October 26: Life is Beautiful Festival from Las Vegas


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful FestivalYou’ve been asking for it so here it is….Our first Las Vegas Special!

Jet is in Las Vegas this Weekend as a participant in the giant “Life Is Beautiful” Festival using an event area encompassing 15-blocks of Downtown Las Vegas. The storied El Cortez Hotel and several popular new restaurants are actually part of the Festival area.

Something like this on the scale that it represents has never really been tried before…Unusually the food and beverage component shares the spotlight with the music.

The biggest names in the culinary world like Tom Colicchio will all be there. Some will be performing cooking demos at the Chefs on Stage area and others serving up their signature dishes in the Culinary Village.

Saturday afternoon at 4:45 p.m. Jet is on the Chefs On Stage East with of Ben McKee of Imagine Dragons.

Jet is also in the Culinary Village with a Chef Jet tasting station. Say hello if you’re in the neighborhood…

Mary Sue Milliken of Border GrillChef, restaurateur, and food television star, Mary Sue Milliken, really needs no introduction to the show. Her “Two Hot Tamales” series for Food Network which she did with her business partner, Susan Feniger, was one of the early hit series for the network. More recently she competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.”

One of the most successful Border Grills is located in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Hotel on The Strip.

Mary Sue and Susan are on the Chef on Stage East at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday at Life is Beautiful.

Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Group NevadaCraft beer, premium wines, and fine spirits are well represented at Life is Beautiful. In fact the center of the spirited action will be at the Alchemy Gardens and the related Flight Tastings area (6th St. & Ogden Ave.) at the Festival. The Gardens will showcase the beverages of 18 distinguished craft breweries, 18 quality wineries, and 18 spirits entities.

Craft Beer and Spirits Specialist Kent Bearden of Wirtz Beverage Nevada is with us to provide all the thirst-quenching details. He’s a Cicerone (certified beer specialist) and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

Oscars Goodman former mayor of Las VegasOscar Goodman is the immediate past Mayor of Las Vegas. During his three terms as Mayor he liked to refer to himself as the “Happiest Mayor in the World.” He proudly drinks at least one gin martini a day and on official business he used to travel with two gorgeous Las Vegas Showgirls with one on each arm. His wife, Carolyn, the current Mayor approves.

Oscar is with us to discuss his leadership role in reawaking Downtown Las Vegas, his new autobiography, and his upscale steakhouse at The Plaza in Downtown.

When it comes to big city Mayors in the USA Mr. Goodman is surely a colorful original. Mayor Goodman current serves as the official Goodwill Ambassador for Las Vegas.

Jet Tila and Penn JilletteIn the world of stage magicians there is no enduring act quite like Penn & Teller. Las Vegas is the ideal base for these two performing vets. Their home, since 2003, is at The Rio just off The Strip.

He’s also a musician. Penn plays the upright bass.

What the general public doesn’t know is that Penn Jillette is an accomplished home cook. Jet has been cooking with him recently and Penn will be our very special guest.

Elizabeth Blau of Blau and AssociatesElizabeth Blau shattered the glass ceiling with female food & beverage executives in Las Vegas some 15 years ago working with Steve Wynn at The Bellagio recruiting high profile celebrity chefs to headline the restaurants there. It created the much-copied template for the future of big deal restaurants on The Strip.

Currently she is the Founder and CEO of Blau and Associates with her husband Chef Kim Canteenwalla. They provide food service consulting at the top level for highly discriminating, and demanding, clients.

Their personal restaurant projects in Las Vegas include Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Honey Salt in Summerlin for the locals, and the newly opened Buddy V’s Ristorante (with TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Vaslastro) located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian with a western facing view of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Jonathan WaxmanHe’s affectionately known as the Obi Wan Kanobi of chefs because of his practical, no-nonsense approach to cooking and we’re talking about the Manhattan-based Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in the West Village. You’ve seen him competing on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” His most recent cookbook is Italian, My Way: More Than 150 Simple and Inspired Recipes That Breathe New Life into Italian Classics by Jonathan Waxman and Tom Colicchio (Apr 5, 2011.) The roasted chicken recipe as served at Barbuto is a classic.

We have great affection for him in California for his early years with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse and as a recognized pioneer of California cuisine.

He’s in Las Vegas for “Life is Beautiful” Festival and will be honored Friday night at the kick-off dinner, “Grill and Guitars,” with a menu prepared by celebrity chefs.

