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MANHATTAN — Famed chef Lidia Bastianich is best known for her delicious Italian meals seen in her best-selling cookbooks or on her hit PBS cooking show “Lidia’s Kitchen.”

While the beloved chef can share her story from her own elegant New York City restaurant, Felidia, it all began from modest means as child in Italy.

Over a mouth-watering meal, Bastianich told PIX11’s Betty Nguyen how food and cooking has always been an important part of her life and her family, and how it continