As executive chef of Sage at Aria resort in Las Vegas, a seasonal ingredient-focused New American dining spot, Shawn McClain curates an ever-changing menu of contemporary American cuisine with global influences. His spirited New American menu features the irresistible freshness of California local harvest interwoven with Mediterranean undercurrents, taking the strip to a new level of seasonal dining. A James Beard Award winner, McClain received culinary training in Chicago, where he honed his skills opening Trio, Spring, Custom House and Green Zebra.
The sixth annual event welcomes Kim Canteenwalla, principal and co-founder of Blau + Associates as well as co-owner and culinary visionary behind the award-winning Honey Salt in Las Vegas. Former executive chef of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, Canteenwalla has managed restaurants and resorts around the world, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Dubai, and Thailand. A participant in dozens of high-profile culinary events, Canteenwalla is a four-time participant in Best Hotel Chefs in America series at the James house and proudly serves on the Culinary Council of Three Square, a Las Vegas based food bank. He also works as a culinary advisor for the Life Is Beautiful Festival, an annual celebration of art, music and food in Las Vegas. Currently, he serves as chef partner of Buddy V’s Ristorante, a collaboration with his wife Elizabeth Blau and TV’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro. Recently, the restaurant power couple announced two new restaurants in Las Vegas: Made L.V., a modern American tavern, and an unnamed concept scheduled to open in Downtown Summerlin.
Founder and CEO of restaurant development company Blau + Associates and James Beard Award nominee, Elizabeth Blau is widely credited with transforming Las Vegas into the world-class culinary destination it is today. Blau began her career working with famed restaurateur Sirio Maccioni, catching the attention of well-known casino developer Steve Wynn. As the mogul’s vice president of restaurant development, she revolutionized Las Vegas dining by attracting award-winning chefs to the groundbreaking Bellagio. In 2002, she founded Blau + Associates, quickly turning the firm into one of the foremost restaurant development companies in the field. A dynamic television personality, she’s a judge on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” and has been featured on the Travel Channel and the “Martha Stewart Show.” Currently, Blau and her group operate three restaurants in Las Vegas, including local favorites Honey Salt, Andiron Steak and Sea, and Buddy V’s Ristorante