Rick Moonen of rm seafood in Las VegasAn acclaimed former New York chef, know as a seafood master, has really taken to living in Las Vegas. We’re talking about Chef Rick Moonen.

His latest creation is Rx Boiler Room in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place (on the upper level.) The decor is over the top but our Las Vegas food expert, Brock Radke, Food Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, recommends the menu. Highlights include bacon-wrapped pork belly and “fish tacos” which are actually kampachi tartare presented in crunchy/crisp taro root shells. There is a serious cocktail program at Rx.

Chef Rick will also chat about what he’s doing on both Saturday and Sunday at “Life is Beautiful.”


Segment One: Host Jet Tila and Producer Andy Harris
Segment Two: Mary Sue Milliken, Founder and Co-Owner of Border Grill Las Vegas
Segment Three: Kent Bearden, Craft Beer & Spirits Specialist for Wirtz Beverage Nevada
Segment Four: Oscar Goodman, immediate past Mayor (three terms) of Las Vegas
Segment Five: Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller fame
Segment Six: Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates in Las Vegas
Segment Seven: Jonathan Waxman, owner/chef of Barbuto in New York City
Segment Eight: Rick Moonen, owner/chef of Rx Boiler Room and rm seafood at the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in Las Vegas

Life is Beautiful Festival

life-is-beautifulBig news for everyone in the Vegas Tila Army! I’m part of the Culinary Advisory Board for the upcoming Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas from Saturday, October 27th to Sunday the 27th. You’ve probably seen the full page ads in LA Weekly emphasizing the incredible music lineup featuring bands like Vegas’ own the Killers along with Kings of Leon. But there’s also an amazing lineup of celebrity chefs as well! Not just me but pretty much everyone associated with the restaurant scene in America. As for as I’m concerned, the food is the main event and the music? That’s kind of dessert. Here’s the press release about the festival and I hope to see my Army in Vegas right before Halloween for this blowout of a party!

Life is Beautiful Festival Announces Culinary Experiences & New Chefs

Two-Day Festival of World Class Music, Food, Art & Learning in Downtown Las Vegas includes “Grills & Guitars” by Blue Ribbon Restaurants, “The Culinary Village”, and “The Alchemy Garden”

New Chef Additions include Nancy Silverton; Headlining Chefs include: Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Jonathan Waxman, Hubert Keller, Aaron Sanchez, Cat Cora, Rick Moonen, Scott Conant, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon.

Friday, October 25th – Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (July 16, 2013) – Life is Beautiful (L.I.B.) Festival announces the lineup of culinary programming and experiences for the inaugural festival taking place Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th, 2013, with a kickoff event the evening of Friday, October 25th . With more than 60 chefs and restaurants, 24 wineries and 24 breweries participating in the culinary part of the festival alone, L.I.B. presents its attendees with a full-scale food festival experience and expects to draw tens of thousands of people to Downtown Las Vegas. The culinary programming includes experiences that are included in the price of a general-admission festival ticket, such as The Culinary Village, The Alchemy Garden & Chefs on Stage, as well as unique ticketed events that do not require a festival ticket like the Grills & Guitars kick-off party hosted by Blue Ribbon Restaurants and the Take a Stand charity soiree; an eight-course dinner hosted by Elizabeth Blau & Hubert Keller benefitting Three Square Food Bank and Communities in Schools.

The creative direction of the food festival portion of Life is Beautiful Festival was shaped by a culinary advisory board of 12 top chefs chaired by Bruce Bromberg of Blue Ribbon Restaurants. The food festival will be anchored by The Culinary Village a Moroccan-style bazaar featuring stations manned by more than 60 well-known chefs. Within The Village, guests can enjoy an entertaining and informative series of chef demonstrations (Chefs on Stage), culinary affairs, intimate meals and a beer, wine and spirits garden (The Alchemy Garden). All experiences within the food and wine program will allow attendees the opportunity to engage with these talented chefs up-close and gain insight into their creative process in the kitchen and beyond.

“The food experiences of Life is Beautiful Festival were carefully designed to be interactive, innovative and unexpected,” says Jolene Mannina, Head of Culinary Arts for the festival. “Working with the vision of our Culinary Advisory Board of 12 world-renowned Chefs, we’ve created an approach that we feel will set us apart from other food festivals, giving both our patrons and chefs a chance to enjoy something new, fresh and, of course, delicious.”

