In the early part of the century (yes, that would be the year 2000) I became fascinated with Lidia Bastianich and made a point of telling everyone that I wanted to go to her restaurant, Felidia (243 E. 58th New York, NY 10022).
People tend to like me (what can I say?) so everyone made a point of trying to get reservations there. When I went for lunch with some co-workers my boss asked if Lidia was around and would she sign a cookbook? We were told that Lidia was back in her office, but the book was sent back there and arrived at our table at the end of the meal autographed, with a personal inscription, wrapped in tissue paper. We were thrilled.
A few months later I returned and this time I bumped smack dab into Lidia herself in the ladies room with my friend. Lidia was personable, lovely and sweet. When we told her we were with a little boy (celebrating his birthday) who adored her and wanted to be a chef when he grew up she made a special stop at our table later on to wish him a happy birthday and give him encouragement.
an ambassador and couldn’t do more than shake our hands (graciously, but distractedly). I didn’t hold it against her. I still think she’s wonderful.
Tell her Karen says “hi!”