Though life is now peachy for Giada De Laurentiis, the celebrity chef recently admitted that one bad restaurant review once seriously shook her confidence.
The Food Network star recently revealed on the Eater Upsell podcast that New York Times food critic Pete Wells’ 2014 review of the opening of her eponymous Las Vegas restaurant “was not pretty,” going so far as to say the whole experience was “traumatic.”
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“I spent two days bawling my eyes out. He went a month after I opened, and of course he ripped it to shreds,” the celebrity chef recalled of Wells’ unflattering review. “I will tell you that I was immensely upset. It really killed me for a while.”
Describing De Laurentiis’ signature dish chicken cacciatore in his 2014 review, Wells called it “a puzzle whose pieces didn’t fit” with “browned, dry chicken pieces.” He also slamming the restaurant’s pizza and pasta, but De Laurentiis claims she accepted his opinion and moved on.
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“They’re after us. It’s fine. It is what it is,” De Laurentiis said of life as chef in the spotlight.
“It’s part of who we are. We open ourselves up to those critics. I feel like I have my iconic dishes, my restaurant does really well, I do my best to deliver great service and great food, and that is the job that I have,” she added.
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In addition to discussing the negative review, De Laurentiis opened up to Eater about her start in the restaurant industry; balancing her career and motherhood; and the sexual misconduct allegations fellow chef Mario Batali, which she said didn’t “come as a huge shock” to her.