Giada De Laurentiis will be honored by the Nevada Ballet Theatre as Woman of the Year during the 34th annual Black & White Ball, which hosts more than 500 arts supporters each year, at Wynn Las Vegas on Jan. 27.
The internationally acclaimed award-winning celebrity chef, TV personality, producer, best-selling author, restaurateur and philanthropist is being recognized for her innumerable accomplishments in the culinary arts and her dedication to worldwide charitable causes.
“For over 30 years, NBT has feted powerful female icons for their artistry, strength, leadership and philanthropy,” said Nancy Houssels, co-founder and board co-chair of the 46-year-old Las Vegas ballet company.
“Hailing from a performing arts family, Giada De Laurentiis is a strong female leader and educator who has earned worldwide acclaim for her culinary artistry. As a nonprofit performing arts organization, we champion artistic achievements of all kinds; they play a key role in shaping our culture while inspiring future generations to cultivate their own artistic talents — in whatever form that takes.
“We also applaud Giada’s deep commitment to fighting chronic hunger and poverty through global organizations like Oxfam, and initiatives such as “No Kid Hungry,” and we look forward to celebrating her talent, commitment to children and her contributions to our great city.”
De Laurentiis made her way to Las Vegas in 2014 to open her first restaurant, GIADA, at The Cromwell Las Vegas hotel-casino. The highly anticipated, chic Italian restaurant has received wide acclaim since its opening from visitors and locals alike. And, early next year, she will open her second restaurant on the Strip — Pronto by Giada — at Caesars Palace.
Although she resides in Los Angeles with her daughter, Jade, De Laurentiis has grown quite fond of our world-class dining and entertainment destination during her time here.
“Las Vegas has quickly become my second home; I care about the city, it’s people and the impact that being a female culinary leader here has on the future of the industry,” said De Laurentiis. “I am honored to have been selected as Woman of the Year, joining the ranks of other trailblazers, and will continue my mission of creating inspiring culinary creations and ambitions of others.”
Starting out as a Le Cordon Bleu classically trained chef and food stylist, De Laurentiis is now one of the world’s most beloved television personalities, as well as the recipient of Daytime Emmy (2008) and Gracie (2012) awards for outstanding lifestyle host, and a Culinary Hall of Fame inductee.
Since her debut in 2002, she has become one of the most recognizable faces on the Food Network and has starred in many TV shows; most recently Giada Entertains, “Giada in Italy,” “Giada’s Holiday Handbook” and the popular series “Food Network Star.”
Some might say she comes by her on-camera success naturally; she is, after all, the granddaughter of famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis. In addition to her appearances on the Food Network, she is a correspondent on NBC’s “Today” where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle. She also has put her acting and performing skills to work on the animated children’s show “Handy Manny” for which she is the voice of “Paulette,” and she voiced the character of “Gelata” in the U.S. version of Disney Fairies’ Tinker Bell special, Pixie Hollow Bake Off, in 2014.
A New York Times best-selling cookbooks author, De Laurentiis has written nine cookbooks, as well as a children’s chapter book series, Recipe for Adventure, which transports readers to famous food cities around the world.
Recently, this hard-working, multitasking powerhouse also launched a lifestyle website, Giadzy, where she showcases new recipes, videos, and lifestyle and travel tips. Plus, she now offers her own exclusive product line that she created in collaboration with Williams Sonoma. Released in stores this summer, it features a variety of kitchen tools, seasonings and rubs, and pasta noodles and sauces.
As NBT’s largest annual fundraiser — and one of the city’s preeminent society and fashion events — the Black & White Ball helps support a variety of endeavors. Among these are professional company ballet productions at a world-class facility and its home, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts; quality dance instruction at its affiliated Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre; and dance programs and initiatives for at-risk youth through its Education & Outreach Programs, which serve more than 20,000 students yearly.
Esteemed for its history of recognizing and celebrating local female pioneers and innovators who have changed the face of Las Vegas throughout the years, the gala’s first honoree was Elaine Wynn in 1985.
Sixteen years later, NBT began honoring internationally recognized female icons, beginning with Debbie Reynolds. Others who have received the honor of being named the company’s Woman of the Year include Celine Dion, Marie Osmond and Priscilla Presley.
Although NBT has lauded many iconic women for their numerous, varied achievements and contributions, one thing all of these ladies have in common is their shared commitment to philanthropy, a hallmark of the Woman of the Year honor.