January 5


How Giada De Laurentiis Continues to Succeed in the Culinary Industry

By Mimi MacLean

January 5, 2021

Culinary industry expert Giada de Laurentiis Image
Emmy Award-winning television personality of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, chef, mother, author, restauranteur Giada de Laurentiis

Giada de Laurentiis – Chef, Mother, Author, Restauranteur and Emmy Award-winning Television Personality of Food Network’s Everyday Italian

Are you worried about jumping into an industry that is historically male-dominated? The culinary industry would have to be one of the toughest and Giada de Laurentiis continues to succeed at so many levels. She is a chef, mother, author, restauranteur, and an Emmy award-winning television personality of many shows on the Food Network. She followed her passion and transformed her family’s Italian traditional recipes into a successful culinary empire. Tune in to learn how to push past gender stereotypes and transform your passion into a successful business.

Find Giada de Laurentiis and Giadzy


Table of Contents

Welcoming Giada De Laurentiis

Giada de Laurentiis

Mimi: Welcome back to the Badass CEO. This is Mimi. Our guest is Giada De Laurentiis. She is one of the most well-known women chefs in the United States. We are so excited to have her today. She is an Emmy Award-winning television personality of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada in Italy, Giada’s Holiday Handbook, Giada Entertains, and Giada On The Beach, and Giada at Home 2.0.

She was also a judge on the Food Network Star. She has several restaurants in Vegas and Baltimore and more to come. And she has also written nine cookbooks. She recently launched the lifestyle and e-commerce platform Giadzy.com, which features Italian lifestyle, content spanning recipes, travel, entertainment and tabletop products.

Mimi: Thank you so much Giada for being on the show today. I’m so impressed with what you’ve done, because it was your passion, right? So I think that’s everyone’s dream, is to find a business with something that they’re passionate about. Can you talk about how you made that transition? Did you know when you woke up and you started cooking, and when you were born and you started cooking, you’re all of a sudden like, “Okay, I’m going to be a chef when I grew up,” or was it an evolution?

Giada: Well, first of all, thanks for having me. It’s funny because I find it so boring to talk about. I would much rather be in your seat than in my own, but I wish it had been that easy. But I come from a large Italian family, mostly very traditional. My grandfather moved here in the ’70s, so I was very young. He had already become accomplished in Italy and in Europe really. And obviously, every immigrant wants the American dream of being successful in the U.S. The country is 10 times bigger than Europe is. So I feel like we all came here with the same thought.

Defying Patriarchal Traditions

Giada de Laurentiis on balcony in Italy
Giada de Laurentiis

Now, for a woman, because my grandfather is Neapolitan, we get married and have children. We take care of the family. We don’t necessarily go out and have careers, even though my grandmother was a very successful actress, but in conjunction with my grandfather, they were a team together. But really, the mindset was never for me to go do anything. And I’m the eldest of all of his grandchildren and the daughter of his eldest daughter. And so I think in one way I always say it actually benefited me, the fact that there weren’t any expectations for me and it also hurt me. So, I think it’s both.

All the boys in the family were expected to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps, but the women, there was no expectations. So really, that’s the ability to do whatever the heck you want. You can do anything you want because nobody’s expecting anything from you, right? So in that sense, I feel like it was a gift, but I was a very shy young lady. And I think finding your voice in a loud Italian, Latin family is difficult. And for me, the way I found it was through cooking. I loved being in the kitchen. I loved how it made me feel.

At the time when I was young, I didn’t realize that it was empowering for me, but it just felt good. And that’s where I felt the best. I felt the smartest, I felt the strongest, and I felt like I could really connect with people like my grandfather and my parents and my aunts and uncles. I don’t know. It just, it felt good. So I thought to myself, “Well, if this is what feels good, then maybe this is what I should do.” And I think that also a lot of my family and my family friends were like, “Oh, you’re really good at this. You might actually do this as a job.” Although I will say that my grandfather was not that supportive, especially in the beginning, because this field is very… It’s manual labor. It’s really what it is.

He was like, “It’s hard work. You’re little. You’re a woman. The kitchen is a place for men.” If you’re thinking about professional kitchens, not home kitchens, right? And he just didn’t think I could hack it, mostly because of my size and being a female. And I thought, “Okay. Well, it’ll probably be difficult.” And it was. It’s definitely a male-dominated business. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years. And has it gotten better? Yes, it has gotten better, but it’s still a male-dominated business. The beginning was really hard. And really mostly allowing people to take me seriously, I think that’s the toughest part. I look a certain way obviously and people felt like, “She can’t possibly know how to cook. How could she know how to cook and look like that and be thin? It’s not possible.”

To Be Taken Seriously

I think that was a stereotype. It was a hurdle, and I still deal with it. I still have people today that say to me, “I really only came to this book signing to see if you were real. Do you really look like you look on TV? I mean, you’re really that little and you’re really that thin. I just need a touch to make sure you’re real.” Yeah, still to this day. “We don’t trust a skinny cook. You know that saying?” I’m like, “Yeah, I do. Yeah, I’ve heard it my whole life.” And sometimes stuff like that can be the chip on the shoulder of a female as we get older, because now I’m 50 and it can really push certain buttons that make you pissed.

Mimi: It irritates you, right?

Giada: Yeah. Yeah. And it can fuel you. So I think people taking me seriously was the hardest thing. And it’s still things that I still deal with it today.

Mimi: I was just talking to a friend yesterday about this. As a woman, because I’m definitely a person that I’m pretty easy going, but if you cross me, I kind of get quote-unquote “aggressive.” I don’t stand down, right? And so, especially if it involves my kids. With a friend or something, that I usually stand down, but in general, I have no problem stating like, “Hey, I paid for this and I expect this quality,” or “These are my children. You don’t… Whatever.” But then I get this guilt afterwards for being… Because my daughter the other day was like, “You were a little aggressive, Mom.” And I’m like, “Well, if Dad said it the same way, would he be considered aggressive?” And she’s like, “Right. It’s a good point. No.” And I’m like, “That’s the point.” How do you know? Why is it okay for a man to be that way and not?

Who defines aggressive behavior?

Giada: Well, you know how many time I have had men say to me like, “That was so aggressive. You can’t talk to me that way. You can’t be aggressive.” And I’m like, “Was that aggressive or was that just not in line with the way you would like for me to act towards you at all times? You would like for me to just go along and play the game and always be stand down and never call you on anything.” And yes, I do it. I become a little aggressive. And you know what, it’s hard because we say that, but are we really being aggressive or we’re just standing up for our rights or what we believe in just like every man does? And then I feel guilty too. And I have to stop myself from apologizing for my behavior. It’s really hard. It’s really hard.

I have a daughter too. She watches me and she’s like, “Mom, can you be nicer? You’re being aggressive. You shouldn’t be so aggressive.” I’m like, “Jade, I’m just saying it like it is. I’m not being rude or disrespectful. I’m being clear with my message and unemotional, which is what men do all day long.” Jade is 12 and she’s just like, “Yeah, but I don’t know. I think we should be a little more careful with what… Because you’re my mom and you’re a woman.” And I said, “Yeah, but you got to stand up for yourself because who’s going to stand up for you if you don’t do it for yourself? And you have to teach people how to respect you.” And I will say, Mimi, that probably the hardest for me was opening my restaurants in Las Vegas. That was rough. I have never had to fight so hard in my life like I did.

Opening First Restaurant in Las Vegas

Giada’s start was non-other than Las Vegas
Giada’s start was non-other than Las Vegas

Mimi: Were you the only women that have a restaurant in Las Vegas?

Giada: The only other women were Mary Sue Milliken and… Do you know that the Border Grill girls, the two of them?

Mimi: No.

Giada: Okay. They had a small spot at Caesars, but where the shopping mall is. You basically lease a space. So they didn’t have a direct deal with Caesars. So in a way, yes, I was, but they were already there. So I would say I was one of the first. That’s how I like to say it. I knew that Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken were there with a small little spot, but they hadn’t actually… I built a restaurant from the ground up with Caesars. And so I think, first of all, very few people get to do that.

Usually, the places are already set up and all you do is go in and coat a paint, change the decor, but you don’t do anything else structurally. This was a parking garage, a two floor parking garage. It has been a parking garage for 50 years and we transformed it into a restaurant. So we had to build everything, and no woman had really ever done that. I don’t even know that there’s many men who had done that.

Mimi: Was that your idea or they approach you?

Giada: They’d been approaching me for years. There was a gentleman there by the name of Tom Jenkins, who’s now not there anymore, but he had been approaching me for awhile, and just saying that the business of the casinos had been going a different direction, where they were trying to hold onto women because they already had the men gambling, but it was the mothers and the female audience that they were trying to harness and projections show that that was the future of that business.

They were trying to open up other businesses, ancillary businesses that would draw these women in. That’s where I came in. And I’d seen many spots, but a lot of them were not attractive, dark and dungeoness. And I just thought, “I can’t. I just can’t do it.” And honestly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it yet. At the time that they first approached me, I was pregnant with Jade and I just thought, “I can’t.”

Eventually, he brought me to Vegas and showed me the space. It was a two floor parking garage. And they said to me, “We’re going to build it together and we’re going to work on this together. It would be a team effort.” And I looked around and I just thought, “Okay. This is either going to be the biggest flop of my life,” because I had no other restaurants, and we’re talking about a 300-seat restaurant. So I went from zero to 300 seats, and that’s huge. So I thought, “They’re going to fail big time, or we’re going to be successful.” It’s going to be one or the other. It’s a gamble, but “Okay, let’s do it.”

Mimi: Yeah. It was right when I moved to LA or right after. I remember you opening that.

Fighting For My Vision

culinary industry expert at work
Giada de Laurentiis

Giada: Yeah. And so we went for it and it was a year and a half of hell. I mean, I ended up getting divorced over it too. So it was real hell. But I remember being in a conference room at Caesars Palace, long table, all men except for myself and then just pounding it, “You can’t do it” Really, we were fighting over the windows that open at the restaurant. I wanted these five windows that open up so that you feel suspended over the strip and you could actually feel like the Bellagio fountains, which is what we face, that’s our view, it felt like you were literally suspended over them.

I really felt it was important. And they were just adamant about not giving it to me. “No one had done it before. They were too expensive. What if they break? We don’t know that we can even open them because of the way the winds come down, Las Vegas Boulevard.” It was all this stuff. And I just said to them, “We have to do it.” And at the end of the day, I just got up and I said, “If you don’t give me the windows, then I will sue you and I will get out of this contract. I will not open this place-

Mimi: Good for you.

Giada: … without these windows” But when I walked out of there, I trembled. I barely could literally walk to the elevator. I was so emotional amped up, which I think happens, that I felt like I was just going to collapse from the stress.

Mimi: Yeah, of course.

Giada: And I thought to myself, I really got to teach myself how to mellow myself out after these situations, because you’re so amped up that it depletes your adrenals, your entire body of everything that it has left. I remember I was so sick after that for two weeks because I couldn’t… It was just so much. It was so much that I couldn’t control it.

Learning Self Care And Self Trust

Sunrise over fields for meditation
Photographer: Federico Respini | Source: Unsplash

Mimi: I get that way. What did you learn? Because I need that trick.

Giada: Well, I tell you, I had to learn how to really focus and meditate, how to get myself off that ledge. And it’s really sad because I never see a man get that emotional over anything. I mean, look at the situation of our president, what we’re in and what we’ve been in for the four years. I kept saying to myself, “Am I not strong enough to do this? Maybe I’m just not strong enough.” Maybe it really does take a lot more strength than us women have to be able to pull through this.

I made it and I’ve learned a lot about how to really control myself, and deep breathing has been sort of my gift to myself, is to be able to seriously take some deep, deep breaths. But those were some really, really, really hard times and a lot of doubt because I had friends who helped me and were supportive, but I also had a lot of friends, male friends in the business that were like, “You’re out of your tree and you’re going to fall flat on your face,” but we didn’t.

