Giada's Cooking Shows Ranked From Worst To Best

When you think of celebrity chefs, chances are Giada De Laurentiis is one of the first people that comes to mind. The Italy-born Food Network icon has been cooking for the camera since 2003, and she's since become known for whipping up her version of classic Italian dishes and for adding unique Italian twists to modern favorites. It seems viewers can't get enough of her welcoming smile, charming on-air personality, and zealous use of lemons: By 2021, De Laurentiis had more than 10 cooking shows, nine cookbooks, and three restaurants under her belt, along with consistent guest appearances on daytime TV, frequent hosting gigs across Food Network, and several Emmy Awards to boot.

Throughout most of De Laurentiis' career, her fans have been following her in and out of the kitchen. They've witnessed her first marriage; the birth of her daughter, Jade; her divorce in 2014, and her dating life since then. But it's De Laurentiis' talent in the kitchen, and the way she shares it on camera, that truly captures audiences. 

With so much Giada out there, and hundreds of her recipes just waiting to be tested, it's hard to know where to start when it comes to learning more about the chef's work. So, we've got you covered. Get ready to binge, and keep scrolling for our ranking of Chef De Laurentiis' cooking shows, from worst to best.

11. Winner Cake All

One of Giada De Laurentiis' more recent endeavors with Food Network doesn't feature her cooking at all. In 2019, De Laurentiis starred as the host of baking competition show "Winner Cake All." The show features teams of bakers from around the country facing off through a series of cake-themed challenges, from whimsical childrens birthday cakes to a fierce wedding cake showdown. 

Each episode, four pairs of bakers compete in two rounds for the chance to have one of their cakes showcased at different important events. Overall, the show is fun and pleasant enough to watch. The judges are pretty nice, and De Laurentiis brings her fun personality to every episode as well. Plus, this show makes for some serious eye candy for all the sweet tooths out there. 

But with the "Great British Baking Show" having already taken so many by storm and the existence of shows like "Cake Wars" on Giada's own home network, it's possible "Winner Cake All" got lost in the mix. As of 2021, there were no plans announced for a second season of "Winner Cake All." But with so many other cooking and baking competition shows available on Food Network, there are always ways to see Chef De Laurentiis in action.

10. Food Network Star

There are few shows on Food Network as cutthroat and high-stakes as "Food Network Star." The show has produced some of the most popular celebrity chefs on TV today, including Jeff Mauro of "The Kitchen" and the one and only Guy Fieri. It makes sense that a show about becoming the next big sensation in food TV would eventually involve Giada De Laurentiis.

Even during the early seasons of the iconic show, you can catch De Laurentiis popping up in episodes to help with challenges or guest judging. But she really became a central figure on "Food Network Star," alongside Bobby Flay and Alton Brown, in 2011, when she became a full-time judge for season seven. Then, in season eight, the show changed its format and featured the contestants being divided into teams to be coached by each host, thereby creating two layers of competition. 

While it is entertaining to watch De Laurentiis offer up honest and blunt judgments and advice on the show and to see her fun, competitive side, "Food Network Star" falls lower down on our list because it's much more about the contestants than anything else. If you're looking to get a whole lot of Giada, you're better off picking another show on this list.

9. Giada in Paradise

If you like to see Giada De Laurentiis in her element outside of the kitchen, then "Giada in Paradise" is another show to add to your list. The show features De Laurentiis traveling to exotic (and quite frankly, fabulous) locations around the world and trying out food and drinks amid paradise — aka, what we dream about every day. It's like an over-the-top and overseas version of "Giada's Weekend Getaways." 

"Giada in Paradise" not only highlights the culinary traditions and popular dishes of its locales, but the show also explores the history and culture of each destination. You can easily use episodes of "Giada in Paradise" to help you plan your next dream vacation. 

This show falls lower in our ranking because it's slightly disjointed and there aren't very many episodes to enjoy. The first episode of "Giada in Paradise" was shot in Santorini, Greece, and aired in June 2007 as a Food Network special. Another episode, featuring Capri, Italy, aired a week later. Then, the show almost disappeared. "Giada in Paradise" debuted again in 2013, this time on the Cooking Channel, with four more episodes that took De Laurentiis to Bora Bora, Thailand, and Monaco. The newer episodes follow the same format as the early ones, albeit with much better production value.

