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Just noticed Giada... am I behind the times?

Just noticed tv personality/chef Giada De Laurentiis. Am I behind the times?

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  1. Yes, a little bit. She's a competent cooking show host but you haven't missed out on anything truly special. Well, maybe the cleavage.

    4 Replies
    1. re: inuksuk

      And the freakishly short arms.

      Her recipes do always look tasty and straight-forward, so I appreciate that. She also is a fairly regular contributor to the Today Show, even doing non-food coverage.

      1. re: Megiac

        On her show she looks like a bobble-heead, but on different shows she is on thats not the case. It must be the camera angle

        1. re: Amanda please

          It is the camera angle. Whenever possible they film her just slightly from above to... to... well, essentially to peek down her blouse. Just a little bit. But that angle means her head is closer to the camera than the rest of her body so that's the trade off.

      2. re: inuksuk

        I must be behind the times because I noticed the yards of cleavage just yesterday, when Bobbie Flay couldn't keep his eyes on the food. But it really wasn't his fault. I'd have been watching to make sure the garlic didn't disappear.

      3. She's already on her second FoodNetwork series.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater

          What about her stands out? Does she do more than cook?

          1. re: Lorelai

            It's hard to say. She's probably the most attractive host on FN. Her foods are very simple, so inexperienced cooks like her recipes. In addition to Everyday Italian, she hosts one of those travel shows on FN. Can't remember the name. Her grandfather is Dino De Laurentiis, one of the more accomplished Hollywood producers.

            1. re: mojoeater

              The other show is Weekend Getaways. I have 2 of her cookbooks and find her recipes really easy, healthy and delicious. She uses tons of fresh herbs in everything so that definitely helps the flavors!

            2. re: Lorelai

              Well, other than her lineage (granddaughter to Dino De Laurentis), she's what inuksuk says - a competent cooking show host. But people on this board have said that they've tried her recipes and say they're pretty good.

            3. re: mojoeater

              She's actually on her third FN series:
              1. Everyday Italian
              2. Behind the Bash
              3. Giada's Weekend Getaways (or something like that)

              I'm an accomplished cook and I still like her simple and quick Italian inspired dishes. And, for what its worth, all of her recipes that I've tried actually work (which is more than I can say for many of the FN hosts).

              1. re: chemchef

                OK Obviously I should read the board instead of just responding to a comment right off the bat LOL

              2. re: mojoeater

                3rd no? Everyday Italian, Behind the Bash, and now what the H*ll is it called Weekend Getaways?

              3. I really like Giada's cooking show (everyday italian, I think). I can take or leave her 'behind the bash' party show or the travel one.

                IMHO, her love of the food really shines through. I really relate to her style of cooking -- fresh Meditteranian & Italian with minimal fuss. A respect for culinary tradition, but not a slave to it. I want to eat just about everything she makes.

                1. She seems to be getting groomed for a regular spot on the 'Today' show. They're adding an hour and are looking for hosts.

                  I have to admit I’m a little surprised that you have missed her thus far. Considering FN’s remarkable propensity for using the same three or four people in the same two or three shows.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Withnail42

                    Thanks for your help! I looked into her this weekend and she does seem to be everywhere. I didn't know that about the Today Show... do you think she is just another pretty face they are adding to their line-up and should I tune in?

                  2. I really love Everyday Italian. Her passion shines through although she sometimes treats family members assisting her like they are idiots, but honestly i would do the same with my own family. I have the cookbook too and use it quite a bit - lots of easy go-to tasty meals. One of my faves is the baked rigatoni with prosciutto, My waistline, however, is not a fan.

                    Watching her Chefography made me like her even more. She followed her passion for food (not the family biz entertainment industry) and I respect her for that. She may have ended up on tv, but it was for something she was good at.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: stolenchange

                      I couldn't bring myself to delete her chefography from my TiVo for almost 2 months. My boyfriend finally issued an ultimatum, because I'd watched the thing so many times.

                    2. i have to say that I don't watch her shows regularly, but on the occasions that I have, her recipes have seemed rather simple and unimaginative (at least to warrant their own cooking show). But the food does generally look good... and she's pretty...

