Why Giada De Laurentiis Won’t Be Cooking on Valentine’s Day

Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis loves holidays and shows her enthusiasm with the lavish menus she puts together to celebrate. Yet this Valentine’s Day, the culinary queen won’t be manning the kitchen like she usually does since someone else is taking over the cooking.

Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis | Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Holiday mishap

Despite her love of holidays, De Laurentiis has previously admitted that one of her biggest kitchen fails happened on none other than Thanksgiving. “When I first started catering, I worked for a family, and the first meal I made for them was Thanksgiving. I love cooking Thanksgiving,” she said, according to Food & Wine. “It’s actually, for me, one of the easier meals to cook because there’s so much planning you can do in advance, that you can plan it out in different stages.”

The family De Laurentiis was cooking for included a four-legged friend who would often get in the way. “The thing is, they had a big dog, and I wasn’t used to cooking around dogs,” she revealed. “I tripped over the dog once I put the turkey on the platter. Once the turkey hit the floor, that dog got to it before I did.” 

Even though it was early days in her culinary career, De Laurentiis knew how to salvage the meal. “So, there was no longer a turkey for Thanksgiving, but lots of sides,” she recalled. “The woman I was cooking for had some pasta sauces in her pantry, so I whipped up some pasta really fast. It was one of my first jobs out of school. I was pretty horrified.”

Kitchen takeover on V-Day

The Food Network star won’t have to worry about mishaps for everyone’s favorite heart holiday since her boyfriend, Shane Farley, will be manning the kitchen to cook De Laurentiis a romantic meal.

“He cooks on special occasions [like] Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.,” she told Today Food. “I think for V-Day, he’ll make me one of his fave dishes: chicken piccata over pasta.”

De Laurentiis has been in a relationship with Farley, a TV producer, for almost five years. While the chef enjoys a plate of poultry, she would choose to prepare her homemade pappardelle with a short-rib ragu if she were donning the apron on Valentine’s Day. “The sauce has a little bit of chocolate in it, which makes it feel extra special.”

While the culinary icon plans on staying away from the kitchen while Farley is at work, she’s already given him some pointers. “I plan on being in another room catching up on one of my binge-worthy shows so I don’t micromanage him in the kitchen,” De Laurentiis said with a laugh. “I always make sure he seasons the meat before cooking it and as for pasta, I always make sure he seasons the pasta water with salt before adding the pasta. Simple tips, but important.”

Gotta have chocolate

Though De Laurentiis won’t be manning the oven on Valentine’s Day, she plans on enjoying all the festivities that go along with the romantic holiday. “I love cheesy holidays like this and I love the idea of getting into the spirit of it,” De Laurentiis told People. “The cheesier the better. It’s lighthearted and fun, and it can be very whimsical as well, so I have fun with it.”

Now the global ambassador for Nutella, the cookbook author will somehow incorporate the brand into the special day. “Nutella and Valentine’s day sort of fall hand in hand,” she said.

De Laurentiis also has a Valentine’s Day gift planned for her 11-year-old daughter Jade. “Jade loves milk chocolate,” the chef said. “So I always give her a little assortment of milk chocolate and lollipops from See’s Candies.”

Hopefully De Laurentiis will post some pics of Farley’s Valentine meal!