COMPETITION READY: We're grateful to live in a world where there's a cooking class for just about every taste. And we do mean every taste; it used to be that workshops were taught in candy-making; now nougat or brittle is just as likely to get its own two-hour seminar. Likewise, a cooking class, back in the day, likely meant that the basics of measuring and simmering would be on the syllabus. Now? We've definitely come along way, because the new Food University, set to roll at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from Tuesday, Dec. 11 through Thursday, Dec. 13, has a little something extra in store for students: How to be a competition-ready chef.
TELEVISION AND BEYOND: Cooking competitions have been much the rage over the last decade, so it makes sense that a splashy, three-day culinary seminar, which will be headlined by some of the top toques in Sin City, would throw in that competition angle. In short, not only should you be able to cook, but you should be able to spoon and stir and saute in a competitive setting, should TV come calling.
THE DETAILS: Robin Leach -- yep, the Robin Leach -- and a host of foodie experts (cheese maven Laura Werlin and Daily Meal cook editor Anne Dolce) will be in the house for the middle-of-the-week university. Mixology and sommelier skills are also part of the curriculum, lest you think it is just about the eats and the celeb factor. Admission is going to be on the small side -- which means more elbow-rubbing with Mr. Leach, we hope -- and tuition is just a pinch south of two grand. Could this be the early holiday gift for that very special foodie you love? Perhaps they could make the big family with the skills they pick up at Caesars.