Inside Look At Star Chef Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis is one of the world's leading celebrity chefs. Despite her achievements in the culinary world, the queen of Everyday Italian doesn't possess a perfect life. What is behind her dazzling smile?
1. The End Of An Era
In 2015, Giada De Laurentiis ended the 11-year marriage with her fashion designer husband, Todd Thompson. People started spreading malicious rumors about the fallout of their relationship. However, Giada handled the situation with grace. How can she keep on smiling throughout it all? We can find the answer from her growing up.
2. Back To The Beginning
Giada was born in Rome into Italy's film royalty. Her parents Veronica De Laurentiis and Alex De Benedetti are both professional actors. Besides, her maternal grandfather Dino De Laurentiis was a famous film producer who helped popularize Italian cinema in America. Although Giada has such a film pedigree, she didn't want to follow in their footsteps.
3. Dealing With Bullies
After her parents' divorce, young Giada was uprooted with her siblings and moved from Italy to California in the 1970s. As a new immigrant, Giada couldn't speak English, for which she was bullied and even nicknamed "Jabba the Hutt." To hide out, Giada found a safe place - her grandfather's restaurant, DDL Foodshow, where things started to change.
4. Being Confused About The Future
Giada developed a passion for cooking in her grandfather's restaurant. But despite her deep love for food, she wasn't sure if it’s a career prospect or just another hobby. Her parents encouraged Giada to attend college as she was about to make rash decisions. However, getting a degree in Social Anthropology only made the 26-year-old even more clueless about her future.
5. Pursuing Her Culinary Passion
After realizing the fact that social anthropology was not for her, Giada decided to explore her culinary passion. She ambitiously applied for the highly coveted and competitive Le Cordon Bleu, and to her surprise, she was accepted. However, after Giada arrived in Paris, she found things weren't as expected.
6. Harder Than She Thought
Studying at Le Cordon Bleu, it wasn't long before Giada started doubting herself. Due to stress and lack of sleep, the petite girl at 5'1" lost 10 pounds. The only thing that kept her from giving up was her innate love of cooking. Looking back on this memorable experience, it really changed her life.
7. Starting As A Chef Isn't Easy
After finishing her studies in Paris, Giada was more than ready to dive right into the culinary scene. Eager to prove to herself and those who had doubted her decision, Giada worked in several restaurants and quickly earned a positive reputation in the culinary world. However, she still wasn't sure if being a chef was right for her.
8. Questioning Her Career Path Yet Again
Giada changed her career yet again, transitioning seamlessly from a chef to a food stylist for Food & Wine Magazine. In 2002, Giada caught the attention of a Food Network executive, who persuaded her to make an on-camera demo. Soon, a series called Everyday Italian starring Giada was greenlit by the network. But the beginning was not that easy.
9. Not A Real Chef?
As Everyday Italian began airing, people thought the network had brought in an actress or model, not a qualified chef, but Giada proved them all wrong. Everyday Italian turned out to be a success, and Giada rapidly rose to be one of the most sought after chefs in the culinary industry. In 2005, she released a cookbook, which reached the top of the bestseller lists. Despite all her success, Giada was still toiling away to prove herself on camera.
10. An On-Air Fail
Giada's career in front of the camera skyrocketed when Everyday Italian began to register on everyone's radar. She, alongside fellow network chef Bobby Flay, competed on Iron Chef America as teammates. Unfortunately, their cooperation caused some strife. Giada was disappointed in their failure, which led to friction between her and Flay. It wasn't until 8 months later that the two reconciled.
11. The Downsides Of Being A Celebrity Chef
Being a celebrity isn't as fun as it seems, and Giada De Laurentiis didn't enjoy it very much. Her fans feel like they know her through the TV show, but actually, they don't. Giada doesn't like the attention of strangers, which was disrupting her daily life. Still, she smiles through every fan interaction, and there is a secret behind her seemingly bright smile.
