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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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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