Haute Event: Food & Wine All-Star Weekend Kicks Off at Aria

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Some of the world’s top chefs descended on View Bar at Aria at CityCenter last night for First Course, the star-studded kick-off party to the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend. A group of celebrated culinary masters and personalities including powerhouse chefs of Aria and Bellagio such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Masa Takayama, Shawn McClain and Julian Serrano along with legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccioni got the weekend culinary event started last night. Joining them on the red carpet were Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” alums Stephanie Izard, Hosea Rosenberg, Angelo Sosa and Sam Talbot as well as the weekend’s hostess, “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons and Food & Wine contributor Anthony Giglio. Dozens of fans gathered to watch as the luminaries posed for photos and stopped for interviews before heading into Aria’s chic View Bar to get the party started.

Once inside the party, Simmons, who dazzled in a royal blue dress and cream pumps, welcomed the group with a rousing champagne toast. “We had an absolutely amazing weekend last year,” she proclaimed. “I’m so happy to be a part of the festivities again.” The crowd raised their glasses and the party began with passed hors d’oeuvres including Julian Serrano’s lobster-pineapple skewers, Sage’s foie gras brulee and Bar Masa’s seafood ceviche, which gave guests the opportunity to sample the cuisine from Aria’s world-renowned chefs and restaurants.

When the clock struck 11 p.m., the revelry continued at the pulse-pumping Union Restaurant & Lounge for All-Star Nightcap. Sumptuous desserts such as frozen coconut bites and chocolate cremeux from “Top Chef Just Desserts” Season One winner Yigit Pura were devoured as guests took advantage of their chance to mix and mingle with some of the best chefs on the planet.

The epicurean experiences continue today when Chef Shawn McClain and Anthony Giglio host “A New American Lunch” at Sage in Aria while Gail Simmons and Stephanie Izard join Director of Wine Jason Smith for a “Luxe Lunch” at Tuscany Kitchen in Bellagio. The main event, All-Star Tasting, will take place at 7 p.m. poolside at Aria.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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