Jersey Shore Journal

Jersey Shore Journal - Life and Times at the Jersey Shore

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Food Network Chefs Up Close in Atlantic City - Giada, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen

I love watching the Food Network. It is great therapy to relax and watch
a delicious meal be prepared. We enjoyed getting to hear some of my favorite chefs speak in Atlantic City. Here are some pics and stories.
Enjoy! Mangia! Jennifer aka Gigi

Giada Cooks Up Fun on Stage in Atlantic City in 2007

Giada De Laurentiis was a breath of fresh air when she stepped on stage at Caesar’s in Atlantic City. Giada is the host of Everyday Italian, Behind the Bash and Weekend Getaways on the Food Network and has authored many cookbooks.Giada is a professional chef and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, but her success behind the camera has made her a popular national figure. She combines sex appeal and a bubbly persona as she cooks her favorite Italian dishes.

Giada brought audience members on stage to cook 2 dishes with her, answered many questions from the audience and took time to sign books. Her advice on how she stays thin: 1. To maintain portion control, (she eats small portions of her food). 2. To stay active and 3. She contributes some to genetics, (how you were born) but that portion control is the most important.

She told the audience her name means Jade and she wasn't sure if she would name her daughter Jade. She did name her baby Jade. I asked here what her husband Todd does and she he was a fashion designer for Anthropologie.

Butternut squash lasagna and ciabatta chestnut stuffing are her Italian dishes for Thanksgiving and for Christmas they will be joining 30 – 40 family members for a covered dish dinner at her grandfather’s house.

Rachael Ray made her debut at Caesar’s in Atlantic City in 2006 to an adoring crowd with story-telling and tales of her love affair with food and her hubby John Cusimano.

She is squeezing every last drop out of life with her TV shows including Tasty Travels, $40 Dollars a Day, 30 Minute Meals, The Rachael Ray Show, her own magazine as well as her many cook books. She tapes 3 shows a day and during her book signings goes to 26 cities a month.

Amazingly her TV set seats 115 guests and there are 40,000 requests to attend her show. There is a lottery to get on the show. How is that for supply and demand?

Rachael seemed happy to share the stage with her husband John and toasted their first year of marriage. She answered questions from her warm-up guy RC Smith and later took questions from the audience and signed books for over an hour. John donned a Gladiator helmet and even a Christmas apron from someone in the audience.

Rachael was very gracious when I talked to her and spent time with each person. I told her I was writing an article on her visit.

She met John at a party and recalls they were both the shortest people at the party and their immediate attraction. A co-worker had been trying to set them up for a year. Well the rest is history!

Paula Deen Cooked Up Laughs Center Stage in Atlantic City in 2007

Paula Deen made her debut at Caesar’s in Atlantic City to a packed house. She laughed about her previous night’s gambling adventure and losing her money. Her show included reminiscing with her announcer radio host Jim Bohanan, and her husband Michael Groover (below). She also answered questions from the audience.

Paula loves finally being a grand mom at sixty and loves being married to Michael who is 51; 9 years younger than Paula. They both love food, seafood, boats and life. Paula confessed she previously spent 10 years in an affair with a married man and finally broke it off. She believes God sent her Michael after many prayers for God to send her a “neighbor.” They both told how they met with many laughs and interruptions.

A potato is Paula’s favorite food, although she considers butter a condiment, a favorite too. She joked about wetting her pants when she won her Emmy and laughed about breaking a glass ramekin on Oprah’s Show recently. Oprah’s said it was the most fun she has had on a cooking segment.

She recalled going on a cruise to Hawaii on her honeymoon. Michael corrected her and said they went to Alaska. – Then she teased and said they were ‘busy’ and didn’t pay attention much to where they were!

We visited Paula's Restaurant "Lady and Sons" while on vacation in Savannah, Georgia.
We had the Buffet and we enjoyed it so much! There is a neat gift shop there as well. My advice: Put Savannah on your "To Do" List!


  1. what a fun post.
    over half of this info i didn't know.
    i love the foodnetwork. when the twins were small i watched the foodnetwork, HGTV, and got lost in blogs.
    now, i barely have time to return a comment.
    how fun for you to be able to see all of them.
    paula deen was on our local radio 3 days ago. i got so tickled at her. she is crazy!

    have a beautiful weekend!

  2. Lucky you for seeing these ladies up close and personal...I love Rachel Ray..not for her cooking but for her personality..My all time favorite still has to be Ina Garten...I would love to meet her someday just to find out what color hair dye she uses...I love her hair!

  3. Hi Kellie! You are doing the most important taking care of your kids! Luckily I DVR shows & watch them later % fast forward the commericals, makes is a lot faster. Blogs have given me lots of food inspiration...Yes, I learned a lot from their talks...also Paula smokes. : ( I hope she has quit?...she really had a potty mouth...but she's fun!

    Hi Sue! thanks for your comments...Ina is so classy..I want to visit the Hamptons. Have you seen pics when she was young...thin!...
    Your hair looks like hers!!

  4. oh my gosh, all my FAVORITES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    how awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi, I am so happy you let me know about this post, I learned so much!! I had no idea Paula smokes!! These ladies are all very inspirational. I saw Giada several years ago at William Sonoma and she was so nice.
    Thanks again for a very entertaining post

  6. Lucky, lucky, you! Is this a special event Atlantic City does each year? Joan

  7. Hi Ladies...thanks for stopping by..It was something the Casinos did a few yrs ago. I hope they come back. Every yr there is a Food &Wine Show in the fall and Guy Fieri & the Maramoto?guy were there but they didnt speak. You learn so much when they just talk...Giada is the only one who cooked. Hope they will invite them back. Giada & William Sonomoa-Perfect Together! I am working on posting a pic w me and Robert Irvine from Dinner Impossible.He lives in our area as well as George. Paula was so open...

  8. Looks like fun and that food is making me hungry!! :)


  9. Thanks so much for pointing this out to me -awesome!

    Maya @ Daily Vitamin Sea

  10. Southern food is so good...thanks for stopping by!