Grill Challenge Turns up the Heat with Celebrity Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Michael Mina during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit

April 27, 2015 by  

Grill Challenge Turns up the Heat with Celebrity Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Michael Mina during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit
Chase Sapphire Preferred
 and Bon Appétit hosted the third annual Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge, Saturday, April 25, during the ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit. Scholarship funds totaling $25,000 were awarded to Le Cordon Bleu students, courtesy of Chase Sapphire Preferred, to further their culinary education.

Pictured: Culinary students Elsa Sabellano Jenstad, left, and Krista Burdick, pose with chefs Emeril Lagasse, left, and Michael Mina at the Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge during Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision for Chase Sapphire Preferred/AP Images)

Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, Emeril Lagasse, chef / proprietor of Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Delmonico Steakhouse and more, and Michael Mina, James Beard Award-winning chef and Founder of MINA Group, faced off in the ultimate live grilling challenge. The acclaimed chefs partnered with two students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, Elsa Sabellano Jenstad and Krista Burdick, during Emeril’s New Orleans Seafood Extravaganza at the MGM Grand.

VIDEO: Introduction – Emeril Lagasse vs Michael Mina
and two Le Cordon Bleu students

Video credit: Chris Rauschnot @24kMedia

With the chefs cooking alongside the lucky students, the teams prepared Bouillabaisse, a traditional French dish. Emcee Andrew Knowlton, Restaurant and Drinks Editor at Bon Appétit, turned up the heat when he announced black garlic as the “culinary curveball.” Impressing the judging panel, Chef Mina and Krista Burdick took a classic approach preparing Bouillabaisse with seared scallops and snapper. While Chef Lagasse and Elsa Sabellano Jenstad served the dish with lemongrass for a Filipino flare.

“The Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge is an exciting event for Vegas Uncork’d and the local culinary community,” said Chef Emeril Lagasse. “It is a great opportunity to work alongside the future of the culinary world with the students from Le Cordon Bleu.”

“I am thrilled to be part of this culinary challenge with my fellow chefs,” said Chef Michael Mina. “The Chase Sapphire Preferred Grill Challenge is a fun and unique way to further the education of talented culinary students in Las Vegas.”

The sizzling competition came down to the palettes of three judges, including:

  • Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief, Bon Appétit
  • Alison Roman, senior food editor, Bon Appétit
  • Rochelle Billow, associate web editor, Bon Appétit

After much deliberation, the panel named team Emeril the winning team of the Grill Challenge. Elsa Sabellano Jenstad received a $20,000 scholarship and runner-up, Krista Burdick, was awarded $5,000 to fund their culinary educations, courtesy of Chase Sapphire Preferred.

VIDEO: Winner! Team Emeril

Video credit: Chris Rauschnot @24kMedia

“It’s exciting to be a part of an event like this, which matches up-and-coming talent with seasoned celebrity chefs,” said Lisa Walker, General Manager at Chase Sapphire. “Chase Sapphire Preferred is proud to provide scholarship funds to further these students’ culinary educations, and delighted to work with chefs Emeril Lagasse and Michael Mina to deliver such a unique experience – fueled by rich, culinary passion.”

The ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit and Las Vegas, in partnership with ARIA, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and Chase Sapphire Preferred ran April 23-26. The food festival features top chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Julian Serrano, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Mina, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and more.

As a presenting sponsor of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit, Chase Sapphire Preferred offered cardmembers the ability to redeem Ultimate Rewards points or purchase tickets to select Vegas Uncork’d events – and enjoy exclusive perks, such as VIP lounge at the Grand Tasting featuring bites from Emeril Lagasse and a special Master Series Dinner demonstration from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

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