Giada Pamela De Laurentiis, born August 22, 1970, is an Italian-born American chef, writer, television personality, and the host of the current Food Network television program Giada at Home. She also appears regularly as a contributor and guest co-host on NBC's Today. De Laurentiis is the founder of the catering business GDL Foods. She is a three-time winner of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host, and in 2012 was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.
YhjkGiada Pamela De Laurentiis was born in Rome, Italy, the eldest child of actress Veronica De Laurentiis and her first husband, actor-producer Alex De Benedetti. De Benedetti was a close associate of Giada's maternal grandfather, film producer Dino De Laurentiis. As a child, Giada often found herself in the family's kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather's restaurant, DDL Foodshow. Her parents were married in February 1970 but were later divorced. After her parents' divorce, Giada and her siblings moved to Southern California where they took their mother's surname.
De Laurentiis' maternal grandmother was Italian film star Silvana Mangano. Her siblings include sister Eloisa, a makeup artist, and brothers Igor and Dino Alexander II, a Hollywood film editor who died of melanoma in 2003. Her stepfather is producer Ivan Kavalsky.
After graduating from Marymount High School in Los Angeles, De Laurentiis attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning her bachelor's degree in social anthropology in 1996.
On May 25, 2003, De Laurentiis married Todd Thompson, a fashion designer for Anthropologie. The two had been dating since July 1989. The couple's only child, Jade Marie De Laurentiis-Thompson, was born on March 29, 2008. Jade was named after her mother—"Giada" is Italian for "Jade". While acknowledging how special the experience of having a child has been, she does not plan on having more children. De Laurentiis remains focused on her career, saying, "I have so many babies: the show, Todd, and Jade." De Laurentiis, dubbed a "petite powerhouse" by Town & Country magazine, stands "just under five foot two".
De Laurentiis studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, with aspirations of becoming a pastry chef; she is a self-proclaimed chocoholic. 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 2002. Starting in 2003, her Emmy Award-winning daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian, featured quick, healthy and satisfying Italian dishes. On her Chefography, a Food Network biography program, she admitted that she never wanted to be in her "family business" of show business. She felt very uncomfortable in front of the camera when she first began hosting Everyday Italian, but has since become more relaxed and open on air. When the program first aired, the Food Network received mail accusing the network of hiring a model or actress pretending to cook instead of a real chef. She has since become well known for her trademark over-enunciation of Italian words within English sentences.
De Laurentiis began hosting Behind the Bash in October 2006. The program examines the catering process behind big event extravaganzas such as the Grammy Awards. In January 2007, a third De Laurentiis-hosted show, Giada's Weekend Getaways, debuted on Food Network. On this show, De Laurentiis travels to a featured locale (such as Seattle, South Beach, San Francisco, Napa, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming) and visits her favorite local culinary destinations. On a November 2006 episode of Iron Chef America, De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay competed against, and were defeated by Rachael Ray and Mario Batali.
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 several appearances as a guest judge on the third season of The Next Food Network Star, which aired in 2007. In 2008, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host.
In 2008, De Laurentiis and the Barilla Group, launched an Italian gourmet line under the Academia Barilla name—Barilla’s first-ever gourmet celebrity product line. That same year, Giada at Home premiered, showing Giada in a kitchen preparing meals and parties for family and friends. The show is shot on a set that is very similar to her own home. Giada joined fellow chef Bobby Flay as a judge in season 7 of Food Network Star and took on a new role in season 8 as a team leader of five cooks competing against Bobby Flay's and Alton Brown’s respective teams. In 2009, De Laurentiis became the voice of "Paulette", a character on the animated children's show Handy Manny. In early 2010, De Laurentiis came out with a line of kitchen supplies, exclusively for Target. That same year, CafeMom ranked her as #6 in their yearly "Sexiest Moms Alive" list. In June, 2010 De Laurentiis became a regularly appearing mentor to the finalists on the popular Food Network competition show The Next Food Network Star.
- Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2005. ISBN 978-1400052585.
- Giada's Family Dinners. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2006. ISBN 978-0307238276.
- Everyday Pasta. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2007. ISBN 978-0307346582.
- Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2008. ISBN 978-0307346599.
- Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2010. ISBN 978-0307451019.
- Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner. New York: Clarkson Potter. 2012. ISBN 978-0307451026.
- Both Giada at Home and Weeknights with Giada landed in the number one position on The New York Times Best Seller list.
- Giada De Laurentiis branded knife
- Giada De Laurentiis has a range of products made only for Target. Her products consist of stainless steel pots and pans, a wide range of utensils and cooking tools and stainless steel counter-top appliances such as a Panini Press, Coffee Maker and Food Processor. Other products carrying her name that are not exclusive to Target are gourmet ingredients like Modena Balsamic Vinegar.
Don't forget to check out Giada's recipe page!