During my visit to Uncork’d, I was most interested in covering Saturday’s Viva Las Vegan event hosted by the newest addition to the hotel’s supervisory culinary team, Chef Tal Ronnen. At the request of owner Steve Wynn, Ronnen, who has spent his career focused on vegan and vegetarian recipes, was recently brought on board to help with the development of vegan dishes at all of the location’s fine dining restaurants.
According to Wynn, who welcomed guests to the afternoon luncheon, it was a video on veganism that helped to change his outlook on the dietary choice, and led to the addition of Ronnen. With many of the properties’ chefs on hand to demo their tasty, animal-free dishes, including Alex Stratta, David Walzog, and Jet Tila, meat-eaters and vegetarians/gans alike couldn’t help but enjoy the chef-inspired dishes. Among the selection – a roasted corn agnolotti with oyster mushrooms, an eel-like mushroom and avocado roll – or “faux-nagi”, vegan Old Bay “crab” Cakes, a vegan “clam” chowder, and an outstanding vegan carrot cake.
At the event, I had a chance to talk to both Ronnen and Tila – you can catch those interviews here on Daily Blender later this summer.
And there you have it – a wrapup of the fun-filled extravaganza that was the 2011 Vegas Uncork’d event! For more fun coverage of the weekend, be sure to check out the ever-funny Jason Kessler of the BA Nitpicker blog. Missed Day 1 and Day 2 of the Vegas Uncork’d coverage? You can read those here and here, respectively.
That’s all folks! Don’t forget to tip your waiters!
*Many thanks to the folks at Vegas Uncork’d for inviting me down to cover the event.
**Photo credit: Jennifer Heigl / Daily Blender