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December 18, 2014

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Celebrity chefs go from TV fame to Las Vegas fortune

It was a big week for celebrity chefs in Las Vegas.

Buddy Valastro (“Cake Boss,” “Next Great Baker”) opened Carlo’s Bakery in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian/Palazzo on March 31, following in the footsteps of his Buddy V’s Ristorante, which opened across the hallway in October.

UNLV alumnus Guy Fieri (“Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off”) previewed his first Las Vegas restaurant, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, at the Quad on April 4.

So who else is here, and who else is on the way?

Here are seven notable TV celebrity chefs, including Valastro and Fieri, who have recently made the Las Vegas dining landscape even more star-studded:

Tom Colicchio

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Tom Colicchio.

Why you know him: His best-known role is as host and judge on “Top Chef.”

His newest Las Vegas restaurant: Colicchio likes red meat, witness his Heritage Steak at the Mirage, which opened in August. Colicchio also has another steakhouse on the Strip, Craftsteak, at MGM Grand.

Bobby Flay

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Bobby Flay.

Why you know him: One of the most popular and well-known star chefs, Flay’s TV series include “Throwdown With Bobby Flay,” “The Next Food Network Star” and “Sandwich King.”

His newest Las Vegas restaurant: Flay’s fast, casual and affordable (for the Strip) Bobby’s Burger Palace opened in front of Mandarin Oriental in January, the 18th outlet of the national chain. Flay’s southwestern restaurant Mesa Grill is at Caesars Palace.

Mario Batali

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A Taste of Italy with Mario Batali at the Palazzo on Saturday, June 1, 2013.

Why you know him: Who doesn’t know Batali and his red hair, orange Crocs and numerous TV shows and restaurants?

His newest Las Vegas restaurant: After months of delays, Batali’s B&B Burger and Beer with longtime business partner Joe Bastianich opened in December at the Venetian. Batali’s dining dynasty in Las Vegas also includes B&B Ristorante and Otto in the Venetian and Carnevino in Palazzo.

Seonkyoung Longest

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“Restaurant Express” Season 1 winner Seonkyoung Longest, pictured here with husband Jacob Longest, has opened Jayde Fuzion at the M Resort in Las Vegas.

Why you know her: The self-taught Korean-American chef won Season 1 of the Food Network’s “Restaurant Express” on Dec. 15.

Her first Las Vegas restaurant: Her prize for winning the competition was the Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurant Jayde Fuzion at the M Resort, which opened in December. As of March 1, Longest left Jayde Fuzion of her own accord to return home to Mississippi to be with her husband, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jacob Longest. Her menu continues to be served at the restaurant.

Guy Fieri

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Guy Fieri at the construction site of his new restaurant Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, on the Strip.

Why you know him: The excitable, spiky-blond UNLV alumnus has garnered a fan following with “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and, more recently, “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.”

His upcoming Las Vegas restaurant: Fieri’s first culinary foray in Las Vegas, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, is set to open this month at the Quad.

Giada De Laurentiis

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Chef Giada De Laurentiis tours Giada, her restaurant scheduled to open this spring, on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at The Cromwell.

Why you know her: She’s beautiful, she’s Italian, and she can cook, as evidenced by “Giada at Home” and “Everyday Italian.”

Her upcoming Las Vegas restaurant: Her new Italian restaurant, Giada, is tentatively set to open Memorial Day weekend along with the boutique hotel Cromwell, for which it is the anchor restaurant. This is her first restaurant.

Buddy Valastro

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Carlo's Bakery by celebrity chef Buddy Valastro opens in the Grand Canal Shoppes on Monday, March 31, 2014, in the Venetian/Palazzo in Las Vegas.

Why you know him: The self-described Hoboken, N.J., baker is the star of “Cake Boss” and “Next Great Baker.”

His newest Las Vegas restaurant: Hundreds of fans waited patiently for the opening of Carlo’s Bakery — and the chance to meet and take a photograph with Valastro. His first Las Vegas outpost, Buddy V’s Ristorante, opened in the fall and recently introduced a weekend brunch buffet with limitless cocktails.

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