Celebrity Chefs Headline UNLVino's 1st Annual BAR-B-Q Affair April 21

UNLVino is expanding to four days of spectacular events by introducing a mixology-focused “BAR-b-q” on Sunday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Angelo Sosa and Gustav Mauler; craft cocktails by Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi; and farm-to-table, gourmet fare from a collection of Las Vegas’ favorite restaurants.

UNLVino Wine Tasting Event
UNLVino “Fall in Love Again” From April 18-21

Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada has enlisted local farmers to provide the freshest spring produce for UNLVino’s first BAR-b-q, a high-end epicurean affair honoring MGM Grand President and COO Scott Sibella.

“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.”

BAR-b-q guests will enjoy world-class cuisine and beverages amongst the incredible Frank Gehry architecture of the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Live entertainment will be provided by Richard Femenella & the Chris Hermes Band.


Honoree Scott Sibella. One of four industry leaders to receive the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence at the 39th annual UNLVino, MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella will be the guest of honor at BAR-b-q. An alumnus of UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and 25-year hospitality industry veteran, Sibella will be recognized for distinguishing himself through inspirational leadership, character and work ethic.

Farm-to-Table Cuisine. Celebrity chefs Scott Conant of Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. Enoteca (The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas), Poppy Den’s Angelo Sosa and Gustav Mauler of Spiedini (JW Marriott) will showcase signature dishes from their critically acclaimed restaurants. Guests also will indulge with farm-fresh fare from Charlie Palmer Steak (Four Seasons Hotel), Diego (MGM Grand), Fiamma Trattoria & Bar (MGM Grand), Mundo (World Market Center), Shibuya (MGM Grand) and Todd English P.U.B. (The Shops at Crystals). Menu highlights include:

  • Charlie Palmer Steak: Devil’s Gulch BBQ Pork Belly with Hatch green chili rub, pomegranate molasses and celeriac slaw
  • Diego: Shrimp Ceviche Verde marinated in lime and orange juice with avocado mousse
  • Fiamma Trattoria & Bar: Cannoli Di Primavera stuffed with fresh ricotta
  • Mundo: Sweet Chicken Tamale
  • Poppy Den: Korean BBQ Short Rib with green apple and cucumber kimchi
  • Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. Enoteca: Balsamic Glazed Short Ribs and Caramel Budino
  • Shibuya: Hamachi Jalapeno on Yuba Chip
  • Spiedini: Char-Siu Chinese Roasted Pork Tenderloin with house-baked slider buns and fennel apple slaw; BBQ Brisket Arancini of slow-roasted beef brisket with a honey bourbon glaze, nestled in a delicate risotto ball
  • Todd English P.U.B.: Scallops with scrambled eggs, Chilaquiles, Ancho barbeque sauce, smoked corn and Cotija cheese

Craft Cocktails & Premium Spirits
One of the world’s foremost mixologists, Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada’s Francesco Lafranconi, will stir up a menu of BAR-b-q-exclusive libations incorporating locally sourced ingredients at three bars throughout the event. Commonwealth, Downtown Las Vegas’ hottest new bar also will delight guests with its renowned classic cocktails.

Serving as an ambassador for his family’s hundred-year-old whiskey dynasty, Eddie Russell of Wild Turkey Bourbon will be in attendance, a testament to UNLVino’s prominence in the beverage industry. Beverages will be provided by Absolut, Bundaberg, Campari, Diageo, Dripping Springs, Fiji, Flight 69, Sauza and United States Beverage.

Fresh Local Produce
Unique to this event, local farms will bring a taste of spring with fresh produce to be incorporated into BAR-b-q’s culinary and cocktail menus. Hydro Greens and Two Lazy Sisters Farm will provide early-season greens and herbs such as lettuce, peas, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and basil, which also will be available for guests’ enjoyment in their purest forms. Additional farms will be confirmed in the coming weeks; visit UNLVino.com for up-to-date information on BAR-b-q participants.

Live Entertainment
The BAR-b-q “soundtrack” will come courtesy of Richard Femenella & the Chris Hermes Band, whose soulful sounds have been refined through decades of performing. Guests will groove to musical selections ranging in genre from cool jazz to soft rock, with live renditions of songs by iconic artists such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Etta James.

A time-honored Las Vegas tradition, the 39th annual UNLVino will welcome wine, beer and spirit enthusiasts for four days of tasting events, April 18 to 21: Bubble-Licious at The Venetian, Sake Fever at The Mirage, The Grand Tasting at Paris Las Vegas, and BAR-b-q at the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. This year’s theme is “Fall in Love Again,” a concept inspired by internationally renowned artist Romero Britto’s Las Vegas-themed painting created exclusively for the event.

Tickets are $100 in advance and $125 at the door and are now on sale at UNLVTickets.com.

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Bill Cody is an entertainment, technology and luxury travel reporter in Las Vegas. He reports on celebrities, events, tech, food, Las Vegas and luxury travel.

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