My Love-Hate Relationship with Giada

Giada De Laurentiis perplexes me. I have a feeling that if we went to high school together or had pledged the same sorority in college, we would have gotten along and could’ve hung out in big groups, but we never would have been bosom buddies. Get it? Bosom buddies? Because she always shows her cleavage?? I crack myself up. (I also cannot get the song “Bosom Buddies” from Mame out of my head now…) But seriously, who says to themselves, “I’m going to spend the day in the kitchen making lots of pasta and I want to wear an impractically low cut shirt”? Not me, that’s for sure.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy her food and I’m often able to recreate her recipes without too much fuss. I do find it difficult to take her seriously when she does things like this, but so far I’ve been able to tolerate it (though this one was pushing it).

I don’t even remember the first time R and I saw Giada make her Tri-Colore Orzo but it became a fast staple in our kitchen. One of the things I love about R is his enthusiasm and fearlessness in the kitchen. If he sees a recipe that sounds good, not only will he actually make it, but he will make it now. So when this salad struck his fancy, we threw it together for a dinner party that same night. We hadn’t even been asked to bring anything and our hosts were quite surprised when we did!

We changed up the recipe a bit – originally because we didn’t have the ingredients on hand and then later because we liked it that way – but I’m sure it’d be delicious with anything you throw in. Orzo is such a fantastic salad pasta because it doesn’t look like pasta. In fact, most of our friends couldn’t even identify the grain-looking pasta whilst heaping it onto their plates.

We continue to make this salad because it’s always such a hit. The flavors are really excellent if you let it refrigerate for a few hours, which makes it an ideal potluck/picnic/make-ahead dish. The key to the flavor is: taste, season, re-taste, re-season. Repeat. The perfect balance of olive oil, salt and pepper is crucial.

Tri Colore Orzo
Recipe inspired by Tri-Colore Orzo by Giada De Laurentiis


1 lb. orzo pasta
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 C.
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, sliced in strips
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 C. toasted pine nuts
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Prepare pasta according to package. When cooked al dente, drain completely. Spread orzo onto a baking sheet and add 3 Tbs. oil. Mix together and let cool completely.

When orzo is cool, put into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Garnish with basil sprigs.

May be refrigerated for hours before serving.

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  • melissa

    I’ve heard other people (and not just women) complain about her shirts. I had never seen that esquire thing before either. O_o

    but thank you SO MUCH maxine. I have been trying to think all day of what to make for my husband’s potluck tomorrow and now I know – pasta salad, a blend of my own with some of the ingredients you listed. lifesaver!

  • Hillary

    That looks great! I know a ton of people who are always stumped with what to bring to a potluck, so great suggestion!

    And haha, wow, that Esquire feature is pretty ridiculous.

  • Maxine

    melissa – I’m so glad I was able to help you out! This one is definitely a crowd-pleaser!

  • Marci

    Yep, this woman is way off the beam, though her recipes aren’t bad. It’s just really hard to get past those yaboos hanging over the bowls and pots!!!! Personally — give me Paula Deen, with her lab at her feet while she cooks, any day of the week. THAT’S my kinda woman (though I usually have three bassets tripping my up in the kitchen ;) ).

    I’m thinking the orzo recipe would probably be good served hot, too? I’m going to dinner at a friend’s house this weekend and will make this….

  • Jayne

    I cannot say how much I TOTALLY AGREE!! I like Giada, BUT I too, get tired of her ALWAYS hanging her boobs out for everyone to see! AND who dresses like THAT to spend time in the kitchen preparing food for their family and or friends????

  • Jayne

    ….and another thing….is there anyway that GIADA herself can be told…COVER UP!
    I mean, is there a website from which she reads these kind of comments?
    I would think so.

  • http://foodnetwork Terri

    I guess I am so busy watching her cook, I don’t pay much attention to her chest. If I looked that good and ate the food she makes I might be the same way. I love to watch her and love her recipes.

  • Rachael

    The recipe looks fantastic, I will definately give it a try…but as for everyone harping on Giada, who cares if she looks Hot while she cooks!!! I guess some people don’t appreciate a good looking woman in the kitchen.

