The Early Days of Stardom — Giada De Laurentiis

Related To:

Giada De Laurentiis Three of Food Network's longest-standing chefs, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis, are no strangers to the demands of stardom, now having years of experience multitasking in front of the camera and cooking. But before they were industry professionals, Alton, Bobby and Giada, too, once had to learn the ins and outs of what this job entails, much like Star  finalists will in the early weeks on set. As Star Talk gets ready to kick off an all-new ninth season of  Food Network Star , we'll be taking a look back at each judge-mentor's earliest days on the network, revisiting their earliest shows and exploring how they turned their passion for food into a full-time job.

Although she grew up with a passion for cooking in a food-minded family (her grandfather Dino De Laurentiis owned a specialty foods shop), Giada De Laurentiis never intended to enter the culinary industry and even pursued a career outside of the world of television by earning a degree in anthropology. Despite her best intentions, however, Giada, of course, succumbed to her love of all things culinary and enrolled in Paris' Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. It was only after founding her own catering company in Los Angeles that Giada began work at Food Network, not on some of her now-most-popular series, like Food Network Star and Giada at Home, but on Everyday Italian, her premiere in-the-kitchen show.

Giada De Laurentiis

Effortlessly fusing California-cool cuisine with the authentic Italian meals of her childhood, Giada offered audiences a family-friendly approach to Italian cooking, one that focused on classic recipes, as well as creative twists on original favorites. Everyday Italian premiered in 2005, and for nearly three years, she introduced viewers to Italian food beyond spaghetti and meatballs (though there is surely a time and a place for that) and gave them the confidence to make her recipes at home. It didn't take long for fans to crave her comforting meals, always made with rustic simplicity, if not by Giada then by her close-knit family members she frequently welcomed to her show.

Giada De Laurentiis

If you didn't catch Giada in the kitchen, you likely saw her in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Miami, Fla., London or Bermuda on Weekend Getaways. She escaped for weekend-long adventures in cities around the world, exploring little-known neighborhoods, sampling local eats and drinks, and taking in some of the most-famous attractions — all in front of the camera. Soon, viewers felt that they were jet-setting alongside her, experiencing the sights and tastes just as she did.

Next Up

The Early Days of Stardom — Bobby Flay

Learn about one of Food Network Star judge-mentor Bobby Flay's first show on Food Network, Iron Chef America.

WATCH: Comeback Kitchen Finalists' Early Days of Stardom

Relive the Comeback Kitchen finalists' first attempts at Stardom in seasons past.

The Early Days of Stardom — Alton Brown on Good Eats

Learn about Food Network Star judge-mentor Alton Brown's first show on Food Network, Good Eats.

Caption It: The Brink of Stardom

We're challenging you, Food Network Star fans, to write your best captions for this moment.

Share Your Early Season Rivalry Predictions

Star Talk wants to know: What are your early season rivalry predictions? Do you think they'll be game-changers?

POLL: Who Went Home Too Early?

Do you agree with all of the judges' elimination decisions so far? Vote in Star Talk's poll.

The Road to Stardom: Watch the Finalists' Casting Videos

Watch the just-released casting videos of this season's Food Network Star finalists to learn all about their personal and professional backgrounds.

Fan Poll: Vote for Your Early Favorites

Cast your vote in this fan poll to tell us who your favorite Food Network Star finalist is so far.