Giada De Laurentiis Was ‘Very Fearful’ of Leaving Food Network but Doesn’t Miss It — Here’s Why She Left

“Sometimes in life it’s fun to get out at the top, [rather] than when nobody wants you anymore," De Laurentiis told Rebecca Minkoff on her 'Superwomen' podcast

Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Giada De Laurentiis
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images Giada De Laurentiis

Giada De Laurentiis may have left Food Network after 21 years, but she’s happier than ever right where she is.

The television chef, who cut ties with Food Network in February 2023, has moved on to explore her entrepreneurial side at her own lifestyle brand, Giadzy. During an interview on the Superwomen podcast with Rebecca Minkoff, De Laurentiis opened up about how she decided to shake things up.

“I would switch gears without knowing it every seven years. So I did Everyday Italian for seven years. Then I got pregnant, and I was like ‘Okay I can’t do that show anymore. I got to do a reincarnation of the show because I’m now pregnant. I’m a different person,’” she said.

At that time, she had free rein to decide her next project at the major lifestyle network.

“I was lucky enough to be at a period of time at Food Network where that was okay and they were open to those kinds of suggestions because the landscape hadn’t really been fully discovered yet, and so I think they were just more open to the talent,” she said.

<p>JC Olivera/FilmMagic</p> Giada De Laurentiis

JC Olivera/FilmMagic

Giada De Laurentiis

Related: Giada De Laurentiis Says Daughter Jade Learning to Drive Has ‘Been an Emotional Rollercoaster’ (Exclusive)

Throughout the episode she told Minkoff about all of the huge milestones she marked while working for Food Network, including starting her next big show, Giada at Home, when her daughter Jade — now 16 — was just 6 weeks old.

She reiterated that “every seven years, I switched to a different theme.” After exploring prime time, night time and different themed shows, she knew it was time to pivot in another direction.

“I just decided that at a certain point, and it took awhile for me to make this decision because I was very fearful of leaving Food Network,” she admitted on the podcast. “Because when you’re a big fish in that pond and then you get out, who knows what’s going to happen next. But I really started to become interested in the entrepreneurial journey and I realized I couldn't do both.”

De Laurentiis revealed that between juggling the responsibilities of having a small child and simultaneously going through a divorce and balancing a career at Food Network with her own business ventures, it “felt like the world was crumbling around me.”

<p> Giada De Laurentiis/YouTube</p> Giada De Laurentiis, daughter Jade and boyfriend Shane Farley

Giada De Laurentiis/YouTube

Giada De Laurentiis, daughter Jade and boyfriend Shane Farley

“So about two and a half years ago I was like ‘I’m going to make the jump, and I’m going to put my energy into doing Giadzy.' I’ll still do TV. I have a deal with Amazon, so I still do a little bit of that, but it’s definitely not the schedule I used to keep,” she said.

When Minkoff asked if there’s any part of her that misses the two-decades-long career she had at Food Network, De Laurentiis candidly said, “No.”

“I should say yes, but it's not. I think it’s because I got burnt out. I really worked so hard for so long, I got burnt out,” she said. “I need excitement. I get bored, and if I’m getting bored, my viewers are getting bored.

“Sometimes in life it’s fun to get out at the top, [rather] than when nobody wants you anymore," she added.

Her new venture has several diverse moving parts. Giadzy mainly imports Italian specialty products hand-picked by De Laurentiis. They recently announced a membership program. De Laurentiis also uses her lifestyle brand to share fun vlog-style videos with Jade and her boyfriend Shane Farley.

In August 2023, she released a line of Giadzy Pasta, and spoke with PEOPLE about dipping her toe in the business side of things.

"I feel like I'm learning so much in a world that I didn't really know much about in the past and owning it as we go through it," she said. "The mistakes are mine and the wins are mine."

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