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Win Tickets to Mohegan Sun Culinary Event w/Bobby Flay, Todd English & More


Mohegan Sun ResizedSwanky Connecticut casino-resort Mohegan Sun (celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2011) is set to kick 2012 off with a culinary-themed bang, thanks to its superlative Sun WineFest event that will have wine and food enthusiasts salivating well into the new year. Scheduled for late January, the celebrity chef-helmed weekend will benefit from the direction of such A-list culinary stars as Bobby Flay, Todd English, and Ben Ford (to name but a few), and highlight a delectable roster of events including bourbon and champagne tastings, celebrity chef demonstrations, and much more. What’s more, readers can enter here for a chance to win a one-night stay and a pair of tickets to two of the major Sun WineFest events (a package valued at $560), just by sharing some of their foodie travel tips below!

The three-day food-and-wine festival kicks off on January 27 with the 3-hour Bourbon Tasting held at Leffingwells Martini Bar, and spills over to January 28 with highlights like the Celebrity Chef Dine Around evening event, where signature dishes by a bevy of celebrity chefs will be perfectly paired with lip-smacking wines. Sign up for the expert winemaker-led Elite Cru Tasting that afternoon, too, and enjoy premium vintages accompanied by shellfish and gourmet cheeses. The weekend’s main event, the Grand Tasting, spans Saturday and Sunday, and features celebrity-chef demonstrations; a grape stomp; the “oyster open”; over 1,000 wines, spirits, and beers; and samplings from some of the region’s most renowned eateries. The grand finale on January 29 also includes the Bubbles & Bons Bons event, which showcases samplings of fine champagnes, chocolates, and cheeses, led by the likes of esteemed chocolatier Jacques Torres. Events are ticketed individually and range in price from $70 to $200 per person; bundled ticket packages for a duo of events are available from $135 to $245.

Now, for the really tasty part: Special for readers, Mohegan Sun is offering two tickets for the Grand Tasting event on the afternoon of Sunday, January 29, two tickets for the Bubbles & Bon Bons event that evening, and overnight accommodations. The prize, valued at $560, can be won by simply responding to the following question in the comment field below:

What celebrity chef-driven restaurant or culinary event would you most highly recommend Smart Luxury readers hop on a plane for?

Make our editors collectively drool, and we’ll pick you as a winner (expect to hear back from us by January 10, 2012).

Tickets for the Sun WineFest can be purchased online at,, over the phone at 800-745-3000, or in person at Mohegan Sun’s box office. Normal nightly hotel rates for that weekend start from $359/night on Friday, $599/night on Saturday, and $229/night on Sunday, and can be booked at

See our Connecticut Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.


  • Tracey says:

    Bobby Flay’s Burger Place at Mohegan Sun in CT is worth the trip. The burgers are creative, the milkshakes are thick, and it is family friendly.

  • Jennifer Gavaletz says:

    My husband is a chef, so food isn’t just a hobby… it is life. We love to eat out and try new things!! Being parents to two school aged boys leaves little “us” time, so when we get a chance to taste cuisine prepared by someone else… we really do it up. On our nights out, instead of enjoying a romantic candle lit dinner, sipping on wine and ordering a four course meal, we bar hop, and not in the traditional sense. We do it to experience a multitude of flavors from different chefs who provide an assortment of different types of cuisine.
    Typically we order an two appetizers, but depending on what is recommended we may share a meal. The server is usally the person that knows what is good, so we go with it. We have a cocktail that is best paired with what we ordered, indulge, then move on to the next spot.
    It is such a wonderful time. We get to taste different flavors and the travel in between spots allows us to digetst.
    This “hopping” has allowed us to experience many different restaurants!!!
    Hope someone else can enjoy a night of hopping!

  • Dee T. says:

    (1) Jasper White’s Summer Shack at Mohegan Sun. Growing up in Louisiana, seafood was plentiful and fresh. The fish and shrimp there always takes me back. (2) Becco (Lydia Bastianich’s Restaurant) in NYC. I became hooked on something so simple as white bean hummus.

  • Kevin OMaley says:

    I think there are some important factors when you are picking a top chef-driven restaurant as as destination.

