Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and one of the best-loved chefs on television. Cookbooks include her latest, Lidia's Italy -- a companion book to her new television series -- Lidia's Family Table, Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia's Italian Table, and La Cucina di Lidia. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, which produces programs including Lidia's Italy.
Lidia is the chef and owner of acclaimed New York City restaurants Felidia, Becco, Esca, and Del Posto, as well as Lidia's in Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Along with her son Joseph, Lidia produces award-winning wines at the Bastianich and La Mozza wineries in Friuli and Maremma. With her daughter, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, and Shelly Burgess Nicotra, she heads an exclusive travel company that implements excursions to Italy that combine gastronomy with art history.
Lidia stays active in community service on behalf of the James Beard Foundation and public television. More information can be found on her website: www.lidiasitaly.com. Her signature line is “Tutti a tavola a mangiare!” meaning “Everybody to the table to eat!” This simple phrase epitomizes Lidia's true recipe for success.
Annie B. Copps is senior editor, food, of Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns. Prior to joining Yankee, she served as food editor of Boston Magazine and features editor of Concierge, and was also widely known for her work as the host of WBZ radio's Connoisseurs' Corner and WTKK's Table Talk with Annie Copps.
As a television producer, she made her mark with two popular public broadcasting series, Cooking with Todd English and Julia Child's Kitchen -- where she was an assistant to the legendary grande dame of French cuisine. She appears frequently as a guest on NBC's Today show and other TV and radio shows.
Before beginning her media career, Annie honed her skills as a cook at several notable Boston-area restaurants, including Olives, Jasper's, The Harvest, and Michela's.
Cathy Huyghe is the founder of 365daysofwine.com, a website about drinking wine every day in the Boston area, and Red White Boston, a for-profit marketing service that designs and promotes wine events in the Boston area.
Cathy’s first restaurant gig was at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, when she literally knocked on the kitchen’s back door and asked if she could work there. She also has worked for Jean-Pierre Vigato in Paris (at Natachef bistro and at his two-star restaurant, Apicius) and for Thomas Keller at Bouchon in Las Vegas. She studied at La Varenne École de Cuisine in Burgundy, France; she completed the Wine Studies program at Boston University; and she received Advanced Certification from WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust), where she continues her wine studies.
Cathy writes about wine for GlobalPost.com and QRW: Quarterly Review of Wines. Her writing has run in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Boston magazine, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Edible Boston, and on Nevada Public Radio and Grist.org.
Cathy received a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard in 2004 and is currently completing the journalism program at Harvard. She received a master’s degree in comparative literature from the City University of New York in 1998 and a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University in 1995.
In April 2008 she founded the Harvard Alumni in Wine and Food special interest group, which provides educational and networking services to the Harvard community, alumni, and current students.
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of Simply Ming, currently in its seventh season. In 2009, Simply Ming received two Emmy nominations in the categories of “Outstanding Culinary Program” and “Outstanding Culinary Host,” and received two Bronze Telly Awards for lighting and art direction. His Simply Ming vodcasts feature tutorials on everything from filleting fish to food allergy basics. In addition to television, Ming is the author of three cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, and Ming's Master Recipes.
Ming was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at their family-owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen. His love of cooking (and eating!) great food was forged in these early years, while also gaining valuable experience in front and back of the house. Ming attended Yale University, and spent his junior summer at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. After graduating from Yale, Ming trained under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme in Paris and in Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi, as well as in kitchens around the globe.
In 1998, Ming opened Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and immediately impressed diners with the restaurant's innovative East-West cuisine. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from The Boston Globe, was named "Best New Restaurant" by Boston Magazine, and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Best New Restaurant 1998,” and Esquire Magazine honored Ming as "Chef of the Year 1998." Ming and Blue Ginger continue to consistently attract accolades for culinary excellence.
Ming is a national spokesperson for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), and is proud to have developed the Food Allergy Reference Book, first used at Blue Ginger, a pioneering system that creates safeguards to help food-allergic people dine safely. He also helped write Bill S. 2701, which was recently signed into law, requiring Massachusetts restaurants to comply with simple food allergy awareness guidelines.
For more information on Ming, visit www.ming.com.