Posted May 12, 2012 @ 12:36 PM
I guess that I have to respectfully disagree. I always enjoy the banter between Giada and Aunt Raffi. It seems natural and not a lot of scripted BS, plus I like the fact that Aunt Raffi actually knows how to cook. (Usually, guests on FN shows are some bumbling doofus who doesn't even know how to crack an egg.) They always have an ongoing battle of wills about Giada wanting to alter a recipe and Raffi doesn't want for her to. I did see an episode where Giada WAS actually on the borderline of being rude and disrespectful and Raffi snapped at her and called her out on it. Ever since that episode, Giada has been much more restrained around her aunt.
I noticed today that when they made the risotto pie and spinach loaf that Giada stated that she did not change the recipe at all. A neighbor came to my door while I was watching the show so I was distracted, but it sounded like Giada and Raffi were having some type of disagreement over the additional of Parmesan cheese to something. (I'll have to watch my recording later.)
The premise behind Giada's Italian-themed shows has always been to demonstrate how she puts her own touch on a classic Italian dish, or creates new ways to cook with traditional Italian flavors. Granted, I think she overdoes it with lemons and fennel... However, I agree that a family recipe is exactly that and by changing out the ingredients to flaunt your skills as a professionally-trained chef, or just for the sake of being "right," "different," etc. deviates from what you are trying to achieve in the first place. This is the second time those two have done an homage to "Nonna" show.
Regarding Giada's figure, I've noticed the opposite. I watch old episodes of "Everyday Italian" on TCC and for starters, she looked at least a good 10-15 pounds heavier and her boobs were huge, especially for somebody with her petite frame. I thought that after she had Jade that she went on some extreme diet. It's obvious that she's lost a lot of weight and her bustline seems to look more in proportion to the rest of her body. She's also been dressing more modestly, so we don't see blinding cleavage. That dress she had on today had a plunging neckline and wasn't the best color for her. Again, I'll look more closely when I watch my recording later.
What I saw of the recipes today makes me want to go out and try them. The artichoke dish looked like too much trouble, but if I could find a way to reduce the quantity of the risotto pie and spinach loaf, I'd made them in a second!