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Celeb chef Giada 'overwhelmingly excited' to cook for royal couple

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When she was offered the chance to cook for a charity polo event, celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis was more than happy to say yes. Little did she know that she’d be cooking for the world’s most famous newlyweds.

“I had no idea the royal couple would be attending,” she said. “And when I finally found out it was actually kind of a bummer.  I couldn’t tell anyone – I had to keep it hush-hush until their California itinerary was released!”

De Laurentiis was finally able to spill the beans this week, and says her girlfriends “freaked out” about the news. “They couldn’t believe I didn’t tell them. Everyone tells you that they would have kept the secret. But they are all extremely ecstatic for me,” she tells TODAY.com in her first interview about the event.

The charity match will be held at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, Calif., on July 9, and Prince William himself will be playing. De Laurentiis is tasked with whipping up a delicious lunch for around 3,600 people. So how did she get hooked up with such a prestigious gig?

“I believe that everything happens through a golf game,” she quipped. “Someone who plays golf with someone who plays golf with someone threw my name in the pot!”

De Laurentiis gave us a tasty sampler of what will be on the menu:

  • A “light and colorful” pea pesto crostini, featuring pureed peas on toast, topped with half a cherry tomato each 
  • California chopped salad with a mix of grilled lettuces, grilled corn, grilled shrimp, zucchini and crispy tortillas in a light lemon dressing
  • Chicken Milanese, which features breaded chicken cutlets in a creamy tomato fennel sauce

She says she chose some of her favorite dishes that were representative of California cuisine, and that would play well off the summer season.  

The petite Italian chef and mother of one says she is “overwhelmingly excited” and that it's a "dream come true" to be feeding Will and Kate, but says she does feel the pressure of cooking for such a high-profile event.

“I’m just nervous about new people tasting my food,” she laughed. “Any chef feels that way when people who aren’t in their circle eat their food for the first time – you always cringe until the first bite happens.”

And while she doesn’t know whether she will personally get to meet the royal couple, De Laurentiis says the most exciting part for her is the chance to “catch a glimpse of their reactions as they are tasting my food.”

Now all she has to do is figure out what to wear. "I'm thinking modern-day 'Pretty Woman,'" she said.

Click here to get more of Giada's recipes.

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