Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed chef, television personality, best-selling author and philanthropist Giada De Laurentiis will be honored as its “Woman of the Year” for the 34th Annual Black & White Ball. De Laurentiis’ numerous achievements in the culinary arts and dedication to national and international charitable causes will be celebrated on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Wynn Resorts during the 46 year-old ballet company’s largest annual fundraiser and one of the city’s preeminent society and fashion events.
From her early beginnings as a Le Cordon Bleu classically-trained chef and food stylist, Giada De Laurentiis has risen to stardom as one of the world’s most beloved television personalities. As a New York Times best-selling author, Daytime Emmy Award-winner and Culinary Hall of Fame inductee, De Laurentiis has made an indelible mark on modern day culture through her Food Network shows, television appearances, cook books, product lines and more.
“For over 30 years, NBT has feted powerful female icons for their artistry, strength, leadership and philanthropy,” said NBT Co-Founder and Board Co-Chair Nancy Houssels. “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 non-profit performing arts organization, we champion artistic achievements of all kinds, as 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 arrived in Las Vegas in 2014 with the opening of her highly-anticipated first ever restaurant, GIADA at The Cromwell. Since then, the restaurant has received wide-acclaim with not only visitors but locals as well. Now, nearly four years later, her second restaurant, “Pronto by Giada,” will open at Caesars Palace early 2018.
“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.”
As the granddaughter of famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada has also channeled her acting and performing skills for the animated children’s show “Handy Manny” where she is the voice of “Paulette” and in 2014, she voiced the character of “Gelata” in the U.S. version of the Tinker Bell special, Pixie Hollow Bake Off. De Laurentiis is the recipient of the Gracie Award, named after comedian and entertainer Gracie Allen, which is presented annually by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to celebrate and honor programming created for women, by women and about women.
The Black & White Ball boasts an important history of honoring local female trailblazers beginning with its first honoree, Elaine Wynn, in 1985. Throughout the years, former casino owners, hoteliers and politicians have been celebrated for changing the face of Las Vegas. In 2001, beginning with entertainer Debbie Reynolds, the Company began honoring internationally-recognized female icons. Since that time, actresses, dancers, singers and comedians—have been honored including Celine Dion, Rita Rudner, Marie Osmond, Priscilla Presley, Eva Longoria, Mitzi Gaynor, Florence Henderson, Debbie Allen, Olivia Newton-John and Vanessa Williams, among others. Sharing a commitment to philanthropy, a hallmark of the Woman of the Year honor, most of these luminaries have performed, lived, or owned businesses in Las Vegas.
Garnering media attention locally and nationally, NBT’s Black & White Ball hosts over 500 arts supporters annually for what has been called “the crème de la crème of society events.” Funds raised from this important gala support a variety of endeavors including professional company ballet productions at NBT’s world-class performance home, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts; quality dance instruction within its affiliated school, the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre; and dance programs and initiatives for at-risk youth through its Education and Outreach Programs that serve over 20,000 students a year.
Dinner Chairs for the 2018 Black & White Ball are NBT Board of Trustees Member Stella Roy and CEO, Founder and Chairman of Switch, Rob Roy; and NBT Board of Trustees Member Jessica Wooden and President of Wynn Resorts Maurice Wooden.