If you have ever flicked on to the Food Network by mistake, you might have found a reason to keep watching. Giada De Laurentiis is good enough reason for almost anyone, with her infectious smile, love for all things culinary, and bouncy personality. Well, the fact that she’s pretty good-looking helps with all of that too, and she’s also known for having a slim and trim body.
A lot of things about her personal life have made headlines, particularly her high-profile divorce from her husband and her subsequent pain as she tried to recover from the heartbreak. She is now living life as a single mother, though she has been seen to enjoy the dating scene with a few notable men as well. This popular TV chef has quite the interesting background, and even if you casually switch on her shows at the weekend, there are a lot of things that you won’t know about her.
From her background, to the troubling secrets and rumours that surround her show, to her skills and interests, there’s plenty to learn about Giada De Laurentiis. She has a lot more going on behind the scenes than you may think by seeing her bubbly personality cooking up the latest dishes for you on casual food shows! We’ve done the research for you so that you can get straight to the core of the most interesting information. Here are the top 15 things you likely don’t know about her – and didn’t realize you wanted to.
15 She Spits Out The Bites She Takes Of Her Food
A shocking rumour about how Giada keeps her figure while presenting a cooking show emerged from an insider source. “When Giada films her cooking show, she never eats. Never. When she is making drinks and food that she has to drink or eat, they have a dump bucket that is brought out the second they cut,” said the source, adding, “they have an assistant take the bite (so you only see teeth and a mouth), and then they cut back to her taking an empty fork out of her mouth to resume filming.” The official response from Giada’s spokesperson? “Giada tapes sometimes three episodes in one day, and they do multiple takes on a close-up of her eating. She doesn’t always eat and swallow every time, since they can do sometimes six to 10 takes with three episodes a day, and that would be like eating six to eight meals a day…”
14 There Were Multiple Cheating Rumours
While she was still married, there were multiple occasions on which her close relationships with other famous faces raised a few eyebrows. First there was John Mayer, who, let’s be honest, has had a physical relationship with what seems like every single woman who has ever been remotely famous. She denied that, as she did the rumours which arose over her co-workers, Bobby Flay and Matt Lauer. “The allegation of an affair was a fabrication back in 2010 and remains so today,” De Laurentiis said about the rumours. “My long-time friendships with my co-workers Matt Lauer and Bobby Flay are exactly that — long-time friendships.” The rumours flared up again around the time of her divorce, with speculation that both parties had been unfaithful. It would certainly explain why their marriage eventually fell apart, but Giada is not budging from her denial on all three counts of potential suitors.
13 She Doesn’t Like Touching Fans
If you ever meet Giada in person, make sure that you’re respectful of her personal space. You might not even want to approach her at all. By the sounds of it, she would rather be cuddling up to a bottle of anti-bacterial hand wash than her fans. "For sure [fans want to get close]. It's the only place that people expect to see me and sort of be able to touch my brand. I wish I could say no touchy-touchy, but it doesn't work that way,” De Laurentiis says. "Since I am a female chef they are a little less intimidated to come up to me, and secondly they just want to thank you for what we do.” She has also commented that she is more comfortable with fame now than she was in the past, so perhaps over time she will come to terms with and even embrace the touch of her fans.
12 She’s Totally Tiny
When you see her on screen you might not realize it – she often wears tall shoes and uses other production tricks so that she can stand nearly on a level with her co-presenters and guests. But the fact of the matter is, Giada is actually tiny. She comes in at just under five foot two, which makes her well below the average for US women. Her tiny stature as well as her thin frame have led to her being dubbed a “petite powerhouse”, though it’s not clear whether she takes that as a compliment. Her height certainly hasn’t held her back, as she has been a popular enough host to walk away with a Daytime Emmy in that category. She also happens to date pretty tall guys most of the time, at least according to the photos that you can see in the press! That makes the distinction even clearer.
11 Her Grandfather Is A Legendary Producer
While Giada may now be known in her own right, she was part of a famous family while growing up as well. Her maternal grandfather is Dino De Laurentiis, and he is a legendary producer who is credited as being one of the people to bring Italian cinema to the mainstream. He has produced over 500 films, and many Academy Award nominees. Some of his more recent titles include Red Dragon and the other Hannibal films, Army of Darkness with Sam Raimi, and Blue Velvet with David Lynch. His full filmography is an incredible read. During the 1980s, he also opened DDL Foodshow, a retailer in charge of two Italian markets. The family kitchens were where Giada learned to cook, and it’s clear that the passion for Italian cooking came from this part of her family. Her grandfather’s early encouragement and access to his contacts would have been a boon for her career.
10 Her Brother Died Of Melanoma
Giada has a few siblings: her sister, Eloisa, is a makeup artist, and she also has a brother called Ivor. She did have a brother named Dino as well – carrying on the tradition of naming men in the family, he was given the same name as his grandfather. He sadly died of melanoma in 2003, and was a budding Hollywood film director until that time. Giada has occasionally spoken about his loss, most notably to offer a PSA about the dangers of melanoma and how important it is to get treatment as quickly as possible. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s a type of skin cancer which can manifest in the form of a mole which changes shape or colour, becomes itchy, or turns into a rash. Something like that should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, as the cancer can spread quickly.
