Lidia Bastianich: Celebrated chef keynotes Impact Awards

Lidia Bastianich is an acclaimed chef and restaurateur specializing in Italian cuisine, author of multiple cookbooks and host of several popular TV programs.

She is owner of Felidia Restaurant on Manhattan’s East Side, Lidia’s Kansas City and Lidia’s Pittsburgh.

Along with her son, Joseph, and his business partner, Mario Batali, she is co-owner of other New York City Italian hot spots, Becco, Esca and Del Posto.

In 2010, the trio, along with Oscar Farinetti, opened Eataly, a huge venue in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, which specializes in artisanal Italian fare and offers culinary classes.

The concept recently expanded to Chicago and will soon open in Los Angeles and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Born in what is now Croatia, she is Queens’ own as a longtime resident.

With her daughter, Tanya, she has co-written five cookbooks: “Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking,” “Lidia’s Favorite Recipes,” “Lidia’s Italy in America,” “Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy” and “Lidia’s Italy.”

Each cookbook was written as a companion piece to one of her Emmy award-winning PBS’ series “Lidia’s Kitchen,” “Lidia’s Italy in America” and “Lidia’s Italy.”

On her own, Bastianich has published several books, including “Lidia’s Family Table,” “Lidia’s Italian Table” and “La Cucina di Lidia.” Her next cookbook is scheduled to be released in October.

Since becoming a grandmother of five, her writing career has expanded into the world of children’s books. To date, she has published three books in her Lidia’s Family Kitchen series for young readers, including “Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen” and “Nonna’s Birthday Surprise.”

Bastianich serves as president of Tavola Productions, which she founded to produce culinary-themed TV programs. Last year, three of Tavola’s shows, “Lidia’s Kitchen,” “Lidia Celebrates America” and Amy Thielen’s “Heartland Table” on the Food Network were nominated for a James Beard Award.

Over the years she has won multiple James Beard Foundation prizes, including the Best Chef in America award.

She was also chosen to cook for Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.

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