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Lidia Bastianich Has Some Tips for the Next Generation of Chefs and Restaurateurs

Lidia Bastianich Has Some Tips for the Next Generation of Chefs and Restaurateurs

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While I was dining at New York City’s Felidia with Lidia Bastianich herself, a server came over to introduce one of the restaurant’s well-known pasta dishes.

“This is pasta ravioli filled with fresh pecorino and pear puree…” he began.

“It’s grated pear puree,” Bastianich interrupted gently, demonstrating her intimate knowledge of the menu at her restaurant.

“Yes, grated pears — sorry about that — and it’s finished with black pepper,” the waiter flushed, likely wanting to crawl into a hole.

“The reason that grating the pears is so important is that they’re not cooked beforehand,” Bastianich explained. “They’re grated raw and cooked in the ravioli so they don’t become mushy. It helps them retain some bite.”

Lidia Bastianich, America’s adopted Italian grandmother and one of the original celebrity chefs, probably doesn’t need to know exactly what’s on the menu at Felidia. After all, the restaurant has its own executive chef, and she’s busy running her own culinary empire. Her face can be found on cookbooks, restaurants, TV shows, and on a line of sauces and pastas dried in Italy. She also just released her latest children’s cookbook, Nonna Tell Me A Story: Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure, a combination cookbook and storybook featuring kid-friendly dishes like ricotta frittata and egg drop soup. The book is the third in a series of semi-autobiographical children’s books inspired by her grandchildren.

Chef Bastianich’s plate is not just full — it’s overflowing. But being intimately involved in every single one of her projects, she says, ensures consistent quality.

“The one thing is you’ve got to do is deliver every time,” says Bastianich. “You’d better give them the best: give them what you promised. Like my pastas: they’re pieces of Lidia that go out to somebody that might never get to meet me. They’re getting the flavor of Lidia, and it has to be perfect.”

This is not only her own personal methodology: it’s also the advice she gives to chefs who want to open a restaurant, especially in New York City, where the rents are staggeringly high and the competition to catch the attention of New Yorkers and reviewers is fierce.

Keeping up with New Yorkers and approaching perfection at Felidia’s has multiple facets. Chef Bastianich shapes her menu around in-season produce, and she’s constantly refreshing the menus at her restaurants. She also keeps a keen eye on what her customers want (Felidia’s now features many gluten-free and vegetarian options), and she’s always eager to impart her vast Italian culinary knowledge to chefs and customers. During my visit to Felidia’s, for instance, I learned the proper process for drying out pasta (from the inside out is best), and that spaghetti chitarra is a traditional pasta variety from the Abruzzo region in Italy, made by rolling the dough over a device that looks like a guitar.

Interview with Lidia Bastianich – Part 1 and a recipe for Rice and Zucchini Crostata (Torta di Riso e Zucchine)

Julia&rsquos inspiration on Lidia&rsquo s television career was evident. &ldquoI love to communicate a way of life, a passion, a message. It is what Julia did so well. It was never about her. Some chefs that are on television, it is all about them. That is why Julia was so great. She was interested in the viewers and getting something going in the kitchen. If she made a mistake, she let it go. If I have a hole in the pasta, I patch it. It is okay. It happens. I am comfortable with that.&rdquo

How does she remember James Beard from those days? &ldquoHe was certainly way ahead of his time. He was a big man, heavy and quite jovial. He was always very proper and wore a bow tie.&rdquo

Of all of the different businesses Lidia has owned over her vast career, what has been the most challenging? Restaurants. She said this with no hesitation. &ldquoThere are so many ways to fail. You can have the best chef, but not the ability to manage people and you will fail.&rdquo

As one business opportunity has led to another during her journey, she says, &ldquoIt is all about getting the right people together. Talented, &lsquoI can do that&rsquo people. I look for passion and a willingness to get in and roll up your sleeves and make it happen. People who believe in something is more important than having people who come to work fully prepared and equipped and set in their ways. I am committed to the people that work for me. Once you built the trust of people, there is also understanding. You fuel their talent. You have to have a vision and be a mentor. They need to respect you.&rdquo

Part II of my discussion with Lidia Bastianich will cover more about her food philosophy, the importance of family, and where we are headed with cooking and food.

With Chef Fortunato Nicotra and Lidia Bastianich at Felidia

We had lunch at Felidia before meeting Lidia and had the pleasure of being introduced to Executive Chef Fortunato Nicotra who has been at Felidia since 1995. Nicotra earned a Michelin Star at the age of 23 at Villa Marchese Restaurant in Milazzo, Sicily. Since his arrival at Felidia, the restaurant has received numerous accolades including earning three stars from Ruth Reichl of the New York Times just three months after Chef Nicotra arrived. Felidia was named by Wine Spectator as one of the &ldquoTop Ten Italian Restaurants in the United States&rdquo in 1998. In 2008, USA Today&rsquos Jerry Shriver said Felidia was #2 in his year-end round up of best restaurants in the world.

Our lunch at Felidia was one of our highlights while visiting New York City. The beautiful scallop appetizer I had (no photo) was exceptional. The Nantucket scallops were perfectly seared and incredibly sweet. Chef Nicotra said they cannot always get those scallops, but they are very special when they do. I also had Tonno, Yellow Fin Tuna &ldquoPalermitana&rdquo. The fish was grilled on just one side, served rare with roasted fennel and an Agrodoci Sauce.

A few of our dishes from lunch at Felidia

Mr. B had a gorgeous seafood dish, Grigliata Di Pesce, with scallops, lobster, calamari, shrimp and razor clams. Everything was presented beautifully and perfectly cooked. The quality of the ingredients was evident in every course. We only took a few photographs with the iPhone so that we would not disturb other diners, but each dish that arrived outdid the one before it.

I have made several of Lidia&rsquos recipes at home and they have been excellent. I would like to share one with you here, Torta di Riso e Zucchine (Rice and Zucchini Crostata). This dish did have a few steps, but the results were outstanding. We ate it as a main course with a salad since it was quite satisfying. It would also be perfect to serve as a first course or appetizer. The following notes about the recipe are from Lidia:

This is a generously proportioned version of the delicious rice-and- zucchini crostata, or tart, that my cousin prepared when our family first visited Genova, nearly fifty years ago. She made hers in a small baking pan, and mine is the same, only bigger! I use a half-sheet baking pan (a jelly-roll pan will work, too) lined with the olive-oil-based dough that has no leavening, is easy to make, and fantastic to roll. The large size of this crostata is necessary, I find, because the crostata disappears right away.

Whether I put it on a buffet in bite-sized party pieces, bring it to a picnic, or serve it as a plated appetizer or main course with salad, everyone loves it&mdashand has to have another piece. And in the unlikely event you do have leftovers, they can be frozen and reheated&mdashjust as good as when freshly baked.

The procedure is straightforward and quick, though there&rsquos one important (and interesting) step you must leave time for: steeping the uncooked rice with the shredded zucchini. Since squash is a watery vegetable and rice is dry and starchy, this steeping allows the rice to extract most of the vegetable water from the zucchini. In this way, the grain is softened enough to cook during the baking time, and without absorbing all the liquid from the ricotta and milk. The result is a moist, creamy, and flavorful filling.

Buon Appetito!

What a great month it has been.

The National Women’s History Project has done another stellar job in highlighting the accomplishments of women this Women’s History Month by using their platform to show how the achievements of women matter to us all.

Word cloud: Presidential Proclamation — Women’s History Month, 2016

You may not realize it, but National’s Women’s History Month is a big deal. So big, it gets a Presidential proclamation each March. Here’s an excerpt of President’s Obama final Women’s History Month proclamation of his term:

“Throughout history, women have driven humanity forward on the path to a more equal and just society, contributing in innumerable ways to our character and progress as a people. In the face of discrimination and undue hardship, they have never given up on the promise of America: that with hard work and determination, nothing is out of reach. During Women’s History Month, we remember the trailblazers of the past, including the women who are not recorded in our history books, and we honor their legacies by carrying forward the valuable lessons learned from the powerful examples they set.”

There are many past and present women trailblazers that are so deserving of recognition. They are the bright lights among us that have illuminated a range of paths that we can now follow.

As a food journalist, I certainly have a hearty appetite for stories about women who have broke bread and shattered plates in the traditionally male dominated culinary world. They are a resilient and scrappy lot who cook with veracity, and simmer with determination and resolve.

More is certainly being written about women in the culinary world. They are quickly emerging as the newest culinary rock stars, shining as bright as their male counterparts who have enjoyed the lion’s share of media attention. And there will be more. The “wings” are full of them as the next generation of new female chefs is making their way through the ranks as senior chef, sous-chef, and executive sous-chef. Many of them hale from elite culinary institutes and work in some of the nation’s best restaurants. They are poised and ready to rock.

Pioneering Women

But who are some of the women who’ve paved the way for the next generation of women chefs? There are quite a few. And when you do a search on all the “who’s who lists of pioneering female chefs,” there are six women who pretty much consistently appear on all of the lists I found. They are (in no particular order):

    – American chef, PBS television personality and author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia is credited with demystified French cooking for American home cooks. – American chef, author, restaurateur, television personality, cookware mogul, and cooking and lifestyle expert. Her down to earth and cost effective cooking style has made her a household name. – American chef, author and host of the Emmy Award Winning PBS TV show Lidia’s Family Table. Her forte is Italian and Italian-American food. – American restaurateur, author, lifestyle guru and host of the nationally syndicated television show B. Smith With Style. Her specialty is southern-style cuisine. B. is currently suffering from Alzheimer disease and fighting valiantly. – American chef, author, restaurateur, and food activist. Her specialty is seasonal farm-to-plate fresh foods. Her Berkley, California restaurant has been consistently ranked among the world’s best restaurants. – White House Executive Chef. The Filipino-American chef joined the Clinton administration as a sous chef in 1995. She was appointed White House Executive Chef by First Lady Laura Bush in 2005. In 2011 she was reappointed to serve as White House Executive Chef by First Lady Michelle Obama.

A star in the White House

Cristeta Comerford is certainly a shining star among this list. If the culinary world were to celebrate Women’s History Month and the accomplishments of women in their field, she would be an exemplary choice.

Cristeta Comerford, White House Executive Chef. Photo credit:

Many of the dishes Chef Comerford prepares for the First Family are inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden. The First Lady planted the garden on the South Lawn in 2009 to inspire the nation to make healthier food choices, develop healthy eating habits in children, and reduce the epidemic of obesity.

Here’s one of Chef Comerford’s garden inspirations. Its broccoli soup and you can’t get any simpler than that. It’s nutritious, delicious, soothing, filling and budget friendly. Try it and channel your “inner White House Executive Chef.” I made it, loved and wanted to share a few of my notes:

  1. Use 6-7 cups of chicken stock instead of 8.
  2. Simmer for 30 minutes instead of 20. It took a bit more time for the broccoli stems to get tender.
  3. If you want a thicker consistency, don’t strain the soup. Keep all the creamy goodness. It helps to thicken the soup.
  4. A little crushed red pepper. It gives it a nice kick. Add it to taste after you blend the broccoli stem soup mixture.
  5. Stir in a little Mexican sour cream if you want a little extra creaminess.

Chef Comerford Creamy Broccoli Soup

White House Broccoli Soup, from my kitchen to yours

1 tablespoon butter
6 garlic cloves, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 small onion, sliced
2 heads broccoli, stems sliced, and green tips reserved for puree
8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium-size saucepan, over medium heat, add the garlic, shallots, leeks, onion and thyme. Sweat in the butter until fragrant.

Add the broccoli stem slices and saute until softened.

Pour in the chicken stock and bay leaf and simmer for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, blanch the broccoli tips in a pot of boiling water over medium heat until bright green. Remove the tips from the water and “shock” in a bowl of iced water.

Drain the green tips and puree in a blender. Set aside.

Remove the bay lea and thyme sprig. Puree the broccoli stem soup mixture in a blender and strain through a fine chinoise into a large serving bowl. (I blended the soup in the pot using an immersion blender and decided not to strain because it have the soup more substance and thickness.)

30 Years of NOIAW. Celebrating the Milestone with Lidia Bastianich and Family

On June 10, 2010, the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) will hold its 30th Anniversary Gala at the Waldorf=Astoria, honoring the Bastianich family members Lidia Bastianich, Joseph Bastianich, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Nonna Erminia and grandchildren for their outstanding contributions to Italian culture in America. 

NOIAW is recognizing the members of the Bastianich family in following with NOIAW’s mission to recognize Italian American women who have made outstanding achievements in their fields, positive contributions to their communities, and who are also strong role models to the next generation of Italian American women. NOIAW also enjoys the opportunity to recognize the men who have been integral to the efforts of such remarkable women.  
NOIAW Chairwoman and Founder Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey said of the honorees, “as we celebrate our organization’s 30 year milestone and the rise of the next generation of our members, we are proud to honor the accomplishments of three generations of the Bastianich family. Inspired by matriarch Nonna Erminia’s devotion to her heritage, daughter Lidia Bastianich, and her children, Joe and Tanya, have built their family business into an epicurean empire which continues to spread the tastes of authentic Italian culture throughout the United States. We are proud to honor them for their success in promoting our heritage and for being such an outstanding example of an Italian family.”

