Giada De Laurentiis Dishes On Opening Her Newest Vegas Restaurant, Her Latest Italian-Inspired Cookbook & Opening Her First East Coast Restaurant

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Emmy Award-winning, celebrity chef, television personality and New York Times best-selling author, Giada De Laurentiis also has yet another impressive title to add – restaurateur. Just last month, she opened her second restaurant Pronto by Giada at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which joins sibling GIADA at The Cromwell.

Giada de LaurentiisPhoto Credit: Caesars Palace

Pronto by Giada features her signature California-Italian fare in a fast, casual atmosphere (think curried chicken paninis, grilled cheese with lemon pesto, and slices of cake) served up in an Italian-inspired retail space.

De Laurentiis cultivated her staple Italian cuisine in her family’s kitchen in Rome and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.  Since her debut in 2002, she has become one of the Food Network’s most recognizable faces, starring in many TV shows, the most recent being, Giada Entertains and Giada’s Holiday Handbook alongside the highly popular series, Food Network Star. She is also a correspondent on NBC’s Today Show, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle. De Laurentiis is the author of eight cookbooks as well as her children’s chapter book series, Recipe for Adventure that transports readers to famous food cities around the world. She also recently launched a new lifestyle website, Giadzy.com, where she showcases new recipes, videos, lifestyle and travel tips. De Laurentiis currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Jade.

ProntoPhoto Credit: Caesars Palace

We caught up recently with De Laurentiis to chat about her newest restaurant, her latest cookbook and opening her first East Coast restaurant.

Congratulations on opening your second Las Vegas restaurant. Did you ever think you would be a restaurateur?

Not really and especially not in Vegas! Opening a restaurant is no easy feat, but I have to say it’s one of my most rewarding accomplishments. I couldn’t be prouder to be one of the first female chefs to open a restaurant on the Vegas Strip and when the opportunity came to open a second, it seemed like a no-brainer.

How does Pronto differ from GIADA?

Pronto by Giada at Caesars Palace has the same Italian with a California twist cuisine that I am known for, but in a much quicker and casual surrounding than my first restaurant, GIADA at The Cromwell. It features everything from pastries to panini to cakes by the slice, a specialty coffee program, expansive wine list, and an Italian-inspired retail space. There’s a taste of something for everyone.

Giada Bucatini Photo Credit: The Cromwell

We are excited you are finally coming to the East Coast opening GDL Italian by Giada next month at Horseshoe Baltimore. What can we expect to see on the menu there?

Expect to see a menu packed with a variety of salads and antipasti including a crab cake arancini with Old Bay aioli. Fresh pastas and a few signature entrees such as my Tuscan Steak or Rockfish Cacciatore. And, of course, there always has to be a sweet finish. Perhaps zeppole or my lemon ricotta cookies will be just the right thing to end the meal. 

What are some of your favorite meals to enjoy as a family?

Jade loves to cook with me in the kitchen, so when we’re together we’ll usually make one of her favorite meals like pasta with Bolognese sauce or chicken parmesan. I try to keep the meals delicious yet simple, so we can spend time together without any stress. She’s also really into baking right now, so we’ve been making lots of different muffins, cookies and most recently, my salted dark chocolate chunk brownies from my new cookbook,Giada’s Italy.

Giada Interior HeroPhoto Credit: The Cromwell

Any plans to expand your restaurants to the northeast, i.e. Boston?

I should be so lucky.

You recently spent a month in Rome to shoot your upcoming cookbook, Giada’s Italy. Tell us about that experience.

I was born in Rome so the city is really close to my heart, as well as this book. I had an unforgettable experience exploring with Jade and my mom. It was also really enlightening to see Rome through Jade’s eyes, both in looking at the city and also spotting every gelato stand! The recipes in the book are all inspired by my family recipes or traditional Italian recipes from all over the country, ranging from Florence to Sicily. Each chapter of the book reflects the way Italians live and eat. Also scattered throughout the book are fun Italian tips, like the difference between the cured meats in Italy, how to choose canned tuna and anchovies, what the Italian pantry consists of, how to use Calabrian chili paste, what to do with a parmesan rind and how to tell the difference between various Italian cheeses. I give you a look into shopping at Italian markets and show you the must-have mementos to take home. Overall, I’m so excited to share my take on Italy with everyone!

Giada de LaurentiisPhoto Credit: The Cromwell

Any plans to expand your restaurants to the northeast, i.e. Boston?

I should be so lucky.

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Boston when you are in town?

Flour Bakery, Oleana, Sonsie, Sportello and Toro, to name a few!

Giada de LaurentiisPhoto Credit: The Cromwell

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