Haute Event: UNLVino Kicks Off with Wolfgang Puck at Spago

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Wolfgang Puck prepares grilled shrimp. Photos: Matt Carter/LV Action Images
Wolfgang Puck prepares grilled shrimp. Photos: Matt Carter/LV Action Images

Nevada’s original wine festival, UNLVino, kicked off its 40th anniversary with a night of exceptional food and wine at the second annual Sip & Savor at Spago on Wednesday night. World-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck was honored at the event, and guests sampled exquisite dishes from his acclaimed array of Las Vegas restaurants while imbibing on renowned wine selections. A portion of the proceeds from the night went to the UNLVino scholarship fund at William F. Harrah’s College of Hotel Administration.

A special ceremony took place to present chef Puck the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence for his immense contributions to the Las Vegas culinary and business community. UNLVino’s founder, Larry Ruvo of Southern Wine & Spirits, UNLV’s Hotel College Dean Dr. Stowe Shoemaker, and UNLV student Jessica Gordon presented Chef Puck with the prestigious honor.

“It’s because of all of you here that Las Vegas is a fabulous city,” Chef Puck told the crowd. “With people like Larry Ruvo, the city has become a place where people truly want to give back.”

Guests dined on dishes from chef Puck’s six Las Vegas restaurants including true Japanese Wagyu Steak sliced to order from CUT; Eggs Benedict 2014 from host restaurant Spago; Risotto Frutti di Mare from Lupo; Handmade Butternut Squash Agnolotti with crisp pancetta from Postrio; an array of signature wood-oven baked pizzas from Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina; and Kobe Flank Steak Tacos from Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. Renowned pastry chef Kamel Guechida created an extravagant dessert buffet complete with make-your-own s’mores, Salted Caramel Verine, Strawberry Basil Gazpacho Shooters, Cheesecake Lollipops, and an assortment of petit fours and chocolates.

The wine flowed the whole night through, with guests sipping on varietals from Wolfgang Puck’s personal collection as well as Holdredge, DAOU, Kistler, HALL/WALT, Chehalem, Robert Kacher, Cain, Henriot, Patz & Hall, Robert Talbott, Au Bon Climat, Enotec, Old Bridge Cellars, The Sorting Table, Marimar Torres, Swanson, Treasury Heirloom, Biale, Heitz and Emeritus.

Local Las Vegas comedians Brad Garrett and Carrot Top stopped by the event to show their support for the fundraiser, as well.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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