Working together, the Bastianich family has authored nine books, established 19 restaurants, four vineyards, a travel tour company, a television production company, and several product lines—all based on bringing the best of Italian cuisine and family culture to the United States.
The proceeds from the Gala will help to support NOIAW programs such as the Mentor Program which pairs young Italian American women with established professionals as mentors the Scholarship Program which provides financial assistance to students so that they may realize their dreams and the Cultural Exchange Program which sends young Italian American women on educational group trips to Italy. For NOIAW members, the organization offers ongoing cultural, social, and networking programs and events.

The event will be held on the evening of June 10, 2010, in the Starlight Roof Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, and will feature a menu by Lidia with wines from the Bastianich vineyards. Ticket prices begin at $300. For more information, or to order tickets, please call NOIAW at (212) 642-2003 or visit NOIAW's events page 
Lidia Bastianich is one of the best-loved chefs on television, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Her cookbooks include, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy and Lidia’s Italy–both companion books to the Emmy-nominated television series, Lidia’s Italy as well as Lidia’s Family Table, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia’s Italian Table and La Cucina di Lidia. Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants—Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s in Pittsburgh and Kansas City.
She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high-quality broadcast productions including Lidia’s Italy. Together with her son Joseph, she produces award-winning wines at their Bastianich Vineyards in Friuli.
2007 signified a true benchmark in Lidia’s career, as she had the esteem honor of cooking for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI during his travels to New York. Looking ahead to the fall of 2010, Lidia will release her first children’s book, soon to be a holiday classic, “Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen.” Perhaps the single most important quality that Lidia shares is her belief that it’s not only the food on the table that makes the meal, it’s the people who join around the table who bring the meal to life. Her signature line: “Tutti a tavola a mangiare!” means “Everybody to the table to eat!”. This common phrase, in its simplicity, could possibly be Lidia’s true recipe for success.
Joe Bastianich’s life charts a culinary adventure that ends with this nice Italian boy becoming one of America’s premier restaurateurs and winemakers.

Following a year working in finance on Wall Street, Joe spent a year traveling through Italy, working in restaurants and on vineyards, digging himself deeper into his rich heritage. Upon returning to New York, he partnered with his mother, Chef Lidia Bastianich, to open Becco, which quickly became a New York City favorite.  Soon after, Joe became partners with Mario Batali and together they established some of New York’s best restaurants, including the legendary Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, Lupa Osteria Romana, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamόn, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria and the much storied Del Posto. Along the way, he has conquered Las Vegas with Enoteca San Marco, B&B Ristorante and Carnevino, and Los Angeles with Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza.  Closer to home, Joe and Mario opened Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, NY.  

Joe has also established vineyards including: Azienda Agricola Bastianich in his ancestral Friuli-Venezia Giulia La Mozza s.r.l., established in Maremma, Tuscany in collaboration with Lidia and Mario Tritono, created with California winemaker Steve Clifton and Argentine enologist Matias Mayol in the Malbec-growing region of Mendoza and Agricola Brandini, in Barolo, La Morra. Joe Bastianich’s books on Italian wine, Vino Italiano, and its companion buying guide, written with sommelier and journalist David Lynch, are recognized as the ne plus ultra of the genre.  He has received Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Awards from Bon Appétit magazine and James Beard Foundation, and in 2008 the James Beard Foundation honored him once again by presenting he and Mario with the much revered Outstanding Restaurateur Award.  Joe is also a regular guest on the Today Show, where he shares his down-to-earth expertise.

After a life of nearly Romanesque eating and drinking, Joe took up the challenge to run the New York Marathon, losing a significant amount of weight and transforming himself in the process. When Joe is not working the dining room at one of his many restaurants or in Italy tending his vines, he can be found at his home in Greenwich, CT, playing guitar and spending time with his wife, Deanna, and their three children, whom he counts as his greatest achievements to date.  

Tanya Bastianich Manuali, PhD,  is Lidia’s daughter and has been immersed in Italian culture her entire life. Tanya graduated from Georgetown University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History.   Her junior year was spent abroad in Florence, Italy, studying Italian Renaissance art history, which was to become her passion. She continued her studies with a full scholarship for a Masters program from Syracuse University, specializing in Italian Renaissance art history. This two year program, which took place in Florence Italy was the beginning of Tanya’s six year sojourn in Italy, in particular living in the city that was the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence. Tanya continued her studies with a partial merit based scholarship at Oxford University (UK), again focusing on Italian Renaissance art history. She completed her PhD in 2000.
In 1996 Tanya launched, together with her mother Lidia and partner Shelly Burgess Nicotra, Esperienze Italiane, a small upscale tour company focusing on Italian food, wine and art.   She also oversees the development of Lidia’s product lines such as Lidia’s Flavors of Italy and co-authored "Lidia’s Italy" and most recently, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes, both published by Alfred A. Knopf.
Tanya is married to a Roman, Corrado Manuali and lives in New York with their two children, Lorenzo and Julia.

Founded in 1980, NOIAW is a network of women committed to promoting the culture and accomplishments of women of Italian ancestry with a special emphasis on leading and supporting Italian American women in their educational and professional advancement. As the premier organization for women of Italian heritage, NOIAW serves its members through cultural programs and networking opportunities, and serves young women through nationally acclaimed scholarship, mentoring and cultural exchange programs.  
For more information about NOIAW, its members and programs, or to become a member visit NOIAW's Webpage or call (212) 642-2003. Facebook users can become a fan of NOIAW by logging onto Facebook, entering “NOIAW” as a search term, and then clicking “Become a fan.”

