Food Network personality and author Giada De Laurentiis is one busy gal! The Emmy Award-winning, globally renowned celebrity chef is opening her first restaurant in Las Vegas, corresponding on NBC’s Today, where she highlights current trends in travel, cuisine and lifestyle, and has (would you believe!) three upcoming book releases this fall!
Since her debut in 2002, Giada has become one of Food Network’s most recognizable faces, starring in shows like, Everyday Italian, Giada’s Weekend Getaways and Giada At Home, as well as the popular series, Food Network Star. All six of her cookbooks have charted on the New York Times best-seller list.
We recently caught up with the superstar chef at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival’s “Festa Italiana” opening night, which she hosted.
“This particular event was started a couple years ago. I’m Italian, I live in L.A., and there is no better place to showcase Italian food than here — it’s my hometown. I figure it’s my turn to sort of bring it to the forefront,” she says.
And even though Giada’s surrounded by delicious food most of the time, she tells us that staying active is the key to her trim figure, “I paddle surf, walk on the beach and do a lot of yoga. My inspiration is my daughter, Jade. I want to feel good for her. And I work a lot. So feeling good is really important. Working out is part of my routine. I grew up watching my mom do the same thing. We’re little people that do a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything.”
Keeping healthy is also important when it comes to growing old for Giada: “I feel like I want to be around for her [Jade], to see her do all those things, like get married. I need to keep myself in shape.”
Sees an acupuncturist regularly is a huge part of Giada’s wellness routine and she also enjoys juicing frequently. “I love kale, apple, ginger, lemon and parsley. The apple gives it sweetness, the ginger gives it a little spice and the lemon kind of cleans your palate and kind of kills that raw flavour of kale — but kale is so good for us.”
If you opened Giada’s refrigerator, you’d see, “Eggs, white wine, homemade tomato sauce and some kind of lamb or chicken for my daughter,” she confesses. Nevertheless, she still enjoys herself.
The foods she’s not budging on are parmesan cheese and arugula, “And if I can’t get to eat a healthy meal, I will pop some almonds in my mouth all day long. They’re are my snack and my go-to. They fill you up, give you energy and have lots of protein. They’re easy to put in your bag for days and days, and they don’t need to be refrigerated,” she says.
Giada’s been hard at work preparing for her new restaurant set to open in early 2014.
“Ever since I was a little girl hanging out at my grandfather’s restaurant, I’ve dreamed of having a restaurant of my own. I’ve held back on past opportunities because I really wanted to be ready for the responsibility and challenges that come with a restaurant. Now, I couldn’t be more excited about working with Gansevoort Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment to turn this dream into a delicious reality. The location, the al fresco dining and the views were just too good to pass up!”
Giada’s cuisine will embrace her birthplace of Rome, mirroring her passion for Italian cooking with lighter, Californian influences.
“Giada’s exuberant warm personality and dynamic style will undoubtedly result in a restaurant that will not only be a perfect match for the experience we are creating, but also will become a destination in itself,” said Tariq Shaukat, chief marketing officer for Caesars Entertainment.
Her book, Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets, is available in November.