25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee
PBS Celebrates Beloved Chef Lidia Bastianich with
Hour-Long Primetime Documentary on
Monday, December 18 at 8 p.m. ET (Check Local Listings)
NEW YORK, NY (October 23, 2023) - For 25 years, viewers of Lidia Bastianich's public television shows have heard her signature saying, "Tutti a tavola a mangiare," which means, "Everyone to the table to eat!" This December, PBS invites viewers to come together to celebrate the incredible career of this culinary icon in an hour-long primetime documentary, 25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee, an intimate portrait of the beloved chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television host, and Italian food ambassador.
Airing on Monday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET, 25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee examines Lidia's rich legacy, from her immigration to America to becoming the authority on authentic Italian cooking. Special guest appearances and interviews in the documentary include Jacques Pepin, Mary Sue Milliken, Elizabeth Falkner, Geoffrey Zakarian, childhood friend Christopher Walken, along with Lidia's family and other longtime colleagues and associates.
25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee shares some of the most memorable highlights from Lidia's remarkable journey, along with rare and never-before-seen video and photographs of Lidia's career. Viewers will follow Lidia to Astoria, Queens, where, as a teen, she made her foray into the food industry, taking an entry-level job at Walken's Bakery, owned by actor Christopher Walken's parents. It was also in Queens where Lidia and her husband later opened their first restaurant, Buonavia, to critical acclaim in 1971.
After opening her third restaurant, Felidia - one of the first women-owned fine dining restaurants in America - legendary chefs Julia Child and James Beard came to dine one evening with Lidia. Soon after this memorable first meeting, Julia invited Lidia to appear as a guest on her famed PBS cooking show, which catapulted Lidia into the world of television. Once she stepped in, Lidia never looked back: creating Emmy Award-winning cooking programming over the last 25 years including Lidia's Kitchen, Lidia's Family Table, Lidia's Italy, and Lidia's Italy in America, as well as the three-time James Beard Award-winning series Lidia Celebrates America.
Produced by public media leader GBH, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee culminates with a celebratory meal, held at Lidia's family-owned restaurant Becco in Manhattan. Sharing in the special occasion are longtime friends Jacques Pépin, Christopher and Georgianne Walken, Geoffrey Zakarian, NYC restaurateur Angelo Vivolo, and Geoffrey Drummond, who was Julia Child's producer and helped Lidia get started in television.
"Lidia's extraordinary life story personifies the American dream, yet her 'elegance-made-easy' recipes and tips make the aspirational seem achievable," says executive producer Laurie Donnelly. "The same encouragement that she gives to viewers in the kitchen is mirrored in her off-camera mentorship of women chefs and business owners. She makes everyone feel like part of the family, and, of course, family is at the heart of everything she does."
In honor of her 25th anniversary on the air, 25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee is a primetime PBS documentary special that will roll back the years and take an intimate look at Lidia's life both on and off the screen. The documentary will air starting Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations (check local listings), and will stream on PBS.org and the PBS App, also available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.
For images and additional up-to-date information on this and other PBS programs, visit PBS Press Room at https://pbs.org/pressroom.
To download recipes, watch video previews, and view behind-the-scenes images and stories, go to pbs.org/lidiacelebratesamerica.
Underwriter: Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Producers: GBH, Five O'Clock Films LLC and Tavola Productions
Executive producers: Lidia Bastianich and Laurie Donnelly
25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee is a production of GBH Boston and Tavola Productions. Lidia Bastianich is host. Executive Producers are Lidia Bastianich and Laurie Donnelly.
Funding for 25 YEARS WITH LIDIA: A Culinary Jubilee is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
About Lidia Bastianich
Lidia Bastianich is an Emmy award-winning public television host, a best‐selling cookbook author, restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. She is the owner of Becco in New York City and Lidia's in Kansas City. She is also a partner in Eataly, with locations in New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Toronto, San Jose, and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Lidia has authored over a dozen books, including her memoir, My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, and her newly released cookbook, Lidia's: From Our Family Table to Yours. Lidia is a member of Les Dames D'Escoffier and founding member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, two non-profit organizations of women leaders in the food and hospitality industries. Among the numerous awards and accolades Lidia has earned are seven James Beard Awards (Outstanding Chef, Television Food Show, Best Chefs in America, Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, Specials 2016, Special 2017 and 2018), and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Culinary Host (2013 and 2018).
About Tavola Productions
Founded by Lidia Bastianich, Tavola Productions, an entertainment company that produces award-winning broadcast productions of quality, including Lidia's Kitchen, Lidia's Family Table, Lidia's Italy, and Lidia's Italy in America.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories, and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates, and inspires through drama and science, history, arts, culture and journalism. It is the creator of such signature programs as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and Molly of Denali, and a catalog of streaming series, podcasts, and on-demand video. GBH's television channels include GBH 2, GBH 44, GBH Kids and national services World, and Create. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston's Local NPR; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station. Dedicated to making media accessible to and inclusive of our diverse culture, GBH is a pioneer in delivering media to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired. GBH creates curriculum-based digital content for educators nationwide with PBS LearningMedia and has been recognized with hundreds of the nation's premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at gbh.org.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS's broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV - including a PBS KIDS channel - and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.