You know, what Alan Jay Jay Lerner wrote of Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” could, under normal circumstances, easily be said of me:
“I’m a very gentle man, even tempered and good-natured who you never hear complain,
Who has the milk of human kindness by the quart in every vein,
A patient man am I, down to my fingertips, the sort who never could, ever would,
let an insulting remark escape his lips. A very gentle man.”
But …this is an open letter to all you wide-bottomed, flat-chested, 300 pound ugly women and to all you drooling, staring, impotent, ED geeks: back off and leave Giada De Laurentiis alone!
I’m so sick of seeing snarky crap posted on the Internet; “she’s got such an enormous head,” “her nose is so ugly,” “why does she always have to show off her boobs,” “she’s not really a chef.”
You people are pathetic. Let’s face it, dudes, it’s not that her head is too big; it’s that your cazzone is too small. You could only be with a woman like Giada in your salacious dreams, and so you hate her just for being beyond your class. Get a life! I’m sorry that not everybody on the planet measures up to your exacting standards of beauty. I’m sure you think your buck-toothed, pimply-faced, scrawny cousin is the hottest thing on – or off – two feet, but to the rest of the civilized world, Giada is a knockout.
And you flat-chested, ugly chicks should just scale back the breast envy, okay? What do you people want? That she should wear a burqa on TV or put a bag over her head? If you jealous heifers don’t like her cleavage, go slap her mama and daddy. It’s not like it’s her fault that she’s not a 32-AA. Just because she’s got the body you wish you had doesn’t give you the right to plaster cyberspace with smarmy comments about her bustline. “But why does she have to show them off the way she does?” Three words: because she can. And because she’s comfortable. Just like you are in that cotton mumu by Omar the Tentmaker. I’ll bet you prudes had spasms when Pamela Anderson or Bo Derek used to run on the beach, right? Maybe you’d like her better in duct tape and baggy flannel, but the rest of us think she’s fine just the way she is.
I’ve met, performed with, interviewed or otherwise become acquainted with a lot of “celebrities” over the years. You know what? Giada’s not one of them. I’m not writing this because we’re bosom buddies – and, yes, that was intentional. Funny, huh? Instead, I’m writing in support of somebody that I think is really remarkable. Not that she needs my support, but here it is.
She could have taken life’s easy route. Her grandfather, Dino, is a Hollywood icon. Her aunt, Raffaella, the “Aunt Raffy” who sometimes shows up in her TV kitchen, is pretty noteworthy, too. Between them, they have produced a few movies you might be familiar with: La Strada, Anzio, Barbarella, The Battle of the Bulge, The Valachi Papers, Serpico, The Shootist, Death Wish, Three Days of the Condor, Halloween II, The Dead Zone, The Bounty, Hannibal, Red Dragon, U-571, Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer, Dune, Prancer, Kull The Conqueror, Dragonheart, Backdraft, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Black Dog, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and The Last Legion, just to name a few.
But Giada didn’t want to trade on the family name. (Her name, by the way, means “Jade” in Italian and is pronounced “Jah-dah,” not “Gee-ah-dah.”) She wanted to be her own person and stand on her own merits in a career of her own making as far away from the “family business” as she could get. Growing up as she did among the Barrymores and the Sheens and the Douglases and the Fondas, that’s a pretty remarkable ambition. Grandfather Dino or Aunt Raffy could have made her a star in a heartbeat, but that’s not what she wanted. Whatsamatter, haters? Something there for which you can’t pick her apart?
Food was a big part of her upbringing. Before he became world famous as a Hollywood producer, her grandfather sold the spaghetti his father produced in their home province of Naples. He also operated a restaurant in California, where Giada spent a lot of her time as a kid. So, eventually she decided to embark on a career in the food industry.
“She’s not really a chef.” You know, there were a lot of peabrains who thought that Food Network had hired a shill when Giada first went on the air, and that she was really a model trying to “pass.” Do your homework, peabrains.
After she graduated from UCLA with a degree in anthropology, (not bad for somebody who’s nothing but boobs) Giada went to Paris and studied at Le Cordon Bleu.
Gee, isn’t that the same place Julia Child went? I guess she wasn’t a chef, either. Or maybe, because she was six-foot-two, homely, gawky and she talked funny, she was the right kind of chef. The non-threatening kind. The kind that reminded you of your mother instead of the hot chick next door.
Now, Julia opened her own cooking school before she went on TV, so I suppose that gave her enough street cred to call herself “The French Chef.”
Giada, who has never referred to herself as any kind of chef, only worked in the kitchens at the Ritz Carlton and put in time with Wolfgang Puck at Spago before she started her own catering company. Why would any of that qualify her to stand next to such luminaries as Rachael Ray or Paula Deen on TV? I mean, how can Le Cordon Bleu match up with Rachael’s experience as a cooking demonstrator at a grocery store? And I guess self-taught Paula’s catering business, “The Bag Lady”, gives her better credibility than classically trained Giada’s “GDL Foods” catering business?
