Giada Pamela De Laurentiis

Giada Pamela De Laurentiis (1970 - )

Italian

            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 winner of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host, and in 2012, she was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

            De Laurentiis studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, 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 2002.

            Her Food Network daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian, premiered April 5, 2003. On Chefography, a Food Network biography program, she said she never wanted to be in her "family business" of show business, and that she felt uncomfortable in front of the camera when she first began hosting Everyday Italian. 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 at 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. That year she was dubbed a "petite powerhouse" by Town & Country magazine, standing "just under five-foot two". 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 De Laurentiis 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. She 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.[13] 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.

             In July 2014, De Laurentiis opened her first restaurant, called GIADA, inside The Cromwell in Las Vegas, Nevada. The restaurant offers seating in the dining room, lounge, or outdoor patio with views of the Bellagio fountains and Caesars Palace. The GIADA menu includes Italian cuisine with Californian influences, including "lemon spaghetti, chicken cacciatore, marsala herb chicken meatballs, rosemary focaccia and lemon flatbread and vegetable Bolognese rigatoni". Family-style, vegan, and gluten-free options are also available, as well as an antipasto station. Restaurant guests can watch chefs prepare food from the open kitchen.

            In 2014, De Laurentiis voiced the character of Gelata in the US version of the Tinker Bell special Pixie Hollow Bake Off.

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