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If life is a contest in getting the balance of life and work together, then there’s no doubt that Lidia Bastianich would be taking a pretty distant lead from the rest. And why not? She’s one of the most iconic faces and authority in Italian cooking, introducing this fine art into the mainstream American public. She is one of those rare people who had finally succeeded in merging her love of her family with her passion for cooking.

Together with her son Joe Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Oscar Farinetti, she opened Eataly last August. This is considered as New York City’s largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace. Their team turned a large lot in New York’s Flatiron district into a premier culinary mecca. And there’s a good reason for it to be called like that. It’s got so many things to offer like a premier retail center for Italian wines and deli, an educational venue for Italian cooking, and an array of boutique eateries.

Lidia is also an avid supporter of culinary education. As dean of La Scuola, she has made culinary classes the focus of Eataly’s activities. She makes it a point of prepare the curriculum, as well as arranging the lectures and demonstration from famous Italian chefs, not to mention the seminars conducted by the world’s best in food and wine production.

She is also a noted writer. She had recently launched her first children’s book, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen. She has also published other books, such as La Cucina di Lidia, Lidia’s Family Table, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia’s Italian Table, Lidia’s Italy, and Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy.

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