Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis is coming Wilmington

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Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis will be in Wilmington in January as part of a fundraiser for the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington.
Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis will be in Wilmington in January as part of a fundraiser for the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. (Photo courtesy of the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington).

WILMINGTON — Save your appetite. You could just be eating dinner served by celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis.

De Laurentiis will visit Wilmington in late January as part of a fundraising campaign for the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington.

According to a press release from the school, there are three events planned. De Laurentiis will personally prepare dinner in a private home for up to 15 couples. In addition, there will be two public meals, breakfast and lunch, at which De Laurentiis will supervise a staff of Wilmington chefs at the Country Club of Landfall.

The dinner event will be a “more intimate affair,” with wines, a multi-course gourmet menu and personalized “Giada-inspired” gifts, the release states.  

The breakfast event will be featured in a Food Network live broadcast, and the lunch event will include an auction of travel, art and entertainment items for bid.

Giada De Laurentiis was born in Rome. Her maternal grandfather was Dino De Laurentiis, who established Wilmington’s film production studios. Prior to that, however, he owned a restaurant in Italy, where his granddaughter’s interest in Italian cuisine was inspired.

Giada De Laurentiis’ longest running program, “Everyday Italian,” premiered on the Food Network in 2003. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host in 2008 and was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2012.

The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington is a single-gender school that opened in August with an inaugural class of 100 sixth graders. Often referred to as GLOW Academy, its mission is to close opportunity and achievement gaps for families with limited resources.

The school is an affiliate of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, a group of single-gender schools across the country that are guided by an educational model focused on academic rigor, personal responsibility and college preparedness, the release states.

De Laurentiis is not the first celebrity chef to lend talent in support of the school. In January 2016, Chef Emeril Lagasse visited to help raise funds for the school, which was still preparing to open. Lagasse is a friend of GLOW Academy Founder Judy Girard, the Wrightsville Beach and former head of the Food Network and HGTV. 

Girard once volunteered at The Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem and believed Wilmington, her adopted hometown, could benefit from the same kind of programs, she had said in past interviews.

The visit from De Laurentiis will take place on Jan. 26 and 27. Tickets can be purchased online.

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