My mother hated cooking. She appreciated fresh, seasonal foods. She eschewed pre-packaged fair. But having to take the time to put together a meal? Not her favorite pastime.
And young, budding feminist that I was? I thought I hated cooking, too.
But I loved food. I loved a fine meal at a restaurant. I went to Paris in my twenties and like Julia Child, I fell in love with the fresh, yummy, out of this world produce, fresh cheese, steaming baguettes, perfectly cooked beef, aromatic chicken. I’d go on, but I’m trying to stick to my New Year’s resolution.
It wasn’t until my late thirties that I actually started trying to recreate the wonderful food I’ve eaten abroad or at fine restaurants. My best teachers should have been my grandmothers. But when they were alive I’d sit in the kitchen keeping them company while they cooked but didn’t really pay much attention to what they were doing. I was above domestic pursuits.
Now they’re gone. And I needed teachers for my new found interest in creating fine cuisine. So I turned to television. The Food Network. The Cooking Channel. Ina Garten. Ellie Krieger. Nigella Lawson. Even Paula Deen. (in moderation, of course)
And Giada DeLaurentiis.
I love Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Love it. From the first time I watched one of Giada’s shows, I was drawn in. And when I’d try her recipes and they came off without a hitch? I was hooked.
Slowly, she’d start to annoy me. Shaking her hair over the food. Every tightly fitted top showcasing her perfect, perky breasts. Clever camera work sneaking shots her of cleavage. And the way she pronounced: mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano.
Oh sure, she was born in Italy. But she moved to the states when she was 7. And every other word out of her mouth is as American as can be.
It annoys me. And I have no idea why.
Try saying “And then you top it with some fresh mooootsarayla and a little bit of basil” with a straight face. It just sounds weird.
I love her recipes. I love the tips and tricks I learn from her. I hate her hair shaking-cleavage showing-Italian accent for certain words-television persona.
I confess. I both love and hate Giada.
(Please excuse me while I duck for cover. I think hear the chef-haters police at the door.)