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Monday Mise en Place: Las Vegas Chefs Find Out If They're James Beard Award Winners TODAY!

James Beard Foundation Award (courtesy:

James Beard Foundation Award (courtesy:

Could this be the Year of the Moonen? A Jöel Robuchon Vegas Trifecta? We will all find out in just a few short hours as the Chef and Restaurant James Beard Foundation Awards will be announced in New York City starting at about 2:00pm Vegas time (5:00pm in the Big Apple).

Las Vegas is proud to have three fabulous chefs in the Best Chef: Southwest category with Rick Moonen of RM Seafood, Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam and Claude le Tohic of Jöel RobuchonJöel Robuchon at the MGM Grand is also a finalist with the Outstanding Service Category, and their pastry chef, Kamel Guechida is up for Outstanding Pastry Chef.  Best wishes to all of Las Vegas’ resident gastronomic rockstars!

Yesterday, the James Beard Foundation held the Media Awards portion, and Chef Moonen took home an award as he was part of Chefs A’ Field: King of Alaska for the Best Television Show, On Location winner.  Congratulations, Chef!

Here’s the 2010 James Beard Foundation Award Winning episode with our very own Chef Rick Moonen:

Vegas Uncork'd Logo

Vegas Uncork'd Logo

Hard to believe that it is just around the corner, but Vegas Uncork’d opens up on May 6th and our fair city will be flooded with the top culinary talent of Planet Earth.  Tasting Las Vegas will be all over the major events. More about our coverage later this week as we figure out exactly what the hell we’re going to do.  I’m still trying to figure out if I should address Jöel Robuchon as ‘Chef,’ ‘Lord,’ or ‘J-Ro.’

While there are just a few smaller events with tickets still available, the big one to attend is the Grand Tasting at Caesars Palace on Friday, May 7th.  If you wind up going, make sure you say hello!  We’ll be the ones spinning around in circles and giggling.  To find out more about the Vegas Uncork’d events, visit



I don’t know much about this as Station Casino’s PR is a total disaster, but in their Italian joint at the Green Valley Ranch casino, Terra Verde, it looks like they have an event called Wined Up Fridays for the next few Fridays from 5pm-7pm.  On the sign on the I-215, it says all you can “savor” wine and appetizers for $20! I don’t care if they’re pouring Ripple and serving Potato Chips and Clam Dip, that sounds like a damn fine deal to me!  If anybody knows more info about it, let me know so I can pass it along.

Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas.

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