I’ve even seen haters pile on Giada for the way she talks. “I can’t stand the way she says ‘spa-gay-tee’.” Well, ninny-whiners, while “spug-et-ee” might be more in keeping with her California upbringing, “spa-gay-tee” is more appropriate for her Roman birth. At least she comes by it honestly. I never figured out how California girl Julia Child ever picked up that Oxford accent she always affected.
I know! Maybe Giada needs a little raunch to make her more likeable. After all, she’s just so boring, what with her being married to her longtime sweetheart and having an adorable little daughter with him. Maybe she should post some hot, sexy love letters between herself and Todd. Or maybe a naked shot of the two of them in a bubble bath? Both devices worked for Julia and Paul. Or perhaps she should talk about feminine hygiene products at her live appearances. If Paula can keep her audience in stitches with tales of ill-fitting adult diapers, Giada could probably slay ’em with talk about tampons or something.
If you think I’m exaggerating about cyber bullies ganging up on Giada, check out these sites:
or this Facebook gem http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2218687167 that proclaims “Giada De Laurentiis is quite possibly the worst human who has ever lived.”
These pitiful people are out there among us and they’re all equally ignorant and uninformed.
“She thinks having an Italian name and studying in Italy automatically makes her an amazing Italian cook for the ages.”
So her name should be what, Kowalkski? I guess Batali, Chiarello, DiSpirito and the rest of the Italian name brigade better run out and change their names to please this bleating idiot. And Giada studied in France, not Italy. She was only born in Italy. Moron.
“I hate her phony, teethy grins.” Jeez-us! Now they’re baggin’ the woman for smiling?! Yep. Here’s a whole page devoted to criticizing her smile: http://community.southernliving.com/printthread.php?t=1929&pp=40
I’m seldom at a loss for words, but I can’t come up with any way to describe the way I feel toward these sad, sorry, pathetic, hapless, miserable, wretched, execrable, deplorable, woeful, lamentable, piteous, distressing, misguided fools (told you I was at a loss for words) who have so little in their lives that they have to fill their time with hateful drivel expressed toward a person they have never met.
As I said, I’ve never met her either, but let me tell you what she did for me and why I’ll always love and admire her.
I am an unabashedly proud mama’s boy. Mom was the greater part of my world and I of hers.
I’ve always been a pretty good cook. Mom taught me when I was just a kid. Food was my mom’s only vice. As she spent five years dying of an oral cancer that slowly robbed her of her ability to eat, we used to joke, “Well, you don’t smoke, you don’t drink, and you don’t run around. Now that you can’t eat, maybe it’s time for you to try the other things.”
After a period of some dormancy, having let my cooking skills backslide to packaged and frozen foods, I started ramping up again to try to help her find things she could eat and enjoy. It was tough. Besides the actual mechanical difficulties the cancer was causing, the radiation treatments had damaged or destroyed her salivary glands and her tastebuds. I was so frustrated sometimes, I just wanted to scream. And I often did.
I was totally adrift after she died. I needed something to do, something to focus on, before I went completely off the deep end. What was one of the ways I’d always gotten a smile out of Mom? Food. For years, right up until a few days before she died, Saturday dinner at my house and Sunday dinner at my sister’s was Mom’s regular routine. She didn’t cook as much as she used to, but she was always there to help out. And whenever I had a recipe question, she was my first source of information. Whenever I cooked something she really liked, I’d get a smile and a thumbs up.
So, in honor of my mother, I decided to make food my focus in getting on with my own life without her. We always enjoyed Italian food. Spaghetti suppers were among her favorites. She loved lasagne and seldom turned down pizza. So, Italian food, maybe?
I was channel surfing and came across something called “Everyday Italian” on the Food Network. Giada taught me tips and techniques in that first episode I watched that just amazed me with their simplicity and clarity. “I can do this,” I thought.
I made one of Giada’s recipes for my wife that evening. She loved it. I told her about Giada and her simple, everyday approach to Italian cooking. My wife started watching, too, and soon we were both hooked.
Well, from there I began a serious study of Italian cuisine. And then of more general techniques. And then of a wider variety of food and ingredients. Members of my family on both sides had run restaurants in years past, and I had some brief kitchen experience when I was a teenager. Now I’ve reached the level where I have done a little catering and professional cooking and even as I now write about food for various sources and outlets, I continue to learn more everyday.
And every time I cook something new – or even an old favorite – I can’t help but smile and think, “Mom would have loved this.”
It’s all for Mom. And it’s all because of Giada.