    For me, it is very important that I am a fan (either of the cuisine or the personality) of the chef. That adds to the excitement of being able to sample food that they directly influenced, or if you’re very lucky, may have been involved in the prep of.

    Of course is it also of paramount importance that there is some level of “exceptional” to the food. For example, if you are going to jump on a plane to go to a chef-driven restaurant, I’m not sure something like “great burgers” with some chef from the Food Network’s name slapped on it would be worth the trip.

    The two places that I think are the best examples being both chef-insprired and worth traveling to are:

    1) Blue Ginger (Wellesley, MA) – This restaurant is the brain-child of Chef Ming Tsai – a true innovator in fusing East/West cuisine, and a chef I admire greatly. To me this restaurant is a perfect combination of design (Ming brought in a Feng Shui master to help with the layout) and culinary excellence. Ming’s signature dish here is a Butterfish/Sablefish that is among the best fish dishes you will ever have. The fish is consistently cooked perfectly and is served with a legendary soy-lime syrup. Other inventive menu highlights are a and a Quinoa-Swiss Chard Risotto Foie Gras-Shiitake Shumai (how’s that for “east meets west” fusion?).

    2) Morimoto Napa (Napa, CA) – Chef Masaharu Morimoto opened his first West coast restaurant in 2010 in the Waterfront district of Napa. Morimoto needs no introduction as he has starred on the Iron Chef television show and owns restaurants in Mumbai, Philadelphia and Japan – and got his start as the Executive Chef of Nobu when it opened over fifteen years ago> Morimoto Napa is more than just a restaurant owned by one of the world’s most famous and skilled chefs. One dish that really shines is the black cod. The fish here is exceptional. This particular dish is simple, but very elegantly executed – braised black cod with a ginger/soy glaze. The dish is minimalist, but gorgeous. Other highlights were the Wagyu filet and a very interesting Sea Urchin Carbonara (tasted very well balanced).

  • Dree says:

    Traveling to Mohegan Sun for dinner? I always have a little snack before I leave the house since I don’t want to be starving if their happens to be a wait. I would make reservations since the restaurants can get filled rather quickly! The Summer Shack is always good with many seafooddishes to choose from. I would plan to have a drink in the bar area if you happen to be waiting for a seat. Ballo has a nice atmosphere and I recommend their meat and cheese starters along with a drink from the bar. If you’re staying over night I would go to Tuscany for breakfast. The waterfall is relaxing and the food is great! If you plan to make a night of drinking book a room ahead of time for a great deal. If you plan to drive home drink in moderation. The casino is a fun place to travel to but stay safe!

  • Emily says:

    I have eaten in and enjoyed Todd English’s Tuscany at Mohegan Sun. Although the restaurant is in the middle, the atmosphere is quiet and comfortable. The service is impeccable, and the dishes to choose from are something from Ernest Hemingways’ “A Moveable Feast”. He owns several restaurants in New York City and Boston to include Figs, which was rated well on Zagats for pizzeria, Olives, etc just to name a few. He has his own website:
    you can make reservations right on his website to any one of his reatuarants before flying out here. There are so many celebrity events that the Mohegan offers, and really the Sun WineFest is perfect to get an idea of the personality behind the food and the ideology that each celebrity chef has, for food is a passion, and all foodies are driven by that shared passion.

  • Marcia says:

    My dear friend, Anna, whose birthday is 1/30, highly reccommends Bobby Flay’s restaurant anywhere. She has traveled nationwide to go to his establishments and raves about each experience. Anna stood in line over 8 hours for Bobby Flay to sign her cookbooks. She hopes to take advantage of the book signing opportunity at Moegan Sun Winefest of 1/29. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend this Celebrity dine-around. Don’t miss out,

  • Danielle C says:

    A celebrity chef-driven event I would most highly recommend Smart Luxury readers hop on a plane for is the Vegas Uncork’d Epicurean event by Bon Appétit.

    This four-day extravaganza has taken place each Mother’s Day weekend for the past 5 years. It is the ultimate foodie experience, drawing culinary superstars, food lovers and luxury travelers from around the world.

