The Venetian in Las Vegas brought in an international roster of celebrated chefs including Thomas Keller and Curtis Stone to celebrate Ultimo — A Weekend of Excellence, an event to support m’entor BKB Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and preserve the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.
Now in its fourth year, Ultimo took luxury to new heights with an all-new theme, “Le Grand Voyage,” which unfolded around The Venetian and The Palazzo, and, for the first time ever, across the Las Vegas valley.
The weekend included the Saturday night return of the Grand Banquet in the iconic Grand Colonnade. More than 140 guests dined together at the 153-foot-long table, adorned with $2 million worth of crystal objets d’art from French luxury lifestyle brand Lalique.
Chefs Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, Emma Bengtsson, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Vikram Vij, Pierre Thiam, Paul Bartolotta, Shaun Hergatt and Mourad Lahlou prepared a decadent international-inspired dinner, transporting guests around the world with courses celebrating each chef’s country of origin.
Each course was complemented with lavish champagnes and wines from Dom Perignon, Daou Vineyards, Marqués de Murrieta, Memento Mori and Pio Cesare. Wine highlights included the debut of Dao Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon Patrimony, which has earned 99 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.; and Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial 1986, a white Rioja that earned 100 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.
“Ultimo is one of those dinners where we bring our colleagues together, we bring our friends together, we bring our suppliers together, and our able to really give to those guests tonight an extraordinary experience,” said chef Thomas Keller. “And at the same time, have an extraordinary experience ourselves. So that’s what it’s all about.”
“This will never happen again — this collection of chefs, this collection of servers, this collection of guests — will never ever exist again… so it was very unique,” said chef Curtis Stone.
Earlier on Saturday, guests were whisked to the beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, to enjoy several unique morning experiences including a hot-air balloon ride, the Rolls Royce driving experience and a Dom Pérignon picnic prepared by chef Thomas Keller.