Food Network’s top-rated celebrity chef, Giada De Laurentiis, has reportedly landed a new restaurant at the luxury boutique Gaansevort Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. It is being transformed out of Bill's Gaming Hall & Saloon, at this moment a shell — but on target for a February 2014 opening with the gaming portion to be open for New Year's Day.
It would be Giada’s first restaurant — and following on our news of Guy Fieri moving into the Quad and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro moving into the Palazzo, she will become the third Food Network and Cooking Channel star to open a Strip venue.
Neither hotel officials nor Giada’s TV execs confirm the foodie rumors but I have learned sufficient information to know it’s a done-deal! We should get the official announcement later this summer.
Giada is a globally revered chef from her shows on the Food Network, the Cooking Channel and recurring NBC-today show appearances. In addition to authoring numerous cookbooks, she has a cookwear collection and DVD recipe line at Target stores, as well as a companion set of oils, vinegars and accompaniments to Barilla pasta products .
Born in Rome, Giada is part of a large Italian family that includes her famous film producer grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, whom she originally worked for at his DDL Foodshow restaurant. After graduating from the University of California in Los Angeles and professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she worked for celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. Her Food Network career began in 2002 and she won Emmy’s, became a judge on “Next Food Network Star," and her newest top-rated series, "Giada at Home," premiered last fall.
SWIMSUIT MODELS RETURN: Every February since 2009, the stunning Sports Illustrated swimwear supermodels have celebrated the magazine’s sexy best-selling issue in Las Vegas. In all, they’ve staged more than 60 events here. And they will be back June 28 for a “Summer of Swim’ poolside party, parade and photo layout. It will be a two-part day and night swimsuit SI party at both the Encore Beach Club and the Surrender nightclub. Models committed to this visit include Nina Agdal, Kate Bock, Alyssa Miller and John Legend’s fiancee Chrissy Teigen, who is currently hosting VH1’s Mandalay Bay "Model Employee" reality series. By day, the statuesque beauties will pose for photos poolside and with Encore’s resident deejays Sultan and Ned Shepard, and by night party with DJ Cazzette at Surrender.
HI-FLYING DAREDEVIL: It's another death-defying demonstration, but this time Cirque du Soleil’s magic star Criss Angel from Believe at the Luxor won’t let the wind stop the stunt. He’s moved it off-Strip, inside the Fashion Show mall, where he will be suspended more than five stories — 60 feet in the air. Daredevil Criss will attempt a never-before-done presentation by crossing two moving steel I-beams that have a two-foot gap between them, while blindfolded. The beams will be hung from stage trussing. He must rely on his other senses to be heightened to successfully leap from one beam to the next. He’ll make history if successful — and we don’t dare think what happens if he misses! He has been training with USA 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber and rehearsing on an empty lot opposite the Luxor.
Criss told me: “The first time we wanted to do this, we were shut down because of high winds. This week our practices have been canceled due to the winds. But Saturday I go ahead with it whatever happens. I know the danger involved. What we’re filming for our new fall Spike TV series is the most dangerous stuff I’ve ever attempted. We’re really risking life and limb pushing the envelope so far out, but it's becoming incredible television.”
Last week, Criss successfully escaped three locks from a steel straitjacket inches above a pit of snapping crocs and angry alligators! Fans of Criss — and just the curious — are invited to watch for free starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Fashion Show opposite the Wynn Las Vegas and Treasure Island resorts.
GARTH JOINS TOBY: Country singer Toby Keith confirmed Thursday that his Oklahoma Twister relief concert is set for July 6 — and Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood will appear directly after they’ve finished filming the second half of their DVD concert at Steve Wynn’s Encore theater at the Wynn. Toby hails from Moore, Okla., where 24 people were killed in the recent tornadoes. The hotel tycoon is providing his personal jet to fly the couple back and forth from Oklahoma to perform both here and at the University of Oklahoma’s Memorial Stadium in Norman. Willie Nelson and Ronnie Dunn also will perform. Tickets go on sale June 21 for $25.
STAR SURVEILLANCE: Playboy beauty and former Strip magic headliner Pamela Anderson was treated royally when the Gazillionaire and his assistant Penny Pibbets welcomed her to Wednesday night's wild and wacky Absinthe show under the tent at Caesars Palace … MTV star T.J. Lavin hosted “The Challenge” series at chef Carla Pellegrino’s Meatball Spot bistro Wednesday night for turkey meatballs and rigatoni pasta … actors Kevin Hart and Terrence Jenkins took a break from filming scenes for their new movie “Think Like A Man 2” to party Wednesday under the stars with DJ Zedd’s Eclipse show at the Daylight Beach Club in Mandalay Bay … comedy illusionist Murray Sawchuck, who is seen regularly on "Pawn Stars," joins former Miss Great Britain, actress Liz Fuller from "CSI" as presenters at Friday night’s Emmy Awards show for the National Academy of Television Arts & sciences Pacific Southwest zone at Red Rock Resort in Summerlin. Veteran character actor Barry Henley will host.
TONIGHT'S TIPS: Playboy sex symbol and TV fitness femme fatale Carmen Electra, who stars in the new "Book of Fire" movie, hosts a 21 & over DVD release party at Haze nightclub in Aria … "Mike & Molly" sitcom star Billy Gardell tapes his new Showtime special in the classic showroom of downtown’s Plaza Hotel. It’s the second of three "Road Dogs" standup revues … the new "Built to Amaze’ circus show from Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey opens at the Thomas & Mack Center with ringmaster Andre McLain wrangling 95 animals, 17 dancers and 13 clowns from 17 different countries … musicians from the current "American Idiot" Green Day show at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts will perform at the Red Rock Resort’s Rocks Lounge with the punk rock band’s entire song catalog … Texas singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham plays the Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan … Natural Vibrations and Legged Fox play the Hard Rock Café on the Strip … one day prior to the third live NBC Sports network-televised World Series of Fighting at the Hard Rock Hotel, MMA headliners Jon Fitch and Josh Burkman, along with welterweight contenders Tyson Steele and Steve Carl, have their official weigh-ins at the Joint … The Piano Guys hit the black and whites at UNLV.
TOMORROW’S TEASE: The kings of comedy and the pageant queens of Miss Nevada and Miss USA are dueling on the Vegas entertainment scene this weekend. "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno is back at the Mirage to go head-to-head against Jeff Dunham and his stick characters at Caesars Palace. The glamour girls of Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant parade live from Planet Hollywood on Sunday while Miss Nevada and Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen hope to upstage them a day earlier!
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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