My Love/Hate Relationship With Giada DeLaurentiis

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.)


Filed under Completely Random, Observations

31 responses to “My Love/Hate Relationship With Giada DeLaurentiis

  1. Sounded like some kind of illness to me! 😉

  2. I don’t know her, but we have someone in the UK called Nigella Lawson who is a bit like this, I think, although I never watch cookery programmes as I hate to cook.

    I think it would be quite hard not to focus on her “muffins” all the time. 😀

  3. Wow – she’s pretty. I’ve never heard of her – I don’t watch cooking shows, they make me feel inadequate (although I do love to cook). But I agree that all your annoyance triggers would be annoying. And if I did watch cooking shows, I’d want the chef to look like they eat.

  4. Just laughing…

    I imagine these very American promotional tricks garner her an increased male… viewership. Hard to imagine Julia Child engaging in aforementioned activities…

    And now, laughing again at the very thought…

  5. I totally agree with you. Also? Her show has a “porno” feel to it…not that I’ve ever watched one. Ahem.

  6. I am so with you on this one. I hate the Italian pronounciations and the boobs. I hate how big her head seems when you stop to think of it. But I must admit that I really really like her recipes and use a lot of them.

  7. jonesingafter40

    Mario Batali was talking about the different Food Network personalities one time and he referred to her as the “one with the great rack that cooks Italian.” (something like that. he used the word rack. and he wasn’t talking about an oven.)

  8. Totally agree! Between the Italian words and the oversized head, I love/hate her as well. Great post! 🙂

  9. I agree with you 100 percent! With the addition that I also hate when she talks while chewing.

  10. The only thing bigger than her boobs is that gi-normous forehead. 🙂

  11. Huh? She can cook. I did not know that. 🙂

    Back when we had cable we used to eat up all those cooking shoes, especially the competition ones. I don’t know to much about Giada as a cook. (Chef?) I’m not sure if she’s even a chef or not. Some, like Rachael Ray, are merely cooks.

    It’s okay to feel conflicted about her. I find your negative feelings here quite delicious. It’s a yin-yang kind of thing. Sometimes you can’t have one without the other.

  12. Nuages

    I’m with you, Jane. I love her cooking and recipes, but I can’t stand how they (TV networks/producers) have made her show a cooking soft porn.

  13. I don’t know who she is but I saw the picture of her on my phone just now. Yup. I hate her already the way I hate lottery winners…

  14. mc

    It is an absolute shame that The Food Network has stooped so low as to have Giada At Home (or any of her other insightful programming) become one of their major programs. She is what all women do not want their daughters to become. She kids herself into believing that she is a successful independent woman who has paved her own way with her “talent” of cooking. She has deluded her self into thinking that she is the first person who ever thought of cooking with heavy cream, cheese, butter and garlic, and that she is the only person who is able to create such “complex” dishes. She wears low –cut revealing shirts to entice her viewers and to distract them from the fact that she can’t actually cook or create a true original recipe. She is beneath any given woman who uses her body to get what she needs out of the world because unlike them she lies to her self, her family and to her audience that she is “just cooking”.
    As a woman, a wife, a cook and a TRUE professional woman I am absolutely disgusted whenever I see her over rated programming on TV or her “quality” products at Target.
    You may think it is hot to have a woman who does not eat, who does not value her husband (clearly demonstrated by her low cut tops and skin tight outfits) or her child. You may think it is hot that she has no true applicable life skills or that she would take about 3 hours to primp and prep in the morning to look the way she does on TV. You may also think that a woman who has no true voice is also hot, one who would cater to her husband like a “king”, and would not be able to stand on her own. However, most people, and most men would agree with me that a woman who is hot is a woman who owns her sexuality, owns when she wants to get the attention of other men, who honors her husband and child, one that has a voice of her own, one that own the fact that she is not perfect, and is not cookie cutter. She owns that fact that she deserves to be healthy, and fit, and that she is aware what her true gifts and talents are. Some iconic women like this would include Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Madonna, and any other given woman who is completely aware of herself, who embraces who she is regardless of what society thinks and has a voice. Clearly you have not had a relationship with a woman like Giada, because I guarantee that it would have ended after just a few months out of pure boredom. You can only have sex so many times in a day.
    I know after reading this post, most people will think that the author (Me) is probably and older, unattractive bitter woman who has not had any physical attention. But it is the exact opposite. I am a very in shape 24 year old woman who 5’4 blonde and 115 pounds, and who is a newlywed. However, body image messages in the media and women’s studies is a very hot button of mine. It is women like Giada that make me physically ill that the world has become so shallow and ignorant of the poor messages that they are sending to young girls around the world. If I could get one message across to all young women, girls and anyone else who wants to listen: You are NOT there to cater to a man’s every need, you are to be an equal in a relationship and to be able to love someone regardless of their flaws when you are married. That you do not need to look like a skeleton with boobs that are so large that you will develop a buffalo hump with in the next 10 years, that you are to have your own voice, and that it is important to love you and who you truly are on the inside.

