Why Giada De Laurentiis Believes Femininity Helped Her Succeed In The Restaurant Industry

In a world of Bobby Flays and Guy Fieris, there can only be one Giada De Laurentiis. Known as the queen of Italian cooking, the Food Network personality has been on air since 2003 and has created quite a name for herself. Throughout her near-20-year stint in the food industry, De Laurentiis has continued to rack up an impressive resume. A top career highlight? Being the first woman to own a restaurant on the Las Vegas strip with her name on the marquee sign (via ELLE).

De Laurentiis said she never pigeon-holed herself into the title "female chef." Rather, she was just a chef. However, it became hard to turn a blind eye when it was so blatantly obvious her male counterparts were being offered much grander opportunities more easily.

"I have to kind of fall back a little bit on my femininity," she said in regards to seeking change in the food industry (via ELLE). For De Laurentiis, the secret to building her prosperous Las Vegas restaurant, eponymously named Giada, was honing in on the thing that sets her apart from every other restaurant or eatery on the strip: being a woman. "[Femininity] is something that I have to offer that men don't have. What makes you unique is sort of what makes you last overtime," she said to the publication.

Crashing the "boy's club" didn't scare De Laurentiis. It only motivated her to work harder.

So, how did De Laurentiis break the glass ceiling and earn her spot on the Las Vegas strip? She not only learned the game, she mastered it. And all the politics that come with it, including making her family a priority.

According to NBC, filming happened in New York at the time, meaning her show Giada at Home couldn't literally be shot at Giada's Los Angeles home. With her whole life and family rooted in LA, that wasn't going to fly. "I basically said from day one: I either shoot them in LA, or I don't shoot them at all." This "unheard of request" allowed her to focus on her bustling career while also being a family woman, which is a part of herself she wasn't willing to give up, no matter the consequences.

When it comes to words of encouragement for her fellow female food entrepreneurs, it's pretty straightforward, and in a way, sadly disheartening. She told ELLE magazine in 2014, it's comparable to a game of chess. You watch and learn. This mentality coupled with striking harder, bigger, and faster than your opponent isn't a new concept for women in the workforce. But, if you're going to tear a page out of anyone's book, let it be from De Laurentiis'. As a New York Times bestselling author of nine cookbooks, Emmy winner, Food Network host, and successful restaurateur, she's obviously doing something right (via Giada De Laurentiis).