Giada De Laurentiis, the Food Network star and cookbook author, said she's had to battle perceptions that she's not a serious cook because she is female and slim. "I don't think you have to look a certain way or act a certain way in order to be a good cook, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," she said. "It's not true. And plus Italian food is actually good, healthy, fresh food."

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