Giada De Laurentiis Chats Over Coffee And Cake During Vegas Uncork’d

World-renowned chef Giada De Laurentiis will officially open her first regional restaurant GDL Italian by Giada at the Horseshoe Baltimore on Tuesday, but that didn’t keep her away from last week’s Vegas Uncork’d epicurean affair in Las Vegas.

giada-erik -kabikPhoto Credit: Erik Kabik

De Laurentiis chatted easily and openly with an intimate crowd during a coffee-tasting event with Counter Culture Coffee inside her fast-casual restaurant Pronto by Giada at Caesars Palace. She happily shared tidbits about her own coffee habit (espresso or Americano with agave syrup) and the personal espresso machine that she carries around from set to set.

She also confessed why she’s never the one to cook when visiting her extended family.

“They usually do the cooking,” said De Laurentiis, whose daughter Jade, 10, helped serve the event’s final treat, a moist, scrumptious Italian Rainbow Almond Cake layered with red, white and green like the Italian flag. Attendees also nibbled on white chocolate almond biscotti, dark chocolate pistachio biscotti, chia seed parfait and antipasti breakfast sandwiches.

30a.Giada_Brunch_HubPhoto Credit: Vegas Uncork’d

De Laurentiis went on to explain that some of her more traditional relatives, such as late grandfather and film producer Dino De Laurentiis, were dismissive of her knack for simplifying Italian food and making it more accessible to Food Network viewers. They felt she was butchering time-honored customs. She argued that her methods enable viewers to pursue their love for Italian culture by cooking at home.

“Sure, it’s better to make sauce from scratch,” she said, “but … if I tell you that’s the only way to do it, chances are you’re never going to do it.”

Caesars_Palace_Giada_De_Laurentiis-753x502Photo Credit: Caesars Entertainment

De Laurentiis isn’t bothered that her family still sees her as the little girl who grew up helping in the kitchen. “It’s actually very grounding for me, it puts me in my place,” she said. “It’s good for everybody on this planet because sometimes you can get carried away with all the outside goings-on.”

Three restaurants, nine cookbooks, several television shows, a Daytime Emmy, a Gracie Award and a spot in the Culinary Hall of Fame—even the cream of the crop feels like chopped liver sometimes.