Giada De Laurentiis Shares The Story Of Her Life

Nov 03, 2020Rita Kumar

If you remember growing up during the Food Network boom of the '90s and 2000s, you're probably familiar with the popular network's Italian culinary expert—Giada De Laurentiis! Right now, she's not just a chef—she's a “Star!” The Italian homestyle cooking star made cuisine very simple by launching her career with her signature show: Everyday Italian, in 2003. Her fame spread like wildfire, and Giada became a household name instantly. But no matter how much we've seen of her, there's more to Giada De Laurentiis than many of her diehard fans know.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Jason Kempin

A Petite Diversion

With so many star-studded chefs to tune into, it can be quite tough to pick which recipes to follow. But if you truly love Italian cuisine, there's no question about it anyway! Of course, it has to be the celebrity chef—Giada De Laurentiis. For the major chapter of her life, the mom-chef is obsessed with cooking but was aware that a career in cooking was in fact risky business. Following her parents' divorce, Giada moved to Los Angeles along with her mom and siblings and focused on her high school diploma. Surprisingly, she chose Social Anthropology instead of culinary classes.

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Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Making The Move To Paris

When Giada received her bachelor's degree in 1996, she was aware that “something” was missing in her life. So that's when she decided that her mind couldn't be an inch off cooking while she was engulfed in Social Anthropology. Giada knew that she had to do something about it instead of putting off her cravings for something she was least interested in. To breathe life into her passion, she eventually applied to the honorable Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Pillared By A Star-Studded Family 

A Roman native, Giada was born to Italian actress Veronica De Laurentiis and an actor/producer father, Alex De Benedetti. Given that both her parents tasted their share of a successful career in showbiz, many believed that Giada would eventually follow in their footsteps. Perhaps, the family tradition of silver-screen presence dates back even further, with Giada's grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, who helped popularize Italian films internationally. Though it was a usual thing for celeb kids to attire their ancestral background in the limelight-engulfed niche, she had a different lookout on her passion. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Teenage Dreams

Showbiz was undoubtedly part of her DNA, but that didn't urge Giada to follow what her star-studded family has been doing through the years. She needed a change, in fact—a big one! Unlike most high schoolers, she didn't throw her desires behind name and fame. Simply put, stardom wasn't her cup of tea and her ambition wasn't anything around becoming a celeb. Instead, Giada dreamed of getting under that big white toque and tossing the pan. She wanted to become a CHEF! 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

A Piece Of Advice From Elders

Upon learning about their daughter's ardent passion, her parents advised that she take some time to think about her decision all over again. Moreover, they didn't force her to jump straight into their family tradition. Instead, Giada's parents advised her to give a deep thought before proceeding further. It was the ultimate decision that led Giada to enroll at UCLA and embrace Social Anthropology in 1996. But by the time she finished her graduation, she was even more clueless about her future. Perhaps, Giada was fogged instantly whenever she thought where fate would lead her to. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Falling In Love With Cuisine 

With every visit, Giada genuinely fell in deep love with culinary. However, she was still unsure whether it was a passion or a career prospect. Perhaps, this uncertainty of hers urged her parents to share their piece of advice before she came up with a decision. After graduating, Giada was still skeptical about whether Social Anthropology is the right fit for her. Though the subject would've been a wrong choice for Giada, her decision to study at UCLA still marks a pivotal part of her journey to stardom. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Meeting Her College Sweetheart

It was here that Giada locked eyes with her future husband, Todd Thompson! She was just 19 and Todd would go on to become a famous TV personality at the time. As a twist, the college sweetheart had no interest in cooking or the fame surfaced by culinary prospects. In fact, it was Giada who taught him the A-Z about cooking. Soon, Giada was aware that it was time to weigh up her options. Eventually, she decided that her passion for food was the only key to guide her career. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Enrolling At Le Cordon Bleu 

Without wasting further time thinking too much about whether it was culinary or not, Giada applied to a highly prestigious culinary school in Paris. Not to forget the competition here at Le Cordon Bleu! Surprisingly, Giada made to the catering school and her parents nodded that she was indeed on the right path. Giada knew that her move to Paris would shape her passion without a hint of any doubt. However, the young and aspiring future chef of Italy couldn't have prophesied what lay in store for her there. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Fogged By Unexplainable Doubts Again

