The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas have unveiled the La Cucina Italiana Food & Wine Festival, a four-day event of Italian epicurean experiences, to be held in Las Vegas Dec. 5 to 8. The event is part of the resort's third annual 49-day "Winter in Venice" holiday celebration, and will feature Italian-inspired tastings, cooking classes, culinary workshops, and more.
The festival features several renowned chefs, including Mario Batali, who also has a major role in planning the festival and will serve as the de facto master of ceremonies. Other celebrity chefs who will make an appearance during the culinary festivities are "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro, Wolfgang Puck, Roberto Caporuscio, and Anthony Giglio.
During the festival, a series of "how-to" classes will teach attendees the secrets to Italian cooking techniques, such as how to make Neapolitan-style pizza, how to taste olive oil, how to make classic pasta shapes, and more.
One of the other festival highlights is the "The Grand Banquet," a $500 Italian feast held at the Grand Colonnade at The Venetian. The sit-down dinner will be served Tuscan-style — on a long table — and be prepared by Mario Batali and Dario Cecchini, pairing "new and Old World Italy." The menu will feature dishes such 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," according to a press release.
"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."