The Artusi Prize 2019 goes to Lidia Bastianich
"It was thanks to the Artusi Manual that I became acquainted with Italian regional cuisine and its products, which I am now telling 50 million Americans.
"It's my first time in Forlimpopoli and I'm really happy to be here to receive an award dedicated to Artusi. His Manual has been a point of reference for me, it has introduced me to the Italian cuisine of the various regions. In all my rooms there is a copy of the translated book". To say it is Lidia Bastianich on the occasion of the award of the Artusi Prize, Monday 2 December in Forlimpopoli in a crowded Church of the Servants at Casa Artusi. Author of best sellers with twelve cookery publications, successful businesswoman with numerous restaurants, Lidia Bastianich in the USA is a real ambassador of Italian cuisine who tells in the Lidia's Kitchen program on Pbs, followed by 50 million Americans.
Italian food is number one in the United States," she continued. "Americans love Italy and have seen my personal history as an Italian as a point of reference. Every year I come to your country at least 5 or 6 times, I travel around the peninsula in search of local cuisines and its products and then tell everything in my programs. On television I present the domestic kitchen, the simple one, the seasonal products, the right condiments, the one that you can make even from home.
The influence of her grandmother, who is still alive today, is fundamental to Lidia's career, she is 98 years old. "I grew up with her in the countryside of Pula, in the midst of animals and products of the land. When I emigrated to the United States in 1958, it was the food that reminded me of my childhood, the scents of the past, the products: cooking made me feel good because it brought me back to that time gone. I can say that even today I am still chewing my childhood".
Gradually he told about Italian cuisine in America. The first restaurant dates back to 1971, Buona Vita nel Queens, where Lidia worked with an Italian-American chef for 10 years. "That experience made me understand that in America there was a lack of Italian raw materials to make real Italian cuisine. From there, I started to travel around Italy to learn about territories and products, which I continue to do every year". The turning point came a few years later with Felidia, a local in Manhattan that received everyone's attention. "A famous journalist intrigued by our Italian regional proposals gave us a very positive review, and so came the spotlight. Felidia was so successful that Julia Child came to dinner at the restaurant with James Beard, one of the most famous American critics. They eat my risotto, she asks me to teach Americans on television how to do it. Let's make two episodes, the first dedicated to the risotto, the second to the auricles. That's how my TV presentation was born, which has been going on for 20 years".
Lidia feels like a lucky person: "I feel like the meeting of two great cultures: the Italian culture of beauty and good eating, that of curiosity and American marketing".
The award ceremony, coordinated by the Councillor for Culture of the City of Forlimpopoli Paolo Rambelli, saw the greeting of the Mayor of Forlimpopoli Milena Garavini and the President of Casa Artusi Laila Tentoni. Following the speeches of entrepreneurs Renata Buli for Flamigni and Maria Grazia Silvestrini for Corte San Ruffillo, while Piero Meldini, member of the Scientific Committee of Casa Artusi and famous writer and scholar of gastronomy spoke with Lidia Bastianich. The Artusi Prize, an artistic bust depicting the famous gastronome created by the artist Pasquale Manzelli, was presented by the regional councillor Paolo Zoffoli.
Source: Artusi Prize Press Office