Giada arrived in Paris and was en route to establish her name in the culinary niche. Perhaps, she was uncontrollably excited to walk towards the hearty passion that had been through and through her all her life. When the classes kick-started, Giada was quite skeptical about whether she hit it off on the right path. She was still unsure whether she made the right decision. Stressed and confused, Giada started to crave her home. Moreover, she couldn't speak the language and continued to battle every day with her passion. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Love For Cooking Keeps Her Going

Giada's profound love for cooking helped her move forward and battle every odd that fell on her way. And by the time she completed her culinary course, she was ready to head back to Los Angeles. The up and shining chef knew that she was ready to prove herself, especially to those who doubted whether she made the right decision in picking cooking against films. Soon, Giada found herself flourishing in some of the top restaurants, and she eventually began to establish her reputation on strong grounds. Little did she know that a ticket to stardom meant a lot more than just fame. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

A Golden Ticket To Prove Herself 

Following her successful stints in several top-rated restaurants, Giada found herself in Spago, after she was hired there. The restaurant is owned by the world-renowned celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Perhaps, it was here that Giada discovered her true potentials and proved herself as a capable chef. Still, she remained fogged by several unexplainable doubts whether she was on the right path—all this, in the middle of her flourishing passion.

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Lands A Job In A Magazine Gig 

Despite being able to prove her culinary endeavor, the aspiring chef craved a change of scene. In the turn of events, Giada transitioned from her job as a chef to working as a food stylist for several culinary magazines. That somehow marked a great milestone in her thriving career, especially when she landed a job at Food & Wine Magazine. Though Giada was on cloud nine for having reached there, she knew that her career was far from being settled.  

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Eyed By Food Network 

A job as a food stylist might give many the satisfaction of having achieved a colossal standpoint in career, but Giada's perspectives were quite different. Despite reaching a point that wasn't easy for many, she still felt her career status was incomplete. But in 2002, things started to change on her fate cards when a Food Network executive spotted her. Eventually, Giada was insisted on taping an on-camera shoot. The demo impressed everyone and shortly after, Food Network launched their culinary series, Everyday Italian—starring Giada. 

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The Show Becomes Huge Hit

As the show progressed, many couldn't help but believe Giada's culinary prowess. It was the flourishing chef's golden chance to prove her doubters wrong. With every episode, Giada worked her way to become one of the top chefs in the culinary dimension. Everyday Italian was an overnight hit for the network. In 2005, a ghostwriter helped Giada release a cookbook. The edition was a massive hit and soon reached the top of the bestseller lists. Stardom instantly arrived at Giada's door, and she soon saw herself under the limelight. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Taking Things To The Next Level On The Love Front 

Apart from her swelling fame, other things started blossoming in Giada's life. By this point, her personal status had taken a new dimension, especially after a longtime understanding bridged her emotions with her college sweetheart, Todd. The duo had already been together for almost a decade, and they didn't wait to take things to the next level. It was time to tie the knot! When Todd proposed to her in 2003, Giada instantly nodded with a “Yes!” and the couple finally exchanged their vows. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Friction With Her Co-Host 

Her marital tie-up with Todd eventually became a pretty good time for the Everyday Italian star. Giada's career in front of the camera soared to new heights, making her name reachable to everyone's radar. Apart from Everyday Italian, Giada was roped in for other food shows including Giada in Paradise, Behind the Bash, and a lot more. She even competed on Iron Chef America—by Food Network again—alongside the fellow chef, Bobby Flay. The close friends who co-hosted on Food Network slowly gave in to friction. After an eight-month hiatus, Giada and Flay eventually made up.

