Once a mecca for 99 cent shrimp cocktail and prime rib, Las Vegas is now a culinary oasis in the desert. The world's foremost chefs and sommeliers have successfully transformed Las Vegas into an epicurean paradise.

In recognition of its extraordinary cuisine and fine wines will be ODYSSEY 2000: A Celebration of Wine, Food & Art. Participating at the four-day event (October 26-29, 2000) will be Las Vegas' premier chefs and sommeliers hosting myriad wine tastings, caviar and champagne tastings and dinners. World-class chefs will give unprecedented cooking demonstrations in their very own restaurants. A special Sunday Blues Brunch will take place at the House of Blues.

The piece de resistance will be the Five Course Masters Dinner, Auction and Celebration on Saturday October 28, 2000 at the Aladdin Resort & Casino. Blending extraordinary talent and tastes, the Masters Dinner will pare world-class chefs for a one-of-a-kind gourmand experience. Sommeliers will work in conjunction with the pared chefs for complimenting wine offerings.

That evening, an absolutely fabulous live auction will benefit public television KLVX Channel 10. By the good grace of a comprehensive list of supporters, ODYSSEY 2000 will present a wondrous array of rare and fine wine and lifestyle lots.

"Just as other culinary and wine destinations throughout the country recognize and celebrate their talents and bounty, so will Las Vegas residents and visitors experience the finer gifts the city has to offer," says Virginia Thompson, principal of Las Vegas Odyssey.

Thompson partnered with Mark V. Martino and Debra Heiser to create Las Vegas Odyssey, the company orchestrating the event in conjunction with Archie McLaren, founding director of KCBX Central Coast Wine Classic. The creme de la creme of charitable wine auctions, KCBX Central Coast Wine Classic has been held for 15 years in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and it is one of the top 5 most successful such events in the United States.

"The creation of unparalleled restaurants in these awe-inspiring resorts is a testament to good taste," says McLaren. "I am very impressed that a multitude of chefs, sommeliers, vintners, venues and restaurants have committed to this first-ever event in Las Vegas and believe that Odyssey 2000 will be the toast of the town!"

Following is a list of chefs and sommeliers participating in the event:

-- Arnauld Briand - Monte Carlo, The Desert Inn Resort & Casino
-- Caviarteria - The Forum Shops at Caesars
-- Jim Clendenen - winemaker, Au Bon Climat
-- Billy Conn - Aladdin Resort & Casino
-- Terrence Fong - Gatsby's, MGM Grand Hotel/Casino
-- Steven Geddes - Aureole, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
-- Greg Harrington - Spago/Chinois, The Forum Shops at Caesars; Trattoria
Del Lupo, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino; and Postrio, Venetian Resort
Hotel & Casino
-- Jervais Hienrik - Fiore, Rio All Suites Casino Resort
-- House of Blues Foundation Room - Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
-- Jay James - Aqua, Bellagio Las Vegas
-- Michael Jordan - Rosemary's
-- Barrie Larvin - Rio Wine Cellar, Rio All Suites Casino Resort
-- Mark Lorusso - Aqua, Bellagio Las Vegas
-- Michael Mina - Aqua, Bellagio Las Vegas
-- Eberhard Muller - Lutece, Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino
-- Jean-Louis Palladin - Napa, Rio All Suites Casino Resort
-- Luciano Pelligrini - Piero Selvaggio Valentino, Venetian Resort
Hotel & Casino
-- Laurent Perrier, Champagne House
-- Joe Romano - Aureole, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
-- David Robins - Spago/Chinois, The Forum Shops at Caesars;
Trattoria Del Lupo, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino; and Postrio,
Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino
-- Andre Rochat, Andre's French Restaurant Downtown and
Monte Carlo Resort & Casino
-- Mark Scherline - Aladdin Resort & Casino
-- Piero Selvaggio - Piero Selvaggio Valentino, Venetian
Resort Hotel & Casino
-- Julian Serrano - Picasso, Bellagio Las Vegas

Tickets range in price from $75 to $350 per person. Platinum sponsors currently include Foodline.com, TUSK Studios and Williamson Printing and Gold sponsorship includes Society By Design.

More information is available by calling toll-free 1-877-370-9182 or (702) 257-2345 and will soon be available on the Internet at www.lasvegasodyssey.com.