In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with television host, author, and restaurateur, Lidia Bastianich. Bastianich discusses her Italian roots, her growing empire in the world of food, and the importance of family.
BQ: You built this empire, does it feel like that?
LB: No it doesn’t. It still feels to me it’s a family thing– I’m all about family. I was lucky enough that the businesses expanded as the family joined in. In this industry, I was blessed to get a lot of opportunities. Taking these opportunities along the way is how my business grew. It’s not a pre-plan… it’s organic growth.
Bastianich also recalls her first restaurant, which consisted of just nine tables, and how her children grew up in the business.
LB: As they grew up as teenagers, I would say, “You don’t want to do this business. You got to get an education, get a real American job.” And they did… but slowly, they returned.
Bastianich ended up working on five books with her daughter, Tanya.
BQ: Where do you get the recipes from? I read that you “borrow” some recipes, from whom?
LB: None of the recipes I invent, they are part of the Italian cooking patrimony if you will. And then I elaborate… This book contains some traditional recipes from regional Italy, some Italian American recipes, and some innovative recipes that I come along with.
BQ: At what point did you know that you wanted to do this as a living?
LB: Food was my connection. Throughout my life… cooking the food, the aromas brought me back, connected me back. My passion was there. Food became a medium to give myself comfort and love, but also for others. To share my story with others.
About Lidia Bastianich: Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host, a best‐selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business.
She is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants – Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City – along with her daughter Tanya. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces high quality broadcast productions. Lidia also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces called LIDIA’S. Along with her son, Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali and Oscar Farinetti, the team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City, Chicago and Sao Paolo, Brazil.
About Brigitte Quinn: Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.
Follow Brigitte Quinn @BrigitteQuinn11