Giada’s grandpa, Dino De Laurentiis, was famous long before the first time anyone saw his granddaughter cook up an amazing-looking Italian dish on TV. He was also one of the main people in her life who helped her deal with all of the bullying during her childhood. In the 1980s, he opened up a restaurant of his own: DSDL Foodshow in New York.
Among the crowds who gathered to eat an array of food that spanned from pasta and pizzas to fully stuffed pigs and more, Giada found her true calling. Food is in her blood in more ways than one.
During Her Youth
Giada had zero interest in pursuing a career in Hollywood during her younger years. Perhaps it was due to watching mom and dad stress over lines and auditions, but she, like most teenagers, wanted to find herself and figure out a path that worked for her.
The path she chose wound up taking her through the University of Central Los Angeles in the mid-1960s. When she was a kid and living with her parents, she was actually using a different name: Giada Pamela De Benedetti.
Like so many children, Giada found herself the target of harsh words and other forms of bullying by kids in her school when she first moved to the country. She was having a tough time because she didn’t speak much English and couldn’t communicate with her classmates very well.
This led to her being called all sorts of mean nicknames and eating lunches on her lonesome. She found the strength within her family, who stood behind her and helped her overcome the negativity, and she’s praised them publicly numerous times for it.
People who know exactly what they want out of life before they’ve even headed off to college are lucky: they get a jump-start and can chip away at their life path from a young age. When Giada headed to UCLA, she knew that she had a passion for food, but she still wasn’t thinking of pursuing it as a full-time career.
She knew she wanted to earn her degree and be successful in the future, but she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to major in. Thus, she started on her way to a degree in social anthropology.
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.