Giada De Laurentiis Assigns Her Family Thanksgiving Dishes (Even Boyfriend Shane!) to Avoid Stress

"I know what their strengths are," Giada De Laurentiis says of the key to hosting the holidays

Giada talks holiday cooking pegged to pop up shop with Bloomingdales
Giada De Laurentiis in her new kitchen. Photo: Bloomingdales

Cooking a full Thanksgiving meal is stressful for anyone — even chefs.

Giada De Laurtentiis will be hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas in her new California home after two years of renovations. She tells PEOPLE the key to making it a successful Turkey Day is to ask for help, and to be specific about it.

"I tell people what to make in my family. I sort of know what their strengths are," says De Laurtentiis, who partnered up with Bloomingdales on their rotating pop-up shop, Happy Together Again, to curate foodie gifts for the holidays.

Her sister, Eloisa, is a pro at baking, and this year she'll be making De Laurentiis's chocolate-almond cheesecake. "I just give her the recipe, and I tell her what to make," the Food Network star explains. "She loves doing that, so I sort of empower her and her gift."

Giada talks holiday cooking pegged to pop up shop with Bloomingdales
The Carousel @ Bloomingdale’s: Happy Together Again shop. Bloomingdales

De Laurentiis's brother Igor is not as gifted in the kitchen, she admits, so he's assigned a "simple buttermilk cornbread" recipe to make from scratch, or he has the option to bring store-bought bread. "I'm not sure which one he does every year, it sort of depends on his enthusiasm," she laughs. "I don't ask any questions, I just roll with it."

Even De Laurtentiis's boyfriend of six years, Shane Farley, knows what he'll be making come Nov. 25. He's on mashed potato duty, and for a personal reason.

F:PHOTOReady RoomActionsInsert Take48637A1#Justin Coit675465 copy.jpg
Giada De Laurentiis and Shane Farley. Justin Coit

"Traditionally, my family, we've always made mashed potatoes with peas. We make the mashed potatoes, and then we put the peas in the middle, and we bake it," says De Laurentiis. "But Shane is terrified of peas. He does not like them, so we have swapped. I just said to him, 'If you don't want the peas like we do in my family, then you're going to have to make mashed potatoes.'"

De Laurtentiis says this strategy helps to "take some of the pressure off of me. And I also feel like it includes them more in Thanksgiving."

"When you bring something that you're proud of and make, it empowers everybody," she continues. "Otherwise, I just feel like I outshine everybody if I don't give them something to do. Because that way they feel like they're really part of the meal."

Giada talks holiday cooking pegged to pop up shop with Bloomingdales

De Laurtentiis is hoping to make the holidays even less stressful for her fans with her curated shop at Bloomingdales.

Happy Together Again is open from Nov. 4 through Jan. 14 at Bloomingdale's 59th street flagship location in New York City. There you'll find limited-edition Giadzy x Bloomingdale's boxes filled with gourmet foods imported from Italy. If you're outside of N.Y.C. you can also shop online.

The boxes work as gifts and some of the collections have everything you need to host a dinner party, or at least one element of it. (The full Dinner Party Alla Romana box retails for $175.)

"I also have a pizza kit for pizza night, because that's how I started this whole idea," she says. "My grandfather used to make pizza dough from scratch and then cut it up for all of us kids to make our own pizzas. That's where my love of cooking came from, and that's where some of my favorite memories come from growing up. So I thought I'd do a little pizza kit with Italian flour and Italian pizza sauce and Italian oregano, so people can start creating their own memories at home with these kits or give them as gifts."

Related Articles