"Every day I think about the fact that I'm one of the only female brands out there on the Strip in Las Vegas with a restaurant," the Food Network star tells Food & Wine.
Giada De Laurentiis is establishing serious roots in Las Vegas. Pronto by Giada, officially set to open on February 5 at Caesars Palace, will join Giada at the Cromwell as the celebrity chef's second restaurant in the city.
More casual than her flagship, Pronto by Giada will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and items like pastries, wine on tap, smoothies, antipasti and sandwiches.
2018 will be a big year for the Food Network star, who also has plans to open a restaurant in Baltimore this year at the Horseshoe casino. According to a Horseshoe spokesperson, the new restaurant will take the place of Johnny Sanchez, the taqueria from John Besh and Aaron Sanchez that recently closed.
“Yes, I’m going to open up a restaurant in Baltimore,” De Laurentiis said in a July Facebook live. “Yes—don’t ask me why, I have to think of the reason, but I am going to open a restaurant in Baltimore in 2018.”
As one of the few female chefs with a visible presence on the Strip, De Laurentiis feels that her role in the Vegas restaurant scene is especially meaningful.
"I work in a business that’s really male-dominated, and although it’s slowly changing, it’s still really male-dominated, De Laurentiis tells Food & Wine. "Every day I think about the fact that I'm one of the only female brands out there on the Strip in Las Vegas with a restaurant. I was given this opportunity, and now it's my turn to turn it around and give it to others." (Her new artisan popcorn line, Simply7, sources corn from female farmers and offers resources to help grow their businesses.)
And De Laurentiis is showing no signs of slowing down. Her forthcoming cookbook, Giada's Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita, will be released in April; she calls it "the most Italian thing" she's "ever done." Recipes will include spaghetti with chianti and fava Beans; asparagus with grilled melon salad; bruschetta with burrata and kale salsa verde; and fennel upside down cake.