Giada Pamela De Laurentiis was born in 1970 in Rome, Italy to actress Veronica De Laurentiis and actor-producer Alex De Benedetti, who was a close associate of her maternal grandfather, famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis. After her parents’ divorce, she took her mother’s last name and moved with her to Southern California. She studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, shortly thereafter was discovered by the Food Network, and in 2003 her first show, Everyday Italian, hit the airwaves. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Giada.
A Photo in Food & Wine Catapulted Her to Stardom
According to the book From Scratch, a photo of Giada was featured in an article about a lunch thrown for her grandfather Dino, and as soon as Food Network head Bob Tuschman saw it, he called and asked if she was interested in hosting a cooking show.
Her Trademark Smile Didn’t Come Naturally
While training to host her show, producer Irene Wong gave some advice to the uncomfortable Giada on how to work through lifting heavy pots and burning things: smile. By the end of the first shoot, her cheeks were reportedly in a lot of pain, but she quickly adapted.
She Has a Secret to Staying Slim
Giada reportedly eats a salad for lunch on the set and only takes small tastes of the finished dishes, just for the cameras. In between takes, she keeps her energy up by taking a small nibble of bittersweet chocolate.
She Opened Her First Restaurant in 2014
While she’s a classically trained chef, it wasn’t until July 2014 that she opened her first restaurant, called GIADA, inside the Cromwell in Las Vegas.
She Named Her Daughter After Herself
She had her only child with her (now ex-) husband Todd Thompson on March 29, 2008. She named her Jade Marie De Laurentiis-Thompson; “Giada” is the Italian word for “Jade.”