Mimi: So then did you just keep going?

The Need to Diversity in the Culinary Industry

culinary expert innovating in the kitchen
Giada de Laurentiis

Giada: I wanted to open a casual, quick serve restaurant because my restaurants are rather expensive. Not all of the people that love Italian food or watch my shows would be able to afford to come there. So I really wanted it. And I wanted to gain a new audience and the ability to have a more inexpensive way to try my food, right? So they weren’t investing all of this money. Because for a lot of people, these high-end restaurants were expensive. I mean, it’s an investment. And so I wanted to open a quick serve. And so I had to fight for that spot too, but we finally got it.

Pronto is right by where the escalators let out in the convention center of Caesars Palace, so it does gangbusters. It’s probably the thing that I will be able to franchise in the future and move on with, because the high-end restaurants I think are… Other than doing Giada somewhere in the Middle East or China or somewhere else, I don’t think in the U.S. I’m going to be able to open up that kind of restaurant. But I think that the quick serve is possibly something I could franchise in the future, which is what I’m looking to do now, but opening them in different spots. I’ll have another one in Arizona in Scottsdale soon. I’ll soon open one in New Orleans. So I’m starting to open them in different spots. The landscape is changing a tiny bit now with corona, but hopefully eventually we’ll get back on our feet.

Mimi: Right. You must have an amazing team that you’re able to expand.

Giada: Yeah. I mean, I don’t have a big team and people think that I employ a lot of people. I don’t. I actually am one of those people who… I’ve always been fearful in my career of having too many employees and having to take jobs just to pay their salaries. So I have a very, very small group of people that are on my team so that I never feel like I have to take a job for money. That’s always been my thing. I can’t say yes if it’s just about money because it leads… I just can’t sell it and I have to be able to believe in what I’m selling.

Struggling times call for innovation

Giada: I have a small team, but yes, they’re great. And we’ll see where it all goes, but it’s exciting. And even though this is a very difficult time for all of us, I think that some great things can come out of this. I don’t know if it will be for me, but in general, I think some really innovative things will come out of all we’re going through.

Mimi: Yeah, because everyone is forced to reassess. I mean, not to make it light for anybody that’s having a lot of struggles, but in general, everyone’s able to reassess and just think about life. And then fathers are at home more with their kids than they normally would be. It just, it is makes you kind of reassess.

Giada: Yeah, it makes you reassess and also makes you rethink what’s important in this life, because I think we get so caught up in our day-to-day life that we’re on a rat race and we can never really sit back and take a deep breath and look at what we’ve done because we’re so busy in the day-to-day, especially when you have children and you work and there’s a lot to juggle. And I think this time has been almost in a way, and maybe not for everybody, but for a lot of people, a gift to sort of sit back and see where you want to be and who you want to spend that time with.

Pasta with chocolate

Mimi: That’s true. I read somewhere that one of your favorite dishes is pasta with chocolate. Is that true?

Giada: Well, if you think about it, I know people will think this is so shocking, but pasta is sort of a blank canvas, the way that bread can be or rice or potato, right? So it can be sweet or it can be savory really. It depends on how you make it, but yes. So when I was a kid, yes, that was one of my favorite things, is to combine pasta with chocolate. And a lot of times it was Nutella really.

Mimi: Yeah. In Europe, that’s with everyone.

Giada: Yeah, that’s what we eat. Sometimes that’s our breakfast. It was definitely at times my snack, for sure. I’m not sure that it was the healthiest of things, but mixing the two together though is-

Mimi: Yum, I would never thought of that.

Giada: … truly phenomenal. I mean, I’ve written recipes of how to make chocolate pasta from scratch. I mean, I’ve done it. I’ve done it all because I find it to be incredibly satisfying, and especially when I’m having a really, really bad day.

Mimi: Yeah, comfort food.

Giada: Yeah, that seems to hit the spot.

Many Family Recipes With Unique Spin

culinary industry - adding your own spin
Giada’s unique spin to family recipes

Mimi: That’s awesome. Now, are most of your recipe family recipes?

Giada: A lot of them, yeah. I’ve tweaked a lot of them to make them a little bit easier and more accessible. But yeah, many of them. I’m known for my lemon ricotta cookies in Las Vegas, and that was one of my grandmother’s recipes. My lemon spaghetti, all that kind of stuff, they were all family recipes that I tweaked. And then little did I know that in a city like Las Vegas, where I used to get, when we were doing the menu for that restaurant, hammered about how they don’t want to eat pasta with lemon. They want a steak. They want Tuscan Florentine steak.

I’m like, “Okay. Well, we can give them that, but I also want my vegetables. I also want my lemon spaghetti.” And I have to tell you, number one selling item, it has been for six years now, lemon spaghetti, which by the way, Caesars is very happy about because it’s very inexpensive to make that.

Mimi: And nobody else has it, so you have a little monopoly.

Giada: Correct. Yeah. And my vegetable bolognese made with porcini mushrooms.

Mimi: Yum.

Giada: I feel like the fact that we serve a little bit more of a unique spin on Italian food and the window is open and it’s filled with light and it has so much of my family as part of it is really a testament to making it successful, is really differentiating myself from everybody else, even though hell, I didn’t know whether it would work or not. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, but it did. And still to this day, we do really well and that’s how we differentiate ourselves from the hundreds of other restaurants in Las Vegas that are Italian because there were a lot. That and steakhouses are the number one and two slots for restaurants in that city.

Mimi: Amazing. Congratulations.

Giada: Yeah, it’s fun.

Giada’s Tips On Starting in the Culinary Industry

Mimi: So what advice would you give any other chef that wants to become actually an entrepreneur and not just work in the kitchen for somebody else, they want to go out on their own in this culinary industry? Is it a saturated market? Is it doable? What do you need? What’s the ingredients to make you successful?

Giada: Do I think it’s saturated? Yeah, there’s a lot of people in this culinary industry now, for sure. But you know what’s so exciting is that there’s so many different ways you could go with this. I mean, you could be a food writer. You could do your own blogs. You don’t have to be in the kitchen. You do need to know a little bit about food, one way or another.

Working in a kitchen – priceless experience

I would always say to people that one of the best things that you can do if you’re interested in this line of work is go work in the kitchen just for a short amount of time, because you learn so much about people, about food, ingredients and just the ability to put things together in a quick manner. And that group setting is something in a kitchen, in the actual working kitchen is something that is priceless. You don’t get that from going to school. You just don’t. And it’s also time management. And I think there’s a lot of skills that are honed and learned in those environments.

You also end up getting a mentor of some kind, depending on where you go. Those are life lessons that you can’t get anywhere else and you certainly don’t get from school. So it doesn’t really matter whether you want to work, actually work in a kitchen or you want to go build an app for food or whatever. We think that amount of time… And I’m not saying that it has to be that long. It can be just a couple of months if that’s all you can do. It can be a summer, a summer job, even when you’re young.

But I’m telling you that, that experience and that comradery and learning about where ingredients come from and how they’re put together and all of those things, and the tasting of ingredients and dishes together, you can’t get it anywhere else. And that can help you figure out what part of the food business you want to be in because there are many, many different avenues available these days, especially with social media and all of that. There’s so many. You certainly don’t have to take the avenue that I took, but you learn so much just from the shortest time spent in a working kitchen.

Mimi: Mm-hmm (affirmative). No, that’s totally true. I do appreciate the fact that the mentorship, meeting people, like connections, right? And being able to network.

Giada: Everything in this life comes back down to connections and networks. It just does. I mean, you can go to the best schools and you can have all the money in the world, but it’s all about who you know. And a lot of times you meet them in those settings.

Investing in Myself without Funders

Mimi: Yes. No, it totally makes sense. And then, so did you finance it completely on your own in the beginning or did you have to ever go through a financing round?

Giada: I have never gone to a financing round.