9 She Has Beef With Nicole Kidman
Would you imagine that Giada and Nicole Kidman even know each other? You probably wouldn’t think of it, but it’s true. The two appeared together for a segment on Ellen with Ellen DeGeneres, and it did not go well. The whole segment appeared to be Giada and Nicole flinging increasingly barbed comments at one another, starting with Giada making a bad joke about Nicole and going on from there. It was hideously awkward to watch, and poor Ellen was stuck in the middle of it all. When they finished cooking, Nicole pointed out that the food was not to her taste and could even be seen spitting it out rather than swallowing it. Even Ellen didn’t appear to enjoy the food, although she tried to force a polite comment and smile for the sake of the show. It seems that Giada isn’t as gifted in the kitchen as we thought!
8 She’s A Voice Actress
That’s right – you will easily recognize Giada when she stands in front of the camera, but what you didn’t realize is that she sometimes appears behind the scenes as well! She has two voice acting roles under her belt to date. The first was of the character Paulette on Handy Manny, with a debut in 2009. She waited a while to take her second role, that of Gelata in the special Pixie Hollow Bake Off. When you listen now, you’ll be able to tell easily that both of the characters are played by Giada, though it might not occur to you right away. She has spoken about being uncomfortable in front of the camera on several occasions, and though this problem was more pronounced in her early career, it’s probably still a relief to do some work where she can stay hidden and just let her voice shine.
7 She Loves Yoga
One thing you can always count on Giada to be doing is a yoga session. She seems to be there almost every day of the week, and is happy to share selfies on a regular basis as she contorts into various different positions. It’s easy to see how she keeps herself in a trim form – she is slim and toned but not muscular, and yoga can really help with getting that shape. She says that yoga is her favourite way to start the day, so you can be sure that she is fitting it in as often as possible. It’s also a great way of dealing with stress, and she has certainly had enough of that after getting divorced from her husband of 12 years and seeing all of the media attention that that brought her way. Sometimes the only way to get through something is to breathe deep and get on with your favourite exercises!
6 She Always Wanted To Work In Food
Though she started off her career in a very different direction to the one that she is facing now, Giada apparently always knew that she was going to work with food, from a young age. Her first step was to train at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with the intention of becoming a pastry chef. From there, she actually went on to work at some very high-profile restaurants, as apparently her skills were good enough for the best. After a while, though, she switched her career into food styling. While she was doing that, she put together a spread for a magazine cover, and the Food Network got in touch with her to do some styling for them. As soon as they met her, however, they knew that they had the potential for a presenting star, and so she was persuaded into getting in front of the camera.
5 She’s One Hot Momma
Well, we could tell this one just by looking at her, but this is more than just personal opinion. In fact, she has been ranked and rated and found to be one of the hottest moms alive according to a poll conducted on the website CaféMom. They put together a list of the moms they thought were totally killing it in the looks department as well as being good mothers to their children, and Giada came in at number six. That was in 2010, so we have to wonder whether she would manage to get even higher on the list today. After all, there’s something about a divorced woman that just adds a little more spice to the pot. Given that she has such flair with ingredients, she can probably appreciate that herself. Still, here’s proof if you ever needed it that you’re not the only one that finds her so attractive.
4 She’s Done With Kids
Despite being well-regarded for the fact that she is utterly devoted to her daughter, Giada has decided that enough is enough. She had Jade when she was 37, and now that she is in her late forties, she has said definitively that she isn’t interested in having any more kids. In fact, she made this decision early on, while she was still married to her husband. She said that between him, Jade, and her TV career, she already had too many babies to look after. She named her daughter ‘Jade’ because this is the English version of her Italian name, Giada. So, in a sense, her daughter is named after her mother – just like how her brother was named after her grandfather. It’s a family tradition that she chose to carry on, albeit in a slightly modified form. It’s probably a good thing she decided not to have more kids as she might run out of names fast!
3 She Really Hates The Camera
For someone who is on screen all of the time, you would think that Giada was used to and even enjoyed having a lens pointed in her direction. It turns out, she’s not a fan of the camera at all. You may have seen her live clips when she has guested on other shows like Ellen, when she is clearly awkward and out of her depth. She also hates having her picture taken, although selfies seem to be a bit of an exception. She knew she didn’t want to be in front of the camera from the time that she took a small part in one of her aunt’s films at a young age. Somehow, though, fate turned out differently and now she spends almost all of her time in front of the camera – at least when she is not writing books or checking up on her restaurants.
2 She Once Cooked A Royal Dinner
Giada has been blessed enough to actually cook for the royal couple, Prince William and Princess Kate. It’s a huge honour to prepare a meal for them as they are not only royals, but also very highly regarded. So, what did they eat? They started with grilled vegetable towers, then had a shrimp and avocado salad with frico chips, followed by chicken and crunchy slaw in endive leaves, and washed back with Prosecco and scotch whiskey juleps. Giada said it was "an experience of a lifetime. Honestly, probably third to getting married and having my daughter. It was an unbelievable day, but even leading up to it was phenomenal." She also added that William and Kate are "very much into food." It must have been an exceptional experience, the kind of thing that you would never expect in your wildest dreams would happen to you even when attending culinary school.
1 She’s A Leo
Giada was born on the 22nd August, 1970. That makes her a Leo (and also means that she looks really good for her age). What does that mean about her personality? Normally Leos are characterized as being driven, warm-hearted, and energetic people who love to be in the limelight. We can see that this definitely applies to Giada: she is always expanding her business empire and is never ready to rest on her laurels, she extends great love to her family and friends, and she is constantly busy. She may say that she doesn’t like to have the spotlight on her, but the fact that she has continued to appear live on television after launching other aspects of her career suggests that perhaps she does enjoy it a little bit more than she likes to admit! Leos are also pretty straightforward, which perhaps explains why she makes awkward comments in live segments rather than concealing her thoughts.