Italian born chef and TV personality, Giada De Laurentiis, is one of the most talented people in the food industry. The multi-talented Rome native began her career working in several restaurants around Los Angeles before landing her big break in 2002 when she was contacted by the Food Network. The following year, her show, Everyday Italian, made its debut and would eventually go on to win a daytime Emmy Award. In the years since the start of her show, De Laurentiis has gone on to become an author, a regular guest on The Today Show, and an inductee into the Culinary Hall of Fame. While some of her best recipes may include a few secret ingredients; here are five delicious facts about Giada De Laurentiis.
5. Giada De Laurentiis is the granddaughter of movie producer, Dino De Laurentiis.
Giada De Laurentiis comes from a long line of talent. Her mother, Veronica De Laurentiis, is an actress, and her father, Alex De Benedetti, is an actor/producer. Most famous of all; however, was Giada’s grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, an Academy Award winning film producer who was responsible for films such as Flash Gordon and King Kong. Giada says that her grandfather was a “true inspiration” and stated: “He was my biggest champion in life and a constant source for wisdom and advice. I will miss him dearly.” Although De Laurentiis did not choose to follow in the exact same footsteps as her famous grandfather, she has tried to maintain some of the things she believes made him so successful: “Honestly, when the show ‘Everyday Italian‘ started, I wanted to shoot it like Grandfather shot movies…and really tell a story from beginning to end. The cinematography, the lighting and everything else in that show really set me up for what I have today, and I don’t think I would have had that knowledge had I not come from the family I come from…I think that’s what sets me apart in a way.”
4. Giada De Laurentiis uses olive oil to keep her skin clear.
Giada De Laurentiis prides herself on her clear skin, and she uses and interesting secret ingredient to get it: olive oil. De Laurentiis says, “I exfoliate every single night with a mix of olive oil and baking soda. The olive oil gives moisture and baking soda takes out any other stuff on my skin…It gives my face this wonderful glow, and I don’t have to wear as much makeup during the day.” She often uses olive oil on her hands to keep them looking smooth and moisturized, stating: “Creams are great, but they have a lot of water content so it sits on the surface of your skin. Olive oil penetrates better and you need just a tiny bit. It really gets into my cuticles and it makes my nail polish shine even if it’s starting to wear out.”
3. Giada De Laurentiis’ most memorable TV moment was a disaster.
Giada De Laurentiis has had has a lot of success throughout her career in front of the camera; however, it is one of the least successful moments that she remembers most. When asked to share the most memorable TV moment in her career she shared a cringeworthy moment from her first appearance on The Today Show: “It was the first time I ever did The Today Show live,” she begins, then puts her head in her hands in mock anguish. “It was awful! I was cooking chicken with pesto, but you know how it often is on TV, you don’t actually cook things all the way through, because you don’t expect people to eat them. You just sear them quickly so they look good for the camera. That’s what I did with this chicken breast, but then Matt Lauer came along and said ‘Oh boy, that looks good!’ and he reached out and put a piece of nearly raw chicken in his mouth. Then he ran off camera to spit it out. I just stood there, trying to smile and he came back and said, ‘The chicken was raw, but the pesto tasted good. You can stay.’ And I’m still on the show to this day.”
2. Giada De Laurentiis is the first woman to have a restaurant in Las Vegas with her name on the marquee.
In 2014, Giada De Laurentiis opened a restaurant in Las Vegas called Giada. The restaurant makes de Laurentiis the first woman to have a restaurant in Las Vegas which bears her name on the marquee. While De Laurentiis admits that she was initially unaware of the differences in opportunities offered to male and female chefs, she now realizes the challenges that women face. During an interview she stated, “I’ve noticed opportunities sometimes don’t come to a woman in this business the way they do for men. And I’ve started to think about it a little bit more and realize that if I’m going to actually make a difference and I’m going put my own stamp on things…”
1. Giada De Laurentiis thinks Naples has the best pizza in the world.
Throughout her life, Giada De Laurentiis has had the pleasure of traveling the world and experiencing an immense variety of food. However, she says that no other pizza in the world can compare to the pizza made and served in Naples, Italy. De Laurentiis stated: “Naples has the best pizza in the world, and I mean everywhere. You could go to a truck stop in Naples, and they have phenomenal pizza.”
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival)