LAS VEGAS: French Master Chefs Coming to the Venetian

© Wolfgang StaudtAlways wanted to hobnob with the best chefs in France? Well, you can do just that without even leaving the United States, The Association of Maitres Cuisiners de France will be holding their annual general assembly in Las Vegas in early March, bringing to town 150 of the world’s best master chefs.

The Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino will play host to this event, which will run March 5th to 9th. This elite culinary group is making history by holding the event outside Europe for the first time, largely due to the efforts of Palazzo executive chef Olivier Dubreull, who is a member and lobbied for his adopted home to host the event.

The Association of Maîtres Cuisiniers de France serves to preserve and spread the French culinary arts, encourage training in cuisine and assist in professional development. Members advance and perpetuate the tradition of great French cuisine and actively promote French products of top quality, such as the Red Labels and “Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée” or European signs of quality, such as the IGP, AOP and STG. In addition, they are involved in culinary education in Europe and employ nearly 10,000 qualified iindividuals.

While most of the events are by invitation only, the public is invited to a special open house event: the Master Tour de France. Twelve chefs, as well as twelve wineries and spirit makers, will be showcasing their specialties from the various regions in France. For a mere $50, you can sample food from some of the best the culinary world has to offer, and you wash it all down with some lovely French wine.

Note: There is an age restriction. All attendees must be over the age of 21.

Master Tour de France: 12 Chefs/12 Wineries
Where:  Doge’s Palace, The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
When: March 8th, 6-10 pm
Cost: $50 (tickets available here)

LAS VEGAS: Annual Restaurant Awards Tempt Travelers

Honey Salt's Farmer's Toast

Honey Salt’s Farmer’s Toast

One of the biggest conundrums when visiting Vegas is where to eat. I’m not just talking about the Michelin-star chef restaurants that are now requisite amongst Strip hotels, but the hidden gems in Chinatown, the cool new dessert bars, the outliers in Summerlin and Henderson that are worthy of a cab ride. With all the restaurant openings and closings, it can be a tough road for visitors, but Vegas Seven has just made your Sin City trip planning a little bit easier by announcing this year’s best restaurants, both on and off the strip, be it a brasserie, brunch, bar bite or buffet.

This year awards were handed out in 27 categories that run the gamut from Best Under-the-Radar to Best Obscure Ethnic Dish, with Best Mixologist, Pizzeria, Dessert and Buffet mixed in. While you can view the complete list of winners here, we thought we would share our favorites with you and encourage you to try something new on your next visit:

Best Brunch: This year’s surprise winner is China Poblano, the Cosmopolitan Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant. While you might frown at the pairing of these two cuisines, this restaurant makes it work. The a la carte brunch includes the more traditional dim sum and chilaquiles, as well as a fresh take on gazpacho that includes pineapple, cucumber, jicama, dragonfruit, queso fresco and chile pequin, a beautifully presented rainbow congee, and churros with hot Mexican chocolate to complete your meal.

Best Mexican Restaurant: Leticia’s Mexican Cocina, located on the north side of the valley, focuses their entire menu on authentic family-style items, prepared with fresh ingredients. You can enjoy community plates of carnitas, carne asada, enchiladas, or chile rellenos, or go a la carte with chef specials such as Cecina a la Tampiquena, Mojarra, and delectable Langosta.  They also serve hangover-worthy menudo (Friday through Sunday only) and authentic Mexican coffee and donuts.

Best Restaurant Off-Strip: Honey Salt over in Summerlin makes the grade here, using carefully sourced ingredients for their “farm-to-table inspired menu.” Drool-worthy items include grilled peaches & ricotta, caramelized sea scallops (with a vanilla bean cauliflower puree), and a brown bag baked peach pie. Chef Joe Zanelli also offers a three-course tasting menu ($45) for those who just cannot decide.