My husband and I were standing in line at the Dupont Circle Farmers' Market
on Sunday, waiting our turn to buy two beautiful bundles of asparagus. I was browsing the piles of fresh herbs and lettuces displayed on the table next to me, when all of a sudden Michael looked up and pointed off to my left.
"Hey, it's Giada," he said in a sort of hushed exclamation.
I looked up and saw her.
"Oh my goodness. It is!"
About 20 feet away from us and in plain view was Giada De Laurentiis
, star of Everyday Italian on the Food Network. She was buying something from a nearby vendor, all the while beaming that megawatt smile that is unmistakably Giada's.
As a resident of DC, I've seen a fair share of famous people: the past two presidents on a couple of occasions, and the current vice president on more occasions than I care to count. A few weeks ago I was briefly held up in traffic near the British Embassy. The Queen of England was visiting! It was just an ordinary weekday. I'm almost not phased by sightings of politically important people anymore. They're here, I'm here; I am bound to see them around once in a while.
But admittedly, I was a bit starstruck by Giada. I am a big fan of her shows and her style of cooking: good ingredients and classic flavors combined with uncomplicated style. There hasn't been a single recipe of hers that my husband and I have tried and didn't like. Her wonderful Stuffed Peppers
recipe, in fact, was the inspiration behind my desire to grow my own bell peppers
this year. (She is also extremely enthusiastic about anything with chocolate, hazelnuts, and amaretti cookies. This woman speaks my language!)
When we saw Giada at the market, with a camera crew following her every move, I kept telling myself, don't stare, don't stare.
But I stared. And other people were staring at her too. She was just as beautiful and smiley as she is on TV, and she seemed genuinely friendly. She hugged everyone on her crew before she got into the car to leave, and with a wave she cheerfully yelled, "Bye! Have fun you guys!" She was completely down to earth, which was pleasant to see in someone with star status.
Perhaps our farmers' market will come up on her show at some point. Who knows. Her visit definitely shook up an otherwise ordinary round of produce shopping, though, for those of us there who recognized her.[Update on 5/26/07: Washingtonian reported that she was in town filming an episode for the new season of Giada's Weekend Getaways, which will air on Food Network after the summer.]