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

The sixth 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.

Several programs in the new season are devoted to sharing basic techniques of Italian-American cooking. Lidia offers a lesson in risotto, showing how to prepare this classic dish. Another program, "Give it a Fry," demonstrates easy home-frying recipes. Lidia also helps busy home chefs with "Light and Quick," offering easy-to-prepare meals with fried banana peppers, shrimp in marinara over linguini and a chick pea and tuna salad.

Lidia creates popular Italian dishes and their Americanized counterparts, including meat sauce Bolognese, spare ribs roasted with vinegar and red pepper and her distinctive take on baked stuffed shells. 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 four 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 in 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 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 and Palm Bay Imports.

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

For 40 years, American Public Television (APT), located in Boston has been a major source of programming for the nation's public television stations. APT has more than 10,000 hours of available programming including Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter, Globe Trekker, Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World, Nightly Business Report, Rick Steves' Europe, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, Ballykissangel, Brian Jacques' Redwall and The Three Tenors Christmas. APT is known for identifying innovative programs and developing creative distribution techniques for producers. In four decades, it has established a tradition of providing public television stations nationwide with program choices that enable them to strengthen and customize their schedules.

Press should contact Donna Hardwick at 617-338-4455 ext. 129 or via email to donna_hardwick@aptvs.org . For more information about APT's programs and services, log on to www.aptonline.org.

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Daneil Mazone: 215-351-3316

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