Giada De Laurentiis has been part of the Food Network for almost two decades. Food Network veteran Bobby Flay was one of the first people to see the chef in action. Here’s what Flay reportedly said about De Laurentiis when he first laid eyes on her.
How Giada De Laurentiis got his start on Food Network
DeLaurentiis, who was born in Rome, Italy, is the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis. She honed her culinary skills at her grandfather’s restaurant, DDL Foodshow. The Food Network star went on to earn a degree in anthropology from UCLA. She then followed a culinary training at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. De Laurentiis then trained at the Ritz-Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in Beverly Hills.
De Laurentiis arrived on the Food Network scene in 2002. A network executive first saw the chef in an issue of Food and wine magazine. There was another new chef mentioned in this issue, but the executive liked De Laurentiis’ appearance, so he decided to sue her instead for a place on the Food Network, according to Allen Salkin in his book. From zero.
The network planned to introduce her as a chef who could teach home cooks how to cook “everyday” Italian dishes, meals that are easy to prepare but good. Salkin said she was a kind of “home school teacher” while Mario Batali was a “teacher” of cooking.
What Bobby Flay first thought of Giada De Laurentiis
De Laurentiis immediately agreed to try for his own Food Network show. She had the opportunity to make a test video so that executives could see if it would fit. De Laurentiis decided to make baked rigatoni for his video. A friend of hers who was trained in television filmed the audition.
An executive asked Flay to take a look at the audition and share his thoughts on De Laurentiis. He was immediately struck by her beauty and her presence in front of the camera. According to Salkin, Flay replied, “She’s really pretty. She looks to be good. It looks like Flay’s vote of confidence, in addition to the beauty and culinary training of De Laurentiis, has helped her secure a coveted spot among Food Network’s cooking show lineup. From there, the rest is history.
Some of De Laurentiis’ Food Network shows include Everyday italian, Giada Weekend Getaways, Food web star, Giada in paradise, and Giada entertains. She has also had several guest spots on the Today spectacle.
Bobby Flay leaves Food Network
There was some big news about Flay recently. It has been revealed that Flay will be leaving Food Network after 27 years. According to Variety, Flay was in contract talks with the Network. His contract was due to expire, but instead of renewing it, Food Network reportedly decided to end negotiations because they could not agree on financial terms, the publication said.
Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.