My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food is a beguiling memoir about Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s path from a bucolic European childhood, abruptly cut short, to her remarkable present-day success as an award-winning television chef, cookbook author and restaurateur ... Ms. Bastianich writes about those early days with a buoyant, optimistic tone ... Food has been the mainstay of Ms. Bastianich’s life.
These days, Bastianich is a beloved restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality with a grandmotherly demeanor and a quiet confidence ... Bastianich’s book is titled My American Dream, appropriate for what reads like a quintessential immigrant story, making her another example of figures who came here as outsiders but became beloved and famous for their way with food ... Bastianich stays away from any overt political commentary. But her memory for evocative detail — if she didn’t keep a journal her whole life, the memoir sure reads as if she did — and her writing style make for compelling reading nonetheless. Rather than squeeze every drop of sentimentality out of sometimes-painful accounts, she reflects on her life with a matter-of-factness that makes the stories all the more poignant.
Written in a straightforward, linear narrative, My American Dream is—like her cooking—accessible. Yes, there are a few transitions that are clunky or awkward, and descriptions about her family life are superficial at best, leaving the reader with more questions than answers. Still, the book conveys her enormous sense of gratitude to her parents who risked everything to give her and her brother a better life in America. And in that sense, it is a touching (and timely) read.
My American Dream is not exactly the stereotyped rags-to-riches story of an American immigrant because its author, restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, was born into a fairly comfortable family in Pula, now in Croatia, but formerly part of the Italian province of Istria ... The clarity and force of this statement typifies Lidia Bastianich. Her autobiography is a chronicle of moving from project to project, always sharply focused on a goal ... More importantly, one senses something missing. These late chapters are lists of one thing after another with little back story or explanation of how they happened ... In general, though, her book is rich in interest, highlighted with appealing family snapshots, and spritzed with compelling observations. The cover picture of the smiling author with a huge platter of vivid tomatoes aptly suggests the vigor of the tale she tells.
In her inspiring, vividly detailed memoir My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, Bastianich explores how that came to be ... Her legions of fans know her as warm and effusive, and My American Dream is no different. Wisdom peppers her reflections on her life, infused with deep love for family and country--and food, too.
Restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV host Bastianich (Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian: 220 Foolproof Recipes that Make Every Meal a Party, 2017, etc.) offers an ebullient, nostalgic memoir of her journey to success ... A warm story of a life buoyed by resilience, determination, love of family, and food.
Chef and restaurateur Bastianich (Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian) offers a look into her culinary background in this charming memoir ... Whether recalling her lean years in Yugoslavia, cooking with Julia Child, or reeling in sockeye salmon during an Alaskan fishing trip with one of her grandchildren, Bastianich passionately evokes the concept that food is life. Through her lyrical prose, she also encourages readers to find the bright side of any situation. This is a welcome addition to any food lover’s library.