You should be planning ahead... marking time off and reserving your room for a four-day Vegas getaway Dec. 5 to 8, preferably at The Venetian-Palazzo, because this is where indulgence lives. Here fabulous can't-miss culinary events await that will make returning to the "real world" extremely difficult. Consider this your road map:
Day 1 — Thurs. Dec. 5: Be sure to arrive in Vegas with plenty of time to make La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival's kick off event, "Dinner with Wolfgang" at the Palazzo's CUT. Wolfgang Puck and Dario Cecchini, the famed singing butcher of Panzano, aim to up the "steaks" at this intimate dinner delighting you with lively stories and a carnivore’s dream spread featuring Cecchini’s traditional Tuscan-style dishes. Then go straight to bed... don't get drawn into poker rounds just yet.
Day 2 — Fri. Dec. 6: Hit the tables, slots, pool deck, climb the Palazzo's indoor rock wall, walk the Strip... whatever it takes to work up an appetite for that crowning hour of 7 p.m. when the Venetian's Grand Colonade is transformed into a Grand Banquet reminiscent of King Arthur's Court. Grab a seat for the ultimate Tuscan-style feast prepared by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini featuring veal carpaccio, 24-month Galardi prosciutto, risotto with white truffle, and in Batali’s own words "porchetta to end all porchettas." His enthusiam heightens, "This will conjure meals eaten in Italy, where banquets are spread out quite literally in the middle of a street... common in a Tuscan or Umbrian village... not so much in the heart of the Vegas Strip."
Day 3 — Sat. Dec. 7: Today is your hands-on coming to grips with creating some classic Italian dishes for yourself. Meet at the Palazzo Waterfall Atrium at 11 a.m. for "How to Italian" experiences throughout the day:
"Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro will create a grand creation before your eyes. Get your Instagram ready!
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.
Giacomo d’Alessandro owner and pastry chef of A’putia uses ingredients like fresh sheep ricotta he imports direct from Sicily.
Cicerones, the sommeliers of beer, will guide guests on a tasting tour of unique Italian beers.
BelGioioso, Wisconsin’s premier cheesemaker specializing in classic Italian cheeses, will teach you how to prepare delicious fresh mozzarella at home.
Day 4 — Sunday glorious Sunday Dec 8: Hope you didn’t party too hard last night because you’ll want to get a relatively early-for-Vegas start today. Before embarking on your truffle hunt beginning 11 a.m. at B&B Ristorante, duck into LAVO’s new Proper Brunch. For the kid in you… PB&J Pancakes filled with Reese's Pieces topped with strawberry sauce and fresh whipped cream. A healthier approach, Blue Skies Pancakes, is a hot stack of white polenta cakes studded with fresh blueberries and topped with blueberry compote and yogurt covered blueberries. Or in keeping with the day’s theme, order a house-ground Meyer Farm Proper Burger topped with tomato jam, Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, cherrywood bacon, and a side of hand-cut truffle fries.
Then it’s off on the truffle hunt across three restaurants sampling each creation paired with wine.
Tickets for each day's events are sold separately.