What was your greatest culinary adventure?
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 was your greatest culinary adventure?
Lidia Bastianich: Oh my goodness. Yes. A visit to China – and I’m talking about several years ago. China was still – and to the market of China. One of the things that I do when I go visit a different culture is go to the markets. But the . . . the . . . the amazing of the diversity of . . . of meats, vegetables; but the meats were particularly every form and shape. Whether they crawl. Whether they had 10 legs. Whether it had a long tail or short tail. Every imaginable animal was hanging somewhere in that market. And every part on that animal was dissected someplace hanging ready to be eaten. So I was just mesmerized me that this culture – the oldest culture . . . You know and there’s something to say there about respecting the food chain and maybe eating everything. Respecting when you kill an animal, whatever that might be, that you eat everything from it.
Recorded on: 10/4/07
A trip to China opened Lidia Bastianich's eyes.
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