Interviewing Giada De Laurentiis with Bella Sera Wines

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And that is as close as I got to the lovely Giada De Laurentiis on Saturday. Boo hoo.

Oh, Hurricane Irene. You ruined what could have been one of the coolest experiences of my life. On Saturday morning, I was all set to meet Giada De Laurentiis. She was making an appearance at St. Anthony’s Feast in the North End and the lovely people from Bella Sera Wines invited me to come by and interview her. To say I was excited would be a bit of an understatement.

I mean, Giada is basically perfection and I definitely see a lot of similarities between her and We are not Martha (well, except for the fact that she’s on a whole different level than us). When I say similarities, I mean that we both love entertaining and enjoying nice family meals and fun dinners with close friends. I have a feeling that’s why Bella Sera asked me to interview her, too. Their brand is all about bringing people together with good wine. And clearly, WANM loves doing that 🙂

Sadly, Giada had to hurry home ahead of schedule due to the hurricane warnings and she couldn’t make her big appearance. As it was a totally last-minute decision, I was already in the North End when Bella Sera learned she wouldn’t be coming. Since I was already there, they asked if I’d be OK chatting with her on the phone instead.

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Of course, a phone call is nothing like actually meeting Giada face-to-face- especially since I am NOT a phone person at all- but still… How often do I get to chat with celebrity chefs on the phone? Never. I obviously said yes! And before I knew it, Giada was on the phone.

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(I honestly couldn’t believe I was standing in the North End chatting with Giada De Laurentiis on a cell phone, like she was my old buddy. Wow.)

So, below are the questions I asked Giada (with a few thrown in from my Twitter friends!) and her answers:

-I started by asking Giada if she had any tips to make entertaining any easier for beginners who might get a little nervous when it comes to having people come over for a meal. She responded by saying,

“Theme is the easiest thing to do. Once you pick a theme for your gathering, it’s so much easier to make everything come together… Try not to do everything from scratch. Pick one thing to make from scratch and buy food you know is going to be good… Entertaining is really about having people around the table and good food on the table.”

Another awesome entertaining tip:

“Open a yummy bottle of wine. I’ve been loving moscato lately. It’s typically a dessert wine, but I’ve been enjoying it throughout my entire meal.”

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Courtesy of bellaserawine.com


– Which led me to the question, does Giada still get nervous before a big performance or, say, before serving a meal to Prince William and Catherine? Her response:

“Yes, I was extremely, extremely nervous nervous!”

Phew! She’s just like us 🙂

But even more than that, Giada admitted that, “I always get nervous before hosting dinner parties, but my philosophy is don’t let them see you sweat… And if all else fails, give them a good bottle of wine.”

-I may not have kids myself, but I know many of our readers do. And I’m always intrigued by kids and food and how to raise kids who aren’t picky eaters. Whenever I see Giada’s adorable little daughter, Jade, on the Today Show, it’s pretty obvious she absolutely loves food. So, how does Giada do it?

Giada admits that Jade is just not a picky eater, but does say that she started her eating all kinds of foods at a young age and that:

“I like to keep it interesting and fun and I try to get creative. One thing I love to make is mac and cheese cupcakes with veggies or meat mixed in. I bake them in a cupcake tray and she loves them. I also like to cook with her.”

-Kind of tying into the previous question, I asked Giada if she sits down to family dinners every evening (at least on the evenings she’s available). And she claimed,

“Yes, definitely. Growing up, family dinners were a big thing for my family. You don’t even always have to cook dinner yourself. All that matters is that you’re all sitting down together and making memories… That’s one reason I’m so happy to be working with Bella Sera wines, too, they really promote the idea of family togetherness.”

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Courtesy of bellaserawine.com

-And does Giada meal-plan or just fly by the seat of her pants when it comes to dinner?

“I do try my best to meal plan. At the beginning of the week, I figure out what’s going on during the week and do the grocery shopping. Then I pick up a couple last-minute necessities like produce and meat during the week.”

-Since this Hurricane Irene was clearly causing so many problems, I had to ask Giada a hurricane-related question. This one came from my Twitter bud Kimerly. What would Giada stock up on if she heard a hurricane was on its way (you know, hypothetically)?

“Well, besides water and flashlights, I’d pick up some different shaped pasta, nice olive oil, parmesan cheese, a head of garlic, and jarred tomato sauce for a quick meal to throw together with lots of flavor.”

-In case you’re wondering what Giada’s favorite shaped pasta is, like my Twitter buddy @tbella, it’s:

“Penne… penne rigate, which is the penne with lines, is the best.”

-And since I’ve got total wedding-brain lately, I asked Giada what she had at her own wedding dinner. We haven’t picked out our menu yet, but are incredibly excited to meet with the chef at the Colonnade who just happens to be amazing. Giada told me,

“My husband is a meat eater and I love fish, so we tried to have something that would make everyone happy. We started with a caprese salad and then had beef filet for my husband and fish for me. But the most important thing at a wedding is just having all your family and friends there to make it special.”

Giada congratulated me on my engagement, which cheesy as it may sound, made me super happy 🙂 Think it would be too much to invite her to the wedding? Hehe.

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Wow, what an awesome phone call!

Before summer ends for good, I am definitely going to pick up a bottle of Bella Sera’s Moscato, per Giada’s recommendation. I have to say, I loved the fact that Giada De Laurentiis and Bella Sera wine seemed like such a good fit together and she was clearly working with them because she actually loves their wines and believes in their message. If you didn’t know, Bella Sera means “beautiful evening” in Italian and Giada says she wants to help people create beautiful evenings in their home every night. What a refreshing partnership!

