Food festivals must be passé, and private food classes are probably the next big thing. While every other city is having its own wine and food festival, Las Vegas is launching Food University at Caesars Palace, a three-day culinary education program for wannabe celebrity chefs.
According to a press release, Food University is a collaboration with Caesars Palace, Larry Ruvo, Food Network co-founder Robin Leach, and culinary entertainment producer Richard Gore. For the price of $1,995, you get three days worth of cooking courses from the likes of Michel Richard, Alex Stratta, and Bradford Thompson (of F&W's Best New Chef award).
While the university's "faculty" has yet to be finalized, Gore promises at least 10 hands-on cooking courses, plus potentially a wine and cheese pairing class from Laura Werlin (of All-American Cheese and Wine Book). "Ideally, attendees will get enough skills to try to get themselves on TV someday," Gore said. Which explains why on the last day, there will be a mock Iron Chef/Top Chef-esque cooking competition, judged by "local celebrities."
"We’ll provide an enthusiastic and fun-filled environment that will allow the participant to absorb naturally, without thinking they’re spending their vacation working," Gore said. Instead, they'll be spending their vacation from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. rubbing elbows with pro chefs and earning their way to what the university is calling the "Enlightened Palate Diploma." "As much as it’s tongue-in-cheek, we’re delivering real cooking skills," Gore said.
And that $1,995? Includes all the food and beverages for instruction, with proceeds going to Keep Memory Alive, an organization working to find cures for disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and ALS. Hotel stay is not included, but more information is available on the website.