Tuesday, August 24, 2021

My American Dream


Author: Lidia Bastianich 

Publisher: Vintage

Year: 2018

“Preparing, cooking, and sharing food are fundamental ways to show love and care for others; when you share food, you share life.”

Chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich recounts her life, immigration to America, and her career success in her autobiography My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food. Bastianich had an idyllic childhood on the Istrian peninsula. Her love of food and cooking came from her grandmother. She spent a lot of time on her grandparents’ small farm and learned to care for the animals, grow fruits and vegetables, and cook simple yet delicious meals. When Istria was annexed to communist Yugoslavia, her parents made decision to escape to Italy. The family spent two years living in a refugee camp before immigrating to the US. 

Lidia’s story of her life in their new country is one of hard work and taking risks. She worked in a variety of restaurants and absorbed as much knowledge of the business as she could. After getting married, she and her husband operated two small successful restaurants before opening a renowned NYC restaurant where Lidia served as the chef. She later went on to star in her own cooking show and has authored numerous cookbooks. 

This was my book club’s read for the month. Lidia certainly has a heartwarming and interesting story to tell. Her themes of family and hard work resonate throughout the book. This is not a cookbook full of recipes, but the descriptions of the simple meals she prepared with her grandmother and then the food served at her restaurants are mouthwatering. I found her explanation of the differences between Italian American and classic Northern Italian dishes was really interesting. This is perfect for fans of Lidia’s tv series or foodies looking for a heartfelt of story of one woman’s love and determination to share the cuisine of her childhood. 

Are you a foodie? Do you love to cook? I’m go through phases. Some weeks I like to cook and other times I don’t want to bother and I’m happy with a bowl of cereal for dinner. 

#lidiabastianich #knopfbooks #cooking #immigration #restaurantlife #restaurantuer #chef #cheflife #autobiography #memior #italianfood #italiancooking #bookstagram #backlistbook

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