Not everyone comes here to gamble, you know…
Get Cooking at Bellagio
If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Bellagio restaurant tick, you’re not alone. You’re also in good company when the hotel’s executive chef Edmund Wong hosts An Executive Chef Classroom, the interactive cooking class that guides you step-by-step through the creation of a three-course meal with beverage pairings. For October 2’s session called Beer, Beer and More Food, you will prepare a classic Caesar salad; make beer-braised free-range chicken breast with tomato, fennel and citrus couscous; and create an apple-cider crumble à la mode. And at the aptly titled THANKSgiving course on November 6, learn how to make your Turkey Day spread a truly gourmet experience. Classes begin at 7 p.m. (call 866-406-7117 to book) in the professional-caliber Tuscany demo kitchen. The best part is that when the teaching ends, the eating begins, as you transition from culinary student to spoiled dinner guest.
Get Brewing at Big Dog’s
Join the craft-brewing movement by stirring up a batch of beer alongside brewmaster Dave Otto, and then come back in a few weeks to pick up a growler of your project pour. Roughly once a quarter, Big Dog’s Brewing Co. Brew School hosts groups ranging from 25-40 curious souls for an all-day affair that takes you through the beer-making process from the milling of the grains and boiling the mash to transferring the wort to the fermenter and pitching the yeast. Of course, you’ll enjoy some Big Dog’s brews along the way — we hear the tastings make learning fun! — and have all your burning homebrewing questions answered by a professional brewer. Recent class projects have included a Tangerine Wit, Chocolate Lab Porter, War Dog Double IPA and Lake Mead Monster Double Red Ale. Tickets include the class, lunch and two beers, plus a three-course graduation dinner, growler of beer, diploma and class picture. Keep an eye on the site’s calendar and Twitter feed for the yet-to-be-announced winter session because as insiders already know, seats will undoubtedly sell out.
Get To Bottling at the Las Vegas Distillery
You don’t have to speak easy: Nevada’s first legal distillery since Prohibition is about to begin teaching tricks of the inebriating trade, and your attendance is requested. From milling and mashing to bottling and labeling, make a batch of bourbon, vodka, gin, rum or moonshine with Las Vegas Distillery’s affable owner, George Racz. Class will be in session from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 2, when Racz opens his school with an in-depth whiskey seminar followed by distilling bourbon and (coming soon in February 2014) conducting a home mixology session. Then, if you’re ready to take the next step, return to the distillery to make, age, bottle and eventually keep your own entire barrel of whiskey — the whole process can take between one and five years, depending on the size of the order — and work your way from apprentice to journeyman to master of the newly founded Whiskeysmith Guild.
Photo Courtesy of MGM Resorts International