Elizabeth Blau Reflects On Revelry, World’s 50 Best

“Wow, I’m exhausted, but also exhilarated,” restaurateur Elizabeth Blau tells me, on the phone from the East Coast.

Elizabeth Blau

The call comes a week after The World’s 50 Best Restaurants unveiled their annual honors at Wynn Las Vegas, and four days after Wynn’s inaugural Revelry culinary festival concluded with a massive event called The Feast, which seriously raised the bar for Las Vegas dine-around experiences.

Blau, who has a longtime working relationship with Wynn Las Vegas, was instrumental in bringing both to Las Vegas. And as we speak, just a few days ahead of her wedding anniversary (and Father’s Day), she’s finally joined her family on their annual summer vacation on Cape Cod. But like so many people who experienced the week’s worth of events surrounding World’s 50 Best, Revelry and the other culinary celebrations surrounding them (including Resorts World’s Indulge festival and several celebrity chef events at SAHARA, The Venetian and MGM Resorts International properties), her head is still spinning.

“I’ve been in Las Vegas for 27 years [and] there have been a lot of extraordinary culinary moments,” says Blau. “But I think that this was so amazing for the city.”

The teams from Bazaar Meat and Denia

“It was just a city-wide celebration. And to have so many extraordinary chefs coming in from around the world. Everywhere you looked there was just some superstar. So I can’t even imagine for the young cooks, and the young pastry chefs, how exciting it was to be in such a career pinnacle.”

Creating An Extraordinary Food Festival

Blau has the experience to put this month’s events into perspective. Over two decades ago, while working with Mirage Resorts, she was instrumental in convincing Bon Appetit magazine to create a food and wine festival called Vegas Uncork’d at Bellagio. It eventually expanded to the entire Strip, and became one of Las Vegas’ top culinary attractions before it was eventually discontinued.

So when Wynn Las Vegas wanted to create a new culinary festival, she was a natural choice for the team.

“We were tasked, as a team at Wynn, to come up with an extraordinary food and wine festival,” Blau explains.


First tastes of @theworlds50best restaruants:Hisa Frabko at Sparrow + Wolf

♬ Simply the Best – Glimlip & Yasper
Highlights of Sparrow + Wolf x Hiša Franko

“And that’s where the conversation started with World’s 50 Best. They were already planning, for 2024, to come to North America. And Las Vegas competed against other major national cities. And together with the LVCVA, Wynn pitched what they would do — and also Resorts World and The Venetian as partners.”

She and other members of her team traveled the world to see what The Word’s 50 Best organization was doing in other cities. They were in Valencia, Spain, when the 50 Best Restaurants for 2023 were announced last June, and traveled to Abu-Dhabi for the unveiling of the organization’s Best Hotel awards. And they were confident Las Vegas could offer an experience to rival any city on earth.

“Las Vegas is geared for these kind of mega, citywide events. We have the ballrooms. We have the theaters. We have the infrastructure to host these events.”

Locals In The Spotlight

Their pitch clearly resonated with the World’s 50 Best team, who held a press conference last October 3 to announce that the 2024 awards would be handed out on June 5 at Wynn Las Vegas, with events scheduled at Wynn, The Venetian and Resorts World.

That ceremony, and many of the festivities surrounding it, were private, limited to chefs, restaurateurs, journalists and F&B professionals who flew in from around the world to celebrate the 50 honorees (only two of which are located in the U.S.). But local chefs were provided with their own moments to shine, while local foodies were offered several opportunities to be a part of the fun.

The World’s 50 Best organization created a series of meals called the Signature Sessions, in restaurants on and off The Strip, pairing visiting chefs with local talent, with tickets available to the public. Just as importantly, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority offered visiting journalists the chance to experience local restaurants on and off The Strip.

“The LVCVA created these incredible press trips and experiences city-wide for the journalists who stayed in town,” says Blau.

“And I think that everybody was really surprised by the cultural diversity, the nature, the restaurant portfolio on and off the Strip, but really just the hospitality – the incredible hospitality that Las Vegas provided to the entire group.”

More Festivals, More Fun

To further serve both local and visiting foodies, many of the local casino operators created events of their own in the week surrounding the award ceremony.

Revelry: East Meets Best

MGM Resorts International hosted celebrity chef meals at Morimoto and Rivea, and guest mixologists at Bellagio. Resorts World created its own Indulge culinary festival, with unique collaborations among its own chefs, previews of upcoming offerings, and pop-ups by out-of-town guests. And Wynn, of course, had Revelry, which extended the fun through Saturday, June 8, with programming by their own culinary team as well as a collection of visiting chefs.

“Revelry was just about fun,” Blau says, contrasting it to the serious nature of the awards. “It was just about a great party with great food, great spirits, great liquor partner, and wine partners. And also, [it was] kind of young and up-and-coming, inspiring chefs — not necessarily the superstars, but people like Liwei Liao who are doing dry-aged fish [and] people like Yakitori Guy, who is really just celebrating the art of yakitori.”


Congrats to everyone at @wynnlasvegas on The Feast, which was an amazing finale to the inaugural Revelry culinary celebration!

♬ Revival – Dombresky & Noizu & Reblok

The culmination of Wynn’s event was a massive outdoor event called The Feast, where dozens of chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists from around the world offered samples of their creations within four distinct outdoor experiences. In a town where outdoor dine-around experiences spotlighting multiple restaurants have become commonplace, it was notable for the well-thought-out concepts and plentiful seating.

When I mention this to Blau, she tells me both of those aspects were purposeful.

“That was exactly the inspiration – not juggling a tiny morsel of food and one sip of something,” she says, contrasting The Feast to other events.

“The idea was, even if you never made it past sushi and yakitori, each of the immersive experiences was a whole meal, and the desserts and the liquor were a part of that. … You can just sit and experience one section after another, and spend an hour in each one and then decide which is your favorite.”

More To Come

The good news for the local culinary community, as well as the food fanatics who visit Las Vegas, is that at least some of the fun will return in 2025.  While The World’s 50 Best rotates its award ceremonies between international destinations, Wynn Las Vegas’ commitment to Revelry is long-term. And the next time around, they’re hoping for less intense weather, which was a little hot this time around.

“Revelry 2025 will be back, and the timing will definitely be at a more opportune time for the weather,” she says. “This [year] was specifically built around The W50Best and their timetable. So expect Revelry to be a little cooler next year.