Maria Tamburri, Executive Director, [email protected] , 212-642-2003

25 West 43rd Street, Room 1005, New York, NY 10036
T:𧇔.642.2003 • F:𧇔.642.2006 • Email: [email protected]

Awards and honors

  • (1987) Recipient of Woman of the Year/Innovation Award, Restaurant Category, Women's Institute of the Center for Food and Hotel Management
  • (1993) Nominated for "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation Felidia
  • (1994) Nominated for "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation Felidia
  • (1996) Nominated for "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation Felidia
  • (1996) Recipient of "Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America" James Beard Award [34]
  • (1997) Nominated for "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation Felidia
  • (1998) Nominated for "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation Felidia
  • (1999) Named "Best Chef in New York" by the James Beard Foundation [35]
  • (2001) Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen wins International Association Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook Award in "Chefs and restaurants" category [36]
  • (2002) Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen nominated for James Beard Award in "Best National Television Cooking Show or Special" category
  • (2002) Named "Best Outstanding Chef" by the James Beard Foundation [37]
  • (2002) Named "The First Lady of Italian Cuisine and Restaurants in the United States" by Senator George Onorato
  • (2007) Lidia's Family Table nominated for James Beard Award in "National Television Food Show" category
  • (2008) Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most nominated for James Beard Award in "International Book" category
  • (2008) Lidia's Italy nominated for Emmy Award [38]
  • (2009) Lidia's Italy named "Best Cooking Show" by the James Beard Foundation [39]
  • (2010) Lidia Cooks From the Heart of Italy nominated for James Beard Award in "International Book" category
  • (2011) Lidia Celebrates America receives highest honor of Silver Award for in Film/Video Silver Winners category for the 32nd Annual Telly Awards
  • (2012) Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables & Traditions nominated for "Outstanding Documentary" by the James Beard Foundation [40]
  • (2013) Wins Emmy for "Outstanding Culinary Host" [41]
  • (2013) Inducted into Culinary Hall of Fame [42]
  • (2013) Lidia Celebrates America: Something Borrowed Something New receives New York Festivals Award [43]
  • (2014) Three Tavola productions- Lidia's Kitchen, Lidia Celebrates America, and Amy Thielen's Heartland Table on the Food Network nominated for a James Beard Award
  • (2014) Lidia Celebrates America: Freedom and Independence receives Telly Award
  • (2014) Lidia Celebrates America nominated for a Rockie Award at Banff World Media Festival in "Lifestyle" category [44]
  • (2016) Lidia Celebrates America: Home for the Holidays wins "Best Special" by the James Beard Foundation [45]
  • (2016) Lidia Celebrates America: Home for the Holidays named "Best Food Program" at Taste Awards
  • (2017) Nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in "Outstanding Culinary Host" category [46]
  • (2017) Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday for Heroes wins James Beard Award for "Best Special" [47]
  • (2017) Recipient of the StellaRe Prize by the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation [48]
  • (2018) Wins Daytime Emmy Award in "Outstanding Culinary Host" category [49]
  • (2018) Lidia's Kitchen nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in "Best Culinary Program" category
  • (2018) Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes wins James Beard Award for "Best Special" [50]
  • (2018) Lidia Celebrates America: Home Grown Heroes recipient of Gold Telly Award in "General Documentary: Individual" category [51]
  • (2019) Lidia's Kitchen nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in "Outstanding Culinary Program" category [52]
  • (2019) Recipient of Master of the Aesthetics of Gastronomy Award from Culinary Institute of America [53]
  • (2019) Awarded the Premio Artusi by the Scientific Committee of Casa Artusi [54]

Other awards and honors

  • (1996) Recipient of Distinguished Service Award and recognized for "Outstanding contribution and dedicated service to the Italian-American Community" by the Italian Government
  • (1999) Honored as "Commendatore" of the Republic of Italy
  • (2000) Golden Whisk Award by Women Chefs and Restaurateurs [55]
  • (2002) "La Bellisima America" Award from Italian American Museum [56]
  • (2007) Honors Award from Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP)
  • (2007) Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade in New York City
  • (2008) Chef for Papal Celebration Pope Benedict XVI during visit to New York City [57]
  • (2008) Recipient of Bpeace's first-ever Economic Impact Award [58]
  • (2008) Honored as Commander ("Commendatore") by the then President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano
  • (2008) Guest at Dinner honoring Italian Prime Minister at the White House Washington
  • (2009) Honoree at Great Chefs event to benefit Greenwich Health at Greenwich Hospital
  • (2009) National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Special Achievement Award for humanitarian service [59]
  • (2010) Bastianich family honored by the National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) for their outstanding contributions to Italian culture in America. [60]
  • (2012) Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award at Healthcare Chaplaincy Wholeness of Life Awards Dinner [61]
  • (2013) Honored at The Philips Collection Annual Gala [62]
  • (2015) Chef for Papal Celebration Pope Francis during visit to New York City [63]
  • (2015) Italian Talent Award by The Italian Talent Association [64]
  • (2015) Augie Award at the Annual Culinary Institute of America Leadership Awards [65]
  • (2016) Lifetime Achievement Award from Women with Wings and Wisdom [66]
  • (2016) Spirit Award from Kansas City Women in Film and Television [67]
  • (2016) Honored at Les Dames d'Escoffier Fundraiser Gala Vancouver [68]
  • (2017) Queens Ambassador Awards from Community News Group [69]
  • (2017) Recipient of Grand Dame Award by the Les Dames D' Escoffier International [70]
  • (2017) Recipient of StellaRe Prize by the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation [71]
  • (2018) Celebrity Champion for "Adopt-A-Future" campaign by UNA-USA/The UN Refugee Agency [72]
  • (2018) Bastianich Family recipient of Award from Italian Heritage & Culture Committee of New York, Inc. (IHCC-NY, Inc.)
  • (2018) Honored at annual Cardinal's Christmas Luncheon and recipient of the Christmas Angel Award [73]
  • (2018) Recipient of The One America Award for Entrepreneurship by NIAF [74]
  • (2019) Honored at Histria Association of Women 30th Anniversary Dinner
  • (2019) Honored at the 15th Annual Hamptons Happening Event by the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation [75]
  • (2019) Keynote Speaker at Fifth Annual Food Lab Conference at Stony Brook Southampton [76]
  • (2019) Recipient of Spirit of Arrupe Award from Loyola University Chicago
  • (2019) Honored at JRS/USA 39th Anniversary Dinner [77]
  • (2019) Guest of honor at Luncheon honoring women in culinary world hosted by Les Dames d' Escoffier, Austin Chapter & Austin Food & Wine Alliance [78]
  • (2020) Hosted fundraising event at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Academy [79]
  • (2020) Honored by The Stamford Museum & Nature Center at Annual charity Event 'An Evening with Lidia Bastianich' [80]
  • (2020) Special guest at Long Island 'Taste the Greats' event [81]

Chefs of la cucina Italiana

Massimiliano Alajmo comes from a long line of successful chefs and restaurateurs. In 1993, Alajmo began to work with his mother, chef Rita Chimetto, at Le Calandre in Veneto, Italy. He was appointed head chef a year later. When the restaurant received its third Michelin star, Alajmo became the youngest chef to obtain the achievement at 28 years old. His culinary work is a combination of inspiration, creativity and a dash of madness. Alajmo heads three gastronomic restaurants, three café-bistros and a food product line – all originating from Le Calandre, his dynamic culinary workshop. In 2006, he worked with his brother to publish an award winning cookbook titled In.gredienti.