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Unable To Get Over Her Celebrity Status 

Most celebrities, at one point, will find it very difficult to say no to paparazzi. Perhaps, it's not that fun being famous all around the corner. Giada realized the downside to celebrity status, especially when she and her husband, Todd, had little to no success in keeping their relationship off the limelight. Shockingly, the popular chef found herself entangled by harassment by fans who felt they knew her thoroughly. Some would even gush up to Giada, which she hated since she wasn't behind garnering attention. Nevertheless, she continues to mask her anguish with a smile, unable to do anything with the awkward situation surfaced by several fans.  

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Her “Whatever Happens...Just Smile” Attitude! 

Amidst her overpowering supremacy in stardom, Giada learned that her bright beam is her eventual trademark to preserve her success. Surprisingly, it didn't come naturally for her as she initially started out feeling very uneasy in front of the camera. Reportedly, her producer Irene Wong insisted that she always smile through every frame, even if she was unwilling. That's why fans always get to see an evergreen smile stretched across Giada's face, even if she lifts something heavy. But no one knew that there were unspoken emotions and tales of pain behind that broad smile of hers. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

An Ingenious Beauty Queen

Giada makes use of a clever hack to flaunt that award-winning smile all day long. The trick is simply a tooth whitener! She even stores it in her fridge and uses it to make her smile even more appealing and perfect at all times. She also believes that a camera-prone face like hers needs to look fresh and rejuvenated at all times. For this, she even includes a homemade face pack routine that pops right off her kitchen shelf. Perhaps, she makes it a point to pamper herself from head to toe, only to wake up to a fresh morning canopied by stardom. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

An Eye Over Diet

Giada may be a household name when it comes to culinary perspectives, but the evergreen chef makes it a routine to watch what she eats. From avoiding fattening edibles to making best friends with fitness, the mom-chef has embraced it all to look stunning even at 50! Perhaps, her mindful tactic of keeping an eye on her diet has helped her maintain the stunning statistics despite running cooking shows. Surprisingly, our favorite chef enjoys dark chocolate as much as we all do! She even confessed that she keeps dark chocolate in her purse to easily cure sudden cravings for a sweet tooth. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

She Doesn't Eat What She Cooks On The Show 

On the set, Giada tucks into a salad. Perhaps, she doesn't always eat what she's cooking on the show. According to Food Network's spokesperson, Giada never eats...never! They have a dump bucket surfaced out the moment they cut. This is simply because the chef cooks multiple recipes throughout the day. So, there's no way that she tastes all those meals, even if she wasn't watching over what she ate. Reportedly, the tidbit shots of the star taking a bite are sneaky editing, so she doesn't have to eat her menu at all. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Substitute Tasters Are Employed On Her Show 

Pasta sounds delicious and is absolutely OK in moderation. But having too much of it can be problematic and monotonous. Giada cooks a lot of pasta and it comes as no surprise since she's an Italian chef. However, she cannot simply indulge in the taste test department owing to her health and fitness goals. Reportedly, Giada has a team of staff that walk in whenever a taste test is due. What an incredible tactic, right?! The close-up shots we see of Giada tasting some pasta is actually a different woman indulging in the taste test. Coming to the other things, they go straight into the dump bucket. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Cooking For The Royals

After tossing and chopping for years in the business, Giada had no reason to be nervous in front of the camera. In 2008, she walked with honor after taking a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lifestyle Host. This recognition became an admirable win on her longstanding culinary career. But for Giada, another moment waited to highlight her star-studded status like never before. When Prince William and Kate Middleton came to California, Giada bagged the honor of cooking for them. She made lasagna for the royal couple, and it eventually went down a treat. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Adding A New Member To The Brood

After five years of marriage, the celebrity chef welcomed her first child, a daughter named Jade. The name “Giada” means “Jade” in Italian, and inspired Todd and Giada to choose that name for their daughter. The culinary star cherishes the time she spends with Jade and feels over the moon for having just one child. Stepping into the typical “mom” character is pretty hard for a busy mother like Giada, who jots her work schedule and business trips carefully to make sure Jade fits in the plan accordingly.  

