If anything, Coachella is really going to have to up its game this year with regard to food. This past weekend, Downtown Las Vegas played host to the city's inaugural music and food mashup festival, Life is Beautiful, headlined by The Killers, Kings of Leon, Beck, and chefs like Tom Colicchio ('wichcraft), Nobu Matsuhisa (Nobu), and Todd English who presented a live cooking demo. Participating Los Angeles chefs were David Myers (Comme Ca), Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Jet Tila (Kuma Snow Cream), Nancy Silverton (Mozza), Marcel Vigneron, among others.
Surprisingly, the festival was incredibly well organized for a first year event, with more than enough space between stages, less crowding than at Coachella, and captivating street art randomly coloring building walls. While smaller non-chef driven food stands sat conveniently near the larger stages, the Culinary Village was the place to score truffle pasta, soft pretzels with provolone fondue, and pumpkin pie panna cotta. Also, deep fried Oreos from Lavo, an especial favorite of the Capital Cities crew who performed on Saturday night. Outside the Culinary Village, chef Donald Link of Cochon and Butcher in New Orleans orchestrated a Cajun Hog Roast with a pig cooked over an open fire. Overall, a wildly successful first run for Life is Beautiful, and likely the next big festival that showcases artists, of music and food, on the same stage. [EaterWire]