Lidia Bastianich is an Italian-American Chef, restaurateur, and author. She was born in 1947, in Pula, Croatia. She has been on various TV shows, and owns many Italian restaurants in the United States.
Chef Lidia Bastianich’s Professional Life
In 1971, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich( her full name), with her husband, opened a restaurant, the tiny Buonavia, which means “good road”. The restaurant had Lidia as the hostess. The restaurant’s menu had the popular dishes, copied from the best Italian restaurants around and hired the best American Italian chef. In 1972, Lidia started to learn various Italian recipes since she had started to help the chef in the kitchen. Lidia and her husband then started adding the Istrian dishes to their restaurant’s menu.
The success of their first restaurant, Buonavia, led them to open a second restaurant, called Villa Secondo. Lidia gave live cooking demonstrations to the food enthusiasts in this restaurant, which was the preface of her career on the TV shows.
1981, due to Lidia’s father death, the family sold the two restaurants, Buonavia and Villa Secondo and purchased a pre-existing restaurant in Manhattan. The restaurant was later converted into a flagship restaurant, called Felidia. The restaurant got recognition of 3 stars from the New York Times.
The family business includes olive groves in Istria, vineyards in Italy, and many ventures and food products relating to the culinary arts.
Lidia with her son has opened a food emporium in Manhattan in 2010, which exhibits food products and traditions from Italy. The emporium’s name is Eataly and the motto is “We sell what we cook, and we cook what we sell”
Noteworthy Works of Chef Lidia Bastianich
In 1991, Lidia received the James Beard Foundation Award, which recognized her as the Best Chef : New York City for 1999.
She participated as a celebrity chef on the MasterChef USA in 2000.
Popular TV Shows
Lidia was offered her own TV series by PBS, and the series was named “Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen”
The other two popular TV shows are Lidia’s Family Table and Lidia’s Italy.
She was also featured on Great Chefs and Top Chef.
Lidia has authored 6 books:
La Cucina di Lidia: The book is a collection of delicious Italian recipes, influenced by Hungarian, Yugoslavian, and German Cooking.
Lidia’s Family Table: The book is a beautiful collection of 200 recipes with colorful pictures of the dishes.
Lidia’s Italy in America: Lidia visits the Italian communities in America and collects the unique recipes in one book.
Lidia’s Italian Table : The book is a collection of more than 200 recipes, including salads, soups and exotic dishes from the sea.
Lidia’s Italy: The book consists of recipes from the 10 favorite places of Lidia in Italy.
Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: The recipes in this book belong to the not-so-common regions of Italy, which bring the true Italian flavor in them.