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August 29, 2014

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Strip Scribbles: Vegas Uncork’d, Mario Batali, Britney Spears, Vanilla Ice and divorce parties

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Steve Marcus

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay goes over the menu with guests during a Vegas Uncork’d Master Series Dinner at his Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace on Thursday May 20, 2012. Adam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon Appetit, is at right.

2013 Vegas Uncork'd: Grand Tasting at Caesars

Gordon Ramsay, Francois Payard, Guy Savoy and Michel Richard attend the 2013 Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit Grand Tasting at Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace on Friday, May 10, 2013. Launch slideshow »

In its eighth year, the Vegas Uncork’d food-and-wine festival continues to grow larger with more resorts, chefs and events over the five days of feasting from May 8-12. In all, 31 events are now confirmed to take place at Aria, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and the Venetian.

Organizes Bon Appetit revealed eight new attractions this morning, including a first-time collaborative dinner with star chefs Bobby Flay and Giada de Laurentiis; lunch with Thomas Keller; and celebrity golf at the Cascata course and a Burger Bash with Mario Batali.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten will serve culinary delights at two Aria events, the Celebrity Chef Brunch for Mother’s Day and the Chefs’ Counter: All-Star Feast alongside Shawn McClain, Masa Takayama and Michael Mina.

Gordon Ramsay will host his own showcase Master Series Dinner at his Caesars Palace restaurant Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill. Mario also will join with fellow chef and “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro to mentor two students from our Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in the Chase Sapphire Grill Challenge as they duke it out for $20,000 in scholarships during The Night Market at the Venetian on Thursday, May 8.

For the first time, MGM Grand, Hakkasan and French culinary king Joel Robuchon have teamed up to present the ultimate High Roller’s extravagance experience. Joel will give an exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen tour with a cooking and wine demonstration. MGM promises tickets to a Robuchon dinner, a Michael Mina pig roast, a Hakkasan dinner and nightclub treat, spa and Skyloft enjoyments, 24-hour concierge and personal butler service, all topped off with airport limousine service.

Britney Spears Arrives in Las Vegas

Britney Spears celebrates her official arrival at Planet Hollywood on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Launch slideshow »

WICKED WHISPERS & RACY RUMORS

Pop princess Britney Spears has brought in $10.9 million in ticket sales for her “Britney: Piece of Me” residency during her first run at Planet Hollywood. She had a sellout of 72,000 tickets for her 16 shows that opened Dec. 27 and ended its first run Feb. 22. Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kelly Osbourne, Lauren Conrad, Minka Kelly, Lance Bass, Nicole Ritchie, Selena Gomez, Mario Lopez and Lance Burton have been among the stars at the VIP tables.

Britney resumes her two-year contract on April 25, and I’m reliably told that tickets are once again selling fast. “It’s really phenomenal,” one Caesars Entertainment insider told me. “She’s hot and selling more in advance than we thought possible. Now we see people planning their vacation here around her show dates.” Planet Hollywood Regional President David Hoenemeyer recently told Vegas DeLuxe that Britney has exceeded their expectations and that the star and her team are terrific to work with at the Axis at Planet Hollywood.

Has a second female chef from Las Vegas been tapped to follow in Shirley Chung’s toque for the next season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in Florida?

Which major Las Vegas personality has been 86’d from a Strip nightclub?

Has a second prominent Las Vegas couple been tapped for a surprising network reality TV series this spring?

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Glynda Rhodes.

DIVORCE PARTIES: A new 80-minute show dealing with the aftermath of divorce opens next weekend at Windows Showroom in Bally’s. “Divorce Party Las Vegas” tells the tale of how one woman wracked with despair from her divorce turns to friends for a hilarious Las Vegas weekend. A makeup guru, a pizza delivery boy and a groping massage therapist help turn it into the wildest divorce party ever.

Now don’t think this is just fiction and would never happen in real life. Las Vegas has its own divorce party-planning agency run by socialite Glynda Rhodes. She also has a line of “I Kissed the Wrong Frog” merchandise. Glynda was in Los Angeles this week for agency and network pitch meetings with her newly completed pilot teaser reel.

