How Bobby Flay May Have Helped Giada De Laurentiis Land Her Food Network Show

It's hard to imagine Food Network without Giada De Laurentiis. The celebrity chef certainly has come a long way since her "Everyday Italian" days. After her debut cooking show's success, she went on to host many Food Network shows, including "Giada at Home" (via Food Network). She was a judge and mentor on "Food Network Star," regularly appeared on other shows on the channel, and, if that wasn't enough, also has a few cookbooks and restaurants to her name, per her official website. De Laurentiis' career wouldn't be what it is today without her long-standing relationship with Food Network.

But while she has her talent, charisma, and hard work to thank for her fame, she also has Bobby Flay. According to Showbiz CheatSheet, Flay's "vote of confidence" helped persuade Food Network executives to add De Laurentiis to their cooking show lineup. When asked to provide feedback on her audition tape, Flay had nothing but positive things to say about her, per the entertainment website. "She's really pretty. She seems like she's good," Flay reportedly said at the time, according to Allen Salkin, author of the Food Network history book "From Scratch" (via Showbiz CheatSheet). Apparently, that was just what the network needed to hear to give De Laurentiis the green light.

How did Giada De Laurentiis land an audition with Food Network?

Before Giada De Laurentiis became a force on Food Network, she was a caterer and personal chef in Los Angeles who worked as a food stylist on the side (via Parade). At that point in her career, she was hardly a household name. But in 2002, Food & Wine magazine published an article featuring her famous family and their Italian cooking. The article got Food Network's attention right away, and De Laurentiis was given an audition. "The person in charge of pro­gramming called me into her office and asked me to look at something," Flay recounted to Parade. "She put in a tape, and it was Giada. I said, 'This girl is going to be a star.'"

Though Flay and Food Network immediately fell in love with De Laurentiis' on-screen presence, it took time for viewers to warm up to her. "My looks were a big part of it," De Laurentiis told Parade. "When you don't fit the image people have [of a chef], it's difficult to break that wall down." But break that wall down she did. And in the end, Flay's prediction was spot on.