Cooking Gave Me Confidence:

“I came here from Italy in the ’70s and didn’t speak a word of English, so the kids at school tormented me,” remembers Giada, 49. “[Cooking] helped me build my ego and even start to get acceptance at school. I’d bring things to class that I’d made at home, and my classmates were like, ‘Wow. This is amazing, and that girl with the funny name cooked it!’”

I’m Always on the Go:

“I wake up at 5:30 a.m.,” says Giada, who’s not only a TV host, restaurateur, cookbook author and chef — she’s also a single mom to daughter Jade, 12. “Taking a break is not the easiest thing for me because I feel like if I’m not doing something then I’m wasting my time. I like to make the most of every second I have…and get as much done as possible.”

I’ve Got Showbiz in My Blood:

She’s hosted her own Food Network show, Giada at Home, since 2008, but Giada’s not the first in her family to pursue a career in showbiz. Her maternal grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, was a famous movie producer, mom Veronica is an actress and author, and dad Alex De Benedetti is a producer.

I’d Pick Chocolate Cake for My Last Meal:

“I would eat all of the frosting on the outside, then I would peel off the cake and eat the layers in between,” she says. “It’s more fun, and it takes longer to eat, so you get more pleasure out of it.”

I’ve Won a Daytime Emmy but…

“My daughter, Jade, is probably the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says Giada. “She’s opened my eyes up to really enjoying every day and not taking things too seriously.”

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