A few readers know that there is just something about Giada de Laurentiis that annoys me. I suspect it has something to do with the tedium of my real life and real-life kitchen that is always needing to be tidied up it seems, and the fact that grand plans for dinner parties (like the “GourmandeMom Mostly 70s” Party I have in mind) get waylaid by court deadlines and son’s baseball schedule, not to mention the ongoing post-Paris pneumonia recovery.
By contrast, she has: the perfect kitchen infused with light and bright white everywhere, the bubbly persona, the shininess and brightness of her perfect skin, big hair and Italian background, etc. (And in that etc. I include the attractive adoring husband.) Not to mention the idyllic home in the Pacific Palisades where she entertains her equally thin girlfriends.
I first started coming around to recognizing the possibility of a little more dimension and soul to little Giada when I read on her web site (her site also is very white and clean and bright, as noted in previous post) that she began her culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. It does not say she finished there; she moved to California after that. But still. That is good street cred.
But I came around a little more just recently when I saw her alongside Bobby Flay and Alton Brown as part of the new Food Network Series “The Next Food Network Star,” playing the role of one of the three mentors—Bobby and Alton being the two others. She said, feistily, “we’re going to kick their butts.” Whoa, easy there Giada. And watching her just the other afternoon on an episode of that show, she’s showing her street smarts, culinary credibility, and niceness in a genuine soulful way…I thought maybe I had not given her a fair shake. I realized that, maybe, just maybe, I should probably work on my own issues that are causing me to focus negative energy on sweet little Giada....
Now I am convinced that Giada’s Food Network handlers are in fact on a mission to get her image made over. Case in point: her recent appearance on Chelsea Lately. In case you don’t know, Chelsea is irreverent and raunchy, and all that is delivered with a signature deadpan style, punctuated with not-very-veiled references about Chelsea’s vodka habit and multifaceted “social” life. So when Giada walked into the hot seat on stage the other night, this immediately put Giada in a whole new light. I never thought about this before, too distracted by how white and bright Giada’s teeth are for example, like the white tile of her kitchen, but I guess if you’re male, you realize that Giada is rather attractive. Giada’s effect on men folk was in fact part of the Chelsea interview. That this may be part of a Giada revamp, creating or exploring other dimensions of Giada to get her out of a shiny stereotype, was readily apparent:
First, she had on the most fantastic outfit for her tiny size 1 frame – of particular note the shoes. Sleeveless tank, silk I think, tiny short skirt—not too short—but then there were these stunning tiny thin stiletto heels – brown. I have no more details on the shoes because it was very late, I had my two-prescriptions-behind glasses on in bed, and Giada, already so tiny, is even more tiny on my tiny TV screen when viewed from the vantage point of my bed. Chelsea also was obviously taken aback when Giada first walked on in her short skirt and legs and those shoes: “Look at you – you’re such a tiny little nugget!” (“Nugget” also is or used to be Chelsea’s term of endearment for her sidekick, comedic foil, Chuy.)
Second, Giada mentioned how nervous Chelsea’s brother gets when Giada is around.
Third, Chelsea discussed with Giada a phenomenon that occurs whenever Giada makes an appearance somewhere, for a book-signing or whatever. Apparently men show up in droves at her appearances—with salamis. And the deal is they all ask Giada to sign the salami. Giada admitted it creeped her out some at first (my wording), but now she takes in all in stride as good clean fun (my wording).
So I’ve come around on Giada. My kitchen, already fairly light and bright with white subway tile and an almost wall of windows (not with Pacific Palisades view though), may never be as perennially Clorox-grade pristine as Giada’s, and clearly I will not be ever be a size 1, and really do not want to be, but the shoes: the shoes I can obtain. And I just ordered via Amazon her newest cookbook: Weeknights with Giada. The cover is not too shiny.
But what’s more hilarious: Amazon, based on those secret and perhaps patent-protected algorithms, was able to let me know immediately what else people frequently purchased when they purchased “Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner.” The number one most-frequently purchased book with this Giada cookbook? Fifty Shades of Grey.
I rest my case.