Giada De Laurentiis: A Food Force
Giada De Laurentiis must have energy on reserve. The Roman-born darling of the Food Network has made mouths water with her array of cooking shows, from Everyday Italian to Giada’s Weekend Getaways to Giada at Home. She is also a judge on Food Network Star, has five cookbooks, a kitchen-supplies product line for Target and is a regular contributor on NBC’s Today—not to mention a wife and mother. And somehow this talented chef who calls LA’s Westside home manages to do it all while looking stunning. We caught up with De Laurentiis to talk food, fun and why she loves LA.
What is your cooking philosophy?
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS: I like food that is fresh, with simple, clean flavors. I use a lot of herbs and citrus. Lemon brightens the flavor of food. You would be surprised how much less salt you need when you cook with lemon juice.
You are a judge on Food Network Star, which returns in June. What are some of the qualities you look for in a TV personality?
GD: I think a great TV personality is natural onscreen and is able to forget the camera is there. You can tell when someone is being [authentic]. Ease and comfort on-screen go a long way. If you are having a good time, the audience will have fun, too.
Describe your perfect day in Los Angeles. What would you eat and where?
GD: My perfect day in Los Angeles would be a Sunday. My husband, Todd, and I like to take our daughter, Jade, to the Brentwood Country Mart. They have pony rides and a small petting zoo set up on Sundays that she loves. Then we would have brunch at FarmShop. It’s delish!
What’s your go-to comfort food?
GD: Chocolate—anything chocolate
Do you have a favorite LA farmers’ market or vendor?
GD: I love getting my fruits and vegetables at the Santa Monica Farmers Market and all my fish at Santa Monica Seafood.
What’s your favorite part about living in LA?
GD: My family and I spend a lot of time outdoors. We love paddleboarding, surfing and hiking. We are so lucky to live in this city—it has the perfect mix of beaches and mountains.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AMY NEUNSINGER