Haute Event: The Epicurean Affair Serves Up Dishes at the Palazzo

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Chef Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino and Executive Chef Zach Allen of Mario Batali's restaurants enjoying gelato.

More than 65 restaurants and beverage purveyors served up their dishes to 1,500 guests at the Pools at the Palazzo for the Epicurean Affair last night. As guests entered the Nevada Restaurant Association’s event, bites from world-class chefs tempted their palates every step of the way.

A aquatic performers entertained in the pool, and fresh seafood options were abound at several of the restaurants. McCormick & Schmick offered guests oysters on the half shell, Tao had spicy tuna handrolls and sashimi, and SushiSamba’s hamachi tartar with cucumber vinaigrette, mango pearls and schichimi-dusted popcorn was a huge hit.

Guests found themselves lined up to sample refined Indian bites from Origin India Restaurant & Bar, as well as STK for their “Little Burgers” made of Wagyu and topped with special sauce on a homemade sesame seed bun. The three restaurants of celebrity chef and restaurateurs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianch — Carnevino, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria — were combined into one fantastic booth manned by Executive Chef Zach Allen. Salumi and other cured meats hung from the rafters and plates of coppa with fresh ricotta and ramps were handed to excited guests.

Chef Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino held a cooking demonstration for interested food lovers on how to make proper gnocchi while Valentino pastry chef Alessandro Stoppa dished out fresh, house made gelato (pistachio seemed the be the favorite flavor of the night). Chef Sammy DeMarco, who later did his own cooking demonstration, was slinging prime rib sliders on a popover bun with a generous side of potent horseradish cream in the First Food and Bar booth.

Sweet endings came from Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man with warm chocolate chip cookies and faux syringes with even more chocolate sauce, and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio Bar & Grill’s red velvet whoopi pies had guest giggling like kids.

Stilt walkers and fire dancers kept the crowd entertained, while live deejays kept the party going. The party atmosphere was so jovial and fun that an impromptu dance battle broke out among the events’ talented guests.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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