LAS VEGAS, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Coming to Las Vegas this holiday season: the inaugural Food University at Caesars Palace, taking place Dec. 11 through 13. The event is designed to transform fun-loving foodies from across the country from spectators into competition-ready chefs—who just might end up being the star of their own TV cooking show!
Food University is collaboration among Caesars Palace, philanthropist and hospitality industry leader Larry Ruvo, Food Network co-founder Robin Leach and veteran culinary entertainment producer Richard Gore. Food University's culinary faculty will include James Beard Award-winning Chef Alex Stratta; acclaimed cheese expert Laura Werlin, author of the James Beard Award-winning "All-American Cheese and Wine Book"; chef and TV personality Claudine Pepin; and Anne Dolce, cook editor, The Daily Meal. Chef Bradford Thompson, winner of Food and Wine magazine's Best New Chef Award and the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest, will serve as Food University's culinary director.
Student volunteers from the University of Nevada Las Vegas' prestigious hospitality school will assist with back-of-house preparations. Proceeds from Food University "admissions" will go to Keep Memory Alive, dedicated to finding cures for brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and ALS.
Unlike any other food festival or culinary event, Food University offers food lovers a chance to rub elbows with top chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, cheese experts, fine food purveyors and even farmers—who will serve as Food U "faculty"— as they learn during three exhilarating days of culinary curriculum presented at the iconic Caesars Palace Las Vegas. These "scholars" will not merely eat, drink and learn in the presence of lauded chefs; indeed, they will enthusiastically don their chef whites and dedicate themselves to expanding their knowledge on the finer points of creating exceptional cuisine from celebrity chef "professors."
In addition to the dynamic three-day schedule covering every essential cooking technique, there will be private, VIP "field seminars." These off-site seminars will include an opening-week, behind-the-scenes tour of Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, as well as the Southern Wine and Spirits Hospitality Mixology program with Mixologist Francesco LaFranconi, normally available only to hotel and restaurant executives.
The first Food University session will accommodate up to 80 culinary scholars.
"Our students are true food lovers: The person who has always wanted to be right there learning in the kitchens with the world's greatest chefs and religiously watches cooking shows. They're passionate about their food and have always wanted to cook like a top chef at home but didn't quite have the time to enroll in a class for a semester or two," says Richard Gore, managing director, Food University. "We're committed to delivering a guest experience that is as memorable for participating celebrity chefs as it is for those attending as culinary scholars."
The inaugural event will culminate in a festive—and well-deserved—ceremony for Food U's first graduating class. They will receive the coveted Food University "Enlightened Palate" diploma. In addition, each student enrolled for the first classes will receive a private VIP invitation for a never-before-seen prestigious wineries tour in Napa Valley previously off-limits to the public.
"Enlightening, informative, illuminating learning and immeasurable fun cooking with great chefs, enjoying spirits with superb mixologists, wines with excellent sommeliers, all of this in America's most exciting city—Las Vegas—and at the world-renowned Caesars Palace, says Larry Ruvo, founder, Keep Memory Alive. "Rest well before the first classes—you are going to need your energy, not only to retain all of the knowledge, but for all of the excitement Food University will bring to your life."
Robin Leach added: "Vegas has been recognized as one of the most important food capitals of the world with its cadre of celebrity chefs. Now, for the first time, our food stars teach their secrets on an intimate close-up basis. And instead of vanishing from town, the profits stay here for the incredible work and science breakthroughs of Keep Memory Alive."
Caesars Palace already offers a stunning array of culinary offerings but this will be the experience that creates a one-of-a-kind culinary immersion unlike any other. "The Food University experience is practically priceless," concludes Gary Selesner, president, Caesars Palace. "This is the event food enthusiasts have been waiting for. Imagine being able to cook side by side with such a collection of incredible chefs – we're honored to be able to host the inaugural session and, best of all, proceeds benefit a good cause. What a great way to spend the holiday season."
Sponsors for the inaugural Food University Las Vegas at Caesars Palace are cookware manufacturer Fagor America and The Daily Meal, Spanfeller Media Group's (SMG) mega food site, which will be the digital media sponsor of the event. The Daily Meal's own Anne Dolce will attend events, including teaching a class titled "The Essentials in Cooking." Now with more than 7.2 million unique visitors monthly, The Daily Meal will provide its community with everything they need to know about Food University Las Vegas by integrating editorial, video and campaign coverage throughout the site and across social media platforms.
"Tuition" is $1,995 per person for the three day sessions and includes all food and beverages, course instruction. For those needing hotel accommodations, Caesars Palace is offering a special rate for guests using booking code ACFOODU online or by calling (866) 227-5938. In the spirit of the holiday season, gift certificates will also be available. For more information visit www.FoodUniversityLasVegas.comor, to purchase tickets, call (866) 840-8822.
ABOUT FOOD UNIVERSITY
Food University is revolutionary and immersive culinary travel experience for curious and fun-loving foodies seeking to raise their culinary IQ. Unlike any other food festival or culinary event, Food University literally offers food lovers a chance to rub elbows with top chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, fine food purveyors—the Food U "faculty"—as they learn alongside them during three days of exhilarating culinary curriculum. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information, go to www.FoodUniversityLasVegas.com.
ABOUT CAESARS PALACE
Reigning in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace is the world's best known resort-casino, celebrating the grandeur that was Rome in an 85-acre destination location that sets the standard for entertainment, dining and luxury. Ranking among the world's top luxury resorts Caesars Palace features 3,300 hotel guest rooms and suites, 23 diverse restaurants and cafes, five-acre Garden of the Gods pools and gardens, 50,000 square foot Qua Baths & Spa and 300,000 square feet of premium meeting and convention space. The 4,300-seat Colosseum sits just steps from celebrity chef restaurants and the acclaimed Forum Shops at Caesars and spotlights world class entertainers such as Celine Dion, Jerry Seinfeld, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Shania Twain (beginning December 2012).
Caesars Palace, along with all Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas resorts, including Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's, Bally's, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Imperial Palace and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon, proudly prohibit adding hidden resort fees to hotel guest room rates. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter.
ABOUT KEEP MEMORY ALIVE
Keep Memory Alive (KMA) raises awareness and funds in support of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health's work towards enhanced treatments and research of neurocognitive disorders. These include ALS, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and memory disorders of all kinds. Memory disorders don't simply affect an individual, so we provide programs and services for the entire family of caregivers. KMA strives to create greater awareness of neurocognitive disorders, educate families about cutting edge treatments, research and caregiver services, and promote risk reduction through lifestyle behaviors that encourage healthy brain aging. For more information, go to www.keepmemoryalive.org.
In the past, Keep Memory Alive has telecast its gala salutes to such luminaries as Siegfried & Roy and Muhammad Ali. On April 13, 2013, the joint 80th birthdays of Sir Michael Caine and Quincy Jones, will be telecast from Las Vegas as they celebrate with a star-studded concert of friends and a starchef dinner prepared by first-time duo Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay. One lucky Food University graduate and their guest will be chosen to attend as their grand graduation prize.
SOURCE Caesars Palace