From craveable pasta to refreshing cocktails, check out classic Italian eats and drinks from Giada De Laurentiis' homeland.
Emmy Award-winning and New York Times best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis has become a household name. With an impressive background of culinary training and a unique, personable charm, she is a globally revered celebrity chef who continues to prove her skill and accessibility not only with her expanding presence beyond Food Network but also with the great success of her cookbooks, brand alliances, food products, recurring role on NBC’s Today and most recently, her Las Vegas restaurant, Giada.
Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family’s kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather’s restaurant, DDL Foodshow. After graduating from the University of California in Los Angeles with a degree in anthropology, Giada’s passion for cooking remained. She eventually made the decision to commence a culinary career and began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, specializing in both cuisine and pastry. She subsequently returned to Los Angeles, where her training included positions at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills. She later founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles.
Giada’s career started on Food Network in 2002 when she was discovered by a network executive upon reading an article about her and the De Laurentiis family in Food & Wine magazine. Since then, Giada has earned an Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Host and has become one of Food Network’s most recognizable faces. Her Emmy Award-winning, daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian, features quick, healthy and satisfying Italian dishes. Her primetime show, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, debuted in January 2007 and followed Giada to popular destinations in and around the U.S. as she explored the cities’ most notable restaurants and activities. Giada at Home, her hit TV series, premiered in 2008 and shows Giada in her kitchen where she plans and prepares meals and parties for family and friends. Giada can also be seen on Food Network in Giada Entertains, Giada’s Holiday Handbook, the Daytime Emmy Award-Nominated Giada in Italy, as well as judge and mentor alongside fellow chef Bobby Flay on the highly popular series Food Network Star.
The foray into cookbooks was an obvious decision, allowing Giada’s loyal viewership to reference, prepare and share their favorite recipes. Giada’s first book, “Everyday Italian,” showcases many of the delicious recipes from her cooking show of the same name. Her second book entitled, “Giada’s Family Dinners,” quickly became a New York Times best-seller as did her third cookbook, “Everyday Pasta,” which was released in April 2007. An eagerly-awaited fourth book, “Giada’s Kitchen,” hit bookshelves on September 30th, 2008 and did not disappoint. In the first week of release, “Giada’s Kitchen” landed at #2 on the New York Times best-seller list and has maintained a top 10 ranking ever since. De Laurentiis’ fifth book, “Giada at Home” debuted on March 30th, 2010 and landed in the #1 position on the New York Times best-seller list. “Weeknights with Giada,” was released in March 2012 and followed the trend of all her cook books before it by landing on the New York Times best-seller list as well. Her book “Giada’s Feel Good Food” hit shelves in November 2013 and the New York Times best-seller list the same week. Most recently, she released Happy Cooking on November 3rd, 2015 which also became a New York Times best-seller. In Happy Cooking, Giada conveys how she is happiest in the kitchen and is able to balance indulgences with clean eating and keeping things easy, sharing nearly 200 recipes and helpful advice on everything from hosting a potluck or holiday meal to what to pack along for lunch every day. All of Giada’s cookbooks have been published by Random House/ Clarkson Potter.
Another exciting venture Giada has sailed into is a series of adventure books for young readers which explore some of Giada’s favorite cities around the globe as well as some of her favorite youth-friendly recipes. The series debuted in September 2013 and is titled “Giada De Laurentiis’s Recipe for Adventure” published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. The cities explored in the adventures thus far are Paris, Naples, Hong Kong, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, Giada is a correspondent on NBC’s Today, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle.
In June 2014, Giada opened the doors to her first restaurant, Giada, on the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant is located on the second floor of the first ever boutique hotel on the strip, The Cromwell, and features breathtaking views of the Bellagio fountains and Caesars Palace. The menu features authentic Italian cuisine with a refreshing California flare.
In 2012, Giada partnered with The Kitchen Community, a nonprofit whose mission is to connect children to nutritious food, to install a Learning Garden at Foster Elementary School in Compton, California. Along with students, teachers and members of the local community, Giada planted numerous vegetables and herbs throughout the garden. The school continues to maintain the plants and regularly incorporates them into the students' meals. She also pays regular visits to the school and stays engaged in the garden’s long-term sustainability.
Giada is also an ambassador for Stand Up 2 Cancer and the Melanoma Research Alliance and is involved in Alex’s Lemonade Stand which raises money and awareness of childhood cancer causes.
Giada currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter, Jade.