Thoughts and Murmurs on VEGAS UNCORK’D PRESENTED BY BON APPETIT

With barely four hours of sleep in his creaky, ever-expanding frame, sightly hungover, and less than an hour before he re-commences eating, hobnobbing, and kibbitzing like a king with the superstars of the food world, ELV thought he’d share some thoughts on the first two days of VEGAS UNCORK’D PRESENTED BY BON APPETIT (the official and, let’s face it, slightly awkward official title for the event):

Alain Ducasse is really tall (at least for a Frenchman).

Cat Cora is really pregnant.

ELV is the world’s worst gambler.

Andrew Knowlton’s hair continues to get really long, and he and Bon Appetit Magazine’s Features Editor Hugh Garvey are way too young, skinny, friendly, happy and good-looking to be uber-food writers.

The Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace last night was sold out, a huge hit, and has put Uncork’d on the world’s map as a go-to, must-see, restaurant event. Prediction: in another two years, it will be on every chefs and serious foodies’ calendar in America, the same way Aspen Food and Wine the South Beach festivals now are. In five years, it will be the nation’s premier restaurant event.

If you want to get the entire gourmet food, chef and foodie world green with envy, just tell them you spent the afternoon in a private audience with Alain Ducasse tasting your way through his entire new menu.

There are a lot worse ways to spend a Friday morning than listening to Guy Savoy, Alain Ducasse, Francois Payard, Daniel Boulud and David Werly recount their tales of how they became chefs, and the past and future of French cuisine and its place in the world of gastronomy. (Including, in their own good natured, erudite and self-effacing way, their views on molecular cooking, fusion cuisine, and how and why some hot-shot American chefs (were you listening David Chang?), will never be able to take their hyper-trendy, crowd-pleasing food to the next level.

The only guys in the world who could ever dream of creating, pairing a perfectly 5 exotic cocktails with food are Steve Olsen and Tony Abu-Ganim.

When the call is sounded, chef’s hearts are as big as all outdoors. Three Square thought 20 or thirty chefs would show up to stuff food bags for its backpacking program for hungry kids — over 50 did — including almost every top toque in every fancy restaurant in town — from Brad Ogden to Paul Bartolotta.

Uber-St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, is as big as a house and as friendly as the day is long. ELV told him he would’ve played defensive tackle on ELV’s high school football team — and then realized he probably could’ve played the entire defensive line (And the guy’s a running back!). His favorite steakhouse in town is N9NE, and ELV promised to give him a tour of some more meat emporiums before the season starts…

Gotta run….breakfast with Alan (The Hitman) Richman at Lenotre, before appearing on the Farm To Table panel at the Bellagio before attending the Interactive Luncheon at the Wynn, before attending the Gala Dinner at the Bellagio before hitting RM Seafood for the after party with David Foster, before doing this.

Follow me on Twitter (although ELV is too technologically-challenged to provide you with a direct link — sorry — and go to my Facebook page for constant tasty snaps of the days activities. And when we catch a breath, we’ll be posting lots of snaps on this sight (probably in a few days…..whew!)

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