Las Vegas Sun

October 18, 2017

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Counter Intelligence: Mario Batali, Sirio Maccioni, Kerry Simon and Michael Mina


Tom Donoghue/

A Taste of Italy with Sebastien Silvestri, Mario Batali and John Caparella at the Palazzo on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

A Taste of Italy With Mario Batali at Palazzo

A Taste of Italy with Mario Batali at the Palazzo on Saturday, June 1, 2013. Launch slideshow »

2012 Culinary Clash at the Venetian: Round 2

Round 2 of Culinary Clash featuring Mario Batali, Larry Ruvo, Denise Valdez, Sebastien Silvestri and Susan Stapleton with emcee Robin Leach at the Venetian on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Hot off the grill!

Star chef Mario Batali will unveil his restaurant B&B Burger & Beer at the Venetian on Friday night when he throws a VIP after-party. The 200 fine diners, vintners and star chefs at La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival will sit at one long table set up in the Venetian’s Grand Colonnade hallway off the hotel’s main lobby.

Among the entertainers for the ultimate four days of feasting: Kristen Hertzenberg, Clint Holmes and Italy’s singing butcher Dario Cecchini alongside celebrated chefs Wolfgang Puck, Buddy Valastro and Mario. I’ll handle MC and auctioneer duties throughout with our beloved Keep Memory Alive benefiting from the charitable events.

There are still tickets available for Saturday night’s outdoor dine-around party Bella Notte with Venetian and Palazzo chefs, plus, fan-favorite singer Jimmy Hopper providing nonstop entertainment.

* I can reveal that congratulations are due to New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, who has restaurants here at Bellagio and Aria, and star chef Kerry Simon when they are honored with Silver State Awards by the Nevada Restaurant Association on Dec. 13 at the Venetian.

Sirio, the founder of the legendary Le Cirque, will fly in from Manhattan to receive the Pioneer Award . Kerry gets a special tip of my heart and hat for his courage to receive the Visionary Award. A special presentation also will be made to celebrity TV chef Emeril Lagasse. All have been good friends for more than a quarter century.

I will join Dayna Roselli and Nina Radetich as hosts of the awards to honor “excellence and superior achievements.” More than 13,000 votes were cast to the Nevada Restaurant Association, and its Educational Foundation will be the beneficiary. Emeril and I will lead the hotel’s Culinary Clash contest later that weekend.

* Star chef Michael Mina, who is a business partner with our hometown tennis champion Andre Agassi, is opening a new restaurant and sexy nightclub at Fontainebleau in Miami Beach called Michael Mina 74.

“The bistro-style menu complements the high-energy rhythm of Miami Beach,” says Michael, who has restaurants here at Aria, Bellagio and MGM Grand. “It’s not just about the food anymore. It’s a restaurant and a nightlife experience.”

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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