Sunday, June 24, 2018
Books

What's Lidia Bastianich reading?

Nightstand

Lidia Bastianich

When we caught up with Bastianich, renowned chef, restaurateur and host of the PBS show Lidia's Italy, she talked about her new book and her memories of cooking for her children (Joe Bastianich and Tanya Manuali) when they were small. "I think I always reverted to my culture. The basic soup, the basic stock, the basic sauce for the pasta, and I changed according to the season. I reverted to recipes that I learned from my grandmother and mother.''

Bastianich, 67, who lives in Queens, N.Y., with her mother, Erminia Motika, has five grandchildren. Her restaurants include Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto in New York as well as Lidia's Pittsburgh and Lidia's Kansas City.

Her new book, Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Great Italian Cook, is a three-year joint effort between the master chef and her daughter. It includes hundreds of recipes, illustrations and a glossary.

What's on your nightstand?

Lately I've been into biographies. I finished reading Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates. In these times, I want to understand how the people that govern us see things. I also have Vigilance by Ray Kelly. He was the police commissioner in New York City, and I wanted to see what his thoughts are of cities like New York where homicides are going on. These two books, I take and read on the plane. I also have The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. So, I read the biographies and now I'm going to get more in depth with (the mind). I like to have long periods of time to read. I look forward to three- or four-hour plane rides to read and when I'm on vacation, but also weekends when there's an aroma in the house, and you just kind of stretch out on the couch.

I was wondering if any cookbooks were on your nightstand.

You know, I always just skim cookbooks, but it's funny, people have told me, "Oh, Lidia, I take your book to read in bed.'' I tell them, "You should take it into the kitchen, not the bedroom.'' But, I understand. Cookbooks don't demand a high intense amount of concentration. Food is soft. It is positive. Food helps shape everybody's memories.

Should they have your new book on their nightstand?

It is a comprehensive book. My daughter helped me. She's an art historian, a great researcher and a great reader, actually. People can get little bits of information throughout the book. It's a lot about understanding ingredients. I encourage people to make recipes their own and understand the technique, like, if you understand how to make risotto, you can bring it into any season. Now it is squash. In summer, it's peas, and so on.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

Comments
Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Review: Look inside the tent of a Gibsonton-based sideshow in Tessa Fontaine’s memoir ‘The Electric Woman’

Grief can unhinge us, disconnect us from our daily lives, make us do things we’ve never done. Grief made Tessa Fontaine run away and join the circus.To be more exact, the sideshow: World of Wonders, the last traditional traveling sideshow in the coun...
Published: 06/21/18
5 fiction writers who've turned their attention to Donald Trump

5 fiction writers who've turned their attention to Donald Trump

He might not have intended it, but Donald Trump has been good for book publishing.
Published: 06/15/18
What’s Neal Thompson, author of ‘Kickflip Boys,’ reading?

What’s Neal Thompson, author of ‘Kickflip Boys,’ reading?

Neal ThompsonFor Father’s Day, we checked in with Neal Thompson from his Seattle office. In his new book, Kickflip Boys, Thompson weaves together a story on raising his two independent, passionate sons while giving us an honest look at the underbelly...
Published: 06/15/18
What is Jen Waite, author of the memoir

What is Jen Waite, author of the memoir "A Beautiful, Terrible Thing," reading?

Jen Waite It is June. Romance and weddings are in the air, and with that comes the paperback release of A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite, 33. The book, based on Waite’s heartbreaking wedding story, fi...
Updated one month ago
Review: Jake Tapper’s ‘Hellfire Club’ a fictional thriller sharpened with real 1950s politics

Review: Jake Tapper’s ‘Hellfire Club’ a fictional thriller sharpened with real 1950s politics

Washington, D.C., is a city in crisis, the operations of the federal government all but paralyzed by the conspiracy theories of a powerful politician who behaves as if the bounds of protocol and decency don’t apply to him. As he distracts the nation,...
Updated one month ago
What’s Helen Rappaport reading?

What’s Helen Rappaport reading?

Helen RappaportWhile delving into archives and researching her new book about the murder of the Russian imperial family 100 years ago, The Race to Save the Romanovs, Rappaport celebrated the digital age. "I am able to go back so far in time and look ...
Updated one month ago
Review: Lauren Groff’s ‘Florida’ explores a state beyond the boundaries

Review: Lauren Groff’s ‘Florida’ explores a state beyond the boundaries

In "Flower Hunters," one of the stories in Lauren Groff’s stunning new book Florida, a character gets a reader’s crush on 18th century explorer William Bartram, an early chronicler of the state’s flora and fauna: "She’s most d...
Updated one month ago