8. Everyday Italian

Up next on our list is the show that started it all for Giada De Laurentiis, "Everyday Italian." This intimate cooking show features approachable and family-friendly Italian recipes and includes everything from simple favorites like lemon spaghetti to indulgent dishes like osso buco and classic lasagna. And there's plenty of dessert in the mix, too.

"Everyday Italian" was undoubtedly the show that launched De Laurentiis' television career. The pilot episode aired in 2003 after De Laurentiis was discovered by a Food Network producer. De Laurentiis has said in interviews that she initially turned down the offer for a show and was very nervous and insecure when she first started out on camera (via Bon Appétit). She told People, "I think I lost like five pounds in three days filming the pilot." 

While it's kind of fun to see De Laurentiis come across as shy and slightly awkward as she's first starting out, the show ran for 12 seasons, so viewers can also see how De Laurentiis grows as a chef and TV personality throughout the series. However, "Everyday Italian" falls behind the rest of the chef's shows in terms of production value and because of the complexity of many of the show's recipe ideas.

7. Giada on the Beach

When your appetite for all things summer rolls around, you can get your fix of fresh, warm weather recipes perfect for long days at the beach and al fresco dining from another Giada De Laurentiis production. 

In 2018, Food Network aired a seven-episode series called "Giada on the Beach," and it was packed with summertime dishes for any occasion while also bringing viewers along for her family's beach vacation. From her beach house kitchen with a killer view and also her poolside grill, De Laurentiis whips up recipes for a kids' pool party, a family pizza night, lazy weekend brunches, a sunset happy hour, and more. And like some of her other series, Giada's family sometimes joins in the kitchen to help.

"Giada on the Beach" is a short and sweet series with some fun summer treat ideas. And we're certainly envious of the chef's beachfront summer house with breathtaking views. However, it's certainly not the best of all of the Giada content out there.

6. Giada at Home

"Giada at Home" is pretty much everything you'd expect in a basic cooking show. Over the course of nine seasons, De Laurentiis invites viewers into her home kitchen as she prepares a range of dishes, from Italian classics to family favorites to her own unique creations. In most episodes, De Laurentiis is making food for some of her family and friends, either for an occasion or just a casual gathering. That's when it seems the chef is happiest and most content, and it shows throughout the episodes.

While not necessarily a ranking factor, it is interesting to point out how "Giada at Home" captures De Laurentiis' personal life, if you're paying attention. The show was filmed from 2008 to 2015, and features Giada's ex-husband, Todd Thompson, for earlier seasons and her new boyfriend, Shane McFarland, in later episodes.

What moved this show slightly further down our list is that it's so similar to several of De Laurentiis' other shows and a handful of other cooking shows on Food Network. If you're looking for the recipe ideas, you can get them straight from the "Giada at Home" webpage and switch to a more exciting show.

5. Giada's Weekend Getaways

Even earlier on in her career, Giada De Laurentiis did a lot more than just stand behind a stove. For an example of her earlier travels, look no further than "Giada's Weekend Getaways." As one of the chef's earlier shows on Food Network and her first prime time show, it features De Laurentiis visiting destination cities like Seattle, New York City, Miami, and everywhere in between. 

Over three-day weekends, De Laurentiis savors some of the best local fare in each city and hits up fun tourist stops in between. And from the looks of it, De Laurentiis seems to thoroughly enjoy digging in to the plates of food put in front of her, despite the rumors about her eating habits while filming

While it's likely that some of the restaurants De Laurentiis visits on the episodes of "Giada's Weekend Getaways" aren't around anymore, the show is still a fun and mouth-watering look at several must-visit destinations in the U.S., and that could certainly come in handy if you need ideas for your next getaway.