Bruno Barbieri‘s professional career started out differently than many other chefs. His began on the sea in 1979 where he was a cook on Oceanica, a cruise ship with over one hundred cooks on board. After spending a few more years mastering his craft, he opened up Locanda Solarola in Bologna, which received two Michelin stars in back to back years. Barbieri has a passion for writing, as well – in 2005 he authored a book titled Pans, which offers cooking tips for his readers. He has continued to write and now has a collection of nine books to his name. Barbieri is also well-known for appearing as a judge on MasterChef Italia alongside Joe Bastianich and Carlo Cracco.

Enrico Bartolini has seen much success in his career, even at the young at of 36. He has worked in the kitchen of Massimiliano Alajmo, with Mark Page in London and in Paris as a sous chef for Paolo Petrini. He received his first Michelin star at 29 and his second at 33. Bartolini blends old habits with cutting edge modernization to create original flavors that are balanced and significant. Bartolini believes the kitchen must have an innovative personality. He joined Devero in 2010 and came up with the phrase “Be Contemporary Classic” to add to the persona of the restaurant. The internationally renowned chef continues to impress the world of Italian cuisine.

Joe Bastianich grew up surrounded by the food industry. His mother, Lidia Bastianich, provided many opportunities for him to master his craft in the kitchen from an early age. Joe is a multitalented restaurateur, focused on the business side of the culinary world. Joe teamed up with Mario Batali to create B&B Hospitality Group which brought Eataly to NYC, a still-growing phenomenon that doubles as a restaurant and marketplace full of Italian cuisine. He is also well known for his role on the television show MasterChef Italy as one of the three judges. In 2012, Bastianich became a New York Times Best Seller for his memoir, Restaurant Man.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is one of the most well-known Italian chefs in the food industry. This world famous personality got her start by opening Bunavia, a small restaurant in Forest Hills, Queens. In 1998, Lidia made her debut for Public Television. Her television program titled Lidia’s Italian Table brought her charm and cooking skills to a large audience. She has since been a prominent member of the celebrity chef ensemble. Lidia is also seen as one of the most successful authors in the culinary world she has authored over a dozen cookbooks giving many at-home instructions for her delicious meals.

Mario Batali has the personality to match his expertise in the restaurant world. Batali is a well-known chef involved in ownership of many of the top restaurants across the country. His career began flourishing when his Food Network Show Molto Mario aired in 1996. Since then, Batali has been known for his personality and even his distinct clothing style marked by his famous Orange Crocs. Working with Joe Bastianich at B&B Hospitality Group, Batali has helped to open several top restaurants (Babbo, Otto, Lupa) in New York City, where he currently resides. In 2008 he founded the Mario Batali Foundation to “ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for.”

Matteo Bergamini knew from an early age that the restaurant industry was where he would end up. At age 10, Bergamini worked with his father in the family butcher shop. He attended Caterina De Medici Hotel School where he learned much of what he knows today about Italian cuisine. After school, Bergamini worked in the United States, France, and Italy before finally settling down in New York City. In 2009, he partnered with Chef Odette Fada to open SD26 in Madison Square Park. Bergamini adds a unique modern approach to Italian cuisine, he was awarded Best Emerging Chef of Italian Cuisine in New York in 2013.

A surprise visit from a famous chef lead to the discovery of Massimo Bottura. Alan Ducasse happened to pass by Bottura’s tiny restaurant Trattoria del Campazzo, right outside of Modena. Ducasse fell in love with Bottura’s style and menu and asked if he wanted to come and work together in Monte Carlo. Bottura was able to continue developing the style which he learned from his grandmother under the tutelage of Ducasse. In 1995, Bottura opened Osteria Francesca, located in the center of Modena. This restaurant has remained at the top of many lists as far as ranking Best Restaurant on both the national and global level. Bottura has also written four books, his most recent in 2014 titled Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef.

Enrico Cerea is a chef that uses a bit of everything in the kitchen. Cerea follows in the footsteps of his parents Bruna and Vittorio, he would spend all of his time as a child learning their recipes. He uses his family recipes in combination with his attention to detail to make cuisine that is direct but not simple. Cerea is the executive chef at Da Vittorio near Lombary, Italy. He is constantly searching for new ingredients from all over the world to incorporate into his meals. Cerea has been known to create many types of Latin American or South East Asian cuisine.

Lorenzo Cogo is a young emerging star in the Italy’s cuisine culture. At just 25 years old he won his first Michelin star after opening El Coq in Marano Vincentino. He has experience in countries such as Australia, Japan, Spain, Singapore, and Denmark. His cuisine blends East and West in an unusual but pleasant mix of flavors, it allows people to live a real and unique sensory experience. Cogo has already accomplished so much at such a young age, he has a lot left to give to the culinary world.

Carlo Cracco got his start at the IPC in Recoaro Terme. Cracco began his professional career when he worked in the kitchen of Gualtiero Marchiesi in Milan, the first Italian restaurant to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. After working in France, he returned to Italy he now runs Cracco di Milano which has received 2 Michelin stars. His success in the restaurant world is matched by his strong opinions and charm. His personality is what has lead him to success on television. He is a judge on MasterChef Italy as well as Hell’s Kitchen Italia. Cracco was appointed Ambassador of the Lombardy Region for Expo2015.

Enrico Crippa is a well-traveled chef with strong attention to detail. He began working at age 16 in Milan. He has had the opportunity to work in many parts of France, including Cannes and Paris, and even spent some time in Japan. In 2005 Crippa made his way back to Italy and opened Piazza Duomo in Piedmont. He is attentive and perfectionistic, and seeks to use seasonal ingredients while giving dishes a creative twist. It is difficult to find a flaw in Crippa’s work, as it is so personal and energetic. After many years of excellence, Crippa received his third Michelin star in 2012.

What separates D.C restaurateur Mike Isabella from the rest is his diverse range of culinary styles. He owns Graffiato, an Italian-inspired restaurant he also owns two Greek restaurants (Kapnos Taverna and Kapnos Kouzina), a Mexican cantina (Pepita), and a Japanese noodle bar (Yona). Isabella gathered experience in New York City, Philadelphia, and Atlanta before settling in the American capitol. Chef Isabella was named FOOD & WINE Magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef in the Mid-Atlantic” in 2012 and was nominated for Restaurateur of the Year in 2015. As a television personality, he has competed in Top Chef, Top Chef Duels, and Top Chef All-Stars he is currently a judge on Man vs Child: Chef Showdown.