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Breaking The Marriage Vows & Parting Ways

Six years after Jade came into their world, Todd and Giada decided that they would do better apart. However, the couple kept their decision to themselves and announced their split later in 2014. Giada spilled that beans that the separation would be harmonious and focused on keeping her family happy. She explained that the decision to part ways has given them the courage and ability to move forward on unique, yet connected paths. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Alexander Tamargo

Todd Finds His Way 

Between 2008 and 2014, Todd appeared in 62 episodes of Giada at Home. He had also taken it upon himself to design the chef coats at Giada's restaurant in Las Vegas. Following their separation, Todd needed a new job. His passion for fashion led him to the niche, and now, Todd works for popular fashion labels following his successful stint at Anthropologie. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/Jean Baptiste Lacroix

Did Giada Date Matt Lauer?

Meanwhile, another love story started to weave between Giada and former Today host, Matt Lauer. The rumor dates back to 2011 when the duo was spotted in Barbados together. Moreover, many suspected that this unity was something more than just friendship. It comes as no surprise that Giada denied all the rumors saying that they were just hanging out as friends and nothing more than that. Amidst all that “finding new love” chaos, Giada opened up on why she and Todd ended their marriage. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/NBCUniversal/NBC NewsWire

The Reason That Broke A Family

While Todd kept his take on their split a secret, Giada didn't sheath the matter any further. She claimed that a part of her matrimonial bond fell apart owing to her not being able to give Todd the attention she once rained on him. In an interview with Redbook, she said: “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.” Reportedly, Giada's growing passion for her career absorbed much of her time, deviating her focus a bit away from her marriage life. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

She Realized That It's Always Family First 

However, Giada's experience made her realize that family falls before everything else. Though she's deeply passionate about her culinary fame, the mom-chef gives more attention to her daughter before putting a finger on her work. She believes that her daughter's happiness is pivotal and not just her showbiz career. Jade too loves her mother's company and who knows? Maybe the celebrity daughter will follow in her mother's footsteps one day!  

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

Her Typical Breakfast Is Downright Strange

Back to the star chef's eating habits—because if you're an international culinary celebrity, you are what you eat! Though we're already aware that Giada spits most of her food she tastes in front of the camera, what does she eat when the cameras aren't rolling? According to Delish, Giada starts her day with a bowl of brown rice, topped with salt and olive oil. She even claims that her favorite lunchtime meal is Triscuit topped with mortadella, provolone, and pepper as a riff on the muffuletta sandwich. Anyone who's eaten a muffuletta can tell you straight that the two things are not the same! 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

She Hates This Particular Ingredient 

Maybe she's a star-studded chef, but Giada has a food trend she's sick of, and you'll never find it in her restaurant. It's undoubtedly—Truffles! Giada believes that truffle oil, truffle butter, and truffles in everything else should be added to the plate only when in-season. She adds that their distinct flavor should also be used delicately. Moreover, Giada sticks to the fact that adding truffle in almost everything under the sun doesn't make one a well-established gourmet cook. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

An Impressive Net Worth

To be precise, Giada De Laurentiis is a massive name in the Italian culinary niche. The skilled chef has turned her hands to several business ventures and has eventually ended up with a pretty hefty net worth. The star-studded chef's net worth is estimated to be around $30 million. However, it's believed that her wealth dented following her divorce from Todd Thompson. 

Image Credits: Instagram/giadadelaurentiis

So, What's Next For Giada De Laurentiis?

We've already seen what the famous Italian culinary queen has brought to popular food culture, but what's next for her? Well, the celebrity chef is still planning to keep that broadened smile on her face while bringing more interesting recipes to her fans across the globe. Reportedly, she's been dating Shane Farley since 2015. In 2018, Gaida told People magazine that Farley eventually made her feel like a kid again. Since then, the couple has been spotted vacationing and hanging out together—all thanks to the showbiz! 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Gustavo Caballero

Guess Giada De Laurentiis managed to find true love apart from tasting an evergreen career as the world's most renowned Italian chef. Maybe a few pinches of gossip, drizzles of spicy rumors, and tossing of controversies cook the recipe of star-studded celebs like Giada! Well, what's your take on the different shades of the fan-favorite Italian chef's life? Let us know what you think—get in touch with us by leaving your valuable comments. And please don't forget to click the “Share” button! 

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