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VegasWire: Marquee Chefs Announced for Aria at CityCenter, James Beard Taste America For October

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Welcome back to the VegasWire, more dishy news from the Strip. Got a tip? We'll take that right here, please.

1) Just when you thought they couldn't get any more celebrity chef restaurants in Vegas, new concepts for the Aria, a new resort casino in the mega-ginormous CityCenter project on the Strip, were announed today. This is a MGM Mirage project, so marquee chefs from the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage and MGM Grand have been tapped to open new concepts. First up, Michael Mina will open the lodge-like American Fish which "will draw inspiration from the bounty of American lakes, rivers, and coasts." Julian Serrano will have a more casual (than Picasso) eponymous restaurant featuring a ceviche bar and tapas; Jean-Georges Vongerichten will have Jean Georges Steakhouse; Le Cirque's Sirio Maccioni will open an Italian resto called Sirio; Jean-Philippe Maury plans a new patisserie; and the Light Group will open "an edgy American dim sum style concept."

Joining the pack are Vegas newcomers Masayoshi Takayama (NYC's Masa), and Chicago's Shawn McClain. Masa's Bar Masa will have two spaces—one for a la carte dining, the other, Shaboo, for a DIY shabu-shabu menu that will change daily. McClain's Sage will spotlight farm-to-table produce, artisanal meats and sustainable seafood. All are slated to open in late 2009. [VegasWire]

2) The James Beard Foundation comes to Vegas for their Taste America event in October. The weekend is full of signature dinners at restaurants like Alex and Bartolotta at the Wynn, Fiamma at MGM, Rao's and Bradley Ogden at Caesars, Restaurant Charlie at the Palazzo and more; plus cooking demos, wine tastings, panel discussions, and a gala dinner that features JBF winners from all over the country. (Oct 24-26) [VegasWire]

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