What inspires you?
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: Do you have a creative process?
Lidia Bastianich: Yes. I think that to create, I first need to take in, and learn, and assimilate. And on that basis then, I have to give myself a place or a situation to create. For me, I think time with myself, with nature – specifically the sea, the water – classical music. Music really sets me in a great state of creation. Traveling. Traveling. Different cultures will stimulate creativity in the basis of information that I have. So I see something, “Oh I can do this. Or this will be better this way.” So I think it’s taking time to nourish oneself physically and mentally. One is able to reproduce . . . produce ideas.
Classical music and travel stimulate Bastianich's creativity.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
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