Pora Tardy of Las Vegas makes braised lettuce wraps with chicken breading for the side dish competition during the World Food Championships on Saturday, Nov 3, 2012, at Bally’s casino.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 | 5:21 p.m.
Dawn Watkins of Memphis, Tenn., is dressed colorfully to dish up chili made by her brother Mike Watkins of Gaithersburg, Md., during the World Food Championships on Saturday, Nov 3, 2012, at Bally's.
Down the street from where world-renowned French chef Herbert Keller had thrown a dinner for the release of a new cookbook the night before, culinary school student Pora Tardy meticulously wrapped braised lettuce around a breaded chicken in a parking lot just off the Las Vegas Strip.
Tardy attends the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, where she joined hundreds of competitors from across the country vying for $300,000 in prizes Saturday during the World Food Championships at Bally's casino.
"They came to our school and held auditions, so I entered," Tardy said.
Others qualified in smaller competitions from Maryland to California to cook at what Travel Channel food celebrity Adam Richman called an event that brings comfort food to the city known for gourmet feasts prepared by celebrity chefs.
"Usually, we only see people who are doing what we do," said Chris Yankee of Stockton, Calif., who came to compete for the $50,000 prize in the barbecue division. "We don't get to meet the people in the chili or potato salad events. I've met so many new people this week."
Winners in each of seven categories will move onto the final table judging Sunday in front of Caesars Palace, where Wolfgang Puck brought the first tastes of gourmet cuisine to Las Vegas 20 years ago.
Bally's Las Vegas Step into the light at Bally's Las Vegas. The neon-lit entryway stands out as a symbol of Las Vegas surrounded by a series of neon columns. Bally's opened in 1973 as the original MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and has since become a mix of old and new Vegas. The 139,251-square foot property includes 1,050 slot machines, 58 gaming tables, 14 poker tables and 2,814 hotel rooms.
The showgirls take center stage in "Jubilee," a cabaret show celebrating the classic showgirls. Other entertainment options include "Tony and Tina's Wedding" dinner show and the L.A. Comedy Club.
Bally's Steakhouse serves classic steaks, chops and seafood in an elegant New England hunt club-style atmosphere. On Sundays, the Sterling Brunch offers bottomless premium Champagne, caviar and whole lobster. Bally's race and sports book deserves a mention for having about 200 seats and being surrounded by comfort foods like Sbarro's pizza, Nathan's Famous for hot dogs and Ichiban's for sushi.
3645 Las Vegas Blvd., S. Las Vegas,
NV 89109 702-967-4111