In the 38 previous years the Grand Tasting marked the end of the UNLVino weekend celebration. The 39th year brought yet another event to enjoy. The inaugural “BAR-b-q” was held on a beautiful Sunday morning at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Walking into the very unique building of the Cleveland Clinic Ruvo Center put guests in awe of its architecture which closely resembles a Brain. This “brain” however, on this day was full of celebrity chefs, mixologists and an eclectic mix of wine, beer and spirits.
Just inside the entrance, guests got the spirited afternoon going by stopping at Flight 69 Gin complete with flight attendants and a pilot pouring their gin cocktail. Guests could even choose to be abducted by Alein Tequia and restaurant Mundo before you even walk into the main room.
The Main room was all abuzz with spirits, dishes and celebrity chefs. A first stop for many was Poppy Den and a visit with Top Chef Angelo Sosa for a photo op, conversation and his unique tasty creations that he is famous for. Looking across the room, we noticed yet another big name chef and headed in his direction. Chef Scott Conant needs no introduction as he is well known for “Chopped” , other shows and of course his renowned Scarpetta Restaurants .
This Chef / Restaurateur / TV host was on hand serving guests, signing autographs, posing for photos and being the all around great person he is. Guests also got a bonus treat when Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto stopped in to “hang out “and enjoy the inaugural festivities as well.
In addition to these world renowned Chefs, local celebrity Chefs and restaurants provided attendees many of their Classic dishes. Local Celebrity Chef Gustav Mauler was on hand as well as local favorites Fiamma and Sibuya at the MGM Resort , The Four Seasons Charlie Palmer and Todd English PUB just to name a few.
The Bar-b-q was not just about food. The afternoon was elevated even higher with craft-cocktail creations by Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi. “We are pleased to introduce BAR-b-q as UNLVino’s first mixology-focused event,” said Michael Severino, Director of Marketing & Special Events for Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. “Given Las Vegas’ burgeoning mixology scene, the talents of Francesco Lafranconi and a truly extraordinary event venue, we are excited for BAR-b-q to join the ranks of UNLVino’s longstanding, signature events.”
This high end event also recognized MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella , an alumnus of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and 25-year hospitality industry veteran. Sibella was recognized with the Dom Perignon Award for Excellence by distinguishing himself through inspirational leadership, character and work ethic.
The Inaugural UNLVino Bar BQ with its A-list mixologists and chefs provided guests a lovely, intimate afternoon with delicious bites and enticing spirits that is sure to be added to UNLVino events in the future. We are already thinking about what next year’s Bar BQ will bring