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: muffintop

                        She is drop dead gorgeous, and would most likely be on television elsewhere were it not for her FN gig, but does anybody else ever get annoyed by that ridiculous accented emphasis she throws onto every italian word?

                        1. re: notgreg

                          YES! I was begining to think that is how they should be pronounced!!

                          1. re: Amanda please

                            C'mon, any regular poster here on Chowhound can probably pull off what she does on her show. She is there because of her last name.

                            1. re: Herm

                              She didn't get the job because of her last name. My friend's sister who is a FN executive producer spotted her in a food magazine and recruited her to test out for the Everyday Italian show. Prior to this she was personal chef and caterer. So it has nothing to do with nepotism.
                              The show's point is to cook simple italian food, to make it accessible to people who may not necessarily have strong skills nor a full kitchen. Every recipe of hers I've tried has been a success and tastes very good if I might add.

                              I'm always surprised by all the antagonism to FN on Chowhound. It seems no chef is good enough.

                              1. re: moymoy

                                But the producer wouldn't have spotted her if it wasn't for the article about her FAMILY. So she definitely had a leg up. I watched her "chefography" though (I know, sad--need to find a cure for cancer or learn a foreign language or something with my free time) and it looked like she did work really hard to become comfortable in front of the camera. I would like her show if it weren't on seemingly all the time (like all of FN's shows--they only have like, 5 shows in constant rotation). Enough with dipping berries in chocolate and crushing amaretto cookies over everything.

                                1. re: traceybell

                                  I was thinking the same thing myself. Would she have been in the magazine if it wasn’t for her name?

                          2. re: notgreg

                            Thank you! She drives me crazy sometimes.. "Spa-GHIT-ti!" "Par-MEE-john-oh!"

                            Giada's still cool in my books tho.

                            1. re: NovoCuisine

                              Yes! "Spa-GHIT-ti!" gets me every time.

                              1. re: Withnail42

                                I got a kick out of seeing her with Paula Deen on the grilling special. She pronounces "Bruschetta" like "Broo-SKEET-a" and Paula Deen says "What did you call that? I just call it "BREW-shet-a."

                                I come from an area where you're liable to get a funny look if you pronounce "Capicola" with more than 3 syllables and even I think it's over the top.

                                But I like Everyday Italian.

                                1. re: jzerocsk

                                  Why did you call it that? Because that's how it's pronounced goober.
                                  yeesh.

                              2. re: NovoCuisine

                                She didn't used to do that. If you see any of her old shows, pay attention to how she pronounces Italian words -- she used to have no accent on them. I think that the network told her to do that, because it's really a distinct change.

                                1. re: JasmineG

                                  I like the pronunciation; I like the nonAnglocized pronunciations of all ethnic foods -spanish, french, etc. I do love to learn languages and that is a personal preference. I don't see why Italian or other ethnic names must be pronounced with the English phonetics; that is not the word. That is all part of the education process. Family members say that she has a distinct Neopolitan accent which comes through every once in a while. On her Paradise special show, it was quite evident while she was in Capri. I must disagree with her though, it is SPA -GHAY -TI in Rome and most of Italy. My husband calls her ET for her large head appearance and her silly smile. I like how she takes a microtaste of food and relishes it; I bet it is her only meal of the day. (Do you detect a note of jealousy????)

                          3. She is intelligent, educated in her field, and easy to watch. She did not set out to be where she is, but she adapted quite well.
                            There is a large element of Chowhounders who seem to hate anyone that cooks on TV.
                            The more time you spend here, the more you will learn who to ignore.

                            1. What's she like on the Today Show? Maybe I'll tune in.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                Maybe they'll get her to replace Rosie on The View!

                                1. re: mojoeater

                                  LOL! I said the exact same thing to my sweety while I was reading this thread...right on mojo!

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    Yeah, or more importantly... Rachael Ray!

