This Is Where Lidia Bastianich Learned How To Cook Italian Food

Veteran chef Lidia Bastianich has been a superstar for a long time in the culinary world. Per Eataly, the chef was a fan of cooking for many years and would spend time working on different recipes at home. When she got the opportunity to hold down a part-time gig at a bakery, she took it. She was still in school at the time, but loved the work, eager to learn more. Her passion for cooking never left her. Even as a student at Hunter College, the enthusiastic Bastianich found time to work at a local restaurant and develop her culinary skills further.

However, what really shaped the chef's perspective was her childhood, which gave her a chance to pick up many life lessons (via NPR). She spent her early years in the peninsula of Istria on the Adriatic Sea which used to be a part of Italy. Her grandparents were in a village called Busalar, and Bastianich would often visit them with her family, bonding over meals and helping them out in little ways.

Her grandmom inspired her

As per the NPR interview, Lidia Bastianich couldn't stop herself from appreciating life at her grandparents' home. For her, the biggest source of inspiration was her grandmother who prepared food in the most organic manner possible, picking up fruits and vegetables from their farm. She told Eataly that she would spend a lot of time with her grandmother. "I was her little helper; I went behind her, and I would cook with her. I remember when the goats were milked, she made me ricotta with a bit of honey on it, and that was my breakfast," the chef said.

When Bastianich and her parents moved to Trieste, she was a little heartbroken because she didn't know when she would see her grandparents next. She sought comfort in food and used that to keep the bond between her and her grandmother alive. From the flavors to the scents, Lidia Bastianich paid attention to everything. She said, "I continued cooking in order to keep her close to me."