Monday, July 23, 2007

Giada De Laurentiis: Cooking with Cleavage

There are some really great chefs hosting some amazing cooking shows on TV right now. They make great food and some of them aren’t too hard on the eyes. My fiancée won’t admit it, but I know she has a crush on Tyler Florence, who used to do a show called Food 911 on the Food Network and now hosts Tyler’s Ultimate. Whenever she watches his show, she starts to drool. And I have a feeling she’s not drooling over the recipes.

My personal favorite is Giada De Laurentiis. She makes wonderful dishes, primarily Italian cuisine, but she’s also really hot. One thing you’ll notice when you see her show is that she’s always wearing something featuring a plunging neckline. I’ve also noticed that they shoot her from above. Her producers aren’t stupid – they know that sex sells. That’s why you’ll never see Giada cooking in a turtleneck. Cleavage with a cleaver – it’s a winning combination.

I don’t understand why De Laurentiis isn’t as popular as Rachel Ray. Giada makes better dishes; her recipes are much more sophisticated, and she’s ten times better looking. Ray makes me ill with her corny lines and perky smile. Her 30-minute meals may appeal to housewives who don’t have time to cook, but any legitimate foodie won’t even eat that stuff, let alone cook it.

De Laurentiis has become a household name, and it's really not surprising. With an impressive background of culinary training combined with a unique personable charm, she has become a globally revered celebrity chef who continues to prove her skill and accessibility not only with her show on the Food Network but also with the great success of her cookbooks, "Everyday Italian" and "Giada's Family Dinners."

A multi-faceted personality, De Laurentiis has been a spokesperson for Barilla pasta for the past two years and recently forged an unprecedented alliance with the Pyrex Glassware brand, broadening the appeal of the brand to a younger generation. With much anticipation, De Laurentiis debuted her third cookbook, "Everyday Pasta" on April 3rd. This edition features family-favorite pasta recipes as well as inventive dishes using a variety of pastas.

De Laurentiis' first book, "Everyday Italian," showcases many of the delicious recipes from her cooking show of the same title on Food Network. As a follow-up to "Everyday Italian," Giada's second book entitled, "Giada's Family Dinners," quickly became a #1 New York Times best-seller. All three books are published by Random House/Clarkson Potter. 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 learned how to prepare many of the family's recipes, which were often made for festive gatherings.

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 also founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles. Giada is one of Food Network's most recognizable faces.

Her half-hour daytime cooking show, "Everyday Italian," features quick, healthy and satisfying dishes using traditional Italian ingredients and techniques. "Everyday Italian" airs on Food Network twelve times a week at both 11:00 AM and 4:30 PM. This January, De Laurentiis successfully launched her new primetime television series, "Giada's Weekend Getaways." For thirteen episodes, De Laurentiis explores the various cultures within popular cities in and around the United States, such as Charleston, Santa Fe, Cabo San Lucas and Austin.

In June 2007, De Laurentiis will take her viewers on a journey abroad to dream locations, Santorini and Capri in a two-part special entitled "Giada in Paradise." De Laurentiis will explore the culture, food, and mesmerizing sights to these popular tourist spots. De Laurentiis also contributes as a judge on the wildly popular, "Next Food Network Star" and has the distinction of participating in a special 90-minute "Iron Chef America," competing with fellow chef Bobby Flay (marking the highest ratings the Food Network has ever received in the 18-35 demographic).

Giada's overall success and notoriety yielded her a role as spokesperson for Barilla, the world's largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. The relationship is an obvious one, combining Giada's love of traditional Italian cooking with the best products and ingredients available. Additionally, in a two-year product endorsement contract, De Laurentiis will partner with Pyrex Glassware, which shares a common appreciation for gourmet food and entertaining. This will mark the first time in Pyrex's 100-year history that it has contracted with a high profile celebrity to represent their brand. Following a guest stint as the "Today Show" correspondent during the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, Giada secured a role as a contributing correspondent for the "Today Show."

Giada currently makes regular appearances on the nation's #1 morning show to highlight current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle. Giada currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.

1 comment:

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