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October 25, 2014

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Venetian’s Mario Batali, Buddy Valastro, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud shine at Vegas Uncork’d

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Tom Donoghue / DonoghuePhotography.com

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

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: 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: 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 »

Colorful “The Chew” TV star chef Mario Batali transformed his Carnevino at Palazzo into a sea of trademark orange for his “Beef and Barolo” extravaganza during the 2014 Vegas Uncork’d food-and-wine festival last week. It capped a day of golf at Cascata, where he proved as colorful and exciting on the links as he is in the kitchen.

Taking a practice shot on the fourth hole, Mario’s swing landed the ball less than an inch away. “That would have been a hole-in-one I would have bragged about for the rest of my life,” he laughed.

Mario, who played in orange shoes, orange gloves and orange shorts, handed out peppermill grinders as trophies. The after-dinner at his Palazzo restaurant ran four hours, and his “Chew” co-star Michael Symon attended with “Iron Chef” winner Kerry Simon, who is battling Multiple System Atrophy.

Mario served a delicious menu of house-cured Italian salumi, steak tartar with trumpet mushrooms, Piedmontese beef agnolotti and organic super prime beef.

The daylong and nightlong golf and dinner benefited the Mario Batali Foundation, which has opened three Books for Kids libraries for at-risk children in three New York locations. Now Mario will open a new library to serve at-risk preschool children in an impoverished area of Las Vegas.

“To be able to help children read, to give them this fundamental building block to a successful life is remarkable,” said Mario. “I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to champion literacy in New York, and we’re now looking forward to expanding to Las Vegas and giving kids this amazing gift here.”

Mario promises that it will open this year with at least 1,000 books, other learning materials, child-friendly furniture and print-rich wall murals.

Later during Vegas Uncork’d, television’s “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro gave guests a first-ever, up-close baking demonstration sharing baking tips and secrets at his Buddy V’s Ristorante. He served samples of his Grandma’s meatballs, savory dishes and sweet treats, including cannoli.

Star chef Thomas Keller curated a mouth-watering lunch at his Michelin-starred Bouchon. The gourmet dishes included house-made pate, fresh and smoked salmon rillettes, Scottish salmon, red wine-braised beef cheeks with French carrots, Tokyo turnips and egg noodles. Scrumptious! Wine lovers enjoyed a Stemmari Winery seminar in Palazzo’s Hospitality Parlor tasting intense Sicilian varietals.

2014 Vegas Uncork’d began at the Venetian last Thursday with the opening saber-off prosecco ceremony and continued with Master Series Dinners, The Night Market: East Meets West and Mario’s after-party. And it all tied in with the opening of Daniel Boulud’s French eatery DB Brasserie.

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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