Chef Lidia Bastianich Remembers Her Beloved Mother ‘Grandma’ on Mother’s Day

As a public television show host and restaurant owner, Lidia’s Italy host Lidia Bastianich has in her 40-year culinary career brought authentic Italian cuisine to American viewers.

Her greatest influence has been her mother Erminia, who died in February. The matriarch, who went by the nickname Grandma, is being remembered fondly this Mother’s Day.

Chef Lidia Bastianich smiles for a portrait
Chef Lidia Bastianich smiles for a portrait | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

Bastianich’s mother died at age 100 in February

Erminia died on February 14, her daughter tweeting that “My dear mother, Erminia, affectionately known as “’Grandma’ passed away quietly at home with me and the immediate family several days ago. Our team will be dedicating many of my future posts to her as we get through this difficult time.”

Bastianich dedicated her 2007 cookbook Lidia’s Italy to her mother whose strength and vision carried them in a new country: “This book is dedicated to Erminia, my mother, the nonna to my children and the bis nonna to my grandchildren. Without your unconditional love, your uwavering guidance and support, all of this could never have happened.”

The chef is keeping her mother close to her heart

On YouTube, the chef posted a video she had filmed last year with her mother in honor of her mother, Rossa. It served as a tribute to her own mother on her first Mother’s Day without her.

“In this endearing segment, I shared a toast to my Grandmother Rosa with my mother, Erminia,” she said. “It is a wonderful memory in honor of Mother’s Day and a preview of what is coming up this weekend on CREATE’S Lidia’s Kitchen showcase starting Friday night at 9:00 PM. Let’s raise a glass to the moms out there!”

And this Mother’s Day, Bastianich is literally saying “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms out there by request. She’s making herself available via Cameo to send personalized greetings to her fans.

“I am so excited to be using Cameo to do personal video messages, right in time for Mother’s Day!,” she wrote. “I can’t wait to hear from you all and spread some love. Request yours by clicking link in my profile.”

Her followers posted their enthusiasm and expressed their Mother’s Day wishes, along with their condolences for the celebrity chef’s recent loss of her mother.

The dish Bastianich said was her ‘mother’s specialty’

Bastianich posted on Instagram the recipe she called one of her mother’s best.

“This crispy and moist chicken and potatoes dish was my mother’s specialty,” she wrote. “My brother and I demanded it every week as kids, and a generation later, our kids followed that tradition. The grandkids are now eating it AND cooking it these days. It’s a perfect Mother’s Day weekend dinner idea.”

The ingredient list for the recipe isn’t long at all, calling for assorted chicken pieces, canola oil, red potatoes, onions, and fresh rosemary.

The chicken and potatoes are basically “cooked together in a big cast iron skillet until it’s crisp and moist at the same time.” Find Bastianich’s recipe here