Giada De Laurentiis: My Las Vegas Restaurant Will Be a ‘Fun Show’

02/27/2014 at 02:50 PM ET

Giada De Laurentiis Vegas Restaurant
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

If you order pasta at Giada De Laurentiis‘ soon-to-open Las Vegas restaurant, don’t be surprised to see the waiter lug a massive wheel of Parmesan cheese to your table.

Finishing dishes tableside — such as shaving cheese over your pasta plate — is just one of the elaborate touches the popular TV chef is cooking up for the Italian-themed Giada, her first restaurant. The spot is scheduled to open in the Cromwell Hotel on the Vegas Strip in May.

“I’m trying to take my recipes and create a sort of a show with them,” De Laurentiis tells PEOPLE, after returning from the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Sunday. Another example: her signature chicken cacciatore for two, presented tableside in a cast-iron skillet before being whisked back to the kitchen for carving.

“With Italian restaurants everywhere [in Vegas], I need to find a way to make [mine] all my own,” she tells PEOPLE. “So I’m finding some unique and fun ways to create not just great ambiance and food, but a fun show. Because there’s no place like Vegas, and you can’t do [that] anywhere else but Vegas.”

The Everyday Italian star says she’s been “eating a lot more food” than usual due to restaurant tastings, but has taken up boxing to stay in shape. “It not only helps with stress [but] really tones you and makes you sweat faster than anything else,” she says.

That’s good to know if you plan to dig into her restaurant’s dessert offerings — a course often overlooked by Sin City diners, she notes.

“I am going to do a dessert cart,” she says. “I’m building these beautiful pink-and-gold carts to stroll through the restaurant. We can do all sorts of flambés and fun stuff that people can see, and then it becomes a show and people want it to come to their table and they will order dessert.”

She adds: “That is my [goal]—to not allow people leave without a bit of sweetness in their life.”

—Nancy Mattia, with reporting by Brittany Talarico

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 7 comments

Romarie on

Giada, as usual, looks amazing.

I was wondering when she was going to throw her hat into the restaurant ring. Her food always looks amazing and delicious.

I hope she’ll find something to wear @

I hope you all will too! Enter MAG at checkout, and receive a 10% discount 🙂

La on

She’s so pretty and seems like such a great mom and person! I’d love to go check out her restaurant once it’s opened. God bless! 🙂

Gail on

You had me at dessert cart, Giada!

brianvirgili on

I love, love, love Giada. Her recipes and taste is always spot-on. Can’t wait to dine at her restaurant!

frankie newmann on

I’m excited about the opening of this extraordinary restaurant! Bring on the Cheese wheel!!! Yummmmmm!

Tony on

Best of luck to this restaurant. If they in the interview process treat people like they are not worthy, then I foresee a high turnover due to poor treatment of staff. If you treat people with disrespect it will show in service from the door to the dining room. Seriously good luck Giada’s

Miguel Demar on

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