March 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM ET
Inspired by the stories of her grandfather and her own experiences growing up, celebrity chef and best-selling author Giada De Laurentiis is coming out with her own children’s book series in the fall.
Titled “Recipe for Adventure,’’ the series will detail the journey of siblings Alfie and Emilia and their culinary experiences in great food cities around the world. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), the first installment will be released on Sept. 3. The Food Network host of “Giada at Home’’ and frequent TODAY guest is targeting the books to readers ages 7 to 10.
“I come from a big Italian family, and if there is one thing they love more than food, it is storytelling - very often interrelated!” De Laurentiis told TODAY.com. “I loved listening to my grandfather's elaborate tales of all the places he had been and all the food he had tasted along the way, and I couldn't wait to explore and see and take in all those amazing places he talked about.’’
Books also had a strong influence on De Laurentiis when her family moved from Italy to the United States during her youth.
“When I moved from Italy to the US when I was a kid, I remember thinking ‘This is it! It all starts now!’’’ she said. “But for a long time I just felt different and I struggled with fitting in. To escape, I would immerse myself in books and let them just carry me away. Eventually, I figured out how to connect and express myself, and now I have my own exciting story that I am living.”
De Laurentiis also has a young reader at home who has inspired her to break into the realm of children’s books.
“My daughter, Jade, loves nothing more than when I tell her of my own tales of where I have been and what I have tasted along the way,’’ she said. “She is a huge inspiration as to why I wanted to write a series, but I also wanted to connect with those kids out there that maybe are feeling different and learning how to conquer that, and also to those kids that have a hunger for adventure. I wanted to carry on that tradition of storytelling by sharing some of my own experiences and recipes and let them know that adventure is always a footstep (and a page turn) away!”
As of now, the series will consist of four books, with the first two due to come out together. Her two most recent books, “Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California,” and “Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner,” reached the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.