Legendary Chef Lidia Bastianich’s Net Worth and Her Reaction to Mario Batali Alleged Sexual Misconduct

Chef Lidia Bastianich doesn’t say ‘Bam!’ when she cooks, like Emeril Lagasse. Or label her food with quirky names, such as ‘funkalicious’, like Guy Fieri. She simply makes humble Italian dishes and elevates them for presentation, offering guests at her restaurants Felidia, Becco, Esca, and Eataly, a true Italian dining experience.

Chef Lidia Bastianich
Chef Lidia Bastianich | Bobby Bank/WireImage

The 2018 Emmy Award-winner is the host of Lidia’s Kitchen and Lidia Celebrates America and has been showing millions how to cook on public television since 1998. Find out how the beloved chef got her start, what her current net worth is, plus her reaction to the allegations of sexual misconduct against fellow chef Mario Batali.

Bastianich’s humble beginnings

Bastianich grew up in a small city on the Istrian Peninsula (today, Croatia). She lived a happy childhood in an old-world setting spent helping her grandmother prepare meals and tending orchards and vineyards. She and her family, however, lived under the suffocating communist regime and finally, they had to leave, and quickly.

The chef published her memoirs last year and wrote of that part of her life, “While life seemed great for me at the time, what I didn’t know as a child was how communism took away almost everything my family stood for. Communists changed our last name. We couldn’t speak our native Italian language. They took away our religion; I even had to be baptized in secret! Communism threatened my dad’s business. So we were forced to flee.”

Lidia’s family fled to Trieste, in Italy, where they would spend two years as refugees held in a camp. They waited those years for visas to the United States. Once they arrived there, in New York City, Bastianich worked in restaurants. She even worked in a bakery with actor Christopher Walken (much before he found his own fame), beginning a culinary career that would lead to her becoming one of the most highly respected chefs in the industry.

Bastianich received career encouragement from a cooking legend

Bastianich was running her restaurant, Felidia, where fellow legendary chef Julia Child dined often. She and Bastianich became good friends and Bastianich taught Child how to make risotto. Eventually, Child invited her to be on her Cooking with Master Chefs public television series.

From left to right: Julia Child and Lidia Bastianich | John Bohn/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

“…that’s when the producer says, “Lidia, you’re pretty good. How about a show of your own?,” she told NPR last year. “And that was 20 years ago. So I thought about it. She encouraged me. She said, ‘Lidia, you go ahead. You do for Italian food what I did for French food. You can do it.'”

Bastianich’s net worth

Bastianich’s net worth is $6 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Her restaurant business partner Mario Batali last year stepped away from his partnerships due to accusations against him by his restaurant workers of alleged sexual misconduct. Bastianich assumed a greater leadership role and shared with a Canadian television network last year her reaction to the accusations against Batali.

“It never happened that I’ve seen it, but I was devastated when I found out of the accusations. I kind of went back and just said, ‘I’m here. This should have never happened. Let’s move on and let’s do the right thing.'”

Read more: What Is Mario Batali Doing Now?