Davide Olandi opened his first restaurant, D’O, in his hometown of Cornaredo, Italy in 2003. D’O was soon labeled a “pop kitchen” (meaning that it is a high quality restaurant with accessible prices), a category which earned him instant praise food guides around the country started mentioning him to tours as one of the top chefs of contemporary Italian culture. In 2008, Davide Oldani was awarded the Ambrogino d’Oro by the City of Milan. He is best known as a chef who values design just as much as food whether it is presentation of a meal or the structure of a restaurant, Oldani is always a step ahead in culinary composition.

Giancarlo Perbellini was raised in a traditional rural area in Bovolone and grew up with a passion for making pastries. The earth and its spoils are vital resources for this artisan chef. In 1992 he was awarded the Chef Europeen du Poisson. Since 2010, Perbellini has been the President of the Italian Commission for the Bocus D’or. Along with his success as a restaurateur, he also is the author of Casa Perbellini: Arte Nella Classicita which examines his roots and how it shaped him to become the chef he is today.

Nadia Santini is the heart and soul of cuisine in Po Valley. The care she takes to capture the Po Valley territory using local ingredients and hand crafted dishes at her restaurant Dal Pescatore earned her the accomplishment of being the first Italian woman to be awarded three Michelin stars (2013). She was named Veuve Clicquot World’s “Best Female Chef” that same year. Dal Pescatore is a restaurant that has been with the Santini family for generations Nadia believes in a “refined but not overdone kitchen,” and it has served her well through the success of her traditional cuisine.

Davide Scabin is a revolutionary chef with a continuous desire to experiment combining distant flavors for a harmonious outcome. At age 16, Scabin left his hometown in Turin to work at a restaurant in Sardiana his talents were noticed, as he quickly moved up the ranks. Now Scabin is a Michelin-starred chef who does not stop studying and evolving. It is evident through his dishes at in Rivoli that he is a perfectionist. The presentation is just as important as the taste for this chef. Along with owning a prestigious restaurant, Scabin has made frequent appearances on Italian cooking shows as judges and guests.

Bruno Serato came to the United States 30 years ago from Verona, Italy. He has been a successful owner of the White House restaurant in Anaheim, California which has earned him fame. It his charitable efforts though, that make Serato such an impactful figure. Serato and his mother Caterina were inspired to try to feed as many hungry children as possible after a visit to the Boys and Girls club in 2005. Bruno started an organization called Caterina’s Club (named after his mother) in an attempt to make sure no child goes to sleep without having dinner. “I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve done everything I can to feed a hungry child for the day.” He puts in the work to accomplish his goals he was named one of CNN’s 10 Heroes of the year in 2011 and has been featured in multiple media outlets for his good deeds. Serato serves nearly 1,400 underprivileged children dinner every night.

Mauro Uliassi learned the tricks and trades of the restaurant industry from working at a bar owned by his parents, Franco and Biana Maria. After completing school, Uliassi worked various jobs in restaurants throughout Italy, but he found that he wasn’t enjoying the stress that came with working under another person. He currently runs Ristroante Senigallia in Northern Italy. Uliassi prefers to treat cooking like a game, a testament to his fun and easy going personality, while having a simultaneous awareness of the quality and freshness of his ingredients.

Fabio Viviani spent his childhood working in the restaurant industry growing up in Florence, Italy. Vivani began working at a local bakery at just 11 years old and became a sous chef by age 16. From there, he continued his trend of early age success by the time he was 27, Viviani owned five restaurants in Florence. He is perhaps best known for his infectious on-screen personality, which began on season 5 of Top Chef. He was considered a fan favorite of the program and has since been involved in many other television shows. He expanded his platform in 2013 when he opened up Siena Tavern in Chicago, IL. Viviani has added more restaurants in Chicago and one in California.


Joseph Bastianich was born in Astoria, Queens in 1968, [3] to Italian immigrants Felice and Lidia Bastianich. [4] His parents were born in Istria (now in Croatia) and moved to the United States in 1958 during the large Istrian exodus. While nationally Italian, public DNA tests have shown that Joe's family on his mother side is largely of Eastern European descent, due to the multiethnicity of Istria. [5] His mother has stated that she feels very Italian, but that she relates to her Slavic roots too. [6] Raised working in his parents' Italian restaurant Felidia in Manhattan, he attended Fordham Preparatory School before attending Boston College, where he studied theology and philosophy.

After spending a year on Wall Street as a bond trader, he gave up his newly launched career and ventured into the food industry. [7] He took an extended trip to Italy. In 1993, he opened Becco (Italian for "peck, nibble, savor"), an Italian restaurant with his mother, Lidia Bastianich. He then partnered with Mario Batali to open Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, an Italian restaurant that gained the prestigious three stars from The New York Times, [8] the first Italian restaurant to gain the award in 40 years. Babbo also has earned one Michelin star. [ citation needed ] Together they opened seven more restaurants in New York: Lupa, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Otto, Del Posto, and Eataly (an Italian marketplace). In 2010, Del Posto received a four star review from The New York Times, [9] one of only five restaurants in New York to win that award. [10] Their culinary empire has expanded to 10 restaurants in New York, four restaurants in Las Vegas, three restaurants in Los Angeles, two restaurants in Singapore, one Italian market in Chicago, one Italian market in Boston, and two restaurants in Hong Kong. [ citation needed ]

Bastianich has co-authored two award-winning books on Italian wine, and his memoir, Restaurant Man, became a New York Times Best Seller within a week of its release in May 2012. [11]

Television Edit

Bastianich was a judge on the American MasterChef series broadcast by Fox [12] until it took too much of his time, [13] and MasterChef Junior until he was replaced on both series by Christina Tosi in the spring of 2015 after he exited the franchise in November 2014. However, he eventually returned to temporarily judge Season 6 of MasterChef Junior on March 2, 2018 [14] and has returned to the judging panel as a full-time judge on MasterChef since season 9, which debuted in June 2018. He was also a judge on the Italian version of the program. MasterChef Italia shown on Sky Uno for its first 8 seasons. [15] In May 2019, Bastianich announced his departure from MasterChef Italia in order to dedicate himself to his passion for music. In mid-September of the same year, Bastianich released his first album, titled "Aka Joe". In late January 2020, he will star in a musical concert tour around Italy, featuring his "New York Stories" album. [16] [17] [18]

He has also guest starred as a guest judge on MasterChef Canada on Season 1, Episode 14.

