The Early Days of Stardom — Giada De Laurentiis

by in Food Network Star, May 28, 2013

Giada De LaurentiisThree 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 LaurentiisEffortlessly 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 LaurentiisIf 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.

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Comments (11)

  1. Tracy says:

    Giada had to compete just like everyone else to get her spot on Food Network. I love all of her shows and the others that are on the network.

  2. Eggpants says:

    calling it now, nikki will be on giada's team and giada will pimp her out like she did to martita and leave her other team members in the dust

  3. Pat says:

    Giada has no room to talk about insulting men and women - she ALWAYS shows clevegae so why can't a contestant trying to be the next Foodnetwork star.
    Shame on you Giada, look at your low cut, sleeveless red dress. Nobody else dresses like that
    Happy that you have a great figure, but you are NO ONE to judge.

    Who fixes breakfast with a T-shirt that low cut. Stay on the beach and off TV

    • Deb says:

      When she people that look with the eyes, they are done. You can tell that nothing they do after that will work.

  4. kalysa16 says:

    NOT a Giada fan. Never have been. Feels like she got juiced in to a show of her own. Stacey is just another too big smile, soon to be bobble-head Giada. I change the channel every time Giada is on. I barely make it through The Next Food Network Star. Between the cleavage and the short short skirts.. really? Would like to see the stats of men vs. women tuning in to see what Ms. deLaurentis is where next? Is it just me, or do those toothsome smiles haunt others in their sleep like Pennywise from IT? Couldn't we get Alex or someone who is not such a caricature as Giada or that Nadia G? Definitely not sorry to see the Paula Deen caricature go. Demaris has a southern charm that seems totally genuine - would watch her as long as she stays real.

  5. @MagicManDJ1 says:

    Who really cares where she got her start. I watch for cooking tips and meals. Just like the rest of the shows when I can.