This weekend, The Venetian Las Vegas, along with celebrated chefs Thomas Keller, Curtis Stone and an all-star international roster of culinary personalities, hosted Ultimo – A Weekend of Excellence, an event to support m’entor BKB Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and preserve the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

 Now in its fourth year, Ultimo took luxury to new heights with an all-new theme, “Le Grand Voyage,” which unfolded around The Venetian and The Palazzo, and, for the first time ever, across the Las Vegas valley.

The weekend included the Saturday-night return of the spectacular Grand Banquet in the iconic Grand Colonnade. More than 140 guests dined together at the 153-foot-long table, adorned with $2 million worth of crystal objets d’art from French luxury lifestyle brand LALIQUE.

Chefs Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, Emma Bengtsson, Curtis Stone, Ming Tsai, Vikram Vij, Pierre Thiam, Paul Bartolotta, Shaun Hergatt and Mourad Lahlou prepared a decadent international-inspired dinner, transporting guests around the world with courses celebrating each chef’s country of origin.

Each course was complemented with lavish champagnes and wines from Dom PerignonDAOU VineyardsMarqués de MurrietaMemento Mori, and Pio Cesare. Wine highlights included the debut of DAOU Vineyards’ spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon Patrimonywhich has earned 99 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.; and Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial 1986, a white Rioja that earned an astounding 100 points from Robert M. Parker Jr.

 “Ultimo is one of those dinners where we bring our colleagues together, we bring our friends together, we bring our suppliers together, and our able to really give to those guests tonight an extraordinary experience,” said Chef Thomas Keller. “And at the same time, have an extraordinary experience ourselves. So that’s what it’s all about.”

“This will never happen again – this collection of chefs, this collection of servers, this collection of guests – will never ever exist again… so it was very unique,” said Chef Curtis Stone.

Earlier on Saturday, guests were whisked to the beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, located 20 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, to enjoy several unique morning experiences including a hot-air balloon ride, the Rolls-Royce driving experience and
Dom Pérignon picnic prepared by Chef Thomas Keller.

Constructed in 1906, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery’s mill was once home to the Minden Flour Milling Company.
The Napa Valley Wine Train offers a variety of excursions, including a new murder-mystery dinner ride. Photo by David H. Collier
The sisters also created a pair of pink sweats with a satin bow as part of their new clothing line.
After a two-year absence, Smith & Wollensky opened on the Strip and still features drinks with generous hand-pours. Photo by KeyLimePhotography
Bank Atcharawan is known for his expertise on rieslings, whose fruitiness complement Thai dishes. Photo by K.M. Cannon
David Perrico’s Pop Strings Orchestra provided the evening’s entertainment.
Former Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, center, chats with attendees and shakes hands with Dave Melroy during the Raiders Foundation’s second “Celebrity Swing” at TopGolf.
American artist Aaron Taylor Kuffner created the sonic kinetic sculpture “Gamelatron Perhiasan Emas di Awn Hitam” or “Golden Jewels in a Black Cloud” for the new John Hardy store at The Forum Shops. Photo by Aaron Taylor Kuffner