Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2018

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Photos: ‘Iron Chef’ Morimoto leads Taste America dine-around at Mirage Pool

Taste America at Mirage Pool

Yasmina Chavez

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, right, poses for a photo with guests during the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: “Local Flavor From Coast to Coast” dine-around at the Mirage Pool on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.

Taste America With Masaharu Morimoto

Chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Burger at the Mirage offered guests the 180 burger with barbecue ranch spiced dirty potato chips during the James Beard Foundation's Taste America: Launch slideshow »

Fall is fantastic for food in Las Vegas, and Taste America events benefiting the James Beard Foundation over the weekend were proof.

Chef Akira Back hosted a chef tasting reception at his Yellowtail in the Bellagio on Friday afternoon, while chefs Joel Robuchon, Claude Le-Tohic and Steve Benjamin hosted a tasting reception for chefs Friday night at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand.

Saturday night’s outdoor dine-around at Mirage Pool, with perfect weather, included Masaharu Morimoto, who is opening a restaurant at the Mirage next year; Christian Schmidt (Mirage); Eric Klein (Spago); Brian Massie (Stack); Laurent Tourondel (BLT Burger); and Malcolm Mitchell (Mint Gastro Pub in Richmond, Va.).

Plus, James Beard Award winners Saipin Chutima (Lotus of Siam, and I believe the only female James Beard Award winner in town), Luciano Pellegrini (Valentino), Paul Bartolotta (Ristorante di Mare) and Francois Payard (Payard).

The standout beverage of the evening was Beau Joie Champagne (rose and brut), in taste and look — produced in Epernay, France, the bubbly is crisp and clean to the finish, and, most strikingly, the bottles are covered in 100 percent copper armor, inspired by Knights and Royalty (the premise for making Champagne for the king of France), that is second-generation recycled material.

Champagne with a conscience and culture. We’ll toast to that.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

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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