Mimi: That’s amazing.

Giada: No, no.

Mimi: So you’ve just grown it on your own.

Giada: Yeah. I have a lifestyle platform called Giadzy that I started several years ago, really because I wanted to be more in touch with my fans and I felt like Food Network was really the only avenue that people had and their social situation wasn’t great. And because they have so many people that they represent, they couldn’t spend time really building these brands online, right? Because they’re building their own brand. And so I decided that I was going to do it myself. I basically invested in it myself and we’re still doing it. We launch a pantry of all Italian products in the next two weeks, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a really long time. And I feel like with COVID, it’s sort of…

Mimi: Perfect.

Giada: I felt like it was the right time. People don’t want to go out into the world so much to shop anymore. They want to find a place just like Amazon, all of it, that they can do a lot of things online. And so I realized with what’s happening in the world, some of these mom-and-pop Italian grocers are not going to make it through this. So why not give them an avenue where they can order stuff direct from Italy and enhance their pantries and make great Italian food? So I did most of it myself. Will I have to go through financing at some point? Yes, probably, but not yet. I don’t know.

Mimi: It’s probably the inventory that’s going to get you if you now have your own product. Where would they buy it? On your website? On the Amazon? Grocery stores? Where is the-

Giada: On my website. Yeah. We’re going to do it directly. Yeah. I have some people who are helping me to do it for now so that I don’t have to hold on to all the inventory, but the shipping is really what’s going to get me, because shipping is… We’re so used to Amazon, “Free delivery tomorrow.” It makes it very difficult to compete with that.

Mimi: I mean, almost every package is almost $10 to ship out, no matter what. And then they pay you, especially if it’s a packing, right? They pay you like, “25 cents to touch this, 25 cents touch this.”

Giada: Correct. Yes. And then you need warehouses on both sides of the country. Listen, it’s a big country. It takes a really long time. And I think Amazon has changed the landscape. And so everybody’s used to that kind of service. So I think those two things are going to probably get me in the end. I’ve never done a round of financing and I’m terrified of it. I just don’t like the idea of owing anybody anything, even though everybody’s like, “No, but we do it. And sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t” That feeling, I don’t want to owe anybody anything. If I fail, at least it’s on my shoulders, but I don’t want anybody else to fail because I did. So it’s really hard, but probably I will probably have to do that at some point.

Mimi: I get what you’re saying, but at the same time, they’re very well-educated people, especially if you’re going to professionals, not just your friends, where they know it. They know or they already counted in for every investment. Only so many of them aren’t attorneys.

Giada: Well, when I do it, Mimi, maybe I’ll come talk to you since that’s what you do.

Mimi: I’m glad to help you. That would be great.

A New Book With a Fresh Message

Mimi: One of the last question, you’ve been actually very busy, right? Because you’re also working on a book, another book.

Giada: Yeah. So I have a book that… Yeah. So I shot a lot of it during COVID, which was really tricky. I also shot a show during COVID. Yes, we’ve been busy. And that’s what I say to you, some things get busier than others. Luckily, I’m in the food business. And although people aren’t going to restaurants, they’re cooking at home and they need inspiration.

I’ve seen that also with Giadzy is just the traffic has just gotten crazy because everybody’s at home and they need that. They need the place to get inspiration from. So yeah, it’s been busy. So I have a book coming out in March, and it’s sort of a book on my journey from 40 to 50. It has cleanses in it and a way of eating that people have always asked me, “How do you eat? You can’t possibly eat all that pasta.” So I explain it in this new book that will come out.

Mimi: You look like you’re 30. I mean, you don’t look like you’re 50. So that’s why everyone’s asked and you’re-

Giada: Well, because I have all these ring lights around me, Mimi. I’m glowing out.

Mimi: No, no, I’ve seen you in person-

Giada: After doing all this Zoom, I realized, “Oh, I can’t do all this for the next year, unless I invest in lights, anyway.

Mimi: Well, that’s one reason why I don’t cook that much because I like to eat. And so I could never be in the kitchen because I eat everything.

