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Tidbits from Bon Appetit's Vegas Uncork'd 2011

Alain Ducasse clinking Champagne flutes with yours truly.
Alain Ducasse clinking Champagne flutes with yours truly.

[Ducasse photo: Isaac Brekken; Celebrity Chef Blackjack photos: Tom Donoghue]

After three days of copious food and drink consumption, we're pretty glad to be back home drinking plenty of H2O. Let it be known: Bon Appetit sure knows how to throw a party. Over the course of the Vegas Uncork'd weekend, well, actually, starting with Julian Serrano's Champagne saber on Thursday afternoon, over 50 well-respected chefs from local properties hosted discussions and demos, cooking for close to 6,000 guests (most attendees to date) at events scattered throughout the Las Vegas casinos.

On Friday, early in the evening, Eater was invited to a private tasting with 13 other guests hosted by Bon Appetit's new E-I-C, Adam Rapoport, in conjunction with renowned French chef Alain Ducasse at his restaurant, MiX, atop The Hotel. From the dapper chef we learned that he has a propensity for blondes that speak French, the best airport food can be found at the Osaka airport, and his favorite piece of luggage is a 1920s Yves Saint Laurent bag. He also hate bananas and cinnamon, so those ingredients will never appear on any of his menus. The chef teased us about opening a restaurant in LA, but we're pretty pretty pretty sure he was just trying to pull our leg. Though he is fully aware of, and a fan of, LA's amazing farmers markets, so maybe one day...

After a six course meal which included the likes of poached asparagus with morels, braised veal shank, and more than enough Champagne and wine to go around, it was time to... eat more at The Grand Tasting held around the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace.

The Grand Tasting is generally the most popular event of the weekend where many top restaurants in Vegas set up stands serving guests sample bites. Last year the tasting was super crowded to the point where one could barely move, this year we were actually able to maneuver the space without knocking over somebody's red wine glass. Yay. Amongst the slew of participating restaurants, David Myers was spotted handing out mini penicillins beside his Comme Ca setup.

The Grand Tasting was directly followed by Uncork'd's annual Moonlit Celebrity Chef Blackjack Tournament at Encore where, post 1AM, chef Jit Tila of Wazuzu at Encore took the cake. Jet knocked out three year winner Paul Bartolotta, and earned $10,000 to his charity of choice, Three Square food bank. Success!
·Bon Appetit Kicks Off Its 5th Annual Vegas Uncork'd Weekend [~ELA~]
·Steve Wynn on Veganism: It All Started "On My Boat in St. Tropez" (Of Course It Did) [~ELA~]