Giada’s Biggest Career Setback Had to Do with Her Divorce

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis)

Nobody thinks divorce is easy, but today on Al Roker’s Cold Cuts, Giada De Laurentiis points out that not only was it hard in general, but it was also her biggest career setback. “In a field about family,” she explains, “your whole career is about family.”

Most of the video features two old friends talking sandwiches and Roker lobbing softball questions, but things get serious when she starts talking about her divorce from, as she calls him, “Jade’s dad.” The two were married for 12 years but had been together for 25 — since she was 18. “You’re like, now what?” she says. “Your identity becomes joint, your life and friends are intertwined.”

It’s hardly her first hurdle: She talks in the video about moving to the U.S. as an 8-year-old and shaking her Italian accent, her family telling her she shouldn’t work in kitchens because it was physical labor and she was just a little woman, and starting out on the Food Network when it was so new that nobody knew what they were doing.

But her divorce remained the biggest challenge. After having spent so much time with a specific identity for audiences, she says it’s been tough figuring out who she is in her 40s, especially as a single mother working full-time. “We hold women to a different standard,” she adds. “I’m not as perfect as everyone would like to think I am.”

But she dispels that last myth throughout the video, oozing charm while making a tempting-looking mozzarella sandwich with pesto and fried capers. The “enthusiastic spaghetti pronouncer,” as the caption declares, might feel imperfect, but for most people the days where divorce was seen as a failure are long gone.

And it will certainly be exciting to see how it all plays out on her show: I can’t imagine America isn’t interested in hearing about how a full-time working mom, with a tween daughter, manages to put dinner on the table every night.