my colleague and i went to the metropolitan cooking & entertaining show in dc. it was a lot of fun and a lot of free samples. we scored 1/2 price tickets to the giada session through "livingsocial" (one of those online coupon websites). because of that, we also got to skip the line. gloria hallelujah!
our seats were in the nose bleeds, but that was OK. you can see the big screen they put her up on. she is so tiny in real life. i'm not sure she eats anything she cooks. either that, or her metabolism is through the roof! (saw news for the boys reading this that just like the low-cut numbers she wears on tv - her scarf was strageically placed the entire time.)
during her set, she invited people up on stage with her. at first, no one wanted to volunteer. she was going to cook a pork loin (which i've decided i must do now) and wanted a male volunteer. this college-aged boy sitting a row behind us actually ran up to the front of the set trying to get her attention, but the older guy in my blurry image above must have been sitting closer - and he made it up there first. he reminded me a little of my dad (the older guy, not the college kid, sheesh), so i was ok with him beating the other guy. i imagine actually standing that close to giade might have been too much for the youngster anyway...
and then, after we finished with giada, we were allowed in to the expo portion for free! there were hundreds of vendors and stations to learn about cooking techniques. we saw some local "celebrity" chefs dissecting a full pig on stage (see above). and a couple of the peeps from top chef were hanging around too. (i don't really watch the show, so don't ask me for specifics.)
all in all, it was a great experience, and i'd totally go again. although, it was SO crowded. if i could figure out the best time to go to avoid the lines that'd be nice (though i'm guessing there is no such time...)