Giada at Home

Giada de Laurentiis is one of my favorite chefs / food personalities (along with Ina Garten, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Anthony Bourdain) so I was thrilled to be able to attend a signing of her new book, Giada at Home! My mother is a wonderful cook and growing up, I never felt the desire to learn to cook since she handled that department so well at our house. Plus, anytime I’d ask her to teach me how to make something, she would take over and hardly ever gave me measurements to use because she didn’t need them. Having said that, my mom definitely instilled in me an appreciation and love of good food along with a desire to make delicious food that my loved ones could enjoy. I didn’t really learn to cook until around the time that I got married nearly five years ago. I would watch Barefoot Contessa and Everyday Italian ( I still do, along with Giada at Home) and learned so much about food and cooking techniques. I like to think that Giada and Ina taught me to cook!

giada and jade

{Giada and her beautiful two year-old daughter, Jade}

I’ve always enjoyed watching Giada cook because of her relaxed, cheerful disposition, her use of fresh, delicious, and healthy ingredients, and her passion for Italian food and culture. I minored in Italian Studies so I naturally gravitate towards anything Italian and studied many of Giada’s grandparents’ films in my Italian Cinema class. I was nervous to meet her because part of me felt as if I knew her. Watching her on her show, she seems so relatable and I feel like I could chat with her for hours. Unfortunately, at a book signing, you only get about 30 seconds.

What would I say to her? There were countless things that I wanted to ask her about. I wanted to share the fact that I have made her Italian turkey for Thanksgiving over the past few years and it’s been a huge hit. I wanted to tell her that I wear OPI’s Bubble Bath on my nails, too! Could we have a conversation in Italian? Should I tell her that I absolutely love that she pronounces mozzarella, bruschetta, prosciutto, and parmigiano reggiano in Italian as they should be?  I could tell her that I studied her grandfather, Dino’s films in college and that she is a huge part of why my friends and family consider me to be a good cook now.

Easter 2010 014

Naturally, I blanked when it was my turn to have my book signed. I greeted her in Italian and she was super sweet and just as gorgeous in person as she is on television. I asked her about Jade and she was so, so nice and just like that, it was over. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures with Giada, only pictures of her from a distance.

Easter 2010 009

The new book, Giada at Home is filled with wonderful family recipes inspired by both Giada’s Italian heritage and her life in California. The recipes are composed of fresh ingredients and are at once simple, elegant, and simple to prepare. I was able to taste her Pea Pesto Crostini while I waited in line and it was absolutely delicious! If you read La Dolce Vita regularly, then you most likely will appreciate the beautiful styling of the book. Not only is it filled with scrumptious images of the food, but it also features many photos of Giada’s gorgeous family (including her sweet little girl, Jade who is an absolute doll) in the kitchen as well as at a beautiful dinner party.

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