The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.
Pasta doesn't make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat.
My grandfather gave me inspiration to cook, and love food and flavors. My Aunt Raffie, gave me creativity and the inspiration to create new things. My mother inspires me to find simplicity in food.
It helps immerse yourself in what you potentially want to do. Being involved, learning firsthand and observing the craft and absorbing all you can, makes it easier to define what you want. It will also ultimately make you a better Chef. Culinary school, or even a single class, is a great bet too.
To a billion people around the world surviving on just a dollar a day, the question of what to eat tonight is more about life and death than about recipes. The struggle of poor people around the globe weighs heavily on me, especially now that I am a mother, which is why I work with Oxfam.
I keep my skin - especially on my face and neck - out of the sun. My brother died of melanoma eight years ago, and I've got SPF on all the time, 24-7. It makes you realize, the sun is a wonderful thing, but it can be a very devastating thing. So sunscreen is key, and a lot of laughter, too.
I think children learning to cook can be such a wonderful thing. It can help build confidence, make them feel good about themselves. It helped me build my ego and even start to get acceptance at school. I'd bring things to class that I'd cooked at home.
These days it's cool to be ethnic and to be different, but when I was a kid, it was not cool - at all. My friends would come over and my mom would make crepes with eggs, stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and spinach. And they'd be like, 'What is this?'
My family truly believes they are better cooks than I am. They see me as Giada, not as a celebrity chef. To them I'm just me - their granddaughter, niece, etc., and they're older and wiser. I like that because it keeps you grounded.
I have been blessed with a good, fun, and wonderful life, but I've also seen a whole lot of pain.
I'm into very colorful food. Obviously lots of flavor, but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great. The presentation has to be great.
Food brings people together on many different levels. It's nourishment of the soul and body; it's truly love.
My grandfather's family used to own a pasta factory in Naples and they would go door-to-door selling their pasta. So his love of food came from his parents, which was then passed down to my mother and then again to me.
My biggest bit of advice would be to spend some time actually helping caterers or Chefs, even if it has to be for free or as an intern of culinary externship. It helps immerse yourself in what you potentially want to do.
Food was always a big part of my life. My grandfather was one of 14 kids, and his parents had a pasta factory, so as a kid, he and his siblings would sell pasta door to door. After he became a movie producer, he opened up De Laurentiis Food Stores - one in Los Angeles and one in New York.
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