Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis headlines Bridgeport Hospital event in Shelton

Nearly 140 people attended a Bridgeport Hospital Foundation event in Shelton with celebrity chef and cookbook author Giada De Laurentiis.

"An Evening with Giada" featured the Food Network star and was a wrap-up for the foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Hosted and presented by Bob and Barbara Scinto and R.D. Scinto Inc., the event included a VIP reception at Il Palio Restaurant and a discussion moderated by Diane Sembrot, editor of Fairfield Living magazine, at the neighboring R.D. Scinto Auditorium.

Dietary advice

"You eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything," was De Laurentiis' advice to the audience for enjoying food while staying trim, adding that limiting sugar, dairy and packaged foods also is key to a healthy diet.

She offered an approach to making healthier selections when eating in a restaurant, such as ordering appetizers only, eating half of the meal served and taking the rest home, and sharing dishes with others.

'Timely and important'

Steve Jakab, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation president, said the appearance of De Laurentiis was timely.

"Healthy eating — or more precisely, the absence of it — is a significant issue in our community, so Giada's visit is timely and important,” Jakab said when introducing De Laurentiis at the auditorium event.

"Through her shows and books, she has become synonymous with healthy home cooking that tastes fabulous,” he said.

Guests at the event received complimentary, signed copies of Giada's latest book, “Giada's Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets.”

Foundation raises funds for better care

Since the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation was established in 1988, donors have given more than $120 million to help the hospital care for its patients and deliver a wide variety of health programs to the community.

To reinvigorate its fund-raising efforts in the face of increased financial pressures triggered by cutbacks in state and federal funding, the foundation formed an independent board of trustees earlier this year.

The private, nonprofit Bridgeport Hospital has 383 licensed beds plus 42 beds licensed under Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, more than 2,600 employees, nearly 600 active attending physicians, more than 460 volunteers and 380 auxiliary members.

The hospital is part of the Yale New Haven Health System and operates the state’s only burn center.