By: Jason R. Latham
Curating a culinary program for a festival that runs three days and spans 18 city blocks takes more effort than calling in a few food trucks. This year’s Life Is Beautiful food and beverage lineup – a cornucopia of more than 50 vendors spanning all flavors and tastes – is the culmination of a yearlong plan that requires more attention to detail than most of us put into a lifetime of dining. And at the head of the table is Sharee Macy.
An LIB veteran who started in 2018 working on the festival’s craft beer program, Sharee is in her second year as Director of Food and Beverage. When hunger pains hit in between performances, you can thank Sharee for every dish, dessert, and drink that delights your taste buds.
“The overall goal is to provide a diverse and memorable food experience that celebrates the culinary scene here in Las Vegas,” Sharee says. “A big part of this job is creating themes and concepts that tie the culinary offerings to the overall vibe of Life Is Beautiful.”
To that end, she has recruited a lineup that blends new, ready-for-the-spotlight tastes with reliable favorites. New experiences for LIB Year 10 include The Pizzeria, curated by Good Pie owner Chef Vincent Rotolo and featuring slices from Metro Pizza, Pizza Rock, Yukon Pizza, Rebellion Pizza, Esther’s Kitchen, and more. Returning champions include Tacotarian, Night + Market, Afters Ice Cream, and Shake Shack. The full menu of restaurants, bars, and food trucks can be found on the LIB website. As in year’s past, the festival will also host “elevated” culinary experiences for those with the right kind of wristband.
“We have a few pop-up surprises this year for VIP guests,” Sharee teases. “If you’re a VIP+ guest, visit the VIP+ viewing deck and let your palate take flight with bites prepared by acclaimed chefs from China Poblano, Jaleo, Echo & Rig, Casa Playa and Main St. Provisions daily.”
Five LIB Questions with Sharee Macy
OTS: What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen at Life Is Beautiful?
Sharee Macy: My favorite performance was in 2014 when Alt J hit the stage. I had just become a fan and was blown away by their live performance. If they’re playing in Vegas, I’ll be there!
OTS: Craziest Life is Beautiful story?
Sharee Macy: Have you seen the TV show The Bear on Hulu? It can be pretty crazy, but at the end of the day, we love what we do.
OTS: Which artist are you most excited to see this year?
Sharee Macy: YEAH YEAH YEAHS!
OTS: Which experience are you most excited to see this year?
Sharee Macy: I am so excited for Omakase Cantina, which is curated by the extremely talented Jolene Mannina. Omakase Cantina is an intimate and exclusive dining experience unlike any other. Guests have a seat at the table as chefs from Las Vegas’ finest eateries transform meals into masterpieces before their eyes in omakase-fashion. Featured chefs this year are Michael Rubinstein of Vetri Cucina, Oscar Amadori of Anima by EDO, and Josh Smith of Deliah. This is a must do if you’re able to snag a seat. Seating is available to be purchased online as an add-on experience based on availability.
OTS: What’s your No. 1 tip for a first-time festival goer?
Sharee Macy: Take time to soak it in. What other festival is smack-dab in the middle of the city? Stop by each stage, catch a show and bite to eat.