Although her demonstration at the Food & Wine Classic was first thing on Saturday morning, Giada de Laurentiis was full of bubbly energy. In front of a huge audience she cooked three dishes — fregola salad with citrus and red onion, prosciutto lamb burgers, and a ricotta cappuccino dessert — while answering questions from the crowd. Now that she's a mother, it's very clear that Giada is all about her family. Her husband, aunt Raffi, sister, and nephew sat in the front row cheering her on, and she even invited them up on the stage! To learn how Giada set an example for mothers everywhere, read more.
- Giada's young nephew, Julian, was eager to get in the kitchen. She promptly found him a stool, and although he couldn't have been 5 years old, she put him to work. "This is how I learned to cook, by being in the kitchen with my mom and grandfather."
- The best way to teach kids to cook is by letting them do things hands-on. When Raffi was making the lamb burgers, Julian started to roll small pieces of prosciutto into the shape of a burger. Giada cooked Julian's tiny burgers next to the normal ones.
- Don't get mad at children if they don't understand how to cook. Julian started to throw chopped parsley into her dessert and Giada calmly replied, "Thanks Julian. Parsley will be just lovely in that." It was touching to see her not care that the dish was practically ruined.
- By adding a lot of fresh flavors, Giada attempts to cut out fat. She advises taking baby steps (like removing the buns from a burger) to obtain a better diet.
- Her show shoots 20 episodes per season. She films the cooking segments together, then shoots the party segments and introductions later. It takes two 14-hour days to film one episode.
- Like Tom Colicchio and Michael Symon, she uses regular olive oil most of the time and reserves the extra-virgin stuff for finishing dishes and vinaigrettes. Her favorite brand of olive oil is Lucini.