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Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen

Click on an image to download a JPEG file. Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich is host of Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen.

Photo: Mario Novak

WHYY Press Room

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LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN BEGINS SEVENTH SEASON WITH POPULAR ITALIAN-AMERICAN DISHES

The seventh season of the successful series LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN continues to present enduringly popular Italian-American cuisine, cultivated from Lidia Bastianich's repertoire of recipes. Cooking is at the heart of the Italian-American experience and the series presents traditional dishes with origins in authentic regional fare that, throughout the years, were adapted to the modern American palate and pantry. Reminiscent of the early days in her first restaurant, Buonavia, in Queens, New York, Lidia fuses recipes from both past and present into creative Mediterranean dishes and makes them uniquely her own.

In the new season, Lidia proves that it does not take hours to prepare wonderful Italian meals. For example, a meal of spinach salad, stuffed rolls of veal and pignoli cookies is prepared with ease. Lidia also urges viewers to take pleasure in the most sensual of foods, such as seared filet mignon, braised chunky vegetables and hazlenut-chocolate ice cream truffle.

Lidia also demonstrates new and exciting ways to incorporate seafood into many Italian meals. In "Seafood Masterpiece," Lidia creates a hearty seafood feast featuring marinated mackerel fillets and seafood stew. She is joined by her son, Joe Bastianich, in "An Informal Seaside Dinner" to help prepare a simple - but delicious - seafood feast of clams in a savory tomato-vegetable soup and monkfish meatballs in tomato sauce. In addition, Lidia livens up capellini by adding crabmeat in "Seaside Kitchen III."

In "Snack Time," Lidia, along with her grandchildren, prepare a classic Italian meal consisting of fried potatoes and eggs, with broccoli rabe, sausage and ricotta frittata. She aims to please in "Dinner in Rome" when she shows viewers how to cook an aroma-rich meal of spaghetti with anchovies and breadcrumbs. Each episode features recipes that combine fresh ingredients that viewers can buy in local markets and utilize the same techniques Lidia has acquired during 40 years of cooking.

Showcasing festive and delicious cuisine, each episode features easy-to-follow recipes presented by a chef who genuinely cares about making good food a part of everyday life. Lidia's charm, warmth and inviting personality have made the first six seasons of LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN a favorite among public television audiences. The Boston Globe called her, "...one of the most appealing cooks on television - charming, warm, immensely skilled and truly Italian."

LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN, taped in Lidia's home kitchen in Long Island, New York, debuted in September 1998 across the United States. Each show - in both the original and the new season - is packed full of tips, techniques, recipes and remembrances passed on by generations of Lidia's family.

Lidia has been a successful restaurateur since 1972, when she opened Buonavia Restaurant in Queens, New York. Throughout the past four decades, she has run or co-owned five popular restaurants in New York, including the award-winning Felidia. She is also co-owner of Lidia's in Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

Lidia's latest book, Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen , was published by Alfred A. Knopf in October, 2001. Lidia, the most admired teacher in America of good Italian cooking, offers her most instructive and personal book yet. Laced with stories about her own experiences since coming to America, and full of instructive detail and warm personal commentary that have made her television shows so special, this is a cookbook that is almost as fun to read as it is to cook from.

Lidia is also the author of several other top-selling books, including La Cucina di Lidia (Doubleday, 1990), Lidia's Italian Table (William Morrow & Co., 1998) and Recipes from Lidia's Italian-American Table (A La Carte Communications, 2000). With the passion of a poet and the understanding of a food scholar, Lidia explains in her books how home cooks can coax an unimaginable intensity of flavor from dishes by combining a reverence for fresh ingredients with attentive cooking, judicious seasoning and an unhurried attitude.

LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN is produced by A La Carte Communications. The program is presented nationally by WHYY-TV/Philadelphia and distributed by American Public Television (APT).

LIDIA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN KITCHEN is made possible by Colavita, Cuisinart, Palm Bay Imports and Grana Padano.

For more information, visit Lidia on the Internet at www.lidiasitaly.com or at www.alacartetv.com.

 

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