Giada De Laurentiis’ Life Is Different Than You Think
Italian-American chef Giada De Laurentiis rose to fame on the Food Network, where she quickly amassed a fan base. In front of the camera, the outgoing TV host got her viewers excited to cook with her upbeat personality and bright smile. Off-stage, Giada fought back against rumors of infidelity in her marriage, often times even linked to her co-stars on the Food Network. While other chefs on the network like Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Ina Garten, and Guy Fieri all boosted their profiles while keeping their personal life out of the mix, it seems that Giada can’t stay out of the line of fire. People are just too interested in the rumors swirling around about the chef… is there any truth to them?
Find out what you don’t know about Food Network’s Italian-born chef Giada.
Giada and Her Husband Divorced In 2015
In the early 2000s, with her career full steam ahead, Giada met fashion designer Todd Thompson. The two fell in love and in 2003 they were married. Thompson often accompanied Giada during events and award shows, spending time together when they could between their two busy schedules, but Giada’s especially.
People were shocked to hear that in 2014 the seemingly happy couple had decided to go their separate ways. On September 3, 2015, the divorce was finalized, and Giada found herself single again at 45 years old.
By then there were rumors she had already moved on…
She’s Very Successful, With a Net Worth To Prove It!
Giada De Laurentiis is a hard-working woman. While her beauty is undeniable, Giada put the time and work into her career to make it what it is today. Giada has a wide range of talents, including her exemplary culinary skills, TV hosting, authoring books and making smart moves in the world of business to bring it all together.
Her net worth reportedly lands around $15 million as of 2018, although some speculate she may have sacrificed some of her fortune in the divorce proceedings. Sources say she’s dishing out $9,000 to Thompson each month for child support for her daughter, Jade.
She Keeps Smiling Through It All
Giada is a petite, yet strong woman, as any chef in the kitchen needs to be. Just like other chefs, Giada suffers burns from pots, pans and hot ingredients as she works in the kitchen with the cameras filming.
Throughout it all, Giada maintains her pearly white smile for the audience as she explains the steps she’s taking to make the dish. Initially, TV show producer Irene Wong coached her on this, making sure that the audience would never notice any discomfort she might be in.
She Prefers Not To Be Touched
Giada’s warm and bubbly personality makes it easy for her fans to approach her on set, at events or even in public. While she’s appreciative of her viewers, she does have one pet peeve: people touching her!
“I wish I could say no touchy-touchy,” the chef and TV host once admitted. But she understands that it comes with the fame, and she doesn’t want to risk her career by appearing off-put if a fan puts their arm around her when snapping a photo.
She’s an Emmy Award Winner
Her Food Network daytime cooking show, Everyday Italian,began in 2003, the same year that she married Thompson. In 2008, she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her Outstanding Lifestyle Host and walked away a winner. Giada has since received two more Emmy Award nominations and took home a Gracie Award in 2012 for Oustanding Host on Giada at Home.
Her accolades continued to stack up, and in 2012 she was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame, officially cementing her place in the culinary world.
Giada Still Maintains a Private Life
Most people know Giada as the Italian-born chef who shares her passion and culinary skill of Italian food with her American viewers. They love watching the energetic chef excitedly describe her dishes and ingredients, which is also part of her Italian heritage.
But there’s far more to Giada than what her fans see on TV. And while food may play a major role in her life, there’s far more that she’s interested in. So what else is going on in Giada’s life?
You’re about to find out.
She Didn’t Study Culinary In College, Initially
Cooking was a huge passion of Giada’s from the start, that was certain. But when it came time to graduate high school and select a career path for herself, it wasn’t the first choice. While her heart told her to follow her love of cooking, she decided to pursue a degree in social anthropology instead.
Giada enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1996. Even though she had her BA in hand, Giada knew that being a chef was really what she wanted to do all along.
Giada Attended Le Cordon Bleu
While studying for her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, Giada’s mind kept going back to Italian food. She loved to cook it, she loved to eat it, and she was good at it, too. Once she had her degree locked down, Giada applied at the highly competitive and prestigious culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu, located in Paris.
Luckily, Giada was accepted and she studied under some of the greatest chefs to walk the planet. Her time in Paris taught her how to master her skills and learn the technical methods it takes to become a world-renown chef.
She Landed Her First Job In LA
Giada’s career ended up taking her back to Los Angeles where her mother and siblings lived. It wasn’t any time at all before her name was buzzing around top restaurants in LA, and soon, a big one came calling.
Spago, a high-profile California cuisine restaurant owned by Wolfgang Puck at the time, hired her on as a chef. From there she transitioned as a stylist for food magazines, getting her bearings in the industry and figuring out where she really fit in.
She would figure it out sooner rather than later.
She Caught The Eye of a Food Network Executive
In 2002, Giada was working for Food & Wine Magazine. She was happy with her work, but it was clear she hadn’t even come close to realizing her potential. An executive from Food Network spotted the budding star and was more than impressed.
Giada’s charisma, combined with her artistry for Italian cooking and authentic background made her a deadpan for a Food Network TV host. After passing a demo filmed on camera, Food Network green lit a TV series starring Giada: Everyday Italian.
She’s a Host On Several TV Shows
Just as the network executive’s intuition had told her, Everyday Italian was a massive hit. The success that Giada found as a chef and TV host on her show gave her opportunities on other shows as well.
Giada kept extremely busy in the 2000s, hosting, appearing, and acting on Behind the Bash, Pixie Hollow Bake Off, Giada’s Weekend Getaways,and Handy Mandy. Giada was proving that she wasn’t limited to hosting an Italian cooking show and she had even more to offer.
Giada Has Published Several Cookbooks
While her TV career took off, Giada chose to grow her career in other areas as well. In 2005, Giada released her first cookbook, titled the same as her show, Everyday Italian. It would be her first of nine books she’d write with the help of a ghostwriter, building up her net worth and popularity even more.
People loved her personality and the storytelling behind her dishes. And then she did the impossible. Two of Giada’s books, Giada at Home and Weeknights with Giada hit the number one spot on the New York Times Best Seller List.
She Fed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The New York Times Best Seller’s List, an Emmy award… what else could Giada achieve? How about serving her food to royalty? When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to California, Giada was tapped to cook for the future King and his wife.
Instead of authentic Italian, Giada presented them with a true California meal, consisting of Frico Cups with fresh shrimp and avocado, served with chicken and slaw. Talk about a dream come true on the bucket list!
She Values Her Healthy Lifestyle
While Giada loves her food, especially the notoriously carb-loaded Italian dishes, it’s clear the beauty isn’t packing on the pounds. Beyond that, she’s actually super fit. So we’re not the first to wonder how Giada manages to look her best with her busy schedule that revolves around food!
The Italian TV host has admitted that she always dedicates time to hit the mat and practice yoga, as well as meditate and take long walks outdoors. Whatever her exact regimen is, it’s working!
What’s Her Secret?
It may seem odd to some people that this foodie’s secret to a fit bod isn’t exercising, but watching what she eats instead. This even means not eating the delicious dishes she makes herself, and opting for fresh and healthy food in managed portions.
Reportedly, Giada eats salads while she works on set, and treats herself to a few bites of dark chocolate if she’s craving something sweet. We don’t know how she has the self control to be around all that scrumptious food without giving in to temptation.
Her Grandfather Is a Film Producer
Born in Rome, Giada’ s mother is an actress and her father is an actor and a producer. Giada’s grandfather on her mother’s side is a famous film producer by the name of Dino De Laurentiis (Giada took her mother’s maiden name after her parents got a divorce).
Dion played a major role in exposing Americans to Italian films and also opened a restaurant. While Giada didn’t take an interest in acting, the restaurant was an inspiration for the aspiring chef, and as it turns out, she’s a natural in front of the camera, too!
She Has a Daughter Named Jade
In 2008, Giada welcomed her daughter Jade into the world. Her name has a special significance, as Giada means Jade in Italian. The chef was overjoyed to become a mother, but also made a conscious decision that Jade would be her one and only child.
Giada still has a lot that she wants to accomplish in her career, and she just wouldn’t be able to manage it all with more children to raise. Jade and Giada share a special bond and she’s often seen at Giada’s events and appearances.
Giada Has Her Own Knife Collection
Being the businesswoman that she is, Giada branched out and started her own product line as well. She chose to design a collection of knives branded with her name. This must feel like a great accomplishment as a chef, to know that other people are cooking in their own kitchens with your knives.
Her knife collection is high quality and includes many specialized knives. Individually, each of her knives can sell for more than $125.
She Doesn’t Like Being In Front of the Camera
Although her family’s roots are deep in the film and entertainment industry, Giada hasn’t always felt comfortable in front of the camera, and doesn’t think it comes as easy to her. She told People magazine, “In the beginning, it was very intimidating.”
Giada admits that she made some mistakes on camera too. Like the time she tried to serve Al Roker raw chicken while the cameras rolled. “I just froze, my entire body and mind froze. It’s those terrifying moments [that] end up being the things that can chance your career.”
She Hosted Behind The Bash
Back in 2006, Giada was the host of Behind the Bash. The TV show was centered around the food being catered and the behind-the-scenes action of the Grammy Awards. This was two years before Jade was born, and the show took Giada coast to coast, from New York to Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
It was shortlived but proved even further that Giada was bursting with talent and could adapt to different environments in front of the camera.
She Doesn’t Always Eat The Food
We’ve already mentioned that at home, Giada doesn’t eat the lavish meals that she’s often seen cooking on TV. And even when she’s filming her cooking shows, she bring a healthy salad to work with her. Well, reportedly, it goes a step further.
A source said that Giada “Never eats. Never… They have a dump bucket that is brought out the second they cut.” A spokesperson for Giada said. They also said that Giada does so many shows throughout the day that there’s no way she could eat everything she cooks.
Giada’s gorgeous looks haven’t gone unnoticed — not by viewers and not by her male colleagues. Even though she and her fellow Food Network colleagues are married, it hasn’t kept her out of the line of fire when it comes to rumors of infidelity.
The media has fanned the flames of rumors that she’s had affairs with big names such as John Mayer, Matt Lauer, and Bobby Flay. The worst of which was Shane Farley, a TV producer Giada worked with. They were photographed on a beach in Mexico together… but more on that later.
Giada Is Only 5’1″
It’s no wonder that Giada isn’t able to indulge in all of the carb-heavy Italian food she cooks up. The chef is only 5’1″! Much shorter than most, the petite Italian shows true gusto in the kitchen, handling heavy pots and pans and taking burns like a champ.
While she may only physically stand at just over five feet, her personality is much bigger than her stature in the kitchen. You may only notice her height when she’s pictured next to other stars.
She Lost Her Brother
Italian families are notorious for being tight-knit, and Giada’s family was no exception. She grew up with three siblings, two brothers and a sister, all of whom grew up in Southern California with her and her mother.
Her brother Dino began working in the film industry, like his parents and grandfather. Sadly, he suffered from melanoma, and lost the battle to skin cancer in 2003, cutting his life tragically short. Giada and her family were devastated, and she now advocates for melanoma prevention in his memory.
She’s Happy Having One Child
Now 10 years old, Jade still remains the other child of Giada. While she may have loved growing up in a big family surrounded by people and food, Giada prefers to keep her family tight knit.
Now divorced and in her late forties, Giada’s focus is on her daughter, Jade, and her commitment to her ever-expanding career. It seems as though she has no regrets when it comes to her choices in starting a family and keeping it small.
See what family tradition Giada kept with her daughter.
In Giada’s family, it’s tradition for the women to take on the surname of the mother. Giada’s mother kept her maiden name, passed it along to Giada, and Giada passed it on to her daughter.
Jade will grow up with the last name that people widely respect in both the film industry as well as the culinary world. And with so many strong role models around her, the world is at her fingertips! Only time will tell which talents the youngest De Laurentiis will choose to pursue in life.
Giada Has a Restaurant In Las Vegas
Most chefs dream of someday opening their own restaurant, and Giada is no different. After working in her grandfather’s restaurant, then some of the top restaurants in the world, the Le Cordon Bleu alum was ready to put her own name out there.
In 2014, Giada opened the doors to her own self-named restaurant in Las Vegas. Of course, the food is Italian. She’s also expanded to another restaurant in Caesars Palace and a third restaurant just outside of Washington D.C.
She’s a True Leo
Do you believe all you read in horoscopes? Whether or not you take to heart what astrologers see in the stars, it seems that many of us closely resemble the astrological signs we’re born into. And this is true for Giada.
A Leo, the Italian chef follows the traits of her sign as an energetic and driven individual. Leos love being in the spotlight and are also known for speaking their mind. These characteristics have no doubt played a major role in all the success that Giada has made for herself.
What do her siblings have to say about her? See next.
She’s The Eldest Child
Giada is the oldest of the three siblings born to Veronica De Laurentiis and Alex De Benedetti. While they were a tight knit crew, all three under their working mother’s supervision, they didn’t always play nice.
Giada’s younger sister Eloisa said that when they were young, Giada would tell her that she has something under her eye, only to pull her eyelash out instead! The two have matured and built a healthy relationship, or course. Eloisa has even appeared on Giada’s cooking shows.
Giada Gives Back
It’s important to Giada to raise awareness of melanoma since her brother’s passing, but she’s gone even further to donate her time and money to charitable causes. Two of the organizations that she’s involved with are Stand Up to Cancer and the American Heart Association.
She’s also been seen attending fundraisers for breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She’s made a point to show that it’s not just about donating the money and time, but raising awareness and preventing others from suffering.
How She Keeps Her Skin Pristine
Giada’s skin is stunning, and now in her late forties, she has everyone wondering what her skin care secret is. The website Celebrity Toob claims that Giada has her own home remedy to keep her face looking flawless.
Giada combines baking soda and olive oil to create a face mask that fights blemishes while softening the skin and keeping it moisturized. We’re sure she keeps on top of her skin care routine, but let’s not forget her good genes!
Giada and her husband Todd Thompson separated in July of 2014. The following year, on September 3, 2015, their divorce was finalized. Just months later, in November 2015, Giada was seen with her new beau, TV producer Shane Farley.
She and Farley had previously been pictured canoodling on a Mexican beach together, and now it appeared that they had been dating longer than people were previously led to believe. Farley also separated from his wife in 2015, after 15 years of marriage. However, Farley says it was strictly professional at first. He told People, “We would bump into each other, we would grab a drink. We were just friends and then eventually we started dating.”
Giada Has a New TV Show
Not one to stay stagnant, Giada has started a new project, a television show called Giada Entertains. In the show, she gets together with friends and gives viewers tips on hosting guests at their home.
Her episodes include how to carry out a party theme and some of her favorite recipes to cook up while entertaining. These aren’t bougie-type party tips though — she even includes how to host a slumber party for your kids, and yes, Jade has a cameo!
She Runs With a Cool Crowd
Being the busy and business savvy woman that she is, Giada’s energy has connected her with other stars who’ve achieved fame and fortune. Together, they’ve been able to cook up some interesting projects!
One of the stars Giada has partnered with is artist and fashion designer Gwen Stefani. Together they joined forces with Williams Sonoma for a live Christmas taping showing viewers how to bake an apple pie. Another one of her gal pals is TV host Maria Menounos.
She Partnered With Target
Along with her knife collection, Giada has rolled out a wide range of products under her name found at Target. Fans of her food and TV shows can find her branded products at the store, which include stainless steel pots and pants, utensils and a small selection of Italian pastas and sauces.
She’s once again proven that she’s not a one-trick pony, and is making smart business choices to support the longevity of her career.
She Loves Her Fur Babies
Aside from cooking food, Giada also has a passion for animals. Although she’s often on the road, she loves coming home to her fury friends, which include at least two dogs and a cat named Bella.
They often make appearances on her Instagram account, where clearly they’re very much apart of her family. How adorable are those bright blue eyes? You’ll even see Farley curled up with the dogs on occasion.
Another Restaurant In The Works
There’s no slowing down for Giada — nine books, several shows, and three restaurants later, she’s still looking for more. Right now she’s focused on making her third restaurant a success.
Opening its doors in May 2018, her latest venture is called GDL Italian by Giada, located in the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Maryland. Now Italian food fans on the east coast will be able to enjoy a menu and ambiance created by Giada herself.
Flirting Between Takes?
So whatever came of the alleged affairs that Giada was rumored to be tied up in? Some say that the touchy-feely friendship with Matt Lauer was just the tip of the iceberg. After all, Lauer was fired in November 2017 after news surfaced of his inappropriate behavior towards colleagues.
And then there’s celebrity chef Bobby Flay, who is often working in the same circles as Giada. In an interview, Andy Cohen asked Giada about their relationship, which she replied, “We’re very good friends. We’ve worked for many years together, uh, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen… Because I’m smarter than that.”
How Long Has She Actually Been Dating Farley?
So was it just a coincidence that both Giada and Shane Farley split from their marriages around the same time, and both ended up nearby each other in Los Angeles? Both have continued to stick to their guns, that neither were unfaithful in their marriages. However, these rumors just didn’t fall out of the sky, and some say there’s more to it.
It’s obvious that they crossed paths many times while each were still married, and Farley even admitted that they would grab drinks together when they would bump into each other.
Is She Cheating?
Ending a marriage is never pain-free, and often a very messy situation as two people try to unravel the life they built together. However, if Giada and Farley began their relationship while they were both still cutting ties with their former spouses, it’s not the strongest relationship to begin with.
Although they appear to be happy and in love, some question whether Giada is faithful to Farley, since the rumors never seem to resolve or settle.