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 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, brand alliances, food products and recurring role on TODAY.
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 started on Food Network 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, features 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 U.S. as she explored the cities’ most-notable restaurants and activities. Giada can also be seen on Food Network in specials, such as Giada in Paradise:
Capri, Santorini, Monaco and Thailand, and as a judge and mentor alongside fellow chefs Bobby Flay and Alton Brown on the highly popular series Food Network Star. Giada at Home, her current hit TV series, premiered in 2008 and shows Giada in her kitchen, where she plans and prepares meals and parties for family and friends.
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 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 Sept. 30, 2008, and did not disappoint. In the first week of release, Giada’s Kitchen landed at No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list and has maintained a top 10 ranking ever since. Her fifth book, Giada at Home, debuted March 30, 2010, and landed in the No. 1 position on the New York Times best-seller list. Weeknights with Giada was released in March 2012 and followed the trend of all her cookbooks before it by landing on the New York Times best-seller list as well. Her most-recent book, Giada’s Feel Good Food, hit shelves in November 2013 and the New York Times best-seller list the same week. All of Giada’s cookbooks have been published by Random House/Clarkson Potter.
Another exciting venture Giada has sailed into is a series of adventure books for young readers that explore some of Giada’s favorite cities around the globe, as well as some of her favorite youth-friendly, recipes. The series debuted in September 2013 and is titled Giada De Laurentiis’s Recipe for Adventure published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. The cities explored in the adventures thus far are Paris, Naples, Hong Kong and New Orleans. She has also paved a new road for herself on the digital front with her weekly online app magazine, Giada: A Digital Weekly, available on iTunes. Digital Weekly earned the prestigious title from Apple as App Store Best of 2013!
Giada is a correspondent on NBC’s TODAY, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle. She is also thrilled to be the spokesmodel for Clairol’s Natural Instincts campaign.
In May 2014 Giada will open the doors to her first restaurant, GIADA, on the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant will be located on the second and third floors of the first-ever boutique hotel on the Strip, The Cromwell. The menu will feature authentic Italian cuisine with California flair.
In 2012 Giada partnered with The Kitchen Community, a nonprofit whose mission is to connect children to nutritious food and to install a Learning Garden at Foster Elementary School in Compton, Calif. Along with students, teachers and members of the local community, Giada planted numerous vegetables and herbs throughout the garden. The school continues to maintain the plants and regularly incorporates them into the students' meals. She also pays regular visits to the school and stays engaged in the garden’s long-term sustainability.
Giada also serves on the Pink Committee of The Pink Party, which has raised close to $9 million in 9 years for the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The CSWCP is a nationally recognized leader in gynecologic oncology and has been named one of the country’s top 10 women’s cancer programs. Their mission: to end cancer as a threat to women. She is also an ambassador for Stand Up 2 Cancer and the Melanoma Research Alliance, and she is involved in Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which raises money and awareness to end childhood cancer.
Giada currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Todd, and her daughter, Jade.