De Laurentiis, Giada 1971-
De Laurentiis, Giada 1971-
Born 1971, in Rome, Italy; married Todd Thompson (a clothing designer), 2003. Education: University of California (graduated, 1996). Trained in culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France, the Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room, Los Angeles, CA, and Spago, Beverly Hills, CA.
Home—Los Angeles, CA.
Writer, chef, and television show host. Food Network, host of Everyday Italian and Behind the Bash shows. GDL Foods (a catering company), founder and owner.
Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, foreword by Mario Batali, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2005.
Giada's Family Dinners, photographs by Victoria Pearson, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2006.
Author, chef, and television personality Giada De Laurentiis is the author of several Italian-themed cookbooks and the host of shows on the Food Network, including Everyday Italian and Behind the Bash, which examines the behind-the-scenes preparation for lavish parties, political gatherings, luxurious weddings, and other high-level, high-cost events. The granddaughter of noted film producer Dino De Laurentiis, she grew up in a food-loving family in Rome, Italy, and demonstrated an early interest in cooking and culinary arts. When she was seven, her grandfather moved the family to Hollywood, where she further developed her interest in food through her grandfather's ownership of a restaurant and an upscale specialty food business. After graduating from the University of California in 1996, she began her culinary training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Her early career included stints at equally prestigious restaurants such as the Ritz-Carlton and Spago. An entrepreneur, De Laurentiis also started her own business, GDL Foods, a private catering company serving celebrities in Hollywood. Among her other projects was helping a food stylist friend prepare and arrange food for photo shoots. This work led to an article in Food & Wine, which in turn served as the entry point for her work in television with her show Everyday Italian. The show had a somewhat rocky start; De Laurentiis "found the first season difficult to tape and, at one point, hoped for cancellation," reported a biographer for the Biography Resource Center Online. Soon, however, the troubles smoothed out, and the show ran for multiple seasons.
In addition to her television work, De Laurentiis is also the author of cookbooks. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, based on her television program, contains an "unsophisticated but decent selection of Italian-American classics, from antipasto to pasta, meat dishes to desserts," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. She offers a text introduction for each dish and presents the recipes in a straightforward, pared-down manner, without calling for extra flourishes, excessive investment of time, or unnecessary ingredients. Among the dishes readers can learn to make are standards such as fettucine alfredo and veal marsala, plus more uncommon fare such as clams oreganata, caprese salad, and caponata.
In Giada's Family Dinners, De Laurentiis "presents doable dishes, though there's an emphasis here on feeding a crowd," remarked a Publishers Weekly contributor. Recipes for bean soup, chicken marsala, and basic polenta stand beside chicken carbonara, roasted red snapper with parsley vinaigrette, and espresso brownies. A number of the recipes also focus on foods appropriate to holidays, when hungry families are most likely to gather. De Laurentiis's book "nicely showcases her range and depth" as a chef, commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, January 31, 2005, review of Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, p. 64; February 27, 2006, review of Giada's Family Dinners, p. 53.
Redbook, April, 2006, Rebecca Davis, "Sixty Seconds with Giada De Laurentiis: The Pint-Size Pasta Pro Serves Up Smart Ways to Entertain Five Family Members—or Fifty—without Breaking a Sweat," interview with Giada De Laurentiis, p. 37.
Giada de Laurentiis Home Page,http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com (December 2, 2006).