Giada De Laurentiis plans to celebrate the holidays the way she always does: with pizza.

The chef and Food Network personality likes to put an Italian twist on her annual seasonal menus. Dishes like prosciutto-wrapped turkey, mashed potatoes, and chestnut stuffing make appearances on her dinner table year after year, but pizza might be the highlight.

“One of my favorite holiday memories as a kid was making [pizza] with my grandfather,” De Laurentiis tells BAZAAR.com. “He would make the dough from scratch, divide it up so we each had a dough ball, and then give us a bunch of toppings. And he would have all his kids get up there and make our own pizzas—top it, roll it out, the whole thing, cook it, and then we’d get to eat it. I think for me, that’s where I first realized I loved food, number one, and I loved how it made me feel.”

This year, holiday entertaining feels more meaningful than ever as friends and families can gather more safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. That sense of reunion and relief inspired De Laurentiis’s new collaboration with The Carousel at Bloomingdale’s, a pop-up shop called Happy Together Again featuring curated holiday kits stocked with the star chef’s cooking and entertaining essentials for the season.

“We missed our families for the last couple of years. I think that [the season has] become even more special than it was before. We’ve learned not to take things for granted. Our lives have been turned upside down, and it is wonderful to finally feel like it’s safe to be together again,” says De Laurentiis. ” So I thought this would be a great time to introduce these kits and to make this year the best holiday celebration ever. It’s basically bringing the dolce vita—the wonderful life—of Italy to your holiday entertaining table.”

SHOP GIADA’S GIADZY KITS




The pizza party kit contains Italian flour for the dough, plus a cherry tomato sauce handmade by a family in the south of Italy. Explains De Laurentiis, “I wanted to create your own pizza party, but with all of these fabulous Italian ingredients at home and to start creating those memories that have basically gotten me where I am today. I think now more than ever those memories are what is going to connect us throughout our lives. And they’re really, really important, because we don’t know when we’re going to get [the chance] again.”

Aside from planning a few sure-to-be-stellar holiday meals this year, what else is the Italian chef looking forward to in the coming months?

“I just went through a giant renovation that took me two years,” the chef admits. “I am just really excited to have everybody at my house. Not only because I haven’t been able to be with my extended family for the last two holidays, but also because I was in a rental and I felt a little displaced and my stuff was half in boxes. I’m just so happy to be unpacked and have all my family over for the holidays this year. I’m just thrilled.”

Happy Together Again is open through January 14 at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York City and also online at Bloomingdales.com.

Below, De Laurentiis shares her go-to recipe for Margherita Grandma Pizza.

Margherita Grandma Pizza

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