The current chef lineup features: Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg, Scott Conant, Jonathan Waxman, Hubert Keller, Cat Cora, Michael Mina, Chris Cosentino, Rick Moonen, Kim Canteenwalla, Jet Tila, Donald Link, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Aaron Sanchez, David Burke, Charlie Palmer, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Paul Bartolotta, David Myers, Todd English, Kerry Simon, Carla Pellegrino, André Rochat, Sven Mede, Marcel Vigneron, Mike Minor, Megan Romano, Elias Cairo, Josh Graves, Jason Tuley, Rebecca Wilcomb, Ben Hammond, Grant MacPherson, Michael Kornick, Natalie Young, Dan Coughlin, Sean Kinoshita, Massimiliano Campanari, Carlos Buscaglia, Vinod Ahuja, Manuel Hinojosa.

New Chefs / Mixologists Added to the lineup: Nancy Silverton, Akira Back, Richard Camarota, Frank Goriceta, Carlos Guia, Joseph Leibowitz, Hiew Gun Khong, Nina Manchev, Tony Abou-Ganim, Drew Levinson, Andrew Pollard, Eric Swanson, Kent Bearden, Thomas Burke, Michael Shetler, Kevin Vanegas, Jack Kramer and Mike Tadich.

Tickets for the Life is Beautiful Festival Culinary Programs go on sale July 19, 2013 at


Link to Culinary Experiences video: http://youtu.be/-SBlmQ6lTx4

Life Is Beautiful Festival – Culinary Experiences Premier Sponsor: Whole Foods Market

– The Culinary Village: Located in the heart of the festival and home to the world’s best chefs and restaurants, The Culinary Village is where the aromas of earth’s four corners collide. Over 50 restaurants will partake in this bazaar of epicurean delight that takes festival food options to a whole new level.

Restaurants: Blue Ribbon Restaurant, Honey Salt, Fleur, Strip Steak, Wolfgang Puck, Nobu Hard Rock, DMK Burger Bar, Due Forni, Yellowtail, Kumi, D.O.C.G., Herbsaint, LAVO, TAO, Bratalian Neapolitan Cantina, EAT, Chocolate & Spice, Origin India, Barbuto, rm Seafood, Kuma Snow Cream, Curbside Cafe, LBS Burger, Smokin Bros BBQ, Sin City Hot Dogs, Forte European Tapas & Bistro and more.

Price: General Admission or VIP festival ticket required, a la carte selection Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– The Alchemy Gardens Presented by Wirtz Beverage: Craft brewers, wine makers and distillers will pour a-la-carte libations at this garden, overflowing with liquid creativity. Enthusiasts can also choose to purchase additional tickets to meet and mingle with master brewers, wine makers and distillers over flight tastings.

Price: General Admission or VIP festival ticket required a la carte Beer, Wine, Spirits and Sake; must be 21 or over. Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– Flights Tastings (In The Alchemy Gardens): For a better understanding of the passion and history poured into each glass, additional tickets may be purchased for tastings with master brewers, wine makers and distillers.

Price: $40 for 9 tastings, General Admission or VIP festival ticket required Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:00pm – 12:00am Midnight; Sunday, 12:00pm – 11:00pm

– Chefs on Stage Presented by Sub-Zero Wolf & Whole Foods Market: Over two days, 20 of the most highly regarded chefs in the industry give attendees a chance to get up close and personal as they showcase their skills live on a Sub-Zero Wolf stage located in a climate-controlled tent. These demonstrations will tantalize taste buds and teach viewers how to create the same experience at home.

Chefs: Bruce and Eric Bromberg, Scott Conant, Jet Tila, Jonathan Waxman, Cat Cora, Chris Cosentino, Rick Moonen, Aaron Sanchez, Hubert Keller, Kerry Simon, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Mike Minor, Donald Link, Grant MacPherson, Carla Pellegrino, Jason Tuley, David Myers, Elias Caro, Josh Graves,Todd English

Location: The Culinary Village Price: Free Event with Festival General Admission or VIP ticket Date: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th Time: Saturday, 1:45pm – 9:00pm; Sunday, 12:45pm – 8:00pm

– Take A Stand: Elizabeth Blau and Hubert Keller will host the Life is Beautiful grand opening soiree to benefit Three Square Food Bank and Communities in Schools. Showcasing the mystery and wonderment of Old Vegas at its finest, this charity dinner will feature eight award-winning chefs serving eight courses

in various styles throughout the night paired with priceless wines and crafted cocktails by Wirtz Beverage mixologists and sommeliers.

