Question: What makes a great dish?
Lidia Bastianich: The elements in a great recipe really vary, again, according to culture. And each one will give you a different answer. But I think it’s, again, the prime product. You need to have as a chef . . . I need to have the best that I can – the best that nature can give me in the product. Then my work as the chef is not to alter that or to change, but to exalt it. So in doing that, I might need some condiments, which is olive oil, or butter, or whatever. I might need some seasoning to enhance it, whether it’s salt, spices, or herbs. But basically give me a good product from nature, and mostly my work is done.
Question: What is your favorite dish?
Lidia Bastianich: You know it’s difficult. It’s difficult to isolate, I think. What I would like to say is that I love cooking and eating seasonally. Therefore following the season. What does the bounty of the season bring? And I enjoy that at that given time. I think if you . . . If I were to really choose one, I must say pasta and vegetables would have to be.
Recorded on: 10/4/07