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. Following, she 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 start 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 judge on the highly popular series, “Next Food Network Star.” Giada is now in production on her new series, “Giada at Home,” where Giada plans and prepares meals and parties for family and friends. The series premiered last Fall to some of the networks most impressive ratings to date and continues to be a viewers’ favorite.
The foray into cookbooks was an obvious decision, allowing Giada’s loyal viewership to reference, prepare and share their favorite recipes. De Laurentiis’ 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 on 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. De Laurentiis’ fifth book, “Giada at Home” debuted on March 30th, 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 was sold at Crate and Barrel stores as well as specialty gourmet shops across the country.
In January 2010, De Laurentiis 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 bake ware 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 everyday.
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. Last year, 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 Ambassador 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.