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Giada's Guide To Culinary Education, Without Enrolling In Cooking School

If you're reading this article (or on this website!) chances are, you're a lover of food and cooking.


While Giada is an advocate of classical training for professional chefs, there are many ways for the avid home cook to scratch that culinary itch without dropping everything to enroll in culinary school. While we applaud those who make that late career switch and go the full 9 yards with an education, you can still hone that passion in a multitude of ways... and keep your day job!


Cooking Classes
While an immersive culinary school course might be out of the picture, there are many one-off classes available. Locally, a great place to start is checking out what nearby colleges have to offer, or a quick search on Yelp. Many restaurants also offer cooking classes, and they can be a great way to explore different types of cuisines, so check out your local favorites!
In LA, Giada recommends Cooking With Om- an ayurvedic cooking course that was immensely educational (and tasty!) And if you find yourself in Las Vegas - Giada is now offering classes at GIADA at The Cromwell! Guests learn how to make a 4-course Italian meal including Giada's signature Italian dishes from cavatelli pasta to lemon ricotta cookies, and even cocktails inspired by her grandfather's Italian movies. Classes run every Thursday, so save your spot here!

Good Ol' TV
In this golden age of television, there are a myriad of programs that can teach you a ton of interesting tidbits and sweep you away into engrossing culinary adventures. It's a great place to get inspired and broaden your horizons. For example, Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix is a thing of beauty. Giada especially loves the premiere "Fat" episode, which takes place in the rolling hills of Italy. In it, Samin explores the importance of olive oil. "It's so beautiful, it kind of makes me emotional!" says Giada. Before long, you'll have a deep desire to bake foccaccia dotted with the freshest extra virgin olive oil while sipping vino - and that inspiration is powerful!
Giada is particularly fond of classics, too. Julia Child is a force of inspiration, and Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa is a longtime favorite (for all of us!). And of course, tune in to Giada Entertains for all of Giada's cooking tips.

Cookbooks
Every chef has a small collection of cookbooks that they consider to be their culinary bibles. For Giada, The Silver Spoon is a reference for all things Italian cooking, and it's one she returns back to time and time again. It's essentially the Italian version of The Joy Of Cooking, and it boasts over 2,000 recipes!
Another one of Giada's favorite books will have you dreaming of a life in the French countryside: Patricia Wells At Home In Provence! The recipes are doable, delicious, and will make you a more confident cook to attempt. Each fabulous recipe is preceded by lovely stories of life in France, along with enticing photos that pretty much beg the recipes to be made.
Giada's career started with a strong focus on pastry and desserts - she actually worked as a pastry chef for many years! In this time, she turned to Martha Stewart's Desserts cookbook for the confidence and techniques to make desserts for any occasion.
Our advice? Find a well-reviewed cookbook that piques your interest, immerse yourself in it, and start cooking your way through it, Julie & Julia-style! Might we recommend Giada's Italy? ?

In The Family
Some of the best recipes are the ones in your family! Giada has a ton of recipes from her grandparents, many of which we share here on Giadzy. It's a unique, personal way to learn not just about food - but about your own family! Ask your parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles about their recipes and the stories that precede them. It's an enriching experience for everyone involved! And be sure to write down any of your own personal recipes to keep the tradition alive (or start it anew!)

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