While Giada De Laurentiis is known for her innovative Italian recipes (who doesn’t love a Nutella-based dessert?) and popular Food Network show Everyday Italian, the author and chef is also recognized for her precise Italian pronunciation of the ingredients used in her dishes.
But we at B&C heard that in the pilot for Everyday, Giada pronounced the ingredients like your average American, so we have been wondering if her strong Italian accent when saying words like “mozzarella” and “spaghetti” is just for the cameras.
We got the chance Tuesday night to ask her what gives — and whether she’ll pronounce ingredients the Italian way or the American way on her new show, Giada at Home. In the video below, shot on the way into the Paley Center in Beverly Hills for the organization’s “An Evening with Giada De Laurentiis,” Giada told us the Italian pronunciations come naturally to her and she’ll be sticking to them – “always.” “I think it’s just only right,” she said. She also revealed her favorite places to eat in L.A. (Home, of course, and Giorgio Baldi) and what she’s cooking up for her seven-month-old baby girl. (After meeting her in person, it’s difficult to believe she had a baby this year, as she is impossibly tiny.)
Once the evening’s program got started, it became clear why the Italian way of saying things comes naturally to her: She talked with the audience about being born in Rome and living there for eight years before coming to the U.S. Italian was the only language spoken in her home as a child and she flunked the first grade when she arrived in America because she couldn’t speak any English.
In a Q&A with Barbara Dixon, VP, Director of Paley Center, Los Angeles, and the audience, Giada also explained why she is replacing Everyday Italian with Giada at Home, which debuted earlier this month (repeats of Everyday still air). “I was feeling like Everyday had become stagnant,” Giada told the audience. “I wanted a breath of fresh air.”
She says this new series allows viewers to get a glimpse of her California lifestyle–one of the episodes even has her making sushi. Since Giada is a new mother, she also wanted to incorporate her baby girl into the program.
Unlike the majority of the Food Network’s chefs, Giada films her shows in Los Angeles, where she resides, instead of the network’s studios in New York. She told the crowd she wanted to be near her family and friends so she wouldn’t have to “rent any” for shows.
After the presentation, the host signed her books for guests. While the crowd waited in line, waiters passed around dishes from the “Rock The Block” episode of Giada at Home in addition to blended cherry mojitos and Italian fried olives (right). Among the dishes, they served chicken and shrimp skewers, with pancetta chimichurri; orecchiette with greens, garbanzo beans and ricotta salata (left) and blueberry and mascarpone turnovers.
* Photo credit: Kevin Parry, Paley Media Center
UPDATE: The café at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills that the organization’s president-CEO Pat Mitchell told Mel’s Diner last year that she has been planning is slated to open in mid-2009, a Paley spokeswoman said. Sounds like a future Mel’s Diner spot to me.
Guest Mel’s Diner blogger Stephanie Robbins is the editor of BroadcastingCable.com
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