Food & Wine All-Star Weekend Kicks Off at Aria Resort & Casino

Aria Director of Beverage Michael Shetler serves guests
A bevy of the world’s top chefs descended on View Bar at ARIA Resort & Casino last night for First Course, the star-studded kick-off party to the FOOD & WINE All-Star Weekend, taking place Oct. 21-23 at ARIA and Bellagio resorts (Pictured above: Aria Director of Beverage Michael Shetler serves guests – Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images)

Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith,Top Chef judge Gail Simmons and Top Chef winners Hosea Rosenberg
Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith,Top Chef judge Gail Simmons and Top Chef winners Hosea Rosenberg

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Celebrating the start to the weekend’s many events were a group of celebrated culinary masters and personalities including powerhouse chefs of ARIA and Bellagio such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Masa Takayama, Shawn McClain and Julian Serrano along with legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccioni.

Top Chef winners Hosea Rosenberg, Stephanie Izard and Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith
Top Chef winners Hosea Rosenberg, Stephanie Izard and Bellagio Director of Wine and Master Sommelier Jason Smith

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Joining them on the red carpet were Bravo TV’s Top Chef alums Stephanie Izard, Hosea Rosenberg, Angelo Sosa and Sam Talbot as well as the weekend’s hostess, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons and FOOD & WINE Contributor Anthony Giglio. Dozens of fans gathered to watch as the luminaries posed for photos and stopped for interviews before heading into ARIA’s chic View Bar to get the party started.

Angelo Sosa, Froilan Sarenas, Shanette Vega and Katie Keinel
Angelo Sosa, Froilan Sarenas, Shanette Vega and Katie Keinel

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Once inside the party, Simmons, who dazzled in a royal blue dress and cream pumps, welcomed the group with a rousing champagne toast. “We had an absolutely amazing weekend last year,” she proclaimed. “I’m so happy to be a part of the festivities again.” The crowd raised their glasses and the party began with passed hors d’oeuvres–Julian Serrano’s Lobster-Pineapple Skewers, Sage’s Foie Gras Brulee and BARMASA’s Seafood Ceviche—providing guests the opportunity to sample the delectable cuisine from ARIA’s world-renowned chefs and restaurants.

Food & Wine contributer Anthony Giglio, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, Aria Vice President of Food & Beverage Christina Clifton and Yigit Pura
Food & Wine contributer Anthony Giglio, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, Aria Vice President of Food & Beverage Christina Clifton and Yigit Pura

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

When the clock struck 11 p.m., the revelry continued at the pulse-pumping UNION Restaurant & Lounge for All-Star Nightcap, the kind of after-party only found at ARIA. Sumptuous desserts such as Frozen Coconut Bites and Chocolate Cremeux from Top Chef Just Desserts Season One winner Yigit Pura were devoured as guests took advantage of their chance to mix and mingle with some of the best chefs on the planet.

Food & Wine contributer Anthony Giglio and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons
Food & Wine contributer Anthony Giglio and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

The epicurean experiences continued on Saturday, Oct. 22 as Chef Shawn McClain and Anthony Giglio hosted A New American Lunch at Sage in ARIA while Gail Simmons and Stephanie Izard join Director of Wine Jason Smith for a Luxe Lunch at Tuscany Kitchen in Bellagio. The main event, All-Star Tasting, took place poolside at ARIA.

Aria Director of Food & Beverage Robert Bigelow serves guests
Aria Director of Food & Beverage Robert Bigelow serves guests

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Guests enjoy the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Guests enjoy the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Guest and Stephanie Izard attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Guest and Stephanie Izard attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Yigit Pura and Angelo Sosa attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Yigit Pura and Angelo Sosa attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Top Chef judge Gail Simmons welcomes guests to the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Top Chef judge Gail Simmons welcomes guests to the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Executive chefs of Aria restaurants: Rob Moore, Vincenzo Scarmiglia, Richard Camarota and Sven Mede
Executive chefs of Aria restaurants: Rob Moore, Vincenzo Scarmiglia, Richard Camarota and Sven Mede

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Bellagio Master Mixologist Matt Myers attends the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Bellagio Master Mixologist Matt Myers attends the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Sirio Maccioni (C) and family attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Sirio Maccioni (C) and family attend the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Chefs Shawn McClain, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Masa Takayama and Julian Serrano
Chefs Shawn McClain, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Masa Takayama and Julian Serrano

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Sushi Chef Taka Sakaeda (L) and Masa Takayama
Sushi Chef Taka Sakaeda (L) and Masa Takayama

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Sam Talbot, Anthony Giglio, Angelo Sosa, Gail Simmons, Hosea Rosenberg, Stephanie Izard and Yigit Pura
Sam Talbot, Anthony Giglio, Angelo Sosa, Gail Simmons, Hosea Rosenberg, Stephanie Izard and Yigit Pura

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Former Top Chef contestants Sam Talbot, Hosea Rosenberg and Stephanie Izard
Former Top Chef contestants Sam Talbot, Hosea Rosenberg and Stephanie Izard

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.

Chef Pierre Gagnaire attends the First Course kick-off party at View Bar
Chef Pierre Gagnaire attends the First Course kick-off party at View Bar

Photo credit: Eric Jamison/Getty Images.