    Featuring 30 intimate luncheons, dinners, tastings and other immersive and entertaining culinary experiences, this is one event every food lover, luxury traveler and gourmand should attend.

    Acclaimed chefs that have participated in years passed include Paul Bartolotta, Tom Colicchio, Alain Ducasse, Hubert Keller, Michael Mina, Rick Moonen, Bradley Ogden, Francois Payard, Joël Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Julian Serrano, Alex Stratta and many more.

    Known for its acclaimed restaurants owned by the world’s most renowned chefs, lavish spas, extraordinary shopping and a host of other attractions and amenities, Las Vegas has earned its reputation as the world’s most exciting destination and events like this are perfect for travelers looking to get more out of Vegas than gambling and shows.

  • Laura Henderson says:

    I have several foodie travel tips for everyone:
    When taking a cruise, several cruise lines allow you to bring wine onboard and if you bring your own bottle opener you can save lots of money and enjoy a nice glass of wine in your room while soaking in the sunset on your balcony before dinner. Very nice :)
    I also love booking into an all inclusive resort in the caribbean. You never have to take out your wallet and you can truely relax and enjoy food and drinks all day long. Nothing beats being served drinks and food poolside and by the beach and those swim up bars can’t be beat.

  • Laura Henderson says:

    My favorite celebrity chef-driven restaurant I would highly recommend you hop on a plane for would be
    Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston, Chef Gordon Hamersley.
    On a lovely corner in the heart of Boston’s South End, Hamersley’s serves hearty, rustic dishes that draw on the diverse ingredients of New England. Inspired by the robust, enduring spirit of the bistros of France, Gordon’s food is simple, hearty, seasonal and local.

  • kathy chiaro says:

    Please enter my name in your contest. I would like
    to recommend LYDIA……she is a true Italian cook and
    a wonderful lady……..we have eaten at her restaurant
    in NY many times and when she is there is makes
    the evening even sweeter.

  • Jack Myers says:

    Please enter me in the Mohegan Sun Grand Tasting event contest on Sunday 1/29/2012. Thank You

  • Steve aka Hot Head from Delaware says:

    Without a doublt Bobby Flay!

    Already looking into booking a Carnival Cruise to enjoy the new Bobby Flay burger joint on board!

    Not much happening in Delaware so have to travel out of state for a culinary delight!


  • JohnL says:

    While the ribeye at Michael Jordan’s is one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, I would immediately jump on a plane to re-live a wonderful dessert I had in Paris. It was a Sunday, the last day of the Tour de France. They crowd and atmosphere were electric. It took hours for the peleton to reach Notre Dame. My wife and I went to the “Le Notre Dame Brasserie”. I had a wonderful glass of Stella Artois and the most delicious Chocolate and Banana crepe I have ever tasted. Watching all the people from dozens of countries, all waiting for the peleton was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  • JohnL says:

    As far as a celebrity-driven event, I would recommend eating at the “food bar” at Emeril’s restaurant in New Orleans. You get to see all the chefs, sou chefs, and staff making all the meals. My wife and I had the pleasure of talking with one of the sou chefs during a lunch there. While sipping a Sazerac, we watched them prepare all the meals and even got a special “tasting” of a meal Emeril was going to prepare the next day on the Regis and Kelly show when the were in the Crescent City. Great food, awesome service, and friendly staff made it a very special experience.

  • Gina Mahjoubian says:

    Mesa Grill in Las Vegas has been one of our top places to dine…it’s a Bobby Flay! We have also enjoyed Beso Restaurant that Eva Longoria owns as well in Las Vegas!

  • bob miller says:

    to go to any Bobby Flay’s restaurant is a treat. We were to one of his and were able to me him. It was a great treat.

  • Carol C says:

    The chef driven event I’d travel for is dinner at Next – the new venture started by Grant Achatz, the chef of Alinea – the theme changes every three months and is currently Childhood — a description of the “cheeseburger” that is part of that meal was recently published on Serious Eats. ( The whole experience is definitely worth travelling for (as did my son and his wife – they flew in from New York for the meal) — but be sure to have a ticket first! The entire experience is worth the effort. Can’t wait to hear what the next theme will be.

