How 'Peasant Food' Helped Chef Lidia Bastianich Achieve Her 'American Dream'

Mar 16, 2019 248

Lidia Bastianich has a devoted following from public TV cooking shows, her cookbooks and her restaurants. In her memoir, "My American Dream," which just came out in paperback, she describes how she came to love preparing food and how being a refugee and immigrant shaped her life.

Those two parts of the story are interconnected. The year she was born, 1947, the peninsula on which her family lived switched hands from Italy to Yugoslavia, which was under communist rule. Many of her earliest memories are of spending time in her grandparents' village where their food came from animals they raised and the vegetables and fruits they grew. It was farm-to-table cuisine poverty-style. 

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