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October 1, 2014

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Photos: Night Market at Venetian, DB Brasserie, Giada opens June 3, Gordon Ramsay’s fourth L.V. venue

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Steve Spatafore / Las Vegas News Bureau

Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, with Robin Leach, co-host a Master Series dinner at his Mesa Grill on Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Caesars Palace.

2014 VUBBA: Double-Decker Party Bus

The double-decker party bus of star chefs heads to the saber-off for the eighth-annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Venetian.
Launch slideshow »

2014 VUBBA: Saber-Off at Venetian

The saber-off for the eighth-annual Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

2014 VUBBA: Bobby Flay, Giada at Mesa Grill

Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay co-host a Master Series dinner at his Mesa Grill on Thursday, May 8, 2014, in Caesars Palace. Launch slideshow »

The world’s best chefs kicked off the first day of the eighth-annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit food-and-wine festival with a nonstop parade of culinary genius at the Venetian all to coincide with the opening of kitchen king Daniel Boulud’s new DB Brasserie there.

It began before noon, as we reported Thursday, with Daniel using his own saber to chop off the cork of the Mionetto prosecco. It continued with Daniel’s official restaurant opening at the cocktail hour and a cross-cultural The Night Market: East Meets West and ended with TV star chef Mario Batali’s Beer & Burgers afterparty.

Yes, 12 hours of incredible wines and taste treats — fabulous food, fun and entertainment. Vegas Uncork’d chefs from other hotels arrived in their own open-air, double-decker party bus.

We’ll have full coverage early next week of the Master Chef dinners at Caesars Palace and Aria with Nobu Matsuhisa, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Savoy, Greg Sherry’s Old Homestead, Giada De Laurentiis teamed with Bobby Flay and Pierre Gagnaire teamed with Shawn McClain.

Several Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors arose from my quick meets Thursday:

* Giada told me that she has set a firm June 3 opening date for her restaurant Giada at the Cromwell now that construction issues have been resolved, and reservations start at 7:30 p.m. that night. She joked: “Time for me to jump in this all-male pool of chefs on the Strip. I need to give Bobby a run for his money after 10 years.”

* Gordon told me that he will announce this weekend that his fourth Las Vegas dining venture will be a London fish-and-chips outlet. He was mum about our British fish being wrapped in the scandalous Sunday sex tabloids.

* Nobu told me that he’s opening a hotel and restaurants in Kula Lumpur and Manila before year’s end and is taking over part of the Eden Roc hotel in Miami to transform it into another Nobu.

* Mario told me that he’s set a target of 15 Eataly food stores in America and Latin America, with the next to open in Brazil and Mexico City. He says when those 15 are up-and-running, he wants to do one here.

Next week, our interviews with Daniel and Nobu to round out our VUBBA coverage.

Our thanks to contributing photographer Tom Donoghue for his gallery of the Asian Night Market and the Chase Sapphire Grill Challenge with two Cordon Bleu College students vying for a $20,000 scholarship under the mentorship of “Cake Boss” hero Buddy and “The Chew’s” Mario. Also to Bryan Steffy of WireImage and Steve Spatafore for their photo galleries and Richard Corey for his YouTube video of all the chefs, the cast of “Panda!” at Palazzo and Mario’s fun surprise interview with Daniel.

The Night Market: East Meets Wests at Venetian

2014 VUBBA: The Night Market: East Meets West

Mario Batali and Daniel Boulud attend the Night Market: East Meets West on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

DB Brasserie Grand Opening at Venetian

Buddy Valastro and Daniel Boulud attend the grand opening of DB Brasserie by chef Boulud on Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Venetian. Launch slideshow »

“It’s the biggest international celebration for Vegas Uncork’d,” Sebastian Silvestri, Venetian-Palazzo VP of food and beverage told me. “Nobody has ever attempted this on the Strip or in Las Vegas ever before. We have the culinary superstars from Asia going head-to-head against their American counterparts. That’s truly international superstar firepower.”

Chefs Justin Quek and Tetsuya Wakuda from Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Luke Mangan, Australia’s leading chef and restaurateur, battled Mario, Daniel, Buddy and Thomas Keller in creating the outdoor market. Food fans marveled at the exquisite menus, spectacular dishes and entertainment by “Panda!” Tetsuya’s creamy sea urchin topped with caviar could be the best taste treat of the four-day, 50-plus Bon Appetit events!

I dined with Tetsuya at his restaurant in Sydney, Australia, when he broke into the world’s Top 10. I asked him since he had opened a spinoff at the Venetian’s sister Sands hotel in Singapore if he’d thought about expanding here. “We have talked,” he admitted. “We continue to talk.”

But it was Brooke Worley who stole the show with her looks, cooking skills and $20,000 Las Vegas Cordon Bleu win under Mario’s tutelage. “She’s destined for future television stardom,” predicted Mario when I talked with him afterward. “She’s got it all.”

This is the first you’ve heard of Brooke, but you will be hearing a lot more in the future. Meet America’s next culinary star. Buddy added: “The standard of cooking from both students was so high it was literally a tie, but Brooke aced it with her presentation and kitchen personality.”

Daniel not only celebrated the opening of his DB Brasserie at the Venetian, but also the birth of his son Julien born Sunday at midnight in New York. Southern Wines head honcho Larry Ruvo presented the proud poppa with a special bottle of fine “Chateau Julien” wine from France and a Jeroboam of champagne to pour for his 200-plus guests.

Venetian-Palazzo chief Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, helped Daniel with the ribbon cutting, and Buddy waltzed in with a specially made cake complete with Las Vegas showgirls as security escorts.

Among the chefs who attended to congratulate Daniel: Chef of the Century Joel Robuchon, Nobu, “Chow Masters” star Sam DeMarco, Thomas, Jean-Georges Vongerichten en route to open a noodle venture in Shanghai next week and the Sands Marina Bay team from Singapore.

“I am so happy to be back in Las Vegas,” Daniel told me. “What an incredible week. My new son is born, and my new restaurant is opened. I couldn’t bring him here four days later, but I’ll keep his bottle of wine until he’s ready for it when he’s older.”

Our VUBBA coverage, including the full interview with Daniel, continues Sunday and next week.

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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