The Truth About Lidia Bastianich's Ex-Husband, Felice

Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich is certainly famous in the foodie world, but what many might not know is that she got her start owning restaurants alongside her former husband, Felice "Felix" Bastianich. Felice was born in Istarska, Croatia, in 1940 and later immigrated to the United States — just as Lidia did from Italy (via CelebSuburb).

Felice met Lidia at her 16th birthday party. It was through the subsequent growth of their relationship and eventual marriage that Felice's passion for restaurants began to grow side by side with his wife and business partner. The couple first together opened Buonavia, where Lidia trained as a chef, then conceived and executed Villa Secondo, and finally, Felidia (via New York Lifestyles Magazine).

In addition to his achievements and successes in the culinary world and the family restaurant business, Felice's legacy also includes the two children he had with Lidia: Tanya and Joe Bastianich, both of whom would eventually go on to also work in the food business. Specifically, Joe worked as a sommelier and co-owner of Eataly, and Tanya as executive producer of her mother's TV shows, among other endeavors.

Felice Bastianich had his own ideas up his sleeve

Despite their 31-year marriage, Felice and Lidia Bastianich decided to part ways in 1997 and filed for divorce. The divorce is rumored to stem from disagreements the couple was having about whether or not to expand their businesses, suggesting that Lidia wanted to and Felice did not. After the divorce, Felice decided to leave the family restaurants and gave his shares in the business to Joe and Tanya (via BiJog).

As it turns out, Felice Bastianich had a second act with his own endeavors in mind. Following the divorce, Felice launched his own business — a guided travel company with a focus on foodie destinations. He also bought vineyards in the north of Italy and eventually remarried. While we know Felice passed away at 70 years old on December 12, 2010, the cause of his death remains under wraps by his family and unknown to the public. It is estimated Felice Bastianich was worth about $1 million at the time of his death (via CelebSuburb). Not too shabby.