Chefs: Hubert Keller, Michael Mina, Todd English, Akira Back, Paul Bartolotta, Grant MacPherson, Charlie Palmer, Megan Romano Location: Secret Downtown Location to be revealed upon purchase confirmation Price: $5,000

(1) VIP two-day festival ticket included

(1) Grills & Guitars ticket included Seats: 40 (must be 21 or over)

Date: Friday, October 25th Time: 7pm – 10pm

– Grills & Guitars: Start the festival weekend with 15 well-known chefs, gourmet comfort food and live music. A twist on the traditional backyard barbecue, the festival kick-off party will pair beer, wine and cocktails with flamed-kissed fare that will satisfy all the senses.

Chefs: Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Jonathan Waxman, Cat Cora, Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Nancy Silverton, Jet Tila, Scott Conant, Kim Canteenwalla, Aaron Sanchez, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen & David Myers Price: $175, VIP $225 *Does not require purchase of a festival ticket. Must be 21 or over.

Date: Friday, October 25th Time: 8pm VIP, 9pm – Midnight

– Culinary Crawl: This three-hour dining tour is designed to introduce palates to a variety of tastes. Guests will be escorted to three different venues, each with a different chef host who has customized a unique experience that pairs their creative dishes with specially selected drinks provided by Wirtz Beverage Group.

Saturday Chefs & Locations:

“Pig & Whiskey” hosted by Kim Canteenwalla and Sven Mede at The Flame Steakhouse “From Korea to Japan”, hosted by Akira Back at Park on Fremont “Amaro & Amare”, hosted by Richard Camarota & Megan Romano at EAT


$130 – Single pass to the Culinary Crawl, GA or VIP festival ticket required for purchase

$290 – Includes a two (2) day General Admission festival ticket Date: Saturday, October 26th

Time: 5pm – 8pm Sunday

Chefs & Locations:

 “Rare & Rosso” Jonathan Waxman & Nancy Silverton at EAT  “Tongue & Cheek” Rick Moonen at Le Thai  “Bones & Brews” Iron chef Cat Cora & Jason Tuley at Park on Fremont

Price: Date: Sunday, October 27th

$130 – Single pass to the Culinary Crawl, GA or VIP festival ticket required for purchase $290 – Includes a two (2) day General Admission festival ticket

Time: 5pm – 8pm ***Chef and event details subject to change.

Regular Two-Day General Admission & VIP Tickets for the 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival are available for purchase at www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com

General Admission Tickets:

 Regular Two-Day GA: $159.50 VIP Tickets:

 TWO-DAY VIP Ticket: $349.50

o VIP tickets include: Exclusive VIP lounge with shade, lounge seating, activities and more; Viewing Areas at Main Stages; VIP restroom facilities; Access to special VIP food concessions; Access to special VIP beer, wine and spirits concessions; Commemorative Poster and more!

Life is Beautiful Sponsors

Sponsors of the inaugural Life is Beautiful Festival include Wirtz Beverage Group, Heineken, Zappos, Cirque du Soleil, Las Vegas Review Journal, Red Bull, Esquire, Whole Foods Market, Caesars Entertainment, and many more. *Sponsors listed are current as of release date.

L.I.B. is being developed by Aurelian Marketing Group in partnership with Another Planet Entertainment, MAKTUB Marketing and Downtown Project. Visit www.lifeisbeautifulfestival.com and sign up to receive information updates via email. Connect with the Life is Beautiful team socially at Facebook.com/LIBFestival and Twitter.com/LifeIsBeautiful.


Show 13, January 19, 2013: Brock Radke, Food & Web Editor, Las Vegas Weekly

Brock Radke of Las Vegas WeeklySome big deal new restaurants opened in Las Vegas (both on and off The Strip) toward the end of last year. And our own Brock Radke from Las Vegas Weekly has the scoop.

Alex Stratta, a well-recognized fixture at Wynn Las Vegas for many years, has decamped Sin City for Beverly Hills. He’s now executive chef at Scarpetta at Montage Beverly Hills for Scott Conant.

Chef Kim Canteenwalla opened Society Café at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. His wife is respected restaurant consultant and concept developer Elizabeth Blau. Together they opened a neighborhood casual spot, Honey Salt, in Rampart Commons across the street from Boca Park. It’s a locals’ place that’s also family friendly.

Amazingly, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay opened two new spots the same week. The larger concept is Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. It’s already doing good business but there are consistency problems due to the mobs of guests being served.

Every Strip Hotel has a gourmet burger spot these days so Gordon Ramsay is in on that action, too, with Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood. Brock recommends their burgers and thinks it’s a fun lunch experience for the Family that won’t break the bank.