Lidia Bastianich Visits Vancouver – Honoured at Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala
If memory serves me right, Lidia Bastianich, the Italian-born American restaurateur, cookbook author and television host, last visited Vancouver in 2013 with her newest book at the time, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking. This is in fact, exactly how Bastianich presents herself, as a person with a lot of common sense, one who worked so very hard to get to where she is today, because, well, that’s just what one does.
Life did not begin simply for Bastianich, as a child her family escaped post-war Yugoslavia to Italy and eventually were granted passage to America under the displaced persons act when she was twelve. She met her husband in 1966 and they opened their first restaurant in Queens in 1971, and a second there before selling both and moving on to Manhattan. From there the Bastianich empire grew and Lidia eventually took over after her husband and she divorced, and he passed his shares on to the two children they’d had. These children eventually became a key part of the Bastianich empire.
Television fame came to Lidia through the beloved Julia Child, in 1993, when Child invited her to tape and episode for Julia Child: Cooking With Master Chefs, which featured acclaimed chefs from around the U.S., preparing dishes in their own home kitchens. From their Bastianich went on to have her own show.
Bastianich’s has much success in the restaurant world, and she has managed to do it all; a mother, wife, restaurateur, TV Host and more, all in a world when men were usually, and are still, at the helm. The Vancouver chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, will honour her on September 23, 2016 at a Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel and we can’t wait to spend the evening among her and some of the other chefs and characters that are joining us to present this special evening.
Bastianich was asked during her last visit, “How did you get your children into the business?” and her answer shows that despite the fact she’d blazed a trail, she still didn’t want this difficult and challenging life for them.
“The children would come to the restaurant and eat. There was always unity. I always told them this is not what you want to do with your life. My son, Joe Bastianich, completed a Master of Business and daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, a PhD in Art History and Joe went on to spend several years on Wall Street.
Every summer the kids came to Italy and they must have just naturally absorbed it, despite my warnings. One day Joe sat at the bar at Felidia (theie flagship restaurant) and told me he was quitting his job to spend time with with me at the restaurant. After a discussion, I gave in and we went to Italy for a year and worked in a variety of kitchens, absorbing the knowledge, and learning much along the way. Back in America, we opened our first restaurant together, and then we meet Mario Batali and I credit a lot of our success to his sense of business.”
Her daughter was a Professor at Syracuse in Italy and, after finishing her degree, moved back to the states to start a family and moved just two blocks away. After Tanya’s first child was born, Lidia asked her to do some of the research and now Tanya assists in production and has alleviated the workload. Tanya’s husband, a lawyer, is also involved.
Lidia’s advice? Know when you need to be Mother and Grandmother and know when you need to be a business women. Something that can’t be easy to draw the line at always, I am sure.
Lidia Bastianich will be in Vancouver for a variety of television appearances, a book signing at Gourmet Warehouse on September 22 and the Les Dames d”Escoffier Gala on September 23.
Les Dames D’Escoffier Present Una Bella Notte Con Lidia Bastianich
Gala Dinner with Chef/Owner/TV Personality Fundraises
For Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarships
An unforgettable evening of Italian food, wine and song is in store for fans of Lidia Bastianich as the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier honours the Emmy award-winning TV personality, cookbook author and restaurateur. Sit down for a Gala dinner with Lidia on September 23, 2016 at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and support Les Dames d’Escoffier’s outreach and scholarship programs. Now, that’s amore!
Una Bella Notte con Lidia begins with a Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve reception and is followed by a multi-course dinner prepared by Vancouver’s leading chefs with exquisite wine pairings. The evening closes with an after lounge party. The witty and genial Fanny Kiefer raises a glass or two amidst the dinner party chatter as special guests share their favourite Lidia stories.
In conjunction with the participating luminary chefs, Les Dames member and Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm of Culinary Capers Catering has created the following menu for the magical evening of food and wine.
Les Dames D’Escoffier Gala Honours Lidia Bastianich
Lidia’s Octopus Salad on Potato
Frico, Moscato Poached Pear, Black Pepper Mascarpone
Gnocchi with Rosemary Brined Walnut, Roast Squash and Brown Butter
Margaret Chisholm, Culinary Capers Catering
Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve
Albacore Tuna Tonnato
JC Poirier, Ask for Luigi, Pizzeria Farina and Pourhouse
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Grilled Sea Scallops, Cauliflower Salad and Green Herbs Coulis
Weimar Gomez, YEW seafood + bar, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
Tightrope Winery Riesling 2015
Cannelloni of Chocolate with Duck Confit
Pino Posteraro, Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Tenuta Olim Bauda Rocchette Barbera D’Asti 2012
Mixed Mushroom Carnaroli Risotto
with Truffle, Parmesan, Cherry Reduction, Arugula Pesto
Les Dames alumni and Season 2 Chopped Canada champion, Alana Peckham,
Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver/Alligga
Marimar Estate Mas Cavalls Pinot Noir 2008
Lo Stock Farms Squab, Painted Mountain Corn Polenta, Lacinto Kale, Anise
Robert Belcham, Campagnolo and Campagnolo Roma
Tommasi Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2014
Primo Bistecca Tagliata
Jean-Claude Douguet, Gotham Steakhouse & Bar
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2013
Chocolate Almond Torte, Poached Pears, Pecan Wafers, Blackberry Ice Cream
Rhonda Viani, West
Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Artisanal Limoncello Cheesecake Gelato
James Coleridge, Bella Gelateria
Terra Serena Prosecco – D.O.C. Treviso and Gillespie’s Fine Spirits Lemoncello
Each guest receives a signed copy of Lidia’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine as a memento of the evening. All funds raised benefit the outreach and scholarship programs of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, including Project Chef and Growing Chefs. Seating is limited for this one special evening and once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet an iconic personality and fellow New York based Les Dames d’Escoffier member, Lidia Bastianich. Tickets are selling fast for this Italian inspired evening.
Les Dames d’Escoffier Gala
September 23, 2016
Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver
791 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2V4
Reception: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
After Lounge: 11:00 pm onwards