Winter in Venice at The Venetian Las Vegas to Feature La Cucina Italiana Festival Dec. 5-8

Winter in Venice at The Venetian Las Vegas to Feature La Cucina Italiana Festival Dec. 5-8
The Venetian
and The Palazzo Las Vegas will feature La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival, a four-day event of Italian epicurean experiences, Dec. 5- 8, 2013. The event is part of Winter in Venice, the resort’s third-annual celebration of the winter holiday season on the Las Vegas Strip (Pictured: Mussels). 

Chef Mario Batali

Chef Mario Batali

Headlining the festival is Chef Mario Batali, who had a major role in its planning and will serve as the de facto master of ceremonies. He will be joined by a prestigious list of celebrity hosts and chefs including Buddy Valastro (star of the hit TLC TV series “Cake Boss”), Dario Cecchini (the famed singing butcher of Panzano), Wolfgang Puck (Iron Chef America, Food Fight), Roberto Caporuscio (the master pizzaiolo) and Anthony Giglio (sommelier and author).

The event is sponsored by La Cucina Italiana magazine and Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada.

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Dinner with Wolfgang | CUT, The Palazzo
$250 per person (7:00 pm – 9:00pm)
Wolfgang Puck and Dario Cecchini are upping the “steaks” at this intimate dinner. Guests will be able to enjoy a meal with personality. The chefs will delight guests with lively stories and a carnivore’s dream dinner featuring Cecchini’s traditional Tuscan-style dishes.

Friday, December 6, 2013
“The Grand Banquet” | Grand Colonnade, The Venetian
7:00pm – 10:00pm; $500 per person
Guests are presented with the ultimate Italian feast as they sit down to a gorgeous family-style feast pairing new- and old-world Italy by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini.

The banquet will be Tuscan-style, on an extended table in the hotel’s iconic Grand Colonnade, and will include such fare as veal Carpaccio, 24-month Galardi prosciutto, risotto with white truffle, and a porchetta created by Cecchini that Chef Batali refers to as “the porchetta to end all porchettas.”

“This format,” says Chef Batali, “will conjure meals eaten in Italy, where banquets are spread out quite literally in the middle of a street. Though something you often find in a Tuscan or Umbrian village, it is a novelty in this country, especially in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.”

“Very few people have the opportunity to attend an event that so eloquently blends the finest Italian food with extraordinary vintages from renowned Italian wine producers.”

Saturday, December 7, 2013
“How to Italian” | The Palazzo Waterfall Atrium
11:00am – 2:00pm; $50 per person
Experience Italy with an afternoon dedicated to learning about authentic Italy from the world’s greatest chefs and culinary celebrities. La Cucina Italiana magazine’s own Anthony Giglio will be the master of ceremonies for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In a village-like setting, taste some of the finest homemade Italian treats while learning about authentic artisanal products.

Throughout the day on center stage, interact with celebrity chefs and Mixologists from the U.S. and Italy, who will inspire the most modest chef to try new things!

“How to Italian” highlights include:

Roberto Caporuscio

Roberto Caporuscio

  • How to Make Pizza with Neapolitan Pizzaiolo with Roberto Caporuscio,
    owner of famed restaurants Kesté Pizza and Vino. Caporuscio and Don Antonio by Starita, will teach guests how to prepare and cook the perfect Neapolitan pizza.
 Dario Cecchini

Dario Cecchini

  • How to Bring Meat to a New Level with Dario Cecchini
    The legendary Chianti “Butcher of Panzano,” Dario Cecchini, will show different cuts of beef and how they’re used.
Buddy Valastro

Buddy Valastro

  • How to Make the Grandest Italian Cake with Buddy Valastro
    Celebrity Chef and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro will create a grand creation before your eyes. Get your Instagram ready!
  • How to Make Artisanal Salumi with Mario Batali
    Chef Batali will demonstrate the process of making Italian- style cured and preserved meats.
  • How to Taste Olive Oil
    with Gourmet Cooking and Living’s Italian Olive Oil of the Month Club
  • How to Create Avant-Garde Dishes
    with Garofalo Pasta & Francine Segan, a noted food historian and author of the book Pasta Modern
  • How to Make Classic Pasta Shapes
    with Terry Mirri, owner of Artisanal Pasta Tools
  • How to Recognize and Cook the Perfect Pasta
    with Delverde Pasta Sommelier
  • How to Cook Stress Free
    with Barbara Seelig-Brown, host of the PBS show Stress Free Cooking
  • How to Make Gelato with l’Albero dei Gelati
    L’Albero will take the audience through the step-by-step process of mixing conventional and unusual flavors such as blue cheese, yellow pepper, cheddar and other ingredients sourced from small sustainable producers. Taste it to believe it!
  • How to Make Baci Perugina with Vivien Reimbelli
    Visiting from Italy, exclusively for this event, Chef Vivien Reimbelli will prepare the traditional recipe of Baci Perugina Chocolates, inspired by a love story.
  • How to Make a Variety of Tiramisu with Chef Vary
    Inspired by her cookbook “Tiramisu Amore Mio,” Tuscan Chef Varinia Cappelletti will prepare traditional and innovative recipes for Tiramisu.
  • How to Make Fresh Sicilian Cannoli with A’Putia New York
    Giacomo d’Alessandro owner and pastry chef of A’putia uses ingredients like fresh sheep ricotta that he imports from Sicily.
  • How to Mix like a Mixologist
    Francesco Lafranconi , Southern Wine and Spirits’ Executive Director of Mixology and Spirits, will conduct an interactive Italian-styled Mixology demonstration. Learn from the expert how to mix cocktails like an Italian.
  • Navigate the World of Artisanal Italian Beer
    Cicerones, the sommeliers of beer, will guide guests on a tasting tour of unique Italian beers.
  • How to Make Fresh Mozzarella with Belgioioso
    Belgioioso, Wisconsin’s premier cheese maker specializing in classic Italian cheeses, will teach participants how to prepare delicious fresh mozzarella at home.

Saturday, December 7, 2013
“Bella Notte” Hosted by Robin Leach | Doges Palace, The Venetian
7:00pm – 10:00pm; $150 per person
A gala will honor influential Italian-Americans who have made a significant impact on the culture of the United States. Honorees and attendees will enjoy fine Italian cuisine from visiting chefs throughout the country. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.

Sunday, December 8, 2013
Truffle Hunt | B&B Ristorante, Carnevino and OTTO
11:00am – 2:00pm; $150 per person
Sponsored by Urbani Truffle, the Truffle Hunt will kick-off with a delicious breakfast of Cipriani-style Bellinis and Italian coffee. Participants will visit each of the restaurants for a sample of their own truffle creation and wine pairing. Three winners will receive prizes and be entered into a raffle to win a free trip to Italy for a week.

La Cucina Italiana Festival

La Cucina Italiana Festival

The best way to see La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival is to stay overnight. Several room-night packages combine prime access to festival events with a suite at The Venetian or The Palazzo. Packages include Passaporto di Winter in Venice, a festive bundle of value for the Winter in Venice experience, including free items and experiences worth more than $125 per stay. Additional retail, dining and entertainment offers are valued at more than $1,000.

For more information on these events, Winter in Venice or exclusive suite packages, please visit

Leave a Reply