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F&W All-Stars Day 3: Bellagio transforms into farm; brunch at Jasmine



Day 2 of the 2012 Food & Wine All-Star Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

2012 Food and Wine: Day 2

Day 2 of the 2012 Food & Wine All-Star Weekend on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012. Launch slideshow »

2012 Food and Wine: Day 1

Master Sommeliers Richard Betts, Bobby Stuckey, Jason Smith and Emmanuel Kemiji at Bellagio’s Tuscany Kitchen for the Third Annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Launch slideshow »

It was as if MGM Resorts magicians Criss Angel and David Copperfield had pulled off the ultimate illusion when the five-diamond luxury Bellagio suddenly became a farmhouse. Well, at least its Grand Patio.

The transformation into a farmhouse setting was to showcase “Four Farms, Three Chefs, Two Brothers and One Table.” Sensi executive chef Royden Ellamar and Zolo executive chef Brett Smith created a magnificent meal using seasonal ingredients from their favorite farms. It was an opportunity to show gourmet groupies that we can produce ingredients here in the desert ranging from vegetables to prawns.

The taste treats were complemented by wines handpicked by Jason Smith, Bellagio’s wine director and master sommelier. Foodies were in heaven with the cured Skuna Bay salmon, rumskey-glazed China Ranch dates, crispy pork belly, buffalo taquitos, Las Vegas-grown prawns and Colorado lamb loin. For dessert, Bellagio pastry chef Simon Bregardis presented an assortment of friandises, tarts, cakes and eclairs.

The stunning Day 3 finale to the Third Annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend hosted by “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons was Jasmine Dreams of Dim Sum and Champagne, a gourmet brunch overlooking the Bellagio Fountains. Guests were greeted with three specialty cocktails -- Bellagio Spice, Far East and Caballero -- created by mixologist Ricardo Murcia, Bellagio’s assistant director of beverage.

Jasmine executive chef Hiew Gun Khong and Noodles executive chef Patrick Lee presented incredible buffet-style selections including a lakeside shellfish bar with Alaskan red king crab, hilled green-lipped mussels, fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell and jumbo poached shrimp. From the cold table, offerings of blackberry yogurt parfait, Kobe beef Carpaccio, lobster profiterole and ahi tuna medallions delighted palates. Jason was the event’s host.

Gail summed up: “This is my first time at Jasmine brunch, and I am blown away.” Guests from the three days of fabulous festivities echoed the same remark: “This was beyond brilliant. We can’t wait for the fourth.”

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.

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