He co-starred alongside Tim Love in the American reality show Restaurant Startup on CNBC, for which he is the executive producer along with Shine America. [ citation needed ]

Bastianich also made a special appearance in the 2015 television film An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success as a judge in a fictional season of MasterChef Junior. [19] From March 22, 2016, he presented, with Guido Meda and Davide Valsecchi, the first edition of Top Gear Italia. He will also serve as a judge on the judging panel of Italia's Got Talent and Family Food Fight Italia, airing on Sky Uno in the spring of 2020. [20]

Controversy Edit

In an episode of MasterChef Italia which came to the attention of the U.S. media in January 2018, Bastianich makes several remarks about Chinese men while making sexually suggestive comments to women giving him a manicure and pedicure at a beauty salon in Milan's Chinatown. He asks the women if they have ever had Italian boyfriends and remarks that Chinese men are "inadequate" in certain situations. When asked by the blog Grub Street for comment, Bastianich issued an apology:

This was a scripted segment shot in a Milan nail salon that I've gone to regularly. I know the women, and we were given the questions to discuss in advance. That said, it's clear that some of what I said was in poor taste and not reflective of my views. I'm sorry I said those things. [21]

Bastianich lives in New York City, with his wife, Deanna, and their children, Olivia, Ethan, and Miles. He is fluent in Italian.

Restaurants owned or operated by Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group:

10 Cooking Shows That Changed the Way We Eat

One moment you marvel at a chef deftly dicing vegetables – the next you despair over ever mastering the technique yourself. Competitive cooking shows such as "Top Chef" and "Iron Chef" dazzle and amaze, sure, but can leave you feeling decidedly inferior. But not everything's a competition, and instructional cooking shows encourage home chefs to adopt new methods, experiment with recipes and hone basic skills.

Some of these programs are as entertaining as they are educational. Viewers tune in to enjoy the host's personality, expertise, humor and to see appetizing images of foods. Certain shows, however, have inspired people to look at food prep in a whole new light. Thanks to the television shows listed in this article, the kitchen is no longer just the place to house the refrigerator it's a center of nourishment, competence, innovation, science and knowledge. Oh, and food. Definitely food.

Boeuf bourguignon, French onion soup gratinée, duck à l'orange, coq au vin, mousse au chocolat: The recipes sound daunting, but the woman who brought them into viewers' homes was down to earth. Julia Child began teaching America to prepare French cuisine without fear in 1963 on WGBH in Boston. "The French Chef," syndicated to almost 100 stations, taped lived and aired without changes. Whatever Julia did, viewers saw. The series showed a real working kitchen with, sometimes, real mistakes. (That potato pancake that got flipped onto the stovetop? Just place it right back in the pan. Only the viewers will know.)

Dishes were prepared in real time there were no magical transformations from counter to stove to serving dish. Child shared her enthusiasm for cooking, making difficult dishes seem possible through practice, practice, practice. In 1966, she won an Emmy for "The French Chef," though the show's many viewers had already validated her accomplishments. Still, some detractors were horrified by the apparently relaxed sanitation in the TV kitchen. Julia's reaction: "I can't stand those over-sanitary people" [source: Bio -- Julia Child].

Chef Graham Kerr didn't get his nickname from globetrotting and exploring foods around the world. The truth is much more literal. At the start of each episode, he ran onto the set and leaped over a chair. Amazingly, the glass of wine he carried never spilled. (Maybe it was the plastic wrap stretched over the top?) This stunt set the tone for the series. Although Kerr cooked complex, rich dishes, with plenty of butter, cream and brandy, his energetic personality made cooking seem fun. He taught viewers to appreciate fine foods, even while they were grinning at his antics.

Taped in Ottawa, Canada, the series was seen on stations around the world from 1969 to 1971. Kerr's wife Treena worked behind the scenes to help produce its 195 episodes. "The Galloping Gourmet" came to an abrupt end when a truck smashed into the family car [source: Padman]. Kerr suffered temporary paralysis, and surgeons had to remove part of his wife's lung. In 1975, the recovered chef brought his humor back to the air with "Take Kerr," a cooking show that addressed viewers' time and money issues.

Exquisite food doesn't have to cost and arm and a leg. That was the assumption of Jeff Smith, better known as "The Frugal Gourmet." The series began in 1983, and aired on PBS for 14 years, where the show spread throughout the public television world. In 1990, "The Frugal Gourmet" switched from public to private production. An animated cook, Smith was also not afraid to make a mistake on camera and move on. Even though the show was taped, its chef wanted to convey the excitement of a live broadcast. At the time, "The Frugal Gourmet" was the top-rated cooking show in the U.S., and Smith's cookbooks became bestsellers.

The series ended on a negative note in 1997 after seven men filed suits against Smith, claiming he had sexually abused them years before. Smith was never indicted and maintained his innocence the lawsuits were settled out of court, and Smith returned to the Seattle area, where he died in 2004 [source: Today].

Spicy, exotic Creole and Cajun recipes were part of the draw of this Food Network show hosted by Emeril Lagasse. Another part was the enthusiastic and energetic chef himself as he ran the fast-paced show. Born near Boston to a French Canadian father and Portuguese mother, Lagasse brought his working-class background and unusual heritage to the series. It debuted in 1995 and ran on and off for 12 years. In 1996, Time named "The Essence of Emeril" as one of the best 10 cooking shows on television [source: Bio -- Emeril].

Emeril's recipes often defied categorization. Some were elegant, like surf-and-turf or sweet and savory crepes. Others were suitable for more casual occasions, including summer entertaining and football parties. Pure comfort foods made appearances, as well, when Lagasse presented his "kicked-up" meatloaf, 5-bean chili and beef stew – often with his trademark exclamation "Bam!" whenever he added seasoning.

Successful cooking is not magic, unknowable and unattainable to all but a select few. That was the emphasis in the Food Network show "Good Eats," which kicked off in 1999 and ran for 16 seasons. Cooking is an art, but one that uses science, and best results are achieved by knowing why something happens and what technology is needed to make it so. Providing background knowledge was essential within episodes, like showing how to prevent a roasted turkey from drying out unusual ways to use salt how to best sear a steak what leavener makes the best biscuits and how to make a smooth roux.

Alton Brown, the creator and host of "Good Eats," brought a mixture of goofy fun and approachability as he investigated origins of ingredients and explained techniques. He used skits to teach food science. Where else on television can you see a giant onion or life-sized gingerbread man? This mixture of fun and information made "Good Eats" one of Food Network's top shows, averaging 20 million viewers monthly. That's not a surprise. After all, who wouldn't want to see "real" elves sitting in trees explaining the process of cracker production?

