Giada De Laurentiis and Bobby Flay have made their fair share of headlines over the years. Whether it’s about their hit cooking-competition show, Food Network Star, which they’ve cohosted together for 13 seasons, or the monthslong rumor the pair were dating (they aren’t, for the record), you can’t deny the chefs’ lives are interesting to follow.
The two are friends now, but that wasn’t always the case. According to De Laurentiis, she and Flay weren’t even speaking — for eight whole months.
On the podcast Beyond the Plate, De Laurentiis said it happened after she teamed up with Flay for Iron Chef America in 2006 to go head-to-head with fellow Food Network stars Rachael Ray and Mario Batali.
“We lost, and he thought it was funny,” De Laurentiis said. “He didn’t think it was any big deal that we lost. I did not talk to him for eight months — eight months! I did not. Nothing. Silence.”
Seems harsh, but the silent treatment was for good reason: De Laurentiis takes culinary competitions very seriously.
“It was a very big show, especially at that time, and I’ve cooked. I’ve gone to culinary school. I worked on my own dish all by myself, and I felt like he sort of half-assed it,” she continued. “It was just TV [to him]. I took it very seriously. I think Rachael took it very seriously, and I was really disappointed.”
The story doesn’t end there. Apparently, Flay’s reaction was less than savory.
“He didn’t say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry that we lost,’ or ‘Hey, you know we’ll do it again.’ Nothing,” De Laurentiis reveals. “He just, like, walked away, and I thought, ‘You’re a jerk, and I’m never — I never want to be around you again.’ Now, of course, we’re best buddies and we hang out, but…”
As De Laurentiis said, all’s well between the two; and aside from calling him a jerk, she only has pleasant words to say about Flay. Case in point: “I think that Bobby is one of those people that if you are his friend, he has your back forever, and he will stand up for you,” she said. “He’s one of those guys you can call in a pinch and he will get you out of it. He’s special in that sense.”
De Laurentiis has been making her rounds on her press tour for her recently released cookbook, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita.