How Giada Gets Gorgeous
The Food Network star talks beauty secrets, healthy cooking tips, and more
They say you should never trust a skinny chef.
Of course that saying must have been coined before the slim, trim, gorgeous, and undeniably talented Giada De Laurentiis made her monumental mark on the culinary world!
The Emmy-winning, Italian-American beauty is one of the Food Network’s most popular chefs with a slew of must-read, mouth-watering cookbooks, a fab new cooking line, a new partnership with Clairol (could we be more jealous of that hair?), and an absolutely adorable family. We chatted with the super mom about her fave recipes, her go-to beauty secrets, and how she manages to have it all!
What’s your absolute favorite thing to cook?
Dessert! I wanted to become a pastry chef originally. That is why I went to school in Paris. Then I realized, I live in Los Angeles and not many people here eat desserts. So I said I better do savory and desserts. I obviously never became a pastry chef, but it is my number one thing.
What beauty product can you not live without?
I have to have my sunscreen at all times.
What about Clairol made you want to work with the brand?
I’m so honored to be working with Clairol Natural Instincts. In many ways our brands are very similar. We’re both about empowering women. I help give women confidence in the kitchen, while Clairol does this through hair color. Just like I like to use good ingredients in my recipes, Natural Instincts has antioxidants, aloe, and vitamins. I just colored my hair a new, darker shade for winter — Navajo bronze. I love how shiny and healthy-looking my hair is!
Even when you’re standing over the heat and humidity of the stove, you still manage to have frizz-free, beautiful hair! What’s your secret (aside from Clairol, of course!)?
I’m flattered you think that! I use a lot of hairspray to keep the frizz down. I like Pantene’s anti-humidity hairspray.
Do you have any tips for maintaining healthy eating habits when you’re really busy?
I have food in my bag at all times. You can’t wait until you are hungry to eat or you will eat anything that is put in front of you. That is why I carry a mix with nuts (usually almonds) and cranberries with me. So I never get to the point that I am starving. I watch my portions, if I overeat one day, I pull back on the next day.
If you know you have a busy week coming up what’s a good meal to make that can last throughout the week with leftovers?
Butternut squash lasagna is one of my go-to’s this time of year. Couple it with a salad and you’re good to go.
You have so much going on in your life, between your shows, product lines, and family. How do you manage to keep everything balanced?
My husband is extremely supportive. He often gets Jade up in the morning and puts her to bed at night, and I could not do it without him. My family is also a huge support. The hardest thing for a woman to do is ask for help. I do my very best, but I know in order to do everything well I have to be healthy and happy and I have to ask for help. My husband is the number one helper in my family.
The culinary industry is dominated by men. How have you dealt with the challenges of being a minority in this business?
In recent years, I think we’ve seen an increase in women in the industry, but it is definitely hard to get respect. I think for women, it’s really important to be good at what you do. I always recommend women go to culinary school so they know the proper techniques and can handle anything asked of them in the kitchen.
This year the format for Food Network Star changed, and you were pitted against Bobby Flay and Alton Brown (we were rooting for you to win!). Did you enjoy the competitive angle of the show?
I did, actually. I am a pretty competitive person. It took me a couple of weeks to get into the groove of the competition. At first I just wasn’t sure of my role there. I was in between two very strong personalities; two very dominant men. Then I became competitive and I wanted to win badly, badly!
Thanks to the show The Best Thing I Ever Ate, we know you have a sweet tooth! What’s the one dessert you think is always worth a splurge?
You have such a wonderful style. Do you like shopping and putting your outfits together or do you have a stylist who does it for you?
I absolutely love to shop! But when I don’t have time to shop because I am working or traveling so much, I do have a stylist who helps me out.
The blogosphere has really taken off over the last few years. Do you have any favorite food blogs?
Eater really keeps me up to date on the industry. I also like reading Epicurious and YumSugar.
You have your own line of kitchen supplies, Giada De Laurentiis for Target. If we could buy just one piece from that collection, what should it be?
My favorite piece is my pasta scoop. When Jade was younger, I made a lot of small pastas for her and had a hard time getting them out of the pot. I created this scoop with that in mind. My other favorite piece is the mezzaluna knife.
You’ve had multiple books on the New York Times best-seller list (and we love them all!). Any plans for book number seven?
Yes, I’m actually starting production on my next book in January!
xx, The FabFitFun Team