Monday, July 9, 2018 | 2 a.m.
In all my years covering the happenings on the Strip and exploring different experiences all over the city, I’ve learned that our hospitality professionals make Las Vegas look easy.
I’m reminded of this while I’m trying to fold dumplings in the kitchen at one of the finest Chinese restaurants in the country, Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas. Chef Chen Wei Chan has demonstrated how to create the perfect little golden purse shapes with soft wonton wrappers stuffed with pork: “Fold it twice and it becomes a triangle, right? Flip it around, use a little water,” then he brings the ends together and places the pretty dumpling in front of us. “Very easy. Not that hard.” I believe him, but my dumplings won’t come out so nice and easy.
I was one of about 30 guests participating in the Wynn Master Class Series event on June 15 at Wing Lei, the only Forbes Five Star Chinese restaurant in the country, where the sharing of behind-the-scenes secrets and the offering of hands-on instruction culminated in a delicious lunch by executive chef Ming Yu and his team.
We watched chef Alan Ji prepare Three Cup sea bass with garlic, scallions, fresh basil and red jalapeños, then donned aprons and marched into the kitchen to sculpt salads of Alaskan king crab, avocado and mango with chef Michael Chen. Later we received recipes for the all dishes we created and sampled (and it seems like the Shaoxing cooking wine is the ingredient that makes all the difference in that spicy, sweet and sour fish dish, so pick some up at your favorite Asian market).
This is the third year for the series of popular experiential programming at Wynn. The first Master Class Series included other diverse events built around the property’s music and nightlife offerings, entertainment and event planning and more. But the food and drink classes were the most popular so this year’s sessions hone in on those topics. The series resumes on Friday, July 13 with the Master Pasta Making class at Costa di Mare with executive chef Mark LoRusso, and the month closes with a Sushi and Summer Cocktails event on July 27 at Andrea’s at Encore.
Future classes address decorating cakes, choosing wine, vegan cooking, tasting bourbon and working with members of the Wynn floral design team. The grand finale is the popular holiday Treat Trimming Party on December 15, a workshop with award-winning pastry chef Patrice Caillot.
Workshop times vary and prices range from $125 to $175 per person. The Wynn Master Class Series is open to locals, too, not just hotel guests. Reservations can be made by calling the concierge at 702-770-7070 and more information can be found at wynnlasvegas.com.