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.
Lidia Bastianich: I think this age will be remembered as an age of unrest. I think an age of the cultures really coming closer through technology, through cyberspace, through travels. You know we have never invaded each others’ space so quickly so much as we have now. So we have to adjust; but I think that this sort of invasion will turn out into expansion of knowledge and acceptance soon. I think this age will be remembered as almost a turning point to real . . . wanting to understand, and appreciate, and enjoy, and get involved in food the way it’s supposed to be in its natural state, tasting well, socially meaningful rather than just something that you eat to live; but rather the enjoyment, the pleasure of eating.
Recorded on: 10/4/07