She’s one of North America’s most beloved food personalities and an Emmy award-winning TV host.
Successful restaurateur, sharp business woman and best-selling cookbook author Lida Bastianich (you can view her Lidia’s Kitchen cooking shows on TLN) was feted recently at a special VIP charity fundraiser at Woodbridge’s Montecassino Event Centre, “An Evening with Lidia Bastianich.”
Proceeds from the evening went towards the Italian Earthquake Relief Fund (TIERF) to support those affected by the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds and caused significant damage to central Italy last summer.
TLN Media Group had partnered with TIERF, an organization supported by some of the most powerful members of the Canadian-Italian community. Bastianich – who was introduced to the affluent crowd by well-known celebrity foodie, David Rocco (TLN is home to both Rocco and Bastianich’s food shows), talked about her newest release, a beautiful memoir, Lidia: A Life of Love, Family and Food, and spoke about her earlier life after the war in Pula, Croatia, her family’s escape from Marshall Josip Broz Tito’s communist Yugoslavia to Trieste, Italy, where the family lived in a refugee camp before they all emigrated to New York City when Bastianich was only 12 years old.
Her book is fascinating read, full of family warmth even during some of the darkest days after the Second World War, as well as marking her rise in the U.S. food kingdom, and meeting — and cooking — with such giants as Julia Child, James Beard and various popes. Bastianich told the crowds how much at home she felt in Canada and that Toronto would soon be home to the famous Italian food complex known as Eataly, coming in 2019 to the Yorkville area.