    • Jdavid

      Well said! Thank you!

    • Andrea

      Who says she doesn’t love herself on the inside. Some people are born with a nice rack and a small frame. It happens. I remember being fired for cleavage. Yep just a little. My bose showed more then me. I offered to change my shirt in the car but that wasn’t good enough. If u have big breast it’s almost impossible to not show some cleavage. They were a double d at th time. The media is full of mixed signals. If its that bothersome then don’t watch tv or get on a computer.

  15. I do believe perhaps ‘mc’ has over analyzed Giada. I happen to have a sister who could be her twin. She has not had breast enhancements nor does it take her 3hrs to prep to look attractive. Some are just born this way, simple as that. There again, everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

  16. wjeri

    She looks like ET without makeup. She is not real pretty like you all think.

    • Sherry

      Jealous women crack me up!…..unbelievable. Hey she’s good looking and has a nice rack….bfd!. I do hate the Italian pronunciations of certain items though.

  17. Marlene Venuti

    And you forgot…pah-Stah! She makes orgasmic sounds when she pretends to try her food….but I too watch the show.

  18. Lynn Ann

    I am so happy someone feels the way I do. I am so annoyed with her. I just wish she would stick to giving good recommendations instead of exaggerating how good the food looks. I sometimes turn her show on and within 5 minutes I am annoyed. She should stick to the way she acted when the show first started.

  19. Donna germano

    Giada was better when she first started. Now she is a pretentious cook. She passes herself off as an Italian cook when she is nothing more than a food. Network pawn with an italian name and a grandfather who was once film director in the middle of the past century . Though born in Rome, she was raised American since seven years old. As an embarrassment to this italian American, she throws good food away – something real
    Italian cooks never do: it’s a religion with them. She does not know what to do with Swiss chard- amazingly throwing the ribs away! Twit that she seems to be, she does pronounces Italian food like marscapone and provolone correctly. Listen up folks,as irritating as she has become, every vowel in an itaIian word is pronounced. The food network is going downhill fast.

  20. hellothere

    Ever see her on Food Network Star? She is not the nicey nice gal that she is on her own show, she can be really bitchy!

  21. Betsy Jacobsen

    So funny I was not the only one who thought the low cut attire was unnecessary. Seems to be getting worse and I feel it’s such a shame we don’t just have talented chefs on in lieu of all the “personalities”.

  22. Matt

    I am confused as to exactly what the “FEMINIST!” faction (picture a screaming hideous caricature on a sticker on a VW Bug in SF) actually perceive as a threat to their agenda with regard to Giada, Nigella and all the other successful female celebrity chefs. She has a successful show but she is horrible because she is young, beautiful and sexy and shows it off? If a man said that he would be guilty of gender bias. Nigella is bad because she is flirtatious with her eyes and her posture? Again, if a man said that it would be gender bias. I read that a well known lesbian is too sexy and attractive as well, isn’t that the wrong avenue of approach for this media?
    In all cases the WOMEN! (just to make sure you FEMINIST!s saw that respect) were successful on their own accord. Their own ability, intelligence, their own drive and determination. They have owned their own restaurants with the exception of Nigella, she is a very accomplished writer. How can any true feminist be opposed to that? Is the true agenda of feminism the reverse discrimination against all attractive, beautiful, sexy and talented women? Is it like many have said before me, “The only true purpose of feminism is to make easier access to the mainstream for the ugly”? I am posing this entire reply as information to consider and opinions to weigh. Please, All FEMININAZI’S to the front of the line!

    • Her abilities, intelligence and determination are not in question. They are duly noted. And appreciated. It’s the focus on her sexuality to promote her show that is offensive. Oh, that, and her forced accent.

      • Matt

        Her accent does hit the ears like nails on a chalk board. It reminds me of all the phony Australian accents that popped up in commercials after Crocodile Dundee became a hit.

  23. arcanum55

    She’s awesome and those breasts are just right. Jealous people…lol

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