Archive for the ‘Celebrity Chefs’ Category

Giada Delaurentiis, Rachael Ray and Paula Deen Cookware quality or just a name?

paula deen cookware sets

paula deen cookware sets

I was looking around the Home & Kitchen section of amazon.com the other day, and noticed that there was a “gadget set” with Giada Delaurentiis’ name on it.  I knew that Rachael Ray and Paula Deen had their own lines of cookware, but I was a little surprised to see Giada with her name on gadgets.   After thinking about it for a bit, I guess it shouldn’t really be a surprise seeing as she’s one of the more popular television personalities on Food TV, but it got me thinking, does having the name of a celebrity chef/tv personality really influence the way people buy?  Does putting one’s name on a line mean that it’s good quality, or does it mean that they just sold out?

rachael ray cookware sets

rachael ray cookware sets

Well I did a little looking into what people who have actually bought their lines, and found the results a little surprising!!  I looked at their lines in general, but took 1 product from each line that had over 100 reviews to see how they fared.  I looked at Paula Deen’s 19241 Signature Porcelain 12-Piece Cookware Set and  Rachael Ray’s Porcelain Enamel Nonstick 10-Piece Cookware Set, Orange and both of them had over a 4 star (out of 5) rating.  Many of the 5 star ratings showed great durability and even cooking which seemed to be the constant with both.  There were some 1 star and negative reviews, but that was less then 5%.
I got the over all impression that when celebrity chef or personality puts their name to a line, you can pretty much assure yourself that you’ll be getting something of quality.  Do you own any of these lines, or have you cooked with them?  Share your thoughts!

Italian Restaurants In Vegas, B & B Ristorante Review

b&b ristorante


If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, you would certainly be in awe of all the glitz, glamor and bright lights. Las Vegas has an abundance of just about everything, and you can find pretty much anything you could ever imagine. The culinary experience in Las Vegas is second to none. Each hotel/casino has usually no less then 5 quality restaurants in them. They range from all American BBQ and burger stands, to posh French cuisine, and seemingly every few steps. The number of Italian restaurants in Las Vegas is impressive, to say the least. Boasting over 40 Italian restaurants in Las Vegas, there’s definitely not many cities outside of Italy that can claim that many Italian Restaurants.

Recently my wife (Lisa) and I visited Las Vegas and went to Mario Batali’s B & B Ristorante, in the Venetian. The atmosphere was that of an Old Italian restaurant, back in Italy. The staff was very friendly and there were a lot of them, so you were never left feeling like you were being un-attended to. Upon opening the menu, I was blown away at the selection and delicious sounding dishes. One of our waiters came by with a few slices of bread, with some olive paste, which I might add was delicious.

With so much to choose from, I really couldn’t decide if I wanted pasta, risotto, seafood or some type of meat. We ended up ordering a caprese salad and fried calamari, like we always do when we eat at an Italian Restaurant, as an appetizer. For our entree’s, Lisa went with papardelle Bolognese. Pappardelle are similar to fettucine, only they are much broader. I ordered, goat cheese ravioli, with orange and anise fronds. The caprese was very well presented, and the taste was spot on. And the calamari was, and I can say this with out any kind of bias, the best calamari I’ve ever tasted! Now I’ve had a lot of fried calamari in my time, and they were dusted just lightly enough so that it wasn’t the main ingredient, but it had a nice crispiness to it. The goat cheese ravioli had a phenomenal taste. My only negative was that the goat cheese filling was a little to runny for my liking. Now I understand that when goat cheese is melted, it tends to become runny, but like I said, that was my only negative comment, but it by no means spoiled the dinner. My wife raved about the pappardelle, and still talks about it!

We finished off the dinner with a light dessert. Lisa had the chocolate gelato, which she said was absolutley amazing, where as I had the nocciola panna cotta. I have this habit of ordering a panna cotta whenever I see it on a menu. I’m not big into desserts, but panna cotta has great texture, and a taste that’s not overly sweet.

My review of B&B Ristorante is just 1 Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas of the many. If you haven’t been to Las Vegas, my suggestion would be to pack your bags, and get out there! The prices on Las Vegas Hotels are as low as they’ve ever been, with packages (air + hotel) starting at $187. If you’ve been there before, and are planning to go again, try out one of the many Italian Restaurants, and feel free to leave comments and reviews as to your experience!

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Buon Appetito!