Giada: Yeah, but Mimi you would eat as you go along. So when you actually sit down, you don’t really eat very much. That’s the thing.

Mimi: Because that’s how I was having two dinners. I’d eat a lot and I’d sit down and have another one.

The Joy is In the Process

clean bench to start cooking
Cooking for others is the joy

Giada: I eat as I go along, tasting a lot. So by the time I sit down to dinner, I don’t eat a lot of it. I just don’t because I’ve pretty much filled myself up during that whole time. And I have to say, that’s the funnest part for me. Yes, I love finishing a dish and presenting it to somebody. But for me, the process of getting there is the fun part. The cleaning of the dishes is not, but the process of cooking it is.

Mimi: Now, is one of your biggest fears, having food in your teeth while you’re recording if you’re taking a bite?

Giada: It used to be. It is not anymore. If I have food in my teeth, it’s a funny little… For me, it’s all about taking some of the perfect aspect. I think for a long time, I created shows where it was almost ethereal, right? I feel like the Italian culture is very romantic and it’s sexy and all of these things, right? So I created a show that basically fed on that. And then I started to realize, when I did my show during quarantine, we couldn’t edit as much. I mean, I shot it on iPhones with just my boyfriend and Jade, and I had my assistant, Natasha, helped us with lighting and stuff, and that’s it.

Being real

Giada: Usually, I have a crew of 30 people around me. And I started to realize, “Okay. If this is going to work, I have to be unfiltered and unedited. They have to see how silly I am. I’m not perfect. My teeth aren’t going to be always clean. They’re not going to stop me every time I’ve got chocolate stuck or I have… This is going to happen.” And it was actually very liberating to not feel that stress of like, “Is my hair perfect. Do I look okay?” I did my own makeup. I did all of it all by myself. And so I think that it took away some of that pressure that I’ve had all these years of, “I better make sure that it’s all perfect.” It wasn’t. And it was okay. And people, I think, liked that.

Mimi: I think the bar has been lowered, and with COVID, which has been fun about all these calls and everything that we’ve been doing, even watching the news, right? There’s a news anchor and you’re sitting there and they’re in their house. So it’s kind of fun to look behind everybody.

Giada: And their kids are running around.

Mimi: They’re in their house. There is their picture. It’s kind of fun. It’s like a sneak peek into everyone’s life.

Giada: Yes. Yeah, we get a little bit of a sneak peek and it’s really fun. People love to be voyeurs into other people’s lives. I mean, they just love it. And there’s like, “Oh, that’s the kitchen. Oh my God, that’s the yard. Those are her animals.” I mean, I’ve never been able to really have my cats and stuff on because you can’t do that on a set. They see normal life, normal interaction, and I think it takes you to another level. And I think that that has been how you change and reinvent yourself. When you do something for a really long time, if you don’t take the time to reinvent yourself, people get bored. I’m the first one to get bored. And I feel like this forced us to reinvent, and that’s that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing.

Mimi: Yeah. No, that’s great. I know I still remember one of my favorite days since I’ve moved to LA was when I came and filmed on your show with Jen for the Valentine’s Day. We filmed it at Valentine’s Day, because I’ll still gets calls every Valentine’s Day and be like, “Where you just on Giada’s show?” And I’m like, “Yes, but it wasn’t this year,” but it’s just like, “How did you get on that show?”

Giada: That’s right. We’ll be young forever Food Network because they just re-air that stuff forever. I’m always like, “Oh gosh. Oh, look at that hair. That must be like five years ago.”

Mimi: Oh my gosh. That’s funny. That’s funny. This has been amazing. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you coming out.

Giada: Oh, anytime, Mimi. I love it. I’m glad you’re coming back.

Mimi: Yes.

Giada: That’s good. We miss you.

Mimi: Thank you so much.

Giada: You got it.

Mimi: Bye.

Giada: Bye, darling.

Mimi: Thank you for joining me on the Badass CEO podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a review and see you next time. Thank you.

Where To Find Giada and More About Her Businesses

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