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.
Although she didn’t know where she wanted to head in the future yet, something – or someone – came along during her time at UCLA that caught her interest at the moment. Giada met Todd Thompson when she was a fresh-faced 19-year-old college student in California. Little did she know that, when the two started dating, it would lead to a decades-long relationship and so much more.
At school, like most students, they weren’t exactly dining on four-course meals. Date nights usually consisted of pizza or canned goods – the college diet! But there was plenty of amazing food in their future.
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.
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.
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!