Giada De Laurentiis
Giada De Laurentiis
|Born:||August 22, 1970|
Giada Pamela De Laurentiis (born August 22, 1970 in Rome, Italy) is an Italian-American chef, writer and the current host of the Food Network programs Everyday Italian, Behind the Bash, Giada's Weekend Getaways, and Giada in Paradise. In addition to her regular shows, De Laurentiis has appeared on several Food Network specials and is the founder of a catering business called GDL Foods. She also appears regularly as a contributor on NBC's Today.
De Laurentiis was born in Rome, Italy, the daughter of Veronica De Laurentiis and Alex De Benedetti, and moved to Southern California when she was seven. She is the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis and Silvana Mangano, a noted Italian actress of her day. She graduated from Marymount High School and holds a bachelor's degree in social anthropology from UCLA (1996). In 2003, she married Todd Thompson, a clothing designer for the Anthropologie company. The two had been dating since 1991.
De Laurentiis, a self-proclaimed chocoholic, studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France with aspirations of becoming a pastry chef. After returning to the United States, she became a professional chef working in several Los Angeles restaurants, notably the Wolfgang Puck-owned Spago. She later worked as a food stylist and was contacted by the Food Network after styling a piece in Food & Wine magazine in 2001.
Her cooking program, Everyday Italian, has been broadcast on the Food Network since 2003. On her Chefography (a Food Network biography show) episode, she admitted that she never wanted to be in her "family business" of show business. She also shared that she felt very uncomfortable in front of the camera when she first started hosting Everyday Italian, but since then, has become more relaxed and open on air. She now enjoys being in the spotlight and has become one of Food Network's most popular television personalities. When this show first aired, the Food Network received emails accusing the network of hiring a model or actress pretending to cook instead of a real chef.
De Laurentiis began hosting Behind The Bash, in October 2005, which explores the catering process behind big event extravaganzas such as the Grammys. On a November 2006 episode of Iron Chef America, she and Bobby Flay faced off against, and were defeated by, Rachael Ray and Mario Batali. In January 2007, a third De Laurentiis-hosted show, the travelogue Giada's Weekend Getaways debuted on the Food Network. On this show, she travelled to a featured locale (such as Seattle, South Beach, San Francisco, Napa or Jackson Hole, Wyoming) and visited her favorite local culinary destinations.
In 2007, De Laurentiis appeared as a presenter on the inaugural "Food Network Awards." In June 2007, she hosted a two-part Food Network special entitled Giada in Paradise, featuring the two locales of Santorini, Greece and Capri, Italy. De Laurentiis also made a few appearances as a guest judge on The Next Food Network Star which initially aired in the summer of 2007.
De Laurentiis is the current spokesperson for the pasta manufacturer Barilla.
In 2005, De Laurentiis wrote her first cookbook, Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, to accompany her similarly titled Food Network show, Everyday Italian. Her second cookbook, Giada's Family Dinners, was released on April 4, 2006. Her third cookbook, Everyday Pasta, was released on April 3, 2007.
- Haughton, Natalie. "A De Laurentiis production", Los Angeles Daily News, March 15, 2005.
- Meitus, Marty. "'Everyday Italian' star serves up showbiz, cooking instruction", Scripps Howard News Service, March 28, 2005.
- "'On Air with Ryan Seacrest' interview with Giada", KIIS FM, February 3, 2007.