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October 21, 2020

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Taste Trends: Vegas Uncork’d is out, UNLVino becomes Evolution and more Vegas food news

13th Annual Vegas Uncorkd

Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Attendees fill the Garden of the Gods pool area during the Grand Tasting at the 13th annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit Friday, May 10, 2019, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The 13-year-old Strip-powered food fest known as Vegas Uncork’d will not be returning this year, but don’t be worried about big spring plans for culinary events. UNLVino, which celebrated its 45th year of raising money for scholarships for students in the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality in 2019, has transformed into the Evolution Las Vegas Food & Wine Experience, set for April 18 at the new Caesars Forum Convention Center.

The new event is a collaboration between Caesars Entertainment and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada and the venue is located just east of the High Roller Observation Wheel and the Linq Promenade on the Strip. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay, whose local restaurant collection includes Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace, Shark at the Palms and Bobby’s Burger Palace near Aria, will be honored with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence. Evolution will continue UNLVino’s tradition of benefitting scholarship efforts.

It will also feature “interactive experiences unlike any festival before it, uniting sight, sound and taste to put the attendee at the center of the action,” according to this week’s announcement. Local chefs and beverage experts along with those from around the world will participate in cooking demonstrations and provide samples of their cuisine and creations and Evolution will also offer wine, beer and cocktail tastings, live music and more.

“The students and staff at UNLV’s Harrah College of Hospitality are honored to be a part of this event each year,” said College of Hospitality Dean Stowe Shoemaker. “The hands-on experience our students receive producing this large, high-profile event is something they cannot get anywhere else, and the legacy they leave for other students through funding scholarships is incredibly rewarding.”

For tickets and more information, visit evolutionlv.com. Regarding Vegas Uncork’d, don’t be surprised to see a new, similar weekend of chef- and restaurant-based programming and events pop up on the Strip this year, but it won’t be a collaboration with Uncork’d partner Bon Appétit magazine.

More food and restaurant news this week:

Click to enlarge photo

José Andrés' Jamon Roll at Tekka Bar.

Vegas restaurants are getting some serious TV time. On the February 10 episode of “No Passport Required with Marcus Samuelsson,” the host and celebrity chef (who still doesn’t have a Vegas restaurant, by the way) will take his audience along on visits to Mott 32 at Palazzo and Chinatown favorites Chengdu Taste, T&T Ginseng, Kung Fu Thai and Chubby Cattle. And next month, “Vegas Chef Prizefight” will make its debut on the Food Network, a competition show where eight chefs from across the country battle it out at a different Caesars Entertainment restaurant in each episode with the grand prize of the head chef gig at the new $10 million Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse opening soon at the Flamingo. Chef and TV personality Anne Burrell hosts and chef/restaurateur Scott Conant will appear as well. It premieres March 5.

Delilah Las Vegas, the Strip version of the wildly popular Hollywood supper club, has announced an official opening date at Wynn Las Vegas of May 13. The new venue from the L.A.-based H.Wood Group will be designed by Todd-Avery Lenahan in his first project as chief creative officer of Wynn Design and Development in the events space that was known as the Chairman’s Salon, previously the home of the Michelin-starred restaurant Alex.

Tekka Bar, the Japanese handroll and sake spot located inside the Block 16 Urban Food Hall at the Cosmopolitan, has launched its guest chef handroll series that will see various chefs create specialty handrolls inspired by their own signature menu items throughout the year. José Andrés kicked it off with his Jamón Roll, still available on February 9 and again February 17-23, and his Gambas Roll, with shrimp, Jaleo’s brava sauce and garlic aioli, is on the menu February 10-16 and February 24 through March 1. Other chefs participating soon include Rick Gencarelli of Lardo and Chris Cosentino from “Top Chef Masters.”

Bardot Brasserie at Aria, long a weekend brunch favorite for both locals and tourists, has started serving weekend breakfast as well. Current hours of operation are breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 9:30 a.m., brunch both days from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and dinner daily from 5 to 10:30 p.m. The breakfast menu includes a French omelette with gruyere cheese, hash browns and salade verte; the Maine lobster scramble with raclette cheese, mushrooms and spinach; and the Hunter’s Waffle topped with glazed duck confit and two poached eggs.