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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: What impact does your work have on the world?
Lidia Bastianich: I know I . . . Humbly I will say it has a tremen . . . substantial . . . a substantial impact. And how do . . . how do I know that? Well because my restaurant, and now with my son Joseph, and with __________ and so on, in partnership we have more than 12 restaurants. I have published just my fifth book. My television series is in its eighth year. And at the end of the day there’s 50 million viewers. My books sell in the 400,000 or 500,000 copies. So I know I reach people out there. My show has been bought in Australia, in New Zealand, Asia satellite, Canada. So I know that there is a want for what . . . the message that I’m giving. And I know that people are buying it and listening. So I am humbled by this, but I feel it is a great responsibility.
How do you teach someone to cook?
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Photo credit: Jie Zhao / Getty contributor
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