                                2. Cooking with Little Big Head. My daughter refers to her as Giada de marilla (Emeril is Elmo Magasse).

                                  I have her Everyday Italian cookbook and I quite like it. Her show has improved quite alot since the beginning. The general tone on Chow is that FN is Satan's Little Helper, but I tend to reserve that judgement for Sandra Lee. At least Giada is promoting fresh food.

                                  1. Well, if you're FN fan she's hard to miss. I like her general approach - simple, easy food. Things I don't like are:
                                    1. Her tendency (as well as some other TV chefs) to *talk with her mouth full*. Jeesh - can't she wait 10 seconds and have them edit?
                                    2. The silly "moving camera" shots. Like so many of today's shows it's ridiculously overused.
                                    3. Hey, I like cleavage, but can't she move on?

                                    That being said, she's pretty good. She doesn't add anything truely disinctive, but so what?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Richard 16

                                      Actually, ten dead seconds on TV is too long. The overwhelming A.D.D. of viewers is a challenge.

                                        1. re: Richard 16

                                          I bet they are actually coached to speak, sheepishly, with food in their mouths. It's not something that a lot of people would do on camera otherwise. I also bet that someone somewhere decided it was charming to show that they couldn't wait for a commercial break to share their enthusiasm for the food they just cooked.

                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            On last year's The Next Food Network Star (yes, I tuned in every week, although I wanted Reggie, not annoying Guy who now hosts a second show, this one abt diners and dives!) they kept pumping that can't-resist-tasting-bite, again and again. In fact, participants who couldn't fit the bite in before the tape stopped were penalized! Everyone's favorite RR was there teaching them how to get that bite in "and pretend it's delicious even if you're burning your mouth off."

                                    2. I like her creative use of Italian ingredients/ techniques - dirty risotto and panetonne french toast come to mind.

                                      Although I always wonder, do TV chefs come up with all the concepts let alone actual recipes? She's gotta be busy with all the different shows.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: julesrules

                                        How funny...it also drives me nuts when she does the spa-git-ti pronunciation and some of those other quasi Italian words. You're in the US, just pronounce it in your California accent, you are American, after all.
                                        That being said, I do like her food. It's nothing fancy, usually simple, and fast. I like that she uses lots of fresh herbs and ingredients. It's easy to cook and easy to eat food, though not terribly original.
                                        I do wish she would actually eat some food. Her head is almost bigger than her body. Does anyone believe she actually eats more than that mouthful she eats on the show? I don't.
                                        I understand she has quite a following amongst college boys. I don't think it is the cooking, however. Could it possibly be...the cleavege? HMMMM....

                                        1. re: mschow

                                          It's 30 min TV show, are we supposed to watch her eat the entire meal on air?

                                          1. re: moymoy

                                            Actually, you're supposed to focus on her glistening lips as she lovingly and slowly chews her mouthful of food, then licks her lips invitingly. Hence the term "food porn". Bill Buford has referred to the shift in focus at the Food Network at http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006... and in his book Heat. I think that Giada is filmed from above for two reasons: it allows the camera a better angle relative to some of her "assets," and it makes her look vaguely like an anime character in terms of body proportions (someone at TVgasm compared the effect to a Bratz doll). My favorite Giada link is at http://www.tvgasm.com/archives/food_n...

                                            1. re: youngho

                                              That link to TVgasm is priceless!!! Thanks for posting it

                                              1. re: youngho

                                                That is hysterical! I'd love to see the thing in real time. Even with out the comments her face tell the whole story!

                                                http://meandmyfork.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: Withnail42

                                                  ok, i've NEVER laughed so hard at a post!!! that tvgasm link really is priceless.

                                                  someone should have warned me, though...i took a sip of my tea just as i started reading...and both my keyboard and screen paid the soggy price...

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    Sorry about the lack of warning, but I think it really does work better as a total surprise. Somewhat amusing is the "Spa-GHITTI-gasm" (consider yourself warned) at http://www.tvgasm.com/shows/food-netw...

                                        2. I like her. She's pretty and her TV-isms aren't too too over the top for me. I like the creative use of Italian ingredients/techniques in new ways... dirty risotto and panetonne french toast come to mind.

