Lidia Bastianich: Your Italian Grandmother
Thursday, July 13, 2006 | posted by Mike
We spend a lot of time talking about Food Network personalities here, and that's because they're the most glamorous/flashy/whatever celebs in the world of food TV. But that doesn't mean that there aren't some great programs around the rest of the dial. In fact, there are a few on the granddaddy of food television, PBS, which regularly provides shows that are informative and fun (yes, I said "PBS" and "fun" in the same sentence).
One of those shows is Lidia's Family Table, which stars Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.
In the pantheon of Italian TV chefs, there are three stars: Giada De Laurentiis -- young and energetic and eager to experiment with Italian cooking. Mario Batali -- possessor of encyclopedic knowledge of Italian food and customs and dedicated to authentic Italian recipes.
And then there is Lidia, who is about as "Italian-American" as a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Her demeanor (calm and soothing, always completely in control of the dish that she is preparing, like she's cooked it a million times before) and her Italian comfort food make you feel like you've been invited over for Sunday dinner. I mean, she even signs off her show with a welcoming "tutte a tavola a mangiare."
The Baltimore Sun had a nice profile of Lidia yesterday, which includes some info about her new limited-edition magazine and a new cookbook on the way.
There's lots of info here at TVFF.com about food celebrities appearing on red carpets and battling one another in culinary shootouts, but Lidia's show is all about the food-emotion connection. If you're a foodie, watch it -- and you'll remember why you love food.
Plus, her show's presenting station is WHYY in Philadelphia. As a Philly guy, I'm making her an honorary South Philly Italian Grandmother, and that's something everyone should have come dinner time.
Labels: Lidia Bastianich