It's official, gastronomy is overtaking gambling as Vegas' highest grossing attraction. Most of us want a sure bet these days and our palates rather than the comp card increasingly drive the buying decisions. Thanks to celebrity chefdom and farm-to-table ethos, our awareness of fresh ingredients and demand for exquisite dishes prepared by culinary artists has risen meteorically.
The Venetian, a raging culinary flashpoint on the Vegas strip boasts the highest number of James Beard chefs together under one roof including Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, and Daniel Boulud. My 2 night-in-a-row favorite was the Venetian's Public House, home to Nevada's first certified beer cicerone. Their vast selection generously taps all the regional breweries like Tenaya Creek and New Belgium along with a menu that takes you on a flavor excursion further into the wild west with dishes like Rabbit Loin in Porchetta and Grilled Quail.
Then there's the remaining 36 on-site eateries, 30 of which serve up shockingly authentic dishes like killer individual size brick oven pizzas and signature filet Mignon meatballs at Trattoria Reggiano while Taqueria Canonita, overlooking the Grand Canal with its steady stream of serenaded gondola riders, serves up Old Mexico favorites like Pozole Verde, a soup made with hominy and diced pork seared with green chile, tomatillos & mexican oregano sprinkled with shredded cabbage and red radish.
Now celebrating their 2nd Annual Carnevale, the Venetian-Palazzo is currently immersed in a summer- long cavalcade of more than 300 events like ornately masqueraded mimes and caricatures roving the halls daily, themed artisan cocktails featured at many bars, and Veni, Vidi, Vino, a self-guided wine walk exploring a wide selection of Italian wines at 9 on-site restaurants & bars.
If hands-on is more your style, Le Cordon Bleu Vegas has partnered with the Venetian-Palazzo for the remainder of Carnevale to offer. Joining in one of these sessions means you don a chef’s jacket, sharpen your knives, and step into one of The Venetian-Palazzo’s professional kitchens for a day or two of intensive instruction with a Le Cordon Bleu chef. Classes range from Sushi Making to Steak House at Home. Not only will your salivary glands get a workout, you'll bone up on the cooking skills needed to recreate these fine dishes at home.
To say that Laura Lyons, Le Cordon Bleu's Director of Education, is excited about this kickoff to Le Cordon's Bleu's nationwide Bleu Ribbon Kitchen Programs would be a major understatement. “The Venetian-Palazzo are the pinnacle of culinary aspirations on the Vegas strip. From Wolfgang Puck’s CUT to Mario Batali’s Carnevino and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, we look forward to adding our Le Cordon Bleu name to this suite of culinary temples.”
The first cooking class, Taste of Northern Italy, begins August 17th. Sign up here!
Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored visit.