Emmy Award-winning personality 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. She 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, newly launched food products and recurring role on the Today show.
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 on Food Network began 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, featured 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 United States as she explored the cities’ most notable restaurants and activities. Giada can also be seen in Food Network specials, such as Giada in Paradise: Capri and Santorini, and as a finalist mentor on the highly popular series The Next Food Network Star. Giada also hosts Giada at Home, where she plans and prepares meals and parties for family and friends; the series is a viewer favorite.
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 #1 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 September 30, 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. All four books are published by Random House/Clarkson Potter. Giada's fifth book, Giada at Home, debuted March 30, 2010, and landed in the #1 position on The New York Times best-seller list.
Giada’s overall success and notoriety yielded her a role as spokesperson for Barilla, the world’s largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. Giada took her relationship with Barilla one step further, entrusting the Italian arm of the brand, known as Academia Barilla, to license and produce four products under her name. The products — Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Tuscan Herb Mix and Sea Salt with Fresh Lemon Zest — debuted in January 2008 for a limited run and were sold at Crate and Barrel stores as well as specialty gourmet shops across the country.
In January 2010, Giada partnered with Target to launch her own exclusive products for their chain of stores nationwide. The Giada De Laurentiis for Target collection offers guests the craftsmanship, quality and affordable prices they expect from Target. The assortment ranges from pasta sauces and flavored coffee to kitchen essentials, such as stainless steel cookware, ceramic bakeware and nylon tools, all designed with the at-home cook in mind. The collection captures Giada’s signature style with a fresh, modern twist on the tools, gadgets and food needed to make easy and affordable meals every day. In June 2010, Giada joins fellow chef Bobby Flay on The Next Food Network Star as a mentor to the finalists.
Giada had been a recurring guest on the Today show up until her stint as a correspondent during the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino secured her a role as a contributing correspondent. In 2009, she was officially named a co-host on the nation’s #1 morning show, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle.
Giada has dedicated her spare time to the international relief organization Oxfam America and enlisted as one of several celebrity ambassadors in the fall of 2008. Giada has focused her efforts with Oxfam on highlighting the struggles of the billion people around the world who are chronically hungry. Forty percent of the people on our planet live in poverty, many of them spending upwards of 70 percent of their meager income on food.
Giada currently resides in Los Angeles.