Your cake ended up flat as a pancake. The new soup recipe is way too salty. And how did that steak get so tough? The staff at "America's Test Kitchen" is dedicated to preventing those calamities. Their goal is to offer foolproof recipes by using the science of cooking. As of 2014, this PBS series has aired for 14 years, teaching viewers how brining affects food the difference between baking soda and baking powder how cornstarch works in sauces why fish sticks to the grill and how bacteria affects different types of cutting boards.

"America's Test Kitchen" comes out of a 2,500-square-foot working kitchen in the Boston area. Over 30 full-time employees develop recipes, testing them dozens of times [source: America's Test Kitchen. The kitchen crew strives to reach the perfect combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time and equipment. Not limited to television, the kitchen's materials are also available in cookbooks, in magazines and online.

School, work, household chores, family moments: Who has time to cook? Food author Michael Pollan maintains that the average household in the U.S. spends about 27 minutes each day on food prep [source: Wilson]. Rachael Ray to the rescue! On the Food Network's "30 Minute Meals," the energetic and confident Ray demonstrated recipes for busy viewers with limited budgets. The food was prepared in real time, so the 30-minute time limit couldn't be faked.

The series, which ran from 2000 to 2012, focused on simple recipes, common ingredients, and, occasionally (gasp!), store-bought shortcuts. Sure, you could make cornbread from scratch, but you can also use a decent mix from a box while you concentrate on the rest of the meal. Ray had recipes to cover all your food needs. Need reduced-calorie ideas? She had 'em. Want something the kids will like? Maybe homemade versions of takeout food! Planning on hosting a tailgate party? Look no further. Ray even offered variations of the classic American burger.

If you become stressed out at the thought of entertaining, the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, should be your fairy godmother. Her Emmy Award-winning show specializes in simplifying entertaining to reduce anxiety and increase the chance of success. It has been a staple on the Food Network since 2002.

Garten took an unusual path to her cooking show. In a former life, she was a nuclear energy budget analyst for the Carter presidential administration (rather untraditional credentials for a food television show host). In 1978, Garten switched gears and opened a specialty food store called The Barefoot Contessa [source: Food Network]. Three cookbooks later, the television show came along. Now Garten offers pointers for how to host a cocktail party for a crowd how to throw a housewarming party how to make French cooking simpler and how to plan a potluck dinner. Relax, she says – it's all doable.

Inadequate ingredients can make a pasta dish bland or a fish recipe, well, fishy. That's why Lidia Bastianich of PBS's "Lidia's Italy" teaches viewers how to select the best ingredients as well as how to prepare them. Lidia presents a practical, sensible and unflappable demeanor, which she comes by honestly as owner of four New York City restaurants. She's also written cookbooks and hosted other cooking shows, so she's prepared for whatever happens.

Since the show debuted in 2007, Bastianich has featured recipes from multiple areas in Italy. Topics include using wine and chocolate, featuring fontina cheese in recipes, stirring up simple sauces and making fresh pasta. Before cooking, Bastianich might pay a visit to the source of her ingredients, seeking out wine or prosciutto makers. The food prep part of the show is designed so viewers are able to cook the dish right along with Bastianich -- she might as well be in your kitchen.

1: 'Martha Stewart's Cooking School'

Martha Stewart's Cooking School is appropriately named. This PBS series is more like a culinary class than a television show. Stewart prepares food in a simple, calm and direct manner that lets viewers concentrate on techniques. The show is more about information than entertainment, unlike some of Stewart's past productions[i]. In addition to making suggestions based on her kitchen experiences, Stewart discusses scientific principles that affect recipes.

The fourth year of the show began in October 2014. It covers everything you need to know, from basic skills to classic techniques. Stewart walks her audience through procedures such as roasting, poaching, braising and blanching. Many are done in real time so viewers get a true sense of how long a process takes. With her straightforward approach, Stewart brings the idea of a cooking show back to the actual cooking.

Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian

Lidia's Celebrate Like an Italian by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich,Tanya Bastianich Manuali Summary

The beloved TV chef offers the only cookbook you'll need to give any gathering--from a dinner for two to a wedding--a delectable, welcoming Italian flavor. No one throws a party like Lidia Bastianich! And now, in this delightful new cookbook, she gives us 220 fantastic recipes for entertaining with that distinctly Bastianich flare. From Pear Bellinis to Carrot and Chickpea Dip, from Campanelle with Fennel and Shrimp to Berry Tiramisu--these are dishes your guests will love, no matter the occasion. Here, too, are Lidia's suggestions for hosting a BBQ, making pizza for a group, choosing the perfect wine, setting an inviting table, and much more. Beautifully illustrated throughout with full-color photographs and filled with her trademark warmth and enthusiasm, this is Lidia's most festive book. Whether you're planning a romantic picnic for two, a child's birthday party, a holiday gathering, or a simple weeknight family dinner, Lidia's flavorful, easy-to-follow recipes and advice will have you calling to your guests: "Tutti a tavola a mangiare!"


In this review, we have given you brief explanations of each book in order to help you understand what makes the best Italian cookbook. If you think about the background of all these authors, you’ll see that each of them began their journey from their first taste of Italian food, whether it was from their childhood or during their college years. So, as you continue to dig deep into your Italian roots and recall those homemade or restaurant cooked Italian meals, remember that nothing beats an original taste.

Things to Consider

Here is a short list of other factors you could think about as you read more on these items online before purchasing.

    • Material – You can generally get these books in either kindle or hardcover form. Kindle refers to an electronic copy, so if you don’t have the space to collect books, then this option is ideal. A hardcover refers to having a solid cover. This version is obviously the heavier version, as well as the more expensive one. This is ideal for those who love to have a collection on their bookshelf.

    There are two other book covers that you might see available, which are paperback and spiral-bound. Paperback is similar to the hardcover, but as the name suggests, the cover is made with paper compared with the hardcover’s leather and plastic covering. This is usually cheaper, although not as cheap as the kindle version. The Spiral-bound tends to be a little more expensive than the hardcover, but that will depend on the book’s size as spiraling a book can be a little bit of intricate work.

    • Pages – It may not seem much, but the number of pages in books does make a difference to the reader. Not everyone has the time to read about the author’s life or have an interest in their passion. Some just really want a recipe based cookbook. This is why we’ve included the number of pages at the title of each book for your convenience.

    Searching for or choosing the best Italian cookbook for you might seem difficult, especially at first, but we hope that this review can act as your guide and help you know what to look for. Don’t forget, despite how good the book or the author is, what makes a good cook is ultimately dependent on how good the student is.

    Watch the video: Chef Vat Demonstrates Wok Cookery For Guests (July 2022).


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