On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Nashville Public Television will present an evening with famed Italian chef, best-selling cookbook author and Emmy Award-winning public television personality Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville. The event will feature a five-course meal inspired by Bastianich’s latest cookbook, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine, curated by Mangia Nashville’s Nick Pellegrino, and including wine and sparkling water.
When setting the menu, Pellegrino will use a combination of Bastianich’s recipes (there are more than 400 in this book alone) and his own dishes. It’s a formula he employed four years ago for NPT’s previous event with Bastianich. “Her recipes, because they’re so family-oriented, they’re very conducive to what we do. It’s not like a normal restaurant where you’re preparing one dish and sending it out, we’re sending out platters of food,” Pellegrino said, referring to the multi-course Italian feasts he hosts each weekend at his Berry Hill restaurant.
Those began five years ago as pop-ups in Franklin and include, as will NPT’s Lidia Bastianich evening, singing and dancing to Italian-American classics by Sinatra, Frankie Valli, The Rascals and others. “Everybody works off about 1,000 calories, then you sit down and you eat some more,” Pellegrino said.
In addition to food and dancing, the Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville evening will offer guests the opportunity to meet and mingle with Bastianich and other diners in a casual environment. Again, this meshes well with the atmosphere in Pellegrino’s restaurant. The space has a décor that is both stylish and relaxed with a large bar, open kitchen and dark rustic tables that Pellegrino built himself. Pellegrino, who opened this location in the spring of this year, also designed the 100-plus foot long banquette that wraps around one side of the restaurant.
The apple green leather banquette makes it easier to reconfigure tables when accommodating large groups, Pellegrino said. That should come in handy during Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville. As Bastianich writes in the introduction to her latest cookbook: “Italian food is all about authentic ingredients, intense flavors, and the enjoyment that comes when family and friends get together.”
Tickets to Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville are available at wnpt.org/lidia and are $200 per person (dinner only) or $250 per person (includes a copy of Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine cookbook which Bastianich will sign at the event). The book was co-written with Tanya Bastianich Manuali, the chef’s daughter, and includes nearly 100 pages of ingredients and techniques (kinds of food, condiments, tools and preparation methods); more than 400 recipes, among them appetizers and desserts; and concludes with a glossary and brief section on Italian culture and language.
Learn more of Bastianich’s by watching Lidia’s Kitchen Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. on NPT and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NPT2.