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Giada De Laurentiis
Picture Gallery and Fansite for the Hottest Chef on TV — Giada De Laurentiis

Bio

July 19th, 2007 by admin

Giada De Laurentiis has become a household name, and it’s not surprising. With an impressive background of culinary training combined with a unique personable charm, she has become 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, “Everyday Italian” and “Giada’s Family Dinners.” A multi-faceted personality, De Laurentiis has been a spokesperson for Barilla pasta for the past two years and will forge an unprecedented alliance with the Pyrex Glassware brand, broadening the appeal of the brand to a younger generation.

With much anticipation, De Laurentiis debuted her third cookbook, “Everyday Pasta” on April 3rd. This edition features family-favorite pasta recipes as well as inventive dishes using a variety of pastas. De Laurentiis’ first book, “Everyday Italian,” showcases many of the delicious recipes from her cooking show of the same title on Food Network. As a follow-up to “Everyday Italian,” Giada’s second book entitled, “Giada’s Family Dinners,” quickly became a #1 New York Times best-seller. All three books are published by Random House/Clarkson Potter.

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 learned how to prepare many of the family’s recipes, which were often made for festive gatherings. 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. Following, she 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 also founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles.

Giada is one of Food Network’s most recognizable faces. Her half-hour daytime cooking show, “Everyday Italian,” features quick, healthy and satisfying dishes using traditional Italian ingredients and techniques. “Everyday Italian” airs on Food Network twelve times a week at both 11:00 AM and 4:30 PM. This January, De Laurentiis successfully launched her new primetime television series, “Giada’s Weekend Getaways.” For thirteen episodes, De Laurentiis explores the various cultures within popular cities in and around the United States, such as Charleston, Santa Fe, Cabo San Lucas and Austin.

In June 2007, De Laurentiis will take her viewers on a journey abroad to dream locations, Santorini and Capri in a two-part special entitled “Giada in Paradise.” De Laurentiis will explore the culture, food, and mesmerizing sights to these popular tourist spots. De Laurentiis also contributes as a judge on the wildly popular, “Next Food Network Star” and has the distinction of participating in a special 90-minute “Iron Chef America,” competing with fellow chef Bobby Flay (marking the highest ratings the Food Network has ever received in the 18-35 demographic).

Giada’s overall success and notoriety yielded her a role as spokesperson for Barilla, the world’s largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. The relationship is an obvious one, combining Giada’s love of traditional Italian cooking with the best products and ingredients available. Additionally, in a two-year product endorsement contract, De Laurentiis will partner with Pyrex Glassware, which shares a common appreciation for gourmet food and entertaining. This will mark the first time in Pyrex’s 100-year history that it has contracted with a high profile celebrity to represent their brand.

Following a guest stint as the “Today Show” correspondent during the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Giada secured a role as a contributing correspondent for the “Today Show.” Giada currently makes regular appearances on the nation’s #1 morning show to highlight current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle.

Giada currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.

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 (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 a bit more open on air. She now enjoys being in the spotlight and has become one of Food Network’s most popular television personalities. When the 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 travels to a featured locale (such as Seattle, South Beach, San Francisco, Napa or Jackson Hole, Wyoming) and visits her favorite culinary finds.

In 2007, De Laurentiis appeared on the inaugural “Food Network Awards”. Then in June the Food Network featured a two part special titled, “Giada in Paradise”. The two part special featured the stunning locales of Santorini and Capri. De Laurentiis also made a few appearances as a guest judge on The Next Food Network Star which aired during the summer of 2007.

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