Lidia Bastianich has been described as the reigning queen of Italian cuisine in America. She is the host of cooking shows on PBS, including Lidia's Italy, a new 26-episode series which features American and Italian chefs preparing regional Italian dishes.
Bastianichs family fled Communist Istria in 1956 and became political refugees in Italy, before moving to the United States. Bastianich trained in kitchens in New York City and opened her first restaurant with her husband at the age of 24. Since then, she has opened several restaurants, including Felidia and Becco. She has also authored several cookbooks including Lidia's Family Table and Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen.
Question: The way we eat: How has it changed?
Lidia Bastianich: I think certainly climactic forces; the mobility of everything; and my least favorite is, of course, industry in the sense that they’ve taken food and, again, done with it some inventiveness, and packaged it and marketed it. And something that’s absolutely . . . might not be necessary now is deemed a “must have”. And I have problems with that.
Recorded on: 10/4/07