4. Giada's Holiday Handbook

"Giada's Holiday Handbook" is a close second in our ranking of Giada De Laurentiis' cooking shows. This show honestly feels a bit like a Christmas-themed spinoff of "Giada Entertains," but it turns out the opposite is true — "Giada's Holiday Handbook" actually debuted a year earlier, in 2015

Much like its successor, "Giada's Holiday Handbook" features De Laurentiis hosting friends and family for holiday gatherings in her home, where she shares her favorite recipes for cooking and baking during the season as well as decorating and entertaining tips to bring it all together. And also similarly to "Giada Entertains," "Giada's Holiday Handbook" features scrapbook graphic art to help bring to life De Laurentiis' culinary creations and theme party visions, making viewers feel like they are peeking into an actual handbook for a perfect holiday season (if only such a thing really existed!).

"Giada's Holiday Handbook" mostly covers Christmas, but there are several episodes throughout the show's five seasons that also cover Thanksgiving, and there's even a Halloween episode. The show is certainly as well produced as "Giada Entertains," but the latter comes out just a hair ahead, as it covers a much broader range of creative celebration ideas and recipes.

3. Giada Entertains

One thing that becomes clear after watching any of Giada De Laurentiis' shows is that her love for everyday hospitality goes beyond the kitchen. The caterer-turned-celebrity chef has made it clear that she also loves to entertain in general, and one of her best shows on Food Network is undoubtedly "Giada Entertains."

In the show, which ran from 2016 to 2019, De Laurentiis shares all her tips and tricks (and recipes, of course) for planning the perfect party, including ideas for invites, decorations, games, cocktails, and more. And with more than 50 episodes over five seasons, "Giada Entertains" holds a lot of entertaining inspiration for whatever kind of gathering you have in mind, whether it's family game night, a girls' night in, a simple backyard barbecue, and anything in between.

This show ranks pretty high on our list because it features not only delicious and creative recipes, but also fun and unique ideas that are easy to implement at home. Plus, "Giada Entertains" began more than a decade after De Laurentiis' career on television started, and her onscreen presence is poised, confident, and playful in every episode. Perhaps that's why the chef earned two Daytime Emmy awards for the show.

2. Bobby and Giada in Italy

If you've watched all of "Giada in Italy" and are still hungry for more "la dolce vita," you're in luck. There's yet another show that features Giada De Laurentiis living the sweet life in Italy, and this time it's with another celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. "Bobby and Giada in Italy," available to stream exclusively on Discovery+, consists of four hour-long episodes that follow De Laurentiis and her good friend Flay, also a longtime Food Network star, as they explore the food and culinary culture of Rome and Tuscany.

While the two chefs visit some of the best restaurants, farms, and shops that central Italy has to offer, the show's cameras capture the timeless magic of the country's landscapes and agriculture. On top of that, there's also plenty of mouthwatering closeups of the decadent Italian dishes that De Laurentiis and Flay both eat and cook. You'll finish the show with a huge craving for pasta and a full itinerary for your next trip to Italy. 

This show comes in near the top of our list because like "Giada in Italy," it has the perfect mix of food and fun. "Bobby and Giada in Italy" strikes the same balance between showcasing the delightful essence of Rome and Tuscany by taking us to their coolest spots while also giving us scenes of the chefs using their hands to make traditional Italian dishes. Plus, viewers learn a lot about the history of Italian food along the way.

1. Giada in Italy

The essence of Giada De Laurentiis' career as both chef and TV personality is rooted in her Italian heritage. So, if you want to see the chef in her element, watching "Giada in Italy" is a great place to start. 

The Food Network show, which aired for three seasons, showcases De Laurentiis cooking and enjoying eating in her favorite place on Earth. Throughout the episodes, De Laurentiis' visits several notable Italian cities from Florence to Positano, explores local restaurants and shops, and makes fresh, mostly simple, and always delicious-looking Italian dishes for her family and friends — sometimes on a fabulous Tuscan balcony, we might add.

"Giada in Italy" ranks at the top of our list because it showcases the best of Giada and the best of Italy, from the gorgeous glimpses of Italian landscapes and architecture to the tantalizing close-ups of the colorful ingredients coming together in the kitchen, not to mention De Laurentiis' knowledge of her birthplace and its foods.