event.
6. The best bite at the Grand Tasting? Hands down the artichoke and black truffle soup at Restaurant Guy Savoy.
7. Who knew that Jean-Georges Vongerichten was shy? That was the reason organizers from Vegas Uncork’d gave for the chef not walking around to every one of the five tables for 10 on the Prime Steakhouse patio and saying hello.
8. Alain Ducasse of Mix says his restaurant at the Delano will probably shut down in June to convert to Rivea. The 16 weeks of construction will hopefully get the restaurant re-opened in October.
9. Wolfgang Puck made a surprise appearance at his restaurant Spago as all of his Vegas-based chefs prepared a lunch for guests. He also confirmed that Postrio at the Grand Canal Shoppes closed on Sunday.
10. Emeril Lagasse and Michael Mina battled as sous chefs during the Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge for a $20,000 scholarship on Saturday. Elsa Jenstad of Team Emeril won the bouillabaisse competition with black garlic as the secret ingredient.
11. Ramsay put on a live version of his TV show Hell’s Kitchen at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace with chefs Christina Wilson and Scott Commings, who won in the show and jobs in his kitchens in the past. Wilson’s won.
12. Bravo’s Best New Restaurant winner Dolce Italian put together a pop-up dinner at Caesars Palace.