Debbie Hall

Celebrity Chef Tour event benefiting the James Beard Foundation At Ceres Restaurant at JW Marriott


The epicurean delights continue in Las Vegas. The Celebrity Chef Tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation will return for a second year at Ceres Restaurant at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa on Thursday, Nov. 13 beginning at 7 pm.


Since its inception in 2004, the Celebrity Chef Tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation has become a favorite event for both the chefs to participate in and guests to attend. The Celebrity Chef Tour brings James Beard Foundation Award winners and other celebrity chefs to private clubs, resorts, and other exclusive venues around the country for spectacular dining events. The tour was created to benefit the James Beard Foundation and to promote the culinary arts across America.


The Celebrity Chef Tour at Ceres Restaurant at JW Marriott will definitely honor the culinary arts.  Showcasing the talents of Executive Chef Mike Lata, co-owner of Fig Restaurant in Charleston, S.C. with host Executive Chef Bruce Knapik and his team, the evening will begin with an elegant reception featuring unique hors d’oeuvres complemented by fine wines. A one-of-a-kind dinner will follow with the culinary team sharing their insights on the dinner as they engage guests in an intimate setting. Each course is meticulously paired with an assortment of carefully selected wines.


“We are so honored to be asked, once again, to host this very special event,” said general manager Jim Rose. “This exclusive gastronomic affair is a celebration of America’s culinary heritage and we look forward to sharing this with our Las Vegas friends and neighbors.”


Chef Mike Lata is a native New-Englander who moved to Massachusetts to kick-start his cooking career in Boston and Martha’s Vineyard. He traveled south to work in New Orleans and later relocated to Atlanta, where he became Chef De Cuisine at the celebrated Ciboulette restaurant for the next four years.


Lata became part of the Charleston dining scene in 1998 as Executive Chef at Anson, and stayed for four years. It was during this time that Lata’s active endorsement of local farmers helped guide the conscience of the Charleston culinary scene toward the appreciation of locally grown, seasonal foods. Lata became an adherent of Slow Food, an international movement created “to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization of modern fast food and life,” and helped found the local Charleston chapter in 2004. His mantra for his restaurant is very much rooted in the Slow Food principles of taking time to enjoy and share in home-grown, homemade meals and supporting the people who grow and harvest local foods.


Nominated for “Best Chef in the Southeast” in 2007 by the James Beard Foundation, Chef Lata feels it is vital to his success as a restaurateur and chef to consistently improve and refine his cuisine, and he makes a concerted effort to please each of his guests, from “bankers to blue jeans.”


With over 30 years of extensive experience, Executive Chef Bruce Knapik oversees all culinary operations at the resort, ensuring an exceptional dining experience in keeping with Las Vegas’ reputation as one of the world’s top culinary destinations.


He first worked at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, and quickly rose in the ranks to become one of Canada’s leading chefs, highlighted by his onetime appointment as Captain of the National Culinary Team for the World Food Festival in Singapore.


His passion and inventiveness in the kitchen led to a series of prestigious appointments as Executive Chef including his most recent at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel where Knapik guided the property to a win for Best Hotel Dining two years in a row and four other nominations in the Where Magazine Annual Restaurant Awards. His restaurant chef was also named the Canadian Representative to the 2005 prestigious Paul Bocuse cooking competition in Lyon, France.


James Beard is widely recognized as the father of American culinary arts. Throughout his life, he pursued and advocated the highest standards, and served as a mentor to emerging talents. The James Beard House is where Beard lived, taught, and welcomed friends and colleagues who shared his love for food. Shortly after he passed away, a group of friends sparked a drive to save his home and create a living memorial and a center for the culinary community. It has become what Founding President Peter Kump envisioned it could be, “a culinary place to see and taste the work of this country’s most talented chef’s, wine makers, cookbook authors, and teachers.” The James Beard House’s sister non-profit organization, the James Beard Foundation, whose mission is to “celebrate, preserve and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence,” furthers Mr. Kump’s vision by providing scholarships and volunteer opportunities for aspiring culinary professionals, educating today’s youth on the importance of good food and essential nutrition.


American Express, Yahoo!, Souverain, Certified Angus Beef, Renaissance Hotels and Hudson Valley Foie Gras are sponsors of the Celebrity Chef Tour benefiting the James Beard Foundation.


Tickets are available to the public for $175 per person (plus tax) and can be reserved by calling Ceres Restaurant at 869-7381 or visiting



221 N. Rampart Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89117

Toll Free: 877-869-8777

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Celebrity Chef Connection posts a new broadcast every Wednesday by 5 p.m. at On the home page, click on the link [view current show] on the right-hand side and that will take you to the Current Show page where you can select how you want to view the show. The program is also archived. If you have any questions or comments contact Debbie Hall at [email protected] or 702-279-8116.

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