12. Smiling Through The Stress
Giada has now become known for her super big and bright smile, but smiling all the time doesn't come naturally for her. Initially, she felt quite uncomfortable in front of the camera. Then, the producer Irene Wong advised the chef star to grin even when she didn't feel like it. Gradually, Giada got pretty good at hiding her real emotions behind her signature grin.
13. The Strange Ingredients She Keeps In Her Fridge
As a culinary maven, Giada has some clever life hacks. For instance, she mixes olive oil and baking soda into homemade face masks to moisturize skin. To keep her smile looking beautiful and at all times, Giada stores lots of tooth whitener in the fridge to keep them fresh. Besides, her fridge keeps a few more food secrets.
14. What Does A Celebrity Chef Eat?
In a bid to stay fit, Giada takes care of what she eats and avoids fattening foods. Reportedly, she usually carries dark chocolate in each of her handbags at all times to cure any craving for something sweet. This celebrity chef, in actuality, rarely eats the food she makes on her show. Then who does the taste tests you see on the screen?
15. Who Wants A Bite?
Giada makes so many meals throughout the day, and she couldn't possibly eat them all. So Giada and the producers came up with a pretty brilliant idea to deal with this problem. They arranged several substitutes standing on the set during any taste tests, and the scenes are done as close up shots so that no one can tell the difference.
16. Meeting Nicole Kidman
On an episode of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show with Nicole Kidman, Giada taught the two how to make focaccia. Ellen and Nicole each took a bite of the focaccia Giada made. While Ellen jokingly exaggerated her chewing, Nicole gracefully spat her bite back out. Giada explained that she premade the focaccia hours before the show, and the three all laughed. In fact, that wasn't the first time Giada's food had been spat back out.
17. Freezing Up On Air
Earlier in her TV chef career, Giada was invited to cook for Al Roker on the Today Show. To make the dish look good on camera, Giada made the chicken a little raw. Unaware of this, Roker just went to take a bite. Her entire body froze as she feared her career would be over, but fortunately, Roker understood the situation and let it slide.
18. Giada's Culinary Career Highs
In 2008, Giada won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Host. Most people would think it would be the crowning moment of her career, but another moment stands even higher. When Prince William and Kate Middleton came to California, this celebrity chef had the honor to cook lasagna for them, and they loved it.
19. Giada And Jade
Giada and former husband Todd share one daughter - named Jade after herself - as "Giada" means "Jade" in Italian. Determined to have only one child, the busy celebrity chef cherishes the time with her daughter. Since having Jade, Giada has become careful to schedule work instead of saying yes to every chance as she did in her early career. For her, the top priority is no longer work but her daughter.
20. Finding Love Again
Once Giada's divorce hit the press, rumors started swirling that she had an affair in the marriage since one of her producers, Shane Farley, was also going through a divorce. Although she vehemently denied these claims, Giada and Shane's friendship soon turned into something more. Anyway, Giada had not given up on love. Ultimately, the experience reminded her that family always comes first.
21. Dealing With The Criticism
In 2018, Giada opened up her own eponymous restaurant in Las Vegas, making her the first woman to set up an eatery on the strip. It also made her a real role model for female chefs everywhere. And yet, criticism arose after her restaurant's grand opening, which Giada just took in stride. After years in the culinary world and as a TV personality, she has learned how to get over others' negative evaluations.
22. Finding Confidence In Her Food
While taking the criticism to heart, Giada maintained confidence in her cooking abilities. "We open ourselves up to those critics. I feel like I have my iconic dishes, my restaurant does really well, I do my best to deliver great service and great food and that is the job that I have." As a result of her attitude, Giada found herself be able to rise above criticism.
23. Impressive Net Worth
Having experienced several difficulties over the past 15 years, Giada De Laurentiis also earned much success as a chef, TV personality, and entrepreneur. In the meantime, she made an impressive amount of cash from her cookbooks and range of cooking products available online. Now, her net worth is estimated somewhere between $15 and $20 million. We just want to say: she deserves it.