Top chefs from Las Vegas’s impressive Asian food scene, which has long enjoyed international acclaim thanks to the demand of the Asian gamblers who flock to the Strip, will take a starring role in the groundbreaking food festival Luckyrice. The New York import will cut its teeth on the local scene June 23 from 8 to 11 PM at The Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool.
“Las Vegas made a lot of sense for this festival in so many ways,” says founder Danielle Chang. “It has become a major global food destination, and it has always been one of the best places for Asian food in the US.” Luckyrice was Chang’s brainchild, stemming from her integrated media and marketing company of the same moniker. This summer, she has teamed up with local superstars for the first time, from the chefs’ favorite late-night hangout Raku (Mitsuo Endo), local hot spot Lotus of Siam (Saipin Chutima), Monta noodle house (Takashi Segawa), and Cosmopolitan’s own Comme Ça (David Myers).
“We want to promote authentic Japanese food,” says Endo, whose chefs will be manning a robata grill at the festival. “In Seoul Plaza, where we are located, two new restaurants have opened in the past year, and more are planned. People are more educated about food now, and they want something different and authentic.”
Appropriately for Sin City, there will also be a huge spotlight on spirits and mixology at Luckyrice.
“Bombay Sapphire is sponsoring the event, and they are bringing in Tony Abou-Ganim and Duggan McDonnell, a great mixologist and the cofounder of San Francisco Cocktail Week,” Chang says. “They are going to be working with resident mixologists to create amazing cocktails that will be paired with all the Asian dishes.”
Chang plans to play with the multifaceted venue that consists of different levels and pooldecks to showcase the variety of offerings.
“When we do the festival in New York, we have it in Brooklyn under the Manhattan Bridge, so it has a very Brooklyn spin to it with the artisan vendors and the selection of restaurants,” she says. “We want to localize it in Vegas, too.”