Black & White Gala

Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) cooked up a lavish celebration honoring Giada De Laurentiis, lauded as the dance company’s “Woman of the Year” at its 34th annual Black & White Ball. About 500 patrons attend the fundraiser at Wynn Las Vegas, nearly all donning finery in chic shades of caviar and fresh cream. De Laurentiis, an Emmy-award winning chef, restaurateur and philanthropist, was resplendent in a black, off-the-shoulder gown. In addition to being the evening’s honoree, she also helped raise an impressive — and event record — $220,000 after spontaneously adding an evening of her cooking to the live auction.

That offer set off a bidding war between the Jenkins (Tom Jenkin, a top executive with Caesars Entertainment and his wife, Trish) and the Roys (Switch founder Rob Roy and his wife, Stella, who co-chaired the gala dinner.(The menu was a particularly elegant ensemble of salad, short ribs, lobster and a duet of s’more mousse brownies and a light-as-air crème fraiche raspberry vacherin for dessert).

Other surprises throughout the night included an unbilled appearance by Jewel (who sang an enchantingly lilting version of “Somewhere over the Rainbow”) and a spirited performance titled “Cheese, Please!” by NBT’s Future Dance Scholars (in mini toques and white chef jackets). Representatives from luxury jeweler Nirav Modi, the event’s sponsor, presented De Laurentiis with a pair of diamond earrings while she was at the podium.