Haute Event: Top Chefs Serve Up Their Best at the Food & Wine All-Star Tasting

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Jean-Philippe Maury and Aria chefs during the All-Star Tasting.

The Food & Wine All-Star Weekend’s main event, the All-Star Tasting, dazzled guests last night at Aria, where they were treated to an array of culinary creations served poolside from some of the world’s hottest culinary stars.

The doors opened at 7 p.m. as renowned chefs Julian Serrano, Masa Takayama, Michael Mina, Shawn McClain, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean-Philippe Maury and Pierre Gagnaire manned elegant booths that circled Aria pool, ready to deliver tantalizing cuisine from their award-winning restaurants. Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” alums Hosea Rosenberg, Sam Talbot, Stephanie Izard, Yigit Pura and Angelo Sosa also were eager to impress fan’s palates with delicious fare.

Hostess Gail Simmons was thrilled to be involved with the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend for the second time, and ensured the crowd by declaring, “I can honestly say that I’m so excited to be back here in Las Vegas at the beautiful and luxurious Aria and Bellagio resorts.” She went on to invite the crowd to, “Eat, drink and live it up,” and guests wasted no time following her advice, taking the opportunity to get acquainted with the A-list culinary geniuses.

Foodies found themselves satiating their appetites with inventive new takes on classic comfort food such as glazed pork belly from Shawn McClain’s Sage and goat and peanut Thai-style stew being dished up by “Top Chef” Season Four winner Stephanie Izard. Michael Mina offered his signature shrimp and grits skewers while “Top Chef” cheftestant Sam Talbot provided fish tacos with avocado and lime. Extraordinary sweet creations were personally being served to guests by “Top Chef Just Desserts” Season One winner Yigit Pura who was all smiles as he gushed about his latest venture set to open in San Francisco in May 2012.

Gourmet food connoisseurs also made sure to enjoy luxurious booths Bar Masa, Sirio Ristorante and Jean Georges Steakhouse. Serving braised short ribs, Alaskan king crab and leek salad and truffle cheese fritters respectively, guests eagerly stood in line to experience the incredible cuisine and to get a glimpse of their favorite chef. A relaxed setting amongst the lush landscape of the Aria pool mixed with easy listening tracks by DJ R.O.B. provided an enjoyable, fun atmosphere for all.

Food & Wine All-Star Weekend will come to an end today with a Champagne and caviar brunch, hosted by Food & Wine contributing editor Anthony Giglio at Jasmine inside Bellagio.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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