Tag Archives: Crystals

Las Vegas Chefs Battle for Best Chef of the Year honors at James Beard Awards

Three Las Vegas chefs are battling for the coveted title of Best Chef of the Year Southwest in the 2010 James Beard Awards, and several other Strip chefs are represented in the Oscars of the food industry, as well. 

The finalists were announced last week in New Orleans, and the winners will be announced May 3 at New York’s Lincoln Center. 

The three Best Chefs of the Southwest finalists are the off-Strip Saipan Chutima from Lotus of Siam, Claude Le Tohic from Joël Robuchon at MGM and Rick Moonen from RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. 

Michael Mina from MGM, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio and Aria is recognized twice in the prestigious awards: His RN74 in San Francisco is nominated for Best New Restaurant, and his self-named restaurant, also in the City by the Bay, is nominated for Outstanding Service, competing against Robuchon’s restaurant at MGM Grand.

Robuchon’s MGM pastry chef Kamel Guechuda is up for the Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year. 

Chef Tom Colicchio, well known to foodies here for his Craft at MGM and as host of Bravo’s Top Chef, is nominated as Outstanding Chef of the Year for his original Craft in Manhattan. 

Two other New York chefs with outposts in Las Vegas will also battle in the Outstanding Restaurant Award category: Mario Batali, who has restaurants at The Venetian and Palazzo, has been nominated for his Babbo in New York City and Daniel Boulud from the Wynn for his Daniel in Manhattan. 

Timothy Hollingsworth, former Venetian chef for Thomas Keller Brasserie and now at Thomas’ French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., has been nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year. 

In other Las Vegas chef news, Todd English from Bellagio and Aria was nominated for Best TV Special for Food Trip With Todd English, as was The Venetian and Palazzo’s Emeril Lagasse who will go head-to-head with English in the TV category for Emeril’s Culinary Adventures: Napa

And architect and designer David Rockwell, who has masterminded numerous Las Vegas restaurants, Crystals at MGM’s CityCenter and the show Peepshow at Planet Hollywood, will be inducted into the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

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CityCenter Gets Ready to Blossom in Las Vegas – Opening Schedule

In just three short months, the world will be introduced to CityCenter in Las Vegas. An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, CityCenter will debut a new era of resort experiences with an ambition to refine and redefine Las Vegas. 

Conceived to bring a true center to The Strip, CityCenter will be much more than a collection of resorts and residences; it will rather be a true community – a welcoming environment for people to gather, relax and enjoy. Great pedestrian corridors, dynamic public spaces, authentic richness and diversity of experiences will voke the energy of the world’s most exciting places. 

CityCenter’s public Fine Art Collection will enliven the street and engage passersby. As if in a trolling gallery, guests will happen upon works by world-renowned artists such as Maya Lin or Nancy Rubins as they wander through CityCenter’s walkways, hotels and residences. 

Upon opening, CityCenter will be one of the largest sustainable developments in existence, bringing a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. The U.S. Green Building Council already has awarded Gold LEED(R) certification to ARIA’s hotel tower, convention center and theater; as well as Vdara Hotel. CityCenter’s remaining venues are poised to receive a combination of Silver and Gold LEED(R) ratings.

(Prior to this, Las Vegas Backstage Access has written many articles on specific venues.  Please use the search feature to find under, “CityCenter.”) 

CITYCENTER’S GRAND OPENING SCHEDULE: 

    —  Vdara Hotel – December 1, 2009

    —  Crystals retail and entertainment district – December 3, 2009

    —  Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas – December 4, 2009

    —  ARIA Resort & Casino – December 16, 2009

    —  The Harmon – Late 2010 

Residential occupancies slated to begin mid-January 2010.

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Eva Longoria Brings Beso Restaurant to Las Vegas

The City Center in Las Vegas is in full development and Las Vegas is pulling in Hollywood’s hottest entrepreneur, Eva Longoria to bring her favorite culinary delights. EvaLangoria

With the success of her Hollywood restaurant Beso, Eva will be bringing it to the Las Vegas Strip inside Crystals, CityCenter’s planned retail and entertainment district

Last week, Eva took some time off of her hit TV show Desperate Housewives and headed to Las Vegas to meet with Bobby Baldwin, CityCenter’s President and CEO; and Frank Visconti, President of Crystals at CityCenter, to discuss the highly anticipated Las Vegas debut of her famed restaurant and nightclub, Beso Las Vegas

Beso will take a Latin approach to classic steakhouse cuisine, featuring an eclectic and contemporary dinner menu for which Eva shares her own recipes. Since Beso’s Hollywood grand opening in 2008, it has become the stomping ground for Hollywood stars attracting such names as David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, among others.

Located at the forefront of CityCenter, Crystals will combine dramatic architecture with exclusive offerings from the world’s most elite brands to become a key Las Vegas shopping destination.  Large-format luxury retailers Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Prada, Christian Dior will be among its brands. Additional retailers will include Tom Ford, Miu Miu, Paul Smith, Porsche Design among others.

Looks like Hollywood will be finding a new home in Sin City this December.

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MGM’s CityCenter in Las Vegas Announces Huge Retail Lineup

CrystalsCityCenter, the multi-use development opening later this year on the Las Vegas Strip, announced a collection of unique luxury retailers and restaurateurs that will join the lineup at Crystals, a 500,000 square-foot retail and dining district.

Planned to open December 3, Crystals will showcase a large and varied array of the world’s most exclusive retailers including many flagship stores.  For many of these brands, the Crystals’ location will represent their largest business in Las Vegas, the United States, or in some cases, the world.

Large-format luxury retailers that are planning to establish Crystals as a preeminent international shopping destination include Prada, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Carolina Herrera, Hermes, Roberto Cavalli, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Versace. These brands will join previously announced retailers Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Ermenegildo Zegna. 

Unique-to-the-market retailers opening their first locations in Las Vegas include Tom Ford,  Assouline, Kiton, Miu Miu, Paul Smith and Porsche Design, along with the previously announced de Grisogono, H. Stern, Marni, Boutique Tourbillon and Mikimoto.  Restaurants opening their first Las Vegas locations at Crystals include Eva Longoria Parker’s Beso and Mastro’s Ocean Club Seafood House.  These upscale restaurants will join an exciting new Pub concept by Todd English and two previously announced new concepts by Wolfgang Puck.

Other prestigious retailers joining Crystals’ lineup include Bally, Emilio Pucci and Ilori.  Additionally, Dale Chihuly will introduce a stunning new gallery.

The Taubman Company, the world’s leading developer of upscale shopping centers, is responsible for the leasing of Crystals.

 “We’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of retailers and restaurateurs to make Crystals one of the world’s most unique shopping and entertainment districts when it opens this December,” said Frank Visconti, president of retail for CityCenter.  “Crystals will delight guests with its unique architecture, awe-inspiring interior design, brilliant art and intriguing water features.  These experiential offerings, coupled with exclusive items from the industry’s most celebrated brands, will make Crystals a premier social and cultural environment in the heart of CityCenter.”

An architectural achievement that integrates the talents of world-renowned artists, architects and designers, CityCenter plans to attract visitors from around the world, being a landmark for global taste and style.  In addition to Crystals, CityCenter will feature ARIA Resort & Casino, a 4,004-room gaming resort; three luxurious non-gaming hotels including Las Vegas’ first Mandarin Oriental, Vdara Hotel and The Harmon (slated to open in late 2010); Veer Towers, the development’s only strictly residential buildings; and a Fine Art Collection. 

Mandarin Oriental, Vdara and Veer Towers will include approximately 2,400 residences.

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