Worked With:

Bobby Flay

Jimmy Fallon

Conan O'Brien

Tyler Florence

Mark Dacascos

Giada De Laurentiis Biography

Birth Name: Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis was born in Rome, Italy, on Aug. 22, 1970 to Veronica De Laurentiis and Alex De Benedetti. Her grandmother was noted Italian siren, Silvana Mangano, who appeared in such films as "Death In Venice" (1971). Her father was a film producer, as was her grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, whose more than 150 film credits included "La Strada" (1954), "Serpico" (1973), "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Hannibal Rising" (2007). It was Dino's decision to relocate his film business and therefore his entire family to the United States in 1977 that brought young Giada to Southern California. Food was a central part of life for the De Laurentiis family, and Giada loved participating in preparing large meals and celebrations. In the '80s her grandfather opened an Italian food specialty shop in Beverly Hills, and this insider's view of the food business made a strong impression on her. But her movie business family didn't encourage her to pursue her love of food beyond the family kitchen, so when De Laurentiis graduated from the Catholic Marymount High School, she went on to UCLA where she earned an anthropology degree.

Once her mother was satisfied that she had a University degree, De Laurentiis headed to Paris and went full-time with food, studying cuisine and pastry at the renowned Cordon Bleu. Back in Los Angeles she put her training to use at upscale venues like the Ritz Carlton and Spago, but soon realized that even the high-end names meant 15 dollars an hour in the kitchen. She launched a catering business, GDL, and also began working as a private chef. One day she was helping a friend style a photo shoot for Food & Wine magazine and the publication expressed interest in using her for an article on caterers. In the article, she spoke about the influence of her family's traditional cooking, which caught producers' eyes over at the Food Network.

De Laurentiis was leery when she was approached with the idea to do a show based on her family cuisine, as she had never aspired to follow in her family's show business footsteps - regardless of her model-looks. She reluctantly took the opportunity and "Everyday Italian" was born in 2003. The first season was rough for De Laurentiis, who had no screen experience and had to be coached to "lighten up" the intensity with which she cooked. But the show was a hit with audiences, though the network did receive accusations of casting a model to host the show. In 2005, she released a companion cookbook called Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes in which, for the first time anywhere, the old family recipes appeared in print. The book reached #5 on The New York Times Bestseller list.

In October of 2005, De Laurentiis launched a second Food Network show, "Behind the Bash," which went behind the scenes to show how enormous, Grammy-sized events are planned, staged, and catered. The once-shy chef eventually accepted her fate of becoming yet another on camera De Laurentiis, and she began to branch out into new material. In 2006 she appeared as a "Today Show" (NBC, 1952- ) correspondent during the Olympic Games in Torino, and was slated to make future appearances for travel and lifetime segments. "Giada's Weekend Getaways" (FN, 2006- ) - her first travel show - debuted in 2006 and featured hand-picked two-day destinations like South Beach, FL; San Francisco, CA; and Jackson Hole, WY. Her second cookbook, Giada's Family Dinners was published in 2006 and hit #1 on the Times Bestseller list. Everyday Pasta, a collection of solely pasta recipes, was scheduled to hit bookshelves in April of 2007. With all her many projects, De Laurentiis also found time to be a spokesperson for Barilla pasta.