Busting Chops and Talking Ink with Nadia G
From the first time we laid eyes on Nadia Giosia (better known to the cooking world as Nadia G) hosting her web series Bitchin’ Kitchen we were left with one question on our minds—how in the world can she cook in those enormous heels?
“It’s definitely challenging, you have to find the right pair,” Giosia says with a laugh. “I have this one pair that I’m just crazy about, these platforms that are 6-7 inches high. There’s not too much of an incline so they are still sexy and give you that height but you aren’t in too much pain. That’s the key with footwear, you have to find a pair that doesn’t make you want to kill yourself.”
Hopefully those shoes that she is so in love with are good for walking since Giosia’s new Cooking Channel show, Bite This with Nadia G, takes her and the whole Bitchin’ Kitchen crew on the road to check out cuisine all over America. To break the ice with the new people that she was meeting for the show the quick witted Giosia turned to a tactic that has always served her well—busting balls.
“We needle people to get them to express themselves,” Giosia explains. “We ask a bunch of strange questions in an attempt to catch chefs off guard. It’s those special little moments when I’m goofing off that make this show different from the other travel shows.”
It’s that in-your-face attitude that has allowed Giosia to gain stardom and, much to her delight, greatly expand her shoe closet. After spending years working in sketch comedy Giosia saw that she would need to come up with an original angle to succeed, then she had the epiphany to combine her comedy skills with her love of cooking.
Growing up with an Italian family in Montreal food was always front-and-center in Giosia’s household; she jokes that it was often their only medium for personal expression. Cooking with her mom and aunt was a rambunctious and messy experience with cutting jokes and errant ingredients flying around the kitchen in equal quantities. In the same way that she has held on to recipes for the delicious comfort food her mother made, Giosia relied on passed down wisdom from her family when recreating that environment for her show. She felt the need to spice things up after watching other cooking shows and seeing an overly sterilized and whitewashed version of a kitchen. In other words, a kitchen that Giosia doesn’t believe exists outside of television studios.
“It’s so weird how cooking has become associated with this image of a picture perfect soccer mom making sandwiches for the kids,” says Giosia. “You know, lots of different people like to cook–the freaks, the punks, the weirdos out there all love to have a great dish. I think we have got to cut the pretension out of it and just learn to have a good time. It’s only food.”
The kitchen has always been a place where those with a wild past can always count on a job and accordingly it’s also a good place to find some damn fine ink. Look under almost any chef’s coat and you are sure to find more than a few tattoos and Giosia is no different. One of her more prominent tattoos is script on her arm reading “Hungry,” it seem fitting since that’s how people feel after watching any of her programs.
“The funny thing about that tattoo is that whenever I wear a three-quarter length sleeve it just says ‘Hung,’” Giosia jokes. “I didn’t think about that aspect of it but whatever, it’s a pretty great tattoo that fits my personality. I’m a hungry person in every sense of the word.”
Since she spends so much time in the kitchen preparing food, Giosia noticed that her beloved bracelets were getting a little bit funky. Finding a bit of bacon hours later may be a nice treat but discovering flakes of raw meat on your arm is a lot less appetizing. The key was finding a solution that allowed Giosia to keep looking stylish but to avoid the ickiness of food covered bracelets; Mojo Foster was able to provide that solution with his tattoo machine and a bit of ink.
“I got a photorealistic piece on my left wrist of the stack of bracelets I used to wear on Bitchin’ Kitchen,” says Giosia. “I’m super stoked about this tattoo because now I don’t have to fucking fuss with my jewelry anymore. Boom! Done. My stack of bracelets is always there.”
Both convenience and fashion always come with some sort of cost; in this case it was a great deal of pain. There’s not a whole lot of meat on Giosia’s wrists and she said that she could feel the pain all the way in her teeth during the 6-hour session. It’s that minor bit of PTSD that is making her hold off on getting a photorealistic tattoo of her necklace, at least for now. She is so in love with the ink that it probably won’t be long before she forgets all of the pain and visits Foster again.
Another benefit of having perma-jewelry tattooed into her skin is that Giosia could devote more of her precious luggage space to clothes as she filmed Bite This. Having extra clothes was especially beneficial given the Olympic-style eating that Giosia endured.
“I’m just trying to find a way to not get too sweaty and rotund during the process of filming Bite This,” Giosia jokes. “I will tell you that I no longer fit in the clothes that I left for the filming in, let me put it that way (laughs). It’s delicious but you have to have the stomach for it, quite literally.”
As Giosia was worried about her waistline expanding it turns out that her knowledge of American cuisine was what really grew. Part of what made her love doing the show was finding love for places she had never even considered visiting, like Louisville, Ky.
“One of the things that I had always loved about Kentucky was that I had never had to go there,” Giosia says. “After I got there and got to know some chefs I found out that it was an incredible place. Their farm-to-table philosophy is not just a pretty sticker on a Whole Foods label; they actually go hard with it over there. They know all of their farmers and it’s the real deal. I was really impressed by how genuine their chefs are and how unpretentious the cooking is.”
With her schedule busier than ever—travelling around the country and eating all of its riches is a full-time job—Giosia feels that it is important that she remember to take the time to relax whenever she can. She uses one of her tattoos, an anatomically correct heart with a crown on top of it, as a reminder that she needs to relax from time-to-time.
“Even though career is important you still need to focus on matters of the heart and having a good time,” Giosia explains. “Doing those things that you love to do. Although my current life is incredible one also has to be able to have a good time, you know?”
For Giosia this means picking up a bunch of art supplies and going to town on some canvases. In what may seem to be an effort to prove that she is a modern day Renaissance woman Giosia also picks up the guitar from time-to-time for her YouTube series “Learn to Play Shitty Guitar with Nadia G.”
Sure, she may bust their chops and have a good time while doing so, but what Giosia is hoping to do in Bite This is to find the heart of the people that create each region’s signature cuisine.
“Ultimately, food is an expression of ourselves and an expression of ourselves and an expression of our personality,” Giosia explains. “When we get to know the chefs a little bit it makes the food taste just that much better.”
If you want to know even more about Giosia and her adventures throughout America tune in to Bite This with Nadia G as it airs on the Cooking Channel Monday nights at 10 pm. Just don’t try to keep up with her eating or her wit as you watch; even in 3-inch stilettos Giosia can run circles around you.