While, of course, I’m disappointed I didn’t get to meet her in person (and take a photo with her… and have her sign my book), I was still more than thrilled to chat with her. Thank you SO much to Bella Sera for inviting me to St. Anthony’s Feast and making sure I still got the opportunity to have my questions answered. And thank you to Giada De Laurentiis for taking the time to talk to me on the phone.

Hurricane Irene turned out to not be too bad in the Boston area. There were definitely some falling trees and power outages, but I was lucky enough to have power and a nice comfortable apartment to hang out in all day. At this point, I do have a bit of cabin fever, though, and I’m sure I’ll be heading out to find a coffee shop to work in today. I can’t sit in my apartment any longer!

What would have ask Giada De Laurentiis if you had 15 minutes on the phone with her? And did Hurricane Irene hit you hard?

[Sues]

32 Responses to "Interviewing Giada De Laurentiis with Bella Sera Wines"

  1. Aw, bummer it was canceled but still pretty amazing that you got to talk to Giada on the phone!! Great questions – her responses just make me love her more!

  2. Blog is the New Black says:

    So sad you didn’t get to meet her! But talking to her on the phone?! VERY COOL!

  3. Ohhh.. sorry you were thwarted by the hurricane, but at least you got to talk to her!! That is so awesome! I adore Giada… I don’t know what I would ask her if I had 15 minutes with her.. I’d probably be so nervous all I would do is giggle!! lol

  4. Sam says:

    The hurricane was not quite so bad here. It was scary, but we didn’t lose power, our windows are intact, and the basement of our building didn’t flood.

    I would probably ask Giada why she taunts me with mascarpone while I’m on the elliptical at the gym (of course, this is likely my own fault for mixing the Food Network and exercise).

  5. Erica says:

    Ahhh so cool that you at least got to speak with her! I love how down to earth she is. Great tip about focusing on one from scratch dish when you have a party

  6. tbella says:

    Woo, Giada and I have the same favorite pasta… we’re totally bffs now 😉 Glad you still got to interview her even if it wasn’t in person!

  7. That’s so awesome. I love Giada! Sad you didn’t get to meet her in person, but still cool you got your interview.

  8. I am totally jealous! I love Giada and have to commend her for making cooking so accessible and creative. Good questions for your interview though and thanks for sharing.

  9. nicole says:

    awww stinks that you could not meet her but soooo jelly you got to talk to her. great questions

  10. Monique says:

    Boo on Irene for making Giada leave but im glad you got to interview her!

  11. Daisy says:

    My questions of how did she liked the north end and the feat were completely irrelevant in this situation! bummer you didn’t get to meet her in person but still a very cool experience!!

  12. So sorry that you didnt get to meet her in person, but talking to her on the phone, how cool! Congratulations on your engagement! I think you should invite Giada, just sayin’.

  13. Shannon says:

    bummer you didn’t get to meet her, but how awesome you got to ask her some questions! fun 🙂

  14. Kimmie says:

    Way to make the most out of a crummy situation. SO cool that you still got to talk to Giada! =)

  15. What a wonderful opportunity! I once had the opportunity to interview Anthony Bourdain via email…even though it was just email, it was fantastic to have the chance to “speak” with one of my culinary role models!

  16. Susan says:

    How sad that you didnt’ get to meet her in person but talking to her on the phone must have been pretty exciting too! Great questions!

  17. How awesome that you got to interview Giada! You asked fantastic questions, too.

  18. Taryn says:

    What a great opportunity, and I’m so glad that it was salvageable by speaking to Giada on the phone! There are about a thousand things I’d want to ask if I met her, but mostly just how she does it all, and what her favorite Italian dessert recipe is,,, because dessert is VERY important!

  19. Chris says:

    Stupid Irene, that would have been great to meet her in person. Still pretty cool that could just chat her up on the phone.

  20. Sharon says:

    Magnificent interview, Sues…great post! I’d like to know if she has any plans to return to Boston in the near future & if so, would she consider coming to our house for dinner! Wouldn’t that be awesome??

  21. newlywed says:

    Omg, you are SO SO SO cool! So…my question for WANM is…which of Giada’s books do you have and like best? (I, ahem, totally have them all, but the one I have used to death is her newest, Giada at Home.)

  22. Rhonda says:

    AAAF-Nmazing! Seriously how cool was that. Great questions, I love Giada WANM!

  23. Juliana says:

    Oh! Sorry that you could not meet Giada in person…but glad that you could talk to her on the phone…nice interview. I am happy for you 🙂
    Hope you have a fantastic week Sues!

  24. Joanne says:

    Wow! Crazy cool! It sounds like she was super down-to-earth and friendly, which is so nice to hear!

  25. Cara says:

    Bummed that you didn’t get to meet Giada, but it sounds like you had a great conversation via phone. I love her and definitely will need to try Moscato before summer ends as well! Glad Irene wasn’t too big a deal for you!

  26. brandi says:

    that stinks that she couldn’t be there, but what a fun phone call interview!

  27. OMG, Susie – that’s awesome. I know you didn’t meet her in person but you still talked to her. I liked all of your questions and her answers too. Love Giada!

  28. what a fun phone call (even though it wasn’t as good as meeting her in person). 🙂

  29. katelin says:

    aw that’s too bad you couldn’t meet her, but what a great phone call. she sounds so lovely.

  30. Reeni says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t get to meet Giada! Talking to her on the phone is the next best thing! She’s such a sweetie.

  31. Vanessa says:

    I would ask her for tips on how to make a spicy chocolate gelato I had in Florence a few years ago (Cioccolatta Pepperonicino I think it was called – absolutely divine!!) And then I would invite her to my wedding!

  32. Vanessa says:

    How cool! She seems like a sweetie. I’d ask if she’d take me to Italy!!!!

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