Desert Companion

Two Great Tastes

May is a great month for getting a taste of the town. Two culinary events — the venerable Strip-centric Vegas Uncork’d and locally focused Vegas UnStripped — serve up multiple courses of chef meet-and-greets, themed dinners and parties. Which one is right for you?

Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit May 10-13

Vegas Uncork’d returns to the Strip for its 12th year, a whirlwind of fine food, high-concept mixology, and culinary starpower. Headliners include lots of high-wattage names — Guy Savoy, Michael Mina, Giada De Laurentiis, Julian Serrano, to name a few, and includes events such as “An Anniversary Celebration at Nobu,” and “Rao’s Remembers Frank Sr.” The roster also includes Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace, Sunset Clambake at The Cosmopolitan, The Mob Museum, and CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Palazzo.

Go if you’re: a jet-setting foodie who unabashedly embraces the term “foodie” and knows someone who knows someone who once ate at El Bulli.

This kinda captures the vibe: “The Chefs of Thomas Keller Present a French Soirée.”

Glam to nom ratio: 1:1

Support comes from

Suggested Instagram filters: Valencia, Amaro



Vegas UnStripped May 12

This inaugural, one-night food festival aims to be a celebration of the Las Vegas Valley’s independent, off-Strip talent. Slated to take place in Downtown’s Arts District, chefs include Chefs Brian Howard (Sparrow + Wolf), Chris Decker (Metro Pizza/Lulus Bread & Breakfast), Dan Krohmer (Other Mama), James Trees (Esther’s Kitchen), Jamie Tran (The Black Sheep), Jason Olson (Paid In Full), Sheridan Su (Flock & Fowl/Fat Choy), Khai Vu (District One/Le Pho/Mordeo Boutique Wine Bar) and more.

Go if you’re: an earthy, unfussy gastronome who sees the major food groups represented in a legit bowl of pho and an Old Fashioned.

This kinda captures the vibe: Chef Howard might just roast an entire pig.

Glam to nom ratio: 1:3

Suggested Instagram filters: Lo-Fi, Brannan


If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!

KNPR and NPR Thank-You Gifts including t-shirts hoodies and cap

More Stories