Have you ever heard of a town called Boom? Well I hadn’t either, until last weekend that is.
Located less than an hour from the buzzing city of Brussels in Belgium, Boom might look a little sleepy to the untrained eye. With a scant population of just over 16,000 people, this quaint little town isn’t the sort of place you expect to find a slice of the luxurious Las Vegas food scene – but then, sometimes the best food spots can be found in the last place people look.
For most of the year Boom can be aptly described as sedate, but for two weekends in the calendar. Come July, this small town plays host to Europe’s largest music festival, Tomorrowland. For those bedroom dwellers among you who don’t know, Tomorrowland is the spiritual home of EDM music, and every year it draws hundreds of thousands of people from all over the globe to pay homage to the world’s biggest DJ’s such as David Guetta, Eric Prydz, Tiësto, Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5 and Fat Boy Slim across two weekends.
So that was where I found myself, listening to some of music’s hottest properties, and craving something a little more delectable than your average festival burger and fries. That was when I was introduced to B-EAT; brought over to Tomorrowland by the creative minds currently lighting up Las Vegas, this incredibly unique dining experience fuses the outstanding Vegas food scene with EDM’s brightest lights.
Stepping inside their hidden grotto behind Tomorrowland’s main stage, I ascended the stairs and was met with delicious handcrafted welcome cocktails before eagerly taking my place amongst the expectant throng. The concept of B-EAT is simple yet utterly brilliant; each ticketed session lasts one hour and includes a three-course tasting menu whipped up by a top Vegas chef. Diners are treated to sumptuous dishes from restaurants such as Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand and Le Cirque at the Bellagio – in short, this food is nothing short of gourmet.
None of the guests know what to expect when they arrive, and neither did we, as chefs and DJs are kept a closely guarded secret until the moment you walk through the door. Thankfully, B-EAT did not disappoint, and the atmosphere was electric. We witnessed world-famous EDM acts (and Vegas residents) Afrojack and Laidback Luke master the decks, all the while tucking into restaurant quality treats served up by some of the Vegas food scene’s most exciting talents.
For me, Christophe De Lellis (Executive Chef at Joël Robuchon, at the MGM Grand) was one of the stars of the show. Christophe became the executive chef of Joël Robuchon at the age of 27, making him one of the youngest chefs to head up the kitchen under the Chef of the Century. It was clear from minute one that we were experiencing something truly special. Next up was the wonderful (and handsome) Wil Bergerhausen (Executive Chef at Le Cirque, at the Bellagio), followed closely by the hugely talented Jamaal Taherzadeh (Executive Chef at Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay Resort), who also delivered foodie perfection to the dancing revelers who buzzed around the open kitchen.
One of the best things about B-EAT was the perfect synergy between high-class food and music. Purposefully placed directly next to each other on the stage, the chef and DJ for each session created a wonderful partnership, with DJ tasting food and chef hyping the crowd in tandem. If ever there was an event that showed the intrinsic link between Vegas’ incredible food and music scene, then this was it.
I found myself constantly having to remember where I was, a small town in Belgium – enjoying my own little slice of Vegas. My overriding thought during the whole B-EAT experience was, “if this is what Vegas is like, then I NEED to go and experience the real thing” – which is why Vegas is now prominently at the top of my holiday hit-list. Why head to Paris for the gourmet food, or Ibiza for the clubs, when you can do everything without ever having to leave Vegas’ legendary strip?