  • Lori

    oh boy are you in for it now, I just heard she is expecting!, Man I guess we are all going to see more then we want too!

  • Lori

    I am new to this, how do you find new ideas we are sick of eating the same ol’ thing

  • al

    I love Giada. I am sure that all you negative people are a little jealous and wished you looked that good.

  • gilli

    I really like her recipes and I must say it never occured to me about the boobs, but I guess I am jealous that she is so tiny and cute. But I have one whinge about her… that is the false smile. It’s the special one for the camera
    There must be a smile coach. Laura Calder has the same smile and I love her show as well. A bit annoying but I guess I’ll get over it!!! 2 very pretty young women who have their own shows. Not bad eh?
    By the way Orzo is a brilliant pasta for crowd feeding and pleasing.


  • Marci

    I wouldn’t say I’m jealous. I’m in my fifties, look great, and wouldn’t want to be in my twenties again, thank you very much! I just find it unnecessary, no matter how fit or thin you are, to flop yourself out there. I know Giada isn’t the only one, I just don’t get it. And I find it hard to take her, or any woman, seriously under those circumstances.

  • http://chewonthatblog Judy

    Giada De Laurentis comes from a very rich family and she dresses according to her background. With her very petite figure, how could anyone think her breasts are
    to large? She dresses like a woman and is not afraid to show that fact. If you had her money and her show I think you just might feel and dress the exact same way. Let’s face it, if you’ve got it……then why not flaunt it?

  • Lee

    I have stopped watching Giada because it is discusting to see her boobs hanging out while she is cooking and also on her Friday night escapades show. Also her smile to sooo fake. Put some reality into her. She acts like she is some prima donna. Give me Rachel Ray and Paul Deen anyday – they are down to earth.

  • John

    I guess I missed the big show with Giada!
    Giada is nothing but a rich kid who had a catering business and parlayed her name into a tv show.
    There was an Iron Chef a while back where Giada and Rachel Ray were teamed up with Bobby Flay and Mario Batali. Giada and Rachel both looked petrified to be working with real chefs and expected to perform cooking tasks quickly and professionally.
    Food Network is filled with “pretty faces” with only nominal cooking talent. It’s all show now.

  • Greg

    Hey I am already a chef and know how to prepare most of her recipes, but if Giada wants to flaunt herself when she is putting stuff in the oven, who am I too complain.

  • Brenda

    I too do not understand why the low cut blouses, What surprises me more is, the network executives, do not say something about it. She is cooking, not trying out for topless dancing.
    The other one I can’t stand is Sandra Lee and that sing song voice of hers. Does she think she is speaking to a tv audience of two year olds. GIve me a break! Give me Paula Dean and her two handsome sons any day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vanessa

    How funny! I never even noticed that the boobs were a tad too revealing. I have noticed that she was adorable, but WAY too thin. And any kind of boobage on a tiny frame will come across as “showy” (take Giada’s FoodTV cohost Sanda Lee as another example- I’ve always thought she showed WAY TOO MUCH cleavage, yet…not really when you look at the clothing!) but I love that the food they show all seems easy enough to make and I labsolutely ove that you blogged about this! Makes me feel like if we were in high school or in in a sorority we would have been fast friends – no dobut about it!!!!!!

  • Lisa

    I love Giada’s, Rachel’s, Sandra’s, Barefoot Contessa, Paula’s, Tyler Florence, and Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Dinner Impossible shows. If anyone thinks anyone shows too much cleavage, take it up with Food Network.

  • Michelle

    I like all of the cooking shows except Sandra’s. I mean it would be o.k. if you had no teenager’s in the house. Or if noone was an alcoholic. Let’s face it most teenager’s would be stealing drinks from the cocktails. Every show she does has alcohol in it. Yah, Paula, Giada, Rachel, and Barefoot Contesa sometimes use alcohol to cook with. But that’s it to cook with. Not to shove down everyone’s throat.

  • sharon cross

    I think Giada is a very nice person and what she wears is her bussiness not every one else. the one that dont like it. is jealous of what she has.
    thank you
    sharon cross


  • susan

    Giada does expose more than the rest, it (they) are distracting. I agree with the “smile”‘ and close up if her eyes closed while tatsting.
    I love Sandra, drinks or no drinks. She is down to earth. She had a rough life and has turned it around. I don’t see her as one who is “displaying” herself like the other. I love Paua and Rachel’s cooking shows, but Rachel’s talk show is not for me.
    I love Tyler and Guy, they are great!

  • Dawn

    Giada looks great! I am amazed at her size, considering the carb intake! I gain weight just watching her cook. Get over the boob thing all! Complain when they resort to pasties and a g-string, but not for a blouse that shows cleavage. I see girls in local high schools who are “allowed” to wear much more revealing clothing than Giada ever thought of.
    If it bothers some of you so much, you spend way too much time in front of your television!

  • Maxine

    Thanks to all for your comments. I certainly didn’t mean to offend any Giada-lovers as I am one as well. I can certainly respect her ability to eat good food and look so fantastic, it just wouldn’t be my personal choice to wear what she does. Regardless, it’s a great recipe and I hope you all get to try it! :)

  • Deb

    I have to say i’m not thrilled about seeing down Giada’s shirt but in her defense look at some of the other cooks, they are all showing something, I’m waiting for Paula to show us alittle more of Paula, Hey our foodnetwork stars are doing a great job at showing use all how to cook or add alittle spice to life, Lay Off what they look like (you jealous) . And Congrats to Giada on the up-coming new baby

  • grace

    i never notice her boob’s. i watch the show not her boobs.

  • Barb

    Thanks Gilli for bringing up Giada’s smile. It drives me crazy too, but I found by watching her other show that it seems to be a quirky habit. Sometimes it’s there and other times it is perfectly normal.
    I have a young cousin (18) who smiles exactly that way for photos. She will shut her eyes and pop them open quickly with that square smile just as the shutter clicks. She claims that she likes the look, and it helps to keep her eyes open wider. ??? UGH!

  • Shelley

    My son-in-law can not wait to come over and pick up his daughter and watch her.. he has nick named her “tastefully topless” lol.. got to love it.. both my son-in-laws drool over her..

  • john

    giada is a great cook and those who complain about her clothing i think its because their are some ugly fat cooks who are jealous of giada

  • Jen

    I love Giada. I find her both cute and beautiful at the same time. Her bubbly but not airheaded persona is attractive. Her attire is feminine not whoreish and she is a great teacher. Giada is a trained chef who is making the most of her career and we should respect her drive and knowledge in the field. I personally find her to be an inspiration. If she were cooking in a bra top or bikini I would write it off as a male orientated show and not be interested but that isn’t what’s going on. She has a figure. If she wears t-shirts she will look fat/frumpy. Rachael Ray wears the same kind of outfits but has smaller boobs so poof!-nobody says a word. I also think Giada has a great smile. Smiling is very important on tv. It makes you approachable and warmer to people both on screen and off. I am not SO JUDGEMENTAL that I have to pick apart someone’s natural features as if I am flawless. YOU get on tv and then see what people have to say about YOUR smile or your big, fat ass. Luckilly, I’m sure Giada is above reading nasty comments about herself. I’m pretty sure she’s rightfully focused on her career and family instead of people who think she smiles weird and has too big of boobs. Go get a life.

  • Jen

    And about the blog, lol. I too find her recipes to be easy and elegant. Some of them are staples in my kitchen as well! I work from 8am-5pm Mon-Fri. so I like that her meals are realistic time/ingredient wise and they remain interesting and elegant. Maybe I should work for her promo people, haha. It’s genuine though, I do love her recipes and techniques.

  • Ruthman

    I just notice her big head but otherwise I appreciate her recipes.

  • bilo

    Give me a break you snivellers.. that is hardly “low cut”, it is very casual. It’s just you can’t take it because she makes it work so well, when in reality it’s incidental. Her little nuances come out just as they would if you were at home, that’s not schtick — it’s called “a per-son-ality”, which is something extremely rare to find genuine on network television. I can tell the difference between what’s a little forced and what’s natural. Too bad you people don’t know people like her (and no, I don’t mean of wealth and privalage, I mean of character and character alone). Suddenly, if you’re on tv if you’re not Mother god damn Theresa the microscope comes out. A woman like her in person just “being herself” would be a warmly welcomed presence. “But her family’s successful, therefore she must be a snivelling twerp like the rest of us would be”. Nah.. bugger off.. it’s in her blood.

  • Adi

    Hey, you guys are funny. You are all so jealous that she cooks all that good stuff and doesn’t seem to be gaining a pound. You are jealous that when you are watching the show, your husbands are looking at her and not the food. You are jealous that when you drink water you gain weight and she eats pasta and doesn’t. Life is unfair. It’s not her fault that she is sucessfull, beautiful and happy and you probably are not. Sorry girls! Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  • Wade

    My heavens. So much jealousy. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If I had a dime for the number of attractive women who could cook (in today’s younger generation), I’d have $.05. Busily riding the coat-tails of the sexual revolution and eating out of take-out windows and calling it “women’s lib” is a group that may need more than a role model, maybe a sex symbol to inspire getting their hands dirty.

    It is a cooking show not a catalyst for jealous gossip. Why bother tearing down one of your sisters?… the power dead even rule strikes again.

    I do ponder how she can consume; diary, lard & oil in such quantities while keeping that figure and would probably get caught staring at least once but the food speaks volumes on its own.

    And if a man should cook, even passibly well it’s seen as an anomoly. So maybe more guys need some inspiration to cook too. Why not make the process interesting with engaging and charismatic hosts?

    Really, is she supposed to shave her head and wear a parka to hide her own body. Get a life already.

    I am ashamed to find that I, a man, spends less time thinking about her chest than you women do.

    Stop hating, start cookin’

  • Melissa

    I like Giada and several of her recipes are my staples. But I don’t like the trend of her cutting corners in her cooking. She’s a trained pastry chef but she’s using boxed cake mixes and pastry. What’s up with that? Is she getting lazy? I wish Giada would stop this trend and be the wonderful serious chef she is.

  • Amanda Garcia

    Everyone needs to get over the whole low cut shirt thing, I mean, what makes you all think that she actually wears that sort of thing when cooking at home for her family? You do realize this is a cooking show, right?! I have made several of Giadas recipes just in the last month or so that I have started watching her show and they are easy to make and absolutely wonderful to eat!! Besides, whats wrong with a beautiful women cooking in the kitchen? I personally don’t see anything wrong with her outfits. I guess you are all just jealous that you couldn’t pull it off?

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Of all the Food Network stars, I happen to like Giada the least. Not only does she dress ridiculously for a cooking show, she is somewhat bland in her delivery. Make no mistake, her recipes are relatively simple and come out divine, but for goodness sake, she didn’t discover orzo. Actually it comes out perfectly even when being prepared by someone with more clothes on.

  • how to cook steak

    The recipe looks fantastic, I will definately give it a try…

  • John R. Carlisle

    I think Giada is doing a great job and I really enjoy her cooking. Over half of the people here at the John R. Carlisle Institute thought she was very attractive and a great cook. Even the women!

    John R. Carlisle

  • Deb

    Is there anyone that can’t stand Giada’s over emphasis on ‘Italian” words???? Forget her boobs and fake smile – STOP with the over-emphasized Italian ‘AXcent’ (yes, I misspelled accent on purpose) That woman goes from “SPIGITTEE” to her normal American/English accent all the time. Drives me nuts!!

  • Michele

    Ohhhh yes! You couldn’t have said it better, she is soooo annoying!I wish Kristen Wiig from SNL would do a skit involving Giada. That would be hilarious!

  • The Olive Oil Shop

    I agree that her recipes are incredibly simple most of the time as well as tasty. I also agree with the argument about her style. Her recipes are enough to sell herself by, there is no need to try and include the sexy to it as well. You had me at “are you hungry”.

  • Jennifer

    Giada is a camera whore! She knows exactly what she is doing. So funny, Paula, Rachel, Sandra and the other female cooks dont have to hang their tits out to sell a show or recipe. Its pathetic! One time, I saw her low cut blouse, then it went to a commercial and when it came back, it looked like she pulled it down even more! And seriously, how many teeth does that woman have! What an effin joke! You should be wearing an apron not a club top! Its all about the tits and money, right FN? lol ;-)

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