RADIO INTERVIEW: If you’re staying in tonight and want to hear a fascinating interview as the tables are turned on me for a change, tune into Ira Sternberg’s KUNV-FM 91.5 “Talk About Las Vegas” at 9:30 p.m. You can listen online at 915TheSource.org and afterward read the posting at TalkAboutLasVegas.com.

DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia talked about his success while on tour, and I received a pleasant surprise. He said: “You can bring things into existence just by thinking about them. When I was 9, just a kid, I used to watch ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ on a black-and-white television. Just a few weeks ago, I was in Las Vegas and ran into Robin Leach, Criss Angel and Flavor Flav.

“We hung out, and I Instagrammed a photo. I would stay up all night watching Robin’s show and said, ‘I want to own a Rolls Royce and live in Beverley Hills. Well, in 2004, I bought my first Rolls and in 2006 I moved to Bel Air. You can talk it into existing.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Carnivale is Brazil’s biggest annual party, and Sushi Samba in Palazzo will celebrate it in grand style Saturday night. There will be shimmering samba dancers in full costume, booming batucada drummers and bossa-nova DJs.

The giant 130-foot LED video screen on the 50-yard line of the Strip at Planet Hollywood’s Miracle Mile Shops will broadcast E! Entertainment’s red carpet coverage of Sunday’s Academy Awards pre-show.

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The Daniel Boulud announcement and the 2013 Epicurean Affair at the Palazzo on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Angelo Sosa of Poppy Den in Tivoli Village is pictured here.

Celebrity chefs Angelo Sosa and Bobby Flay battle on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” on Sunday. Angelo is hosting a screening party at his Poppy Den in Tivoli Village from 8 to 10 p.m.; the episode airs at 9 p.m.

STAR SURVEILLANCE

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon partied at Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore on Wednesday night, listening to the sounds of new resident DJ Deorro.

Rio headliner magician Penn Jillette’s wife, Emily Jillette, filmed sequences for the two-week-long Global Scavenger Hunt Internet challenge with an Elvis Presley tribute artist and a Robert Downey Jr. lookalike actor, from whom she borrowed $200 to complete the hunt. Each player is given 100 cryptic challenges. If she wins, the organizers donate to a Russian children’s charity, and she’s permitted to allocate some for our beloved Opportunity Village.

Rick Harrison (“Pawn Stars”), Flamingo headliner comedian George Wallace and BMX rider Ricardo Laguna were among the first week visitors to the new 24-hour kitchen and bar Distill in Summerlin.

Ahead of his performance in the closing jam session of tonight’s Kerry Simon charity bash, guitarist Slash dined at chef Barry Dakake’s N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms and signed the celebrity door. Also there, MLB Hall of Famer Frank Thomas.

The five vocalists who make up Pentatonix, the a capella group who won Season 3 of “The Sing-Off” on NBC, dined at Tao in the Venetian on Wednesday night.

TONIGHT’S TIPS

Slash, Vince Neil, Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper and Todd Rundgren headline the Kerry Simon MSA benefit at our Keep Memory Alive event center at the downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

2014 CES: 50 Cent, Pharrell, Vanilla Ice, Maria Menounos

50 Cent attends the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Las Vegas. Launch slideshow »

Vanilla Ice hosts the inaugural Pop Life in Body English at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Rockers George Thorogood and The Destroyers, still going strong after 40 years, are at the Smith Center.

“Hypnosis Unleashed” star Kevin Lepine hosts a benefit at his Night Owl Showroom in Hooters casino to benefit Shade Tree Shelter on its 25th anniversary.

Greg Vaccariello and Sonny Gonzales headline at Bonkerz Comedy Club at Rampart.

TOMORROW’S TEASE

All eyes will be on the sexy and saucy shenanigans guaranteed by the twerking and writhing Miley Cyrus at her MGM Grand Garden Arena “Bangerz Tour” stop. Plus, 50 gorgeous models from 19 countries compete in the first International Model Search pageant here, and our Oscar Weekend Celebrity Preview rundown.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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