UNLVino Announces Thomas Keller, Masaharu Morimoto, Elizabeth Blau & Scott Sibella as 2013 Honoree



Hospitality Leaders to Receive Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence at 39th Annual UNLVino

The 39th annual UNLVino will recognize four leaders in the hospitality industry with the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence at a series of exciting tasting events, April 18 to 21. Celebrity chefs Thomas Keller and Masaharu Morimoto; acclaimed restaurateur Elizabeth Blau; and MGM Grand President & COO Scott Sibella have been selected by students of UNLV’s William F. Harrah Hotel College of Hotel Administration and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada to receive this prestigious award.

UNLVino’s Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence honors individuals who have distinguished themselves through inspirational leadership, character and work ethic.

Now in its 39th year, UNLVino has expanded to include four signature events: Bubble-Licious, Sake Fever, the Grand Tasting and BAR-b-q. Funds raised through UNLVino will benefit students of UNLV’s Hotel College – our future hospitality industry leaders. In addition to being Nevada’s original wine festival, UNLVino’s commitment to scholarship is a key differentiator from other culinary events in Las Vegas. This year’s theme is “Fall in Love Again,” a concept inspired by artist Romero Britto’s painting created for the event.


  • Thomas Keller, Award-Winning Celebrity Chef

Bubble-Licious at The Venetian – Thurs. April 18: 7-10 p.m.

Chef Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and exceptionally high standards, having established a collection of restaurants that set a new paradigm within the hospitality industry. His accolades include consecutive “Best Chef” awards from the James Beard Foundation, “Chef of the Year” by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and multiple three-star ratings by the Michelin Guide. He will be recognized for his achievements at Bubble-Licious – an evening of exquisite champagnes, sparkling wines and exotic champagne cocktails under the stars – at The Venetian, home to two of Keller’s restaurants, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery. Tickets are $125 in advance; $150 at the door.

  • Masaharu Morimoto, Acclaimed Chef and TV Personality

Sake Fever at The Mirage – Fri. April 19: 7-10 p.m.

Chef Masaharu Morimoto, known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his unique presentations and seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. Also a James Beard and Michelin decorated chef, Morimoto was recently inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame for his collection of celebrated restaurants and unrivaled win-loss record on Iron Chef, which has positioned him as one of the foremost chefs today. Morimoto will be honored at Sake Fever, an elegant celebration authentic and precisely crafted Asian beverages and cuisine, poolside at The Mirage. Tickets are $100 in advance; $125 at the door.

  • Elizabeth Blau, Celebrated Restaurateur

Grand Tasting at Paris Las Vegas – Sat. April 20: 7-10 p.m.

An industry leader known for her fresh and innovative approach, Elizabeth Blau has played an integral role in Las Vegas’ transformation to the world-class culinary destination it is today. Founder and Chairman of Blau & Associates, she recently debuted her first solo venture, Honey Salt, to widespread acclaim. Blau is also a trustee at the Culinary Institute of America and sits on the UNLV Dean’s Advisory Board. She will receive the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence at UNLVino’s 39th annual Grand Tasting at Paris Las Vegas, which will feature an array of international wines, specialty beers and spirits, complemented with cuisine by a selection of the city’s favorite restaurants and the talented students of UNLV’s Hotel College. Tickets are $125 in advance; $150 at the door.

  • Scott Sibella, Hospitality Executive and UNLV Alumnus BAR-b-q at the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health – Sun. April 21: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A graduate of UNLV’s Hotel College, Scott Sibella is President and Chief Operating Officer of MGM Grand, overseeing all operations including “The Grand Renovation,” a massive, strategic revamp of the iconic resort. A 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Sibella will be honored at UNLVino’s first ever BAR-b-q at the Keep Memory Alive Events Center at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. This luxurious tasting event is all about the BAR, with a variety of high-end cuisines prepared by celebrity chefs Charlie Palmer, Scott Conant and Gustav Mauler, elevated by Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada’s internationally recognized Master Mixologist Francesco Lafranconi’s craft-cocktail creations. Tickets are $100 in advance; $125 at the door.

To learn more about the Dom Pérignon Award of Excellence honorees and the 39th annual UNLVino’s four extravagant events, visit Tickets are on sale at, including a $350 Wine Lover’s “Passport” Package, featuring admission to all four tastings, a savings of more than $100.

About UNLVino

UNLVino was cofounded in 1974 by the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration and Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the two organizations which continue to sponsor it today. In its 38 years, UNLVino has raised millions of dollars for the scholarship program, which has aided UNLV students who have pursued careers in the hospitality industry around the world. UNLVino is differentiated through unparalleled, hands-on student experiences at all levels of event planning, execution and promotion, as well as the impactful funds raised each year – all testaments to the celebratory weekend’s broader purpose – scholarship. For more information, visit or call 877.413.VINO; tickets are available at


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