Lidia. She’s Back!

Lidia. She’s Back!

Photo credit: Janet Donovan
“This year is special,” Lidia Bastianich told Hollywood on the Potomac during the NIAF Gala weekend when the world-renowned Chef and TV personality hosted a dinner and signed her new book:  My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and FoodLidia Celebrates America is going to come out in November for the holidays. This year I went to small town America because I am an immigrant and I wanted to know more about America, what constitutes this great country. America is actually a mosaic of all these different countries. Yes, second, third generations and the fascination was second, third generations of a certain nationality of immigrants that still maintain their culinary tradition. I went up into Minnesota and there the Scandinavians ice fishing.”

Celebrity chef and author Lidia Bastianich traveled across the United States in a celebration of culture through food. Lidia Celebrates America explores the American immigrant experience through its festivities. She listens as multiple generations of Americans explain the importance of food in preserving cultural traditions. She is an Emmy award-winning television host, best-selling cookbook author and restaurateur. She has held true to her Italian roots and culture, which she proudly and warmly invites her fans to experience.

Lidia with Armando Varricchio, The Ambassador of Italy

“In the 1800s, the Norwegians and the Swedes came up there for the fur trade and they settled it,” Lidia added.  “So it’s a big enclave of shall we say Vikings. Then I went down to visit Ohio.  You know what I found interesting in Ohio: The Buffalo Soldiers – the first kind of unit of all African American soldiers in the Civil War and how they were put on the frontier that guided the Americans to go west. So, they were first from the line.  The Emancipation Proclamation freed a lot of young African Americans and they didn’t have jobs so they wanted to join the army. They created a special unit called the Buffalo Soldiers. We cooked on the prairie like they originally cooked, so it was great.”

Q: What City surprised you? A: North of Dallas there is a small city, Denton, maybe. What I found there that was amazing was this family and these two young sisters. They are loved for animal resting and the fair, the rodeo, and this little girl was twelve years old she had her pigs, four pigs, resting, cleaned them, shampooed them and then took them to the fair. It was just amazing these young children had in maintaining their animals. And she told me, ‘you know Lydia I have to go and give them breakfast first because they are squealing before I have breakfast I have to feed them.'”

“Lidia’s homey and down-to-Earth way of sharing her love and vast knowledge of authentic Italian food has endeared her to millions of fans,” said John Calvelli, executive vice president of public affairs, Wildlife Conservation Society and Gala chair. “It was a special night for attendees to meet Bastianich, experience the best of Pugliese food and wine, as well as hear firsthand Lidia’s experiences as an Italian immigrant to the U.S.”