  • Sylvia M says:

    Todd English’s – BoneFish and even that it is not yet at Mohegan Sun, I hope that in time it will be. I first went this eatery in Florida and it was great. I think that everything Todd English gets involved is always a wonderful culsine experience.

  • Jim E says:

    What celebrity chef-driven restaurant or culinary event would you most highly recommend Smart Luxury readers hop on a plane for?

    Paula Dean’s Lady and Son in Savannah is worth the trip. Very different choice of foods.

  • Abhishek Duggal says:

    Bocuse D’Or Finals, in Lyons, France:

    The Bocuse D’Or is an international cooking competition which occurs every two years in Lyons, France. It’s considered the world’s most prestigious cooking contest. The next event is set for January 29th-30th, 2013.

    Named for legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, when Bocuse D’Or launched in 1987, it initiated the era of live cooking competitions. It is certainly the forerunner of television shows like Iron Chef and Top Chef.

    Each chef represents his or her country, and works with a team to create a meat dish and a fish dish, that are judged by a panel of elite chef judges on quality and presentation. In the event of a tie, other factors are considered, including teamwork. A gold, silver and bronze medal is awarded, and to date, no American chef has ever won a medal.

    In 2008, the Bocuse D’Or introduced semifinal competitions. In 2012, there will be semifinal competitions in Europe,the USA, Asia, and in 2011 in Copa Azteca in Latin America.


  • Eileen A says:

    Jean-George Vongerichten’s Prime Steakhouse at The Bellagio in Las Vegas is everything that Vegas is not. This restaurant is one of the few reasons to get on a plane and head to this desert town where the lights are bright but his food is brighter! A hand’s down winner! Because this is a contest where the winner attends a food event at a casino location (Mohegan Sun), I believe that it would be great for another casino location and celebrity chef to be recognized for amazing food, amazing old world style and an amazing staff. It gives me pleasure to share this restaurant with other travelers.

  • Marc says:

    For Lobster boiled Cajun style, try the Quarter View Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana ( a suburb of New Orleans).

  • Paula says:

    Love, love love Bobby Flay!! this would be the best birthday present!

  • Kim Moras says:

    The Summer Shack is a great place to get a meal in between gambling and a concert or show

  • Jackie McLaughlin says:

    Unfortunately for me, I haven’t traveled that much so, I would have to say the Bubbles and Bons Bons event with Jaque Torres at Mohegan Sun of course! I would like to warn you though to be prepared for a sensory overload from the moment you walk through the doors of the velvety plush Cabaret Theatre! Although the champagne is top shelf and limitless, it will seem to be a mere palate cleanser between samplings of some of the most lavishly prepared and uniquely designed chocolates and desserts! My favorite place to start? The alcohol infused gelato, yup, I said it folks, ALCOHOL INFUSED!! You could choose from about 8 flavors of this creamy delight and have it scooped in a cup, cone, or chocolate shell! All the flavors held true to their name and melted on my tongue as the aftertaste of alcohol warmed my belly. It was hard to get away from this station but with only 3 hours on the clock, you have to move on to make way for more. The Guiness infused hot chocolate was calling my name. This original creation was served piping hot with delicate, sugar crystal coated cookies to absorb all the chocolately creamy goodness. I was in a chocolate fantasy wonderland and I hadn’t even gotten past the second table! Each station after the next delighted guests with hand crafted morsels that melted in your mouth but looked like they should be on your Christmas tree! If your a genuine chocolate fanatic, make sure you get to this event at least once in your lifetime!

  • Mike says:

    I really like Jasper White’s Summer Shack at Mohegan Sun and have never been disappointed. There are many different seafood restaurants in the area but The Summer Shack really hits a home run every time.

  • Anthony says:

    Bobby Flay! Boy meets grill= good eats

  • Migdalia Pizarro says:

    Smart Luxury readers should hop on a plane for The Mohegan Sun Culinary Event of course! Why settle for just one culinary artist when you can have 3 days of food and wine with A List Culinary masters!!!

  • Freddie Boz Cinquina jr. says:

    there are so many great one’s to choose from, but here’s a great one –

    Tchoup Chop (Emeril’s in Orlando at the Polynesian Universal Studios) -

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