                                          1. I just watched parts of that special with all the FN chefs in Miami, and I was cracking up at the gratuitous boobage shots when Giada was making a fruit salad. Every time she went to the blender, the TV screen was all cleavage. I think her shirts have gotten lower, or her boobs bigger, but I never really noticed before. And it's only partially her (she does allow the low-cut shirts), but it's definitely the producer or director or definitely the cameraman responsible for those shots.

                                            Beyond the boobs, though, her food looks simple enough. I can watch her without gritting (gritting??) my teeth, which isn't always he case with Ray Ray and that ridiculous Sandra Lee show.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: diningdivala

                                              I adore Giada. Entirely. What's not to love, too? She's got a pleasant personality that is very accessible. She is indeed gorgeous - I'm gay, and she even tempts me! Her talking points are helpful and I managed to learn quite a bit of simple techniques from her. I really like the production values on her show. When she's not talking, they play pleasant enough music. It's better than the dead air when Emeril takes a breather, or even listening to him yammer on and on. The stock they use to film it is pretty good - nice visual look to the show. I appreciate how edited it, as opposed to a live gig. Her recipes are mostly good - some are better than others. The one thing she doesn't warn you about is the cost or relative rarity of some of the items. She tends to use some really expensive stuff, but waves it off as items she always keeps on hand.

                                              As for her Italian pronunciations - she's saying the words correctly, but not how we say them in the US. Having travelled to Italy a few times, I appreciate this.

                                              I think she shows more specialization and expertise that most of the other hosts on the network. Mario is the king, of course.

                                              Her show is the best of the "improving the home cooks repertoire" on that network. It's the most satisfying intersection of ease/accessibility and elevation of cuisine, IMHO.

                                              There is another show she hosts, too - Giada in Paradise. I've seen two episodes - Santorini and Capri. It's like her weekend getaway show, but it better locations. It's an hour-long show.

                                            2. My boyfriend HATES her because he thinks her voice is annoying and that she doesn't have any real talent, apart from looking pretty for the camera. I didn't used to mind her so much, but her voice is now starting to grate on me since she is all over FoodTV.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: windycity

                                                My husband also hates her. He actually pointed out something really funny. They always show her put the food into her mouth, and then she makes a big deal of chewing, tasting, and even talking... but they always cut before she actually swallows the food.

                                                That being said, I think her food is nice- not spectacular, but nice.

                                                1. re: sabrinamodelsf

                                                  I love Giada, but the food in the mouth thing does drive me a little nutters.

                                                  She also has these pet sayings she says ad nauseum:

                                                  "Just like that"

                                                  and

                                                  "Of course" (it's more her overuse than anything else)

                                                  I think there are a few others.

                                                  The best, though, is when she's trying her food - before she starts talking with her mouthful, she lets out the ecstatic groan letting us know it's the best thing she's ever eaten. She does it a lot on her travel shows, too. It's comic. It's the one thing about her I find insincere - everything is that good, apparently.

                                                  1. re: sabrinamodelsf

                                                    count me as another wife whose husband does not like Giada...says her smile borders on creepy. I'm not a huge fan, I find her watchable although she's never inspired me to cook anything she's produced. I think sometimes she's trying too hard to be Nigella Lawson, down to the production values. And she's definitely not coming off as so guy smiley on the Next Food Network Star...

                                                  2. re: windycity

                                                    The claim that she doesn't have any real talent is objectively false. First, it would be hard for your boyfriend to judge without tasting her food the way she makes it. Second, she has a pretty impressive resume. She has much more culinary experience than many of the other hosts on the network. She's got more expertise than Rachael Ray, that's for sure. Your boyfriend is entitled to his own opinions on her, but not his own set of facts. She went to Cordon Bleu in Paris, ran a catering company, worked at Spago, has a long line of food expertise in her family. She knows what she's doing.

                                                    1. re: pgokey

                                                      Agreed, she's got the culinary chops. I enjoy watching her "on the road" vs. RR (I find her annoying anywhere, I guess). I just haven't been inspired by her to go into the kitchen and follow her recipies.