Who Knew? Lidia Bastianich and Christopher Walken

Bastianich-walken Who would have imagined that chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich was childhood friends with the brilliant and bizarre actor Christopher Walken?

Sitting in as a guest-host on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show this week, Walken featured Bastianich, along with her mother Erminia Motika, to talk about Italian food and Bastianich's cookbook Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes. But, mostly they just reminisced about their childhood in Astoria, Queens, where Walken and Bastianich (and her mother) worked alongside each other in Walken's Bakery, owned by Walken's parents (the New Yorker recently profiled Walken as he revisited the site of the defunct bakery, which is now a hardware store).

Listen to the interview below, and you might even find yourself interested in making Bastianich's recipe for Lamb Chunks with Olives (Agnello ’ncip ’nciape), which Walken, a self-proclaimed failure at cooking lamb most times, raves about on air.



I cannot believe this, I used to shop at Walkens' for years when I was a kid. It was two blocks from my house. I remember Christopher was a child star along with his brothers and knew Christopher had made it big, but never knew Lidia worked there. Lidia lived on 31 St.. unbeknownst to me. I lived on 31 St., also, but she must have lived a block away on the same street. I have watched Lidia's cooking program and only her program because I think she's one of the best chefs around, little did I know I had some connection to her. Learned this from her show "Tutti a tavlia a mangiare" (everyone to the table to eat). Love it. Dolly


i grew up on 31st street a block away from Broadway in Astoria.
I have always liked the works of these two and always felt drawn to their work. What a small world, I now know why.


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