Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pula, Istria on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Over the years, the region has belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and was a part of Italy at the time of Lidia’s birth in 1947. Ceded to Yugoslavia after WWII, today Istria is divided between Croatia and Slovenia and the blended heritage of the Slavic and Italian cultures gives its people and its cuisine a uniqueness not found anywhere else in the world.
This duality has been the major influence for Lidia and her approach to food. Fluent in both Italian and Croatian, she is as passionate about sauerkraut as she is about pasta, and not only grew up with the nuances and aromas of both cuisines, but also knows how to make them work flawlessly together. This subtle duality is what she shares with her American audiences and what makes her as unique as the region from which she hales.
In addition to her role as one of the best-loved chefs on television, Lidia is a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Her cookbooks include her latest, Lidia’s Italy -- a companion book to her new television series, as well as Lidia’s Family Table, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia’s Italian Table and La Cucina di Lidia
She 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.” In addition, Lidia has developed her own line of specialty sauces that are sold at discriminating retail establishments nationally, and heads up an exclusive travel company that develops and implements customized excursions to Italy that often combine gastronomy with art history. She gives freely of her time and knowledge, and is active in community service activities and special events on behalf of The James Beard Foundation and Public Television. Her interactive website entitled www.lidiasitaly.com includes descriptions of her restaurants, product information and reviews, as well as mouthwatering recipes and tips from Lidia herself.
There are so many qualities that go into a successful life. 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!” “Everybody to the table to eat!” is something that has been said in Italian households for centuries, and is still repeated in Italian homes everyday, all over the world. This common phrase in its simplicity, could possibly be Lidia’s true recipe for success.
Visit Lidia's website: http://www.lidiasitaly.com