These days it's cool to be ethnic and to be different, but when I was a kid, it was not cool - at all. My friends would come over and my mom would make crepes with eggs, stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and spinach. And they'd be like, 'What is this?'
My grandfather's family used to own a pasta factory in Naples and they would go door-to-door selling their pasta. So his love of food came from his parents, which was then passed down to my mother and then again to me.
The summer before I went to culinary school, my family wanted me to take a job on a movie to make sure that I was making the right decision. I think they hoped I would change my mind about culinary school.
I think it can be hard for any man to sometimes be upstaged by his wife. So when I'm home, I work very hard to be Todd's wife and Jade's mother. I have no problem going back to those traditional roles. I try to be Giada, the young girl that he met 20 years ago and fell in love with.
Food was always a big part of my life. My grandfather was one of 14 kids, and his parents had a pasta factory, so as a kid, he and his siblings would sell pasta door to door. After he became a movie producer, he opened up De Laurentiis Food Stores - one in Los Angeles and one in New York.
My grandfather gave me inspiration to cook, and love food and flavors. My Aunt Raffie, gave me creativity and the inspiration to create new things. My mother inspires me to find simplicity in food.
Food brings people together on many different levels. It's nourishment of the soul and body it's truly love.
My family truly believes they are better cooks than I am. They see me as Giada, not as a celebrity chef. To them I'm just me - their granddaughter, niece, etc., and they're older and wiser. I like that because it keeps you grounded.
When I was a kid, for my birthday every year, my mother made me pasta bechamel, which is rigatoni with a white cream sauce.
If people are made to feel uncomfortable in the kitchen, they won't go in there. That's why I think children learning to cook can be such a wonderful thing.
I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. Everything in moderation. I know that's really hard for people to understand, but I grew up in an Italian family where we didn't overdo anything. We ate pasta, yes, but not a lot of it.
I'm into very colorful food. Obviously lots of flavor, but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great. The presentation has to be great.
I wasn't looking to get into TV. My family was in the movie business, so I was never interested in that world.
I think children learning to cook can be such a wonderful thing. It can help build confidence, make them feel good about themselves. It helped me build my ego and even start to get acceptance at school. I'd bring things to class that I'd cooked at home.
Attitudes toward food have completely changed.
There's nothing like a home-cooked meal - nothing! When people ask me what the best restaurant in L.A. is, I say, 'Uh, my house.' It's more intimate. Food can connect people in a forever sort of way.
All men want to be treated like kings in a relationship, and I think if women don't indulge that sometimes, their men are likely to stray and look for someone who can give that to them.
I think you can tell the food is close to my heart, too, because I'm doing what I do best.
It helps immerse yourself in what you potentially want to do. Being involved, learning firsthand and observing the craft and absorbing all you can, makes it easier to define what you want. It will also ultimately make you a better Chef. Culinary school, or even a single class, is a great bet too.
Lidia Bastianich, sorry, but kind of boring. I mean, I love Lidia, but you can fall asleep watching her. And Mario Batali? I love Mario to death... but he's not romantic or sensual. Those are the things I bring to the table.
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