Georgina Vaughan Photography
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Miss USA Pageant
Glamorous Las Vegas restaurant manager Chelsea Caswell is getting ready to invite her 2013 Miss USA Pageant rivals to the Strip for the 2-hour competition airing on NBC from Planet Hollywood on June 16.
Blonde beauty Chelsea, who worked at the Wynn and Encore as a beverage supervisor, has just been promoted to manager of Andrea’s, the Asian dining hotspot named after hotel tycoon Steve Wynn’s British wife.
In advance of the pageant, Chelsea posed for new photographs with pageant photographer Georgina Vaughan, and Vegas DeLuxe has the first look.
Reigning Miss USA Nana Meriwether, who inherited the title from 2012 winner Olivia Culpo when she won Donald Trump’s Miss Universe Pageant last December at Planet Hollywood, will give up her crown at the Strip competition. Both queens, along with 2012 Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb, will attend this year’s telecast.
Chelsea, a first-time pageant competitor, won the Nevada title Jan. 27 at UNLV, with Amanda Jenkins crowned Miss Nevada Teen USA. Chelsea captivated judges with her personality, confidence and beauty, especially her amazing eyes. She’s the oldest of four children from the Midwest who moved here for the hospitality industry.
Steve has given Chelsea time off to compete in the pageant and promises to be front row to cheer her on alongside a contingent of her co-workers. She told me: “I’m looking forward to a continued career with the Wynn organization whatever happens. I’m also looking forward to telling all the other competitors how wonderful Las Vegas truly is.” Check out her competitors at MissUniverse.com. The hosts, judges and entertainment for the pageant will be announced shortly.
NO WINNERS, BUT TWO HONORS: Once again, Las Vegas chefs and restaurants were shut out at Monday night’s New York-based James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food world. However, two chefs with strong ties to the Strip were recognized with high honors.
The Humanitarian of the Year honor went to Emeril Lagasse, whose Emeril Lagasse Foundation in New Orleans supports nonprofit and educational programs aimed at disadvantaged children. Emeril has three restaurants here, two at The Venetian/Palazzo, and one at MGM Grand.
The group’s efforts, which are focused in communities where Emeril has restaurants, have included creating an outdoor classroom, school gardens, a fresh foods cafeteria and a culinary learning center. “To me, it’s not about the award; it’s about what I do,” Emeril told Fox News. “I do this for the kids, so I’m looking forward to sharing that.”
Andre Agassi’s restaurant partner Michael Mina, who has restaurants at Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and MGM Grand, was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America at the gala in New York’s Lincoln Center. Our hometown tennis hero and Michael are partners in more than 20 restaurants they’ve opened in the past decade. Michael’s San Francisco flagship was awarded two Michelin stars, and Esquire Magazine voted it Restaurant of the Year in 2011.
Michael and I always laugh back to the time when as a teen, he wrote me for advice while watching “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” every Sunday night. He wanted to become a celebrity chef with his own restaurant empire. I urged him to go to the Culinary Institute of America, and he did against his father’s wishes. Then he wrote me at my Food Network talk show to say he’d successfully graduated. One of his first kitchen assignments was at the Bel Air Hotel restaurant that he cold called after it appeared on “Lifestyles.”
“The rest is history,” he always jokes with me.
Michael Kosta, Ahmed Bharoocha and John Crist headline at The Improv at Harrah’s through Sunday.
The Spazmatics are at Rockhouse in The Venetian.
The Tuesday Blend Project is at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
Swing dancing is at Artifice Downtown.
The All-Night Long party returns to Lavo at Palazzo with DJ Dash Berlin.
The industry’s top bartender contest with $10,000 in cash and prizes is at 1OAK in The Mirage.
Part 2 of our exclusive interview with former Mayor Oscar Goodman as he talks about his years of representing the Mob in courtroom battles against the government. Heather Graham talks “The Hangover Part 3” for her cover shoot celebrating the 10th anniversary of our sister Vegas Magazine, and gorgeous models seeking to be the face of Mandalay Bay are shocked to discover that they first have to learn the hotel business from bottom to top.
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 VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.