Border Grill Goes Sustainable at Vegas Uncork’d

Glitz, glamour, and food consciousness with Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

This past weekend, I attended the ninth annual Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit, a festival with world-famous chefs, colossal casino-hotels, the grandest restaurants, and a well-heeled crowd who came to indulge in luxurious food, wine, and spirits. Once you arrive for a speedy check-in at the posh Nobu Hotel (a boutique hotel within Caesars Palace), it’s off to Tequila and Tacos with the Two Hot Tamales, legendary chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill, but do save room for sake and a hand roll or two at Nobu—you deserve a nightcap.

At the Grand Tasting, booths from dozens of restaurants including Jean Georges Steakhouse, Bardot Brasserie, Craftsteak, and Guy Savoy surrounded the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace. The best bite of the night was a duck wing a l’orange and foie gras parfait from Bardot Brasserie chef Joshua Smith (formerly of Church & State). Uncork’d also offered guests a closer look at Guy Savoy with a lunch that paired Krug Vintage 2000 and Savoy’s artichoke and black truffle soup. But amidst all this delicious excess, two celebrity chefs served up a model taste of sustainability too.

L.A.’s own Milliken and Feniger, who now count two Border Grills on the Strip (one at Mandalay Bay and their newest branch at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace), are champions of eco-consciousness. At the Grand Tasting, they had bright, Peruvian-style ceviche in an avocado-skin cup, with a banana chip taking the place of a spoon. No plastic tray or utensil to discard, just a memorable dish and message: You can have it all at Vegas Uncork’d and still save the planet.