FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 12, 2013

MGM Resorts International PR Contact: Ashley Farkas afarkas@mgmresorts.com / 702.891.1806

Las Vegas Contact: Alan Semsar / alan@barcelona.la / 818.288.4050

James Beard Foundation Contact: Diane Stefani or Alexandra Pearson Diane@rosengrouppr.com / Alexandra@rosengrouppr.com  / 212.255.8455

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® “Local Flavor from Coast to Coast” Traveling Food Festival Comes to Las Vegas This Fall

- Tickets on Sale Now -

Food Enthusiasts and Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature Cardholders Are Invited to Join Taste America All-Star Masaharu Morimoto to Taste and Enjoy America’s Culinary Diversity September 27-28 

LAS VEGAS, NV (July 12, 2013) – Tickets are now on sale for The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®: “Local Flavor from Coast To Coast,” a national traveling food festival which will visit Las Vegas on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. The five-weekend festival will visit 10 cities from September 20 through October 19, 2013. Taste America will showcase culinary all-stars and public events exploring the nation’s unique range of local cuisines in Las Vegas along with nine other cities including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. Taste America is presented by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) in partnership with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature®

A weekend-long tour, Las Vegas’ Taste America festivities will kick-off on Friday, September 27 with a variety of free culinary consumer events throughout the city (details TBA), and culminate in an exclusive dining event at The Mirage Hotel & Casino the evening of Saturday, September 28. A spectacular poolside gala tasting and reception, “A Taste of America” will be co-hosted by James Beard Award winner and Taste America All-Star, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto (proprietor, Morimoto Restaurants) and Host Chef Christian Schmidt (The Mirage, Las Vegas). The event will also feature delectable dishes and cocktails from several of Las Vegas’ most celebrated local chefs, including James Beard Award winner Saipin Chutima (Lotus of Siam), Eric Klein (Spago), Brian Massie (The Light Group), Laurent Tourondel (BLT Burger), and more.

Tickets for “A Taste of America” are now available for purchase at jbftasteamerica.org, and are priced at $120 per person, all-inclusive. VIP tickets are also available for $250, which include exclusive access to the official after party at 1 OAK nightclub at The Mirage immediately following the poolside reception. The James Beard Foundation is proud to donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to The Epicurean Charitable Foundation. 

The Taste America culinary agenda for Las Vegas includes: 

Saturday, September 28

110 a.m.: Sur La Table at Fashion Show Mall (3200 S Las Vegas Blvd #1175)

This full day of free consumer retail events features in-store chef appearances, cooking demonstrations, tastings from local artisans and producers and a special cooking demonstration and book signing with Taste America All-Star Masaharu Morimoto at 2pm.  

Taste America Vehicle

The official Taste America vehicle will make stops at local farmers markets and various locations throughout the weekend to promote healthy, sustainable practices with tastings and demos from participating chefs. Exact locations and times to be confirmed.

8 p.m.:&   “A Taste of America” Poolside Reception at The Mirage (3400 South Las Vegas Blvd)

Co-hosted by Taste America All-Star Masaharu Morimoto and Host Chef Christian Schmidt, the evening will include a tasting reception featuring delectable dishes and cocktails from several of Las Vegas’ finest restaurants at The Mirage’s award-winning pool. Immediately following the reception, VIP ticket holders will have access to an exclusive after party at 1 OAK nightclub.  

“The Taste America traveling food festival will shine a light on the dynamic culinary cities across the country,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Our Taste America chefs will be working with local farmers and artisanal producers of everything from cheese to chocolate. With the support of Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, we are now able to bring together the best innovators in our food world to educate and entertain Americans about local flavors from coast to coast.” 

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America is presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature,, a premier rewards credit card for people who love travel and dining. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature cardholders will enjoy exclusive benefits not available to the public at James Beard Foundation’s Taste America events, including access to chefs, recipes, preferred seating, and more.

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America is supported by retail partner, Sur La Table, national media partner, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and national sponsors including Breville, Delta Air Lines, The Gulf Oyster Industry Council, and Lurpak® butter.

For more information about Taste America events in Las Vegas, please contact Alan Semsar (702) 50-WINE-6 or visit jbftasteamerica.org/event/las-vegas. 

Click to tweet: Tickets on sale for @beardfoundation Taste America event @TheMirageLV Sept. 27-28. #Vegas 

About the James Beard Foundation:

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation's mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful and delicious food. Today the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, the Foundation launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. For more information, please visit www.jamesbeard.org. Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.

About Chase Sapphire Preferred:

Chase Sapphire Preferred is a premier rewards credit card for people who are passionate about travel and dining. With  Sapphire Preferred you enjoy  premium travel rewards and benefits with no travel restrictions or blackout dates on airfare booked through Ultimate Rewards, double points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs, 24/7 live customer service, access to exclusive cardmember  experiences and more.  More information is available at www.ChaseSapphire.com.  

About The Mirage:

Ideally located in the center of the famed Las Vegas Strip, The Mirage is the place to stay and play. The resort features contemporary AAA Four Diamond accommodations; dynamic nightlife venues including 1 OAK Nightclub and The Beatles REVOLUTION Lounge; tantalizing restaurants created by the world’s most renowned chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak (opening August 2013) and Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto (opening early 2014); a luxurious spa and salon; the enticing Bare pool lounge; and 170,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Unique entertainment options include The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil celebrating the musical legacy of The Beatles; the Aces of Comedy series featuring one of the most comprehensive and diverse comedic line-ups nationwide; Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment; four-time GRAMMY Award-winning R&B musical sensation Boyz II Men; and the lush animal sanctuary of Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.  From the iconic Volcano and 20,000-gallon lobby aquarium to the lush tropical atrium and pool, guests experience an exotic world-class destination unlike any other. The Mirage is a wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM).  For more information and reservations, visit mirage.com or call toll free at (800) 374-9000 or find us on Facebook and TwTwitter.