How do you pick your favorite chef? Is it based solely on their recipes? If so, is it your favorite recipes or your family's favorite recipes? Do you base it off the chef's personality? How much you like their cooking show? How well you like their cookbooks? Their ability combine flavors? The fact that they're a legend? There are just so many things to consider.
I am fond of many chefs, and cooks, for so many different reasons: Giada De Laurentiis, Jacques Pepin, Curtis Stone, Tessa Kiros, Madhur Jaffrey, Mark Bittman, Ruth Reichl, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Ina Garten, and Yotam Ottolenghi...to name a few.
It's a very close call, and it probably depends on my mood, but ultimately, it all comes down to Giada. I've thought about it for a long time. Agonized over it really. Was it Jacques Pepin, the one who reignited my love for cooking? Was it Tessa Kiros because she has great recipes and the most beautiful cookbooks ever? Was it Jamie Oliver because I love his passion for cooking and his contagiously happy personality? Was it Mark Bittman because I love that anytime I have a hankering for something he is sure to have a recipe? Was it Yotam Ottolenghi because he combines food in a way no one else can? I could've picked any of them for any of those reasons and on any given day I just might, but today, it's Giada.
I found myself going back to Giada again and again. Why? It goes back to the beginning, really. I think part of my love for cooking started while watching her cooking show. Back when we were a family of three. I can remember watching Giada and thinking, "I can do that" and "my family would love that dish."
It also comes down to a personal bias for the flavors she cooks with. I know for me, Mediterranean flavors are my absolute favorite. It also doesn't hurt that these are also the flavors my family enjoys the most. I know, without a doubt, everyone in the house is going to love Giada's recipes.
Here are some of my favorite Giada recipes that I've made over the years. These recipes go back to the beginning of my blog, many of these dishes shared as early as 2007 or 2008. This list is not in order and is by no means exhaustive. It is simply a list I put together of some of my favorite recipes that can stand the test of time!
As you're about to see, we are big fans of pasta and cheese with some meat, veggies, beans, and maybe even a little sweet treat thrown in for good measure!
If you click on the recipe title it will take you to the original post and recipe
All pictures courtesy of me! I had the chance to see Giada at a food show in Lexington years ago and have her autograph one of her cookbooks for me!