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Giada De Laurentiis, the richest Italian chef in the world – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Giada De Laurentiis, the richest Italian chef in the world

Giada De Laurentiis she is a chef, writer, television host and entrepreneur, the face of Italian cuisine in America. Thanks to programs and books you have taught Americans how to make spaghetti with tomato sauce and the simplest and most authentic recipes of our country. In Italy on the hunt for new small producers, she sat down with The Italian kitchen for a glass of wine and a chat.

The first face of Food Network

Granddaughter of the famous film producer, born in Rome, Giada De Laurentiis moved first to New York and then to Los Angeles with her family. Here, however, she does not decide to continue the destiny of the family dynasty and she flies to Paris to attend the Cordon Bleu, the famous cooking school. She graduates, she works as a cook in restaurants, as a caterer, personal chef and stylist, then one day a phone call: she is about to open the first national cooking channel, Food Network. It’s 2003, cooking shows on TV don’t yet exist and his episodes on lasagne, polenta and pasta become cult: it’s a boom in ratings and the success of Everyday Italian makes her a star.

In America she is very famous, in Italy obviously almost no one knows her. In 2005 you published your first book Everyday Italiantranslated into Italian in 2009 with the title My kitchen every day from Luxury Books. At the time I was working as an editor in that publishing house and I read, reread and edited every line of that book. It seemed to me to be an anachronistic book for us Italians, it taught how to make spaghetti with tomato sauce and pesto, but with hindsight these are precisely the recipes where it’s easy to make mistakes, and it doesn’t matter where you were born, it’s just easy. In the years in which cooking became a mass show, Americans discovered true Italian cuisine, and not just Italian-American cuisine. A way to stay in touch with one’s origins, which remain deeply felt even in the second and third generations.

Import and pass on stories

Recently in Milan, on one of his forays in search of small national producers, he cooked for a group of guests to present his new Giadzy packaging by La Tigre (a trendy Milanese graphic design studio). Over a glass of Tenute Masciarelli wine he found time to exchange a few words. «I immigrated to the United States when I was a child, so my daughter is second generation. She listened to the stories of my childhood in Rome and she ate many of the foods my grandparents prepared.” And here’s what she wants to convey, the flavor of those memories that we have vividly, but that many in America don’t know. «I remember their favorite foods and those stories will pass on to the next generation too. It’s stories that connect us all to each other, and connecting with your family’s history through food is a truly universal experience” tells me. He speaks perfect Italian and knows corners of Abruzzo I’ve never heard of, where he finds his products to import.

Garlic in the stereotype of Italian cuisine

Giada studied anthropology at university before becoming a chef and history, as well as stories, is a subject that she is passionate about. We end up talking about garlic, and how for Americans it is synonymous with Italy even if no one here wants to eat it anymore. The reason is simple: «When Italian food first became known in the United States, more than 100 years ago, American food was quite bland. The first wave of Italian immigrants to the United States, mostly from Naples and Southern Italy, used many ingredients that weren’t common here, like olive oil, pasta, and, yes, some garlic. To the American palate, something like spaghetti aglio eolio was so strange and so strong in flavor that garlic stuck in their imagination. and became a symbol of Italian cuisine as a whole. It’s an old stereotype, but one that still persists today.” What more is there to explain? «People have this idea that a recipe is only traditional if it takes all day to prepare, or if you get all the dishes in the kitchen dirty while preparing it. This may be true, but it is only a small part of what Italian food represents. Much of what Italians eat is very simple and easy to prepare. It’s just a matter of choosing good ingredients and not overdoing it.”

The difference of made in Italy food

In 2017 he opened the Giadzy website where he sells typical products, gives recipes and tells Americans about the real Italy and its flavors, beyond the stereotypes. Once upon a time it was difficult to find Italian ingredients, but now in America it’s not like it used to be, pasta, mozzarella, panettone are produced… What’s still missing? «Today in the United States, Italian foods are much more available, but there is still a lot missing. AND much of what is available, especially pasta, has been industrialized, made using shortcuts and low-quality ingredients. It doesn’t taste like it should and it’s not as good for you as in Italy and then he talks about how he loves the way small Italian producers have a deep connection with the land and administer the territory. «For me their stories and their passion are as important as the food itself to share with my audience.

Cooking as freedom

In a podcast interview I heard her talk about her male-dominated family and how she found cooking as a way to feel powerful and take control of her life. In a family of filmmakers she chose to do it herself, to change sector to enter the kitchen – not exactly a glamorous sector at the time – and then on TV, nothing further from the cinema aristocracy of which she was part. Do you think cooking can still represent a way out for women today? “Absolutely! The professional kitchen is still an incredibly male-dominated world, and it can be really difficult to be a woman in that environment. Things are changing, slowly, and everywhere I go I meet female chefs who are building wonderful, comfortable, exciting restaurants. Cooking is a creative field like any other and is an amazing outlet for self-expression at home, but not only that, it can also be an interesting professional opportunity. “For women who feel called to a creative path, cooking can be a deeply fulfilling career.” Not just for the family: in fact today Giada De Lauretiis is the highest paid Italian chef in the world.

Expo 2025, Osaka: the Italian Pavilion unveils two excellent collaborations – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

On the occasion of the presentation of Italian Pavilionthe General Commissioner for Italy a Expo 2025 Osaka, Amb. Mario Vattani announced two excellent collaborations yesterday: the one with Simone Legnocreator of tokidoki internationally renowned pop-art brand that signs the mascot, Italia-chanand the one with Eatalywho will manage the restaurant located in front of the Italian garden on the terrace of the Italian Pavilion.

Genoese Pesto World Championship 2024: the winner – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

The 10 finalists of the Genoese Pesto World Championship

How the selections for the Genoese Pesto World Championship take place

A long journey: before the final they were held at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa 24 qualifying matches, of which 13 in Italy and 11 abroad, between France, England, Spain, Holland, the United States, Niger and South Africa and Brazil. Races that brought together cooks of all ages who have chosen to try their hand at this ancient gastronomic art partly by chance and partly out of passion, for cooking and for Italy.

The competitors

This year’s youngest contestant was Nicolò Di Girolamo23 year old Roman student and rapper, known to the television audience for having also been among the contestants of the edition of the program Friends by Maria De Filippi of 2022. The oldest competitor, however, a Genoese veteran of the championship who turns 90 this year: Mrs. Maria Carbone. With them professionals, artisans, managers, but also chefs and doctors, of which 80 Italians and 20 foreigners.

Maria Carbone, the oldest competitor of this edition of the Genoese Pesto World Championship

How to participate in the Mortar Genoese Pesto World Championship

And even if Mattia Bassi won, ultimately everyone was the protagonist of the party. One of those cases where the important thing is to really participate. If you want to do it too, know that in a few days the qualifying races for the next world championship will begin, in 2026. The first will be on April 6th in Milan. All the info on www.pestochampionship.it

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