Giada De Laurentiis says she didn’t pick Las Vegas for her first restaurant; “Vegas picked me.” The Food Network star chats with Eater about her new restaurant opening in Baltimore on May 1, along with what it was like to open her very first restaurant, Giada at The Cromwell.
On being a woman chef opening on the Strip: “There are 50 or more chefs in that town, which 99.9% of them are all men. It’s time.”
On opening a restaurant with more seats than hotel rooms: “It’s an opportunity in this life that, if I had passed it up, I probably would never have forgiven myself. There were a lot of us in the running. It’s a boutique hotel, 188 rooms. There are less rooms than there are seats in the restaurant.” Giada has 275 seats.
On that view from Giada: “… seven windows that open onto the Strip, with the Bellagio fountains as your view. Thank you, Steve Wynn, for the free view. I say it all the time. I’ve said it to him.”
On Vegas as the home to her first restaurant: “And I thought it really works within my brand, and truly, Las Vegas is the only place I thought I could start a restaurant business, because I’m on television. Where else am I going to be taken seriously? Not New York, not in L.A., right? It’s entertainment and food, but that’s what I do. … If I fail in Las Vegas, then I know that part is not for me.”
On the Pete Wells of The New York Times review of Giada: “I spent two days bawling my eyes out.… He went a month after I opened, and of course he ripped it to shreds.”
On Guy Savoy dining at Giada: “I went to Paris for school, so when Guy Savoy comes into my restaurant and tells me how much he enjoys my pasta, I’m drooling. I feel like the first time he came in and told me how fantastic my food was, as well as Thomas Keller, I just thought, ‘That’s it. I can die now. My job on this planet has been done. I have completely been fulfilled.’”
• All Coverage of Giada [ELV]