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LIB: FOOD AND DRINK OPTIONS ABUNDANT

<p>Drew Levinson of Wirtz Beverage helped create Alchemy Gardens for the Life Is Beautiful festival.</p>

Drew Levinson of Wirtz Beverage helped create Alchemy Gardens for the Life Is Beautiful festival.

If you want to experience the most extravagant meal of the Life is Beautiful festival, check out the Take a Stand Charity Dinner on Friday night – but you’d better have your platinum card out.

Priced at $5,000 a person, the event will be hosted by restaurateur Elizabeth Blau and chef Hubert Keller. Its location won’t be revealed until you purchase a ticket.

So what does that kind of dough get you?

How about a five-course meal prepared by celebrity chefs Akira Back, Todd English, Michael Mina, Hubert Keller, Paul Bartolotta, Grant MacPherson, Megan Romano and Francois Payard. Highlights include Iberico ham, wagyu beef, foie gras, duck, assorted sashimi and plenty of truffles.

There’s also a wine pairing by master sommelier Thomas Burke, and after dinner you’ll be escorted to the Grills and Guitars kickoff party. It’s all for a good cause, with proceeds benefitting the Three Square food bank and Communities in Schools of Nevada.

Of course, for those who don’t have an extra $5,000, there are reasonably priced food and beverage options at the festival, which we’ve covered here in the past. Here are a few.

Alchemy Gardens: This will be the top spot for drinking on the festival grounds, featuring 18 top wineries, 18 craft breweries and 18 spirits purveyors, each pouring three of their products. Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for drinks.

For a more educational experience, buy a $40 wristband for the tasting area.

Six to nine of the winemakers, brewers and distillers will be pouring flights of their three products.

As you taste the various years or styles, they’ll explain the history behind it and what you should be looking for in its flavor.

Drew Levinson, who helped create the Alchemy Garden concept, says it’s unlike anything you’ll find at any other concert.

“You literally can walk into this area and try an amazing glass of wine that would be something very hard to find in a typical wine bar, never mind an open concert venue,” says Levinson, director of strategic activation for Alchemy Garden sponsor Wirtz Beverage. “And then you can go and experience that wine in the elevated (tasting) area where they will take you through the different flights with the winemaker or someone from the winery that can break down the intricacies and really create an educational experience around that wine. The same thing for the beers and the same thing for the spirits.”

Chefs on Stage: This series of cooking demos will take place in the Culinary Village from 1:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 12:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Chefs are promising not to take themselves too seriously, and we’re told some bands will be joining them on stage for food/music collaborations. Admission is free with general admission or VIP tickets.

Culinary Crawls: On Saturday and Sunday, the festival will offer Culinary Crawls, allowing you to bounce around the festival tasting the cuisine of several world-renowned chefs. Tickets are $130 a day on top of the cost of your general admission or VIP tickets.

Grills and Guitars: An all-star lineup of chefs will host this pre-party Friday night at a still-undisclosed location. It will have a camping theme with 16 chefs grilling for the masses. Tickets for this event alone are $175 for general admission and $225 for VIP. CL