For years, Giada De Laurentiis has been sharing her secrets to making delicious food. From her Emmy award-winning Food Network shows to her New York Times bestselling cookbooks, De Laurentiis has brought us into her kitchen to share her love for Italian and California-style cooking. But what if you could have Giada in your own kitchen?
Enter Giada Catering, De Laurentiis’ recently launched Italian-inspired catering service based in Southern California. In this new business venture, the celebrity chef is bringing to life one-of-a-kind, immersive catering experiences with the help of Patina Restaurant Group. At launch, Giada Catering is offering four distinct menus (called “inspirations”), which come with complementary tablescape designs and curated cocktail pairings. These themes (Amalfi, Milan, Rome, California Italian) are inspired by De Laurentiis’ Italian heritage and experiences working as a private chef in Los Angeles.
Amalfi is an elevated buffet featuring seafood-forward dishes like Branzino with Tuscan Bean Ragu, De Laurentiis’ Famous Lemon Spaghetti with Jumbo Prawns and an Insta-worthy Seafood Tower. Milan highlights Italian favorites like De Laurentiis’ signature Veal Saltimbocca, Lobster Ravioli and Vegetable Bolognese Rigatoni, and is well-suited for galas and more formal dining occasions. Rome is designed for receptions, and includes modern dishes like Artichoke Arancini, Arugula Candied Lemon and Pancetta Salad and a spun-to-order pizza station. Last but not least, the California Italian menu is ideal for family style events, and combines Italian cuisine with coastal California ingredients (think Brussels Sprouts, Kale & Pomegranate Salad and Limoncello Mascarpone Cheesecake).
De Laurentiis makes an effort to be at catered events and take the time to meet her guests when she can, but even when she isn’t there in person her influence can be seen and felt through the menus and stunning tablescapes, the latter reflecting her personal aesthetic and her grandmother’s Italian dinnerware collection. Amalfi and California Italian feature organic linens, wooden serving boards and hand-painted ceramic plates the color of seaside sunsets. Milan and Rome have a more luxury coastal feel, with delicate gold and rose gold dinnerware and white marble accents. All four design inspirations feature organic floral arrangements to complete the scene.
I had the opportunity to connect with De Laurentiis to learn more about her new catering company and her personal entertaining style. I’ll let her take it away from here.
Abigail Abesamis Demarest: What makes your catering company unique?
Giada De Laurentiis: Giada Catering is the only immersive catering service in the region that engages all guests’ senses through our four signature inspirations—Amalfi, Milan, Rome and California Italian—thoughtfully curated, accompanying tablescape designs and warm hospitality unlike any other.
Demarest: Why did you decide to start a catering company? Why now?
De Laurentiis: Growing up in the kitchen with my grandfather and sitting around the table, connecting with family and friends over great food are some of my most cherished memories. With Giada Catering, it brings me joy to help recreate those same warm, welcoming and memorable experiences for others through flavorful, vibrant and handmade California and Italian-inspired dishes and tablescapes that evoke conversation. We create this experience for all guests at our Las Vegas restaurant, Giada, and now I am able to bring my signature warm hospitality into other’s homes, weddings and special events.
Demarest: Do you have a personal favorite of the “themes” you offer? Which one most closely resembles your personal entertaining style?
De Laurentiis: My favorite is Amalfi, I love the architecture, the color palettes and the costal, light and fresh food. The theme really livens up the atmosphere and creates an immersive experience.
Demarest: What does a dinner party at your house look and feel like?
De Laurentiis: It feels like the Amalfi theme we created for my catering business. Vibrant colors and lots of food and family around the table.
Demarest: What is your favorite part about hosting?
De Laurentiis: My favorite part about hosting is creating memorable moments for guests with an ambiance that encourages connection over good conversations and delicious food.