Once she’d completed her training in the Le Grand Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu, it was time for her to return to Los Angeles. Now, she was armed with the schooling and skills she needed to succeed as a professional chef – but she probably had no idea that she would wind up becoming one of the most famous faces on the Food Network!
But first, she had to get her foot in the door in terms of working behind-the-scenes in fine dining establishments. And that’s exactly what happened when Wolfgang Puck adopted her as his mentee.
When Giada graduated from UCLA in the ‘90s, it was with a degree in anthropology. Still, she would always help out in her grandfather’s restaurant and just knew that was the career she wanted to pursue herself. So, after UCLA, she chose to apply to the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu chef’s academy – and she was accepted.
So, she packed her bags and made the move to Paris, where she would begin what would ultimately be her dream job. But moving to another country and diving into studying wouldn’t be an easy feat.
Pastries and Cuisine
Le Cordon Bleu offers several prestigious cooking courses for blossoming five-star chefs, but Giada chose to go with a course that led her to specialize in patisserie and cuisine. Basically, it means that she was trained in excellence in all sorts of sweet and savory dishes!
The course, which is called Le Grand Diplome, provides classic chef training and pastry training. While you may think that being a part of this course means eating plenty of pastries and pasta, she wound up losing 10 pounds (the opposite of the Freshman 15?) during her studies.
After she began working for Wolfgang Puck in his restaurant, Spago, she felt better, but she knew that there was still something missing in her life. She was on the right path, but she still had a way to go to create her perfect career.
But when a Food Network executive noticed her in a magazine feature on her family, he made the call that would change her life forever. The executive thought that she would be not only a fabulous cook but also a great personality for the network – and boy, were they right!
Her First Show
The first venture that Giada had with the Food Network was her show, "Everyday Italian," which premiered in 2003. The show focuses on sharing her updates to old family recipes and culinary secrets while showing viewers how to easily put together satisfying weeknight meals that can please two or an entire crowd.
She has since described the first season as “horrible,” but only because she was so nervous to start filming! When they offered her the gig, she wasn’t initially thrilled. In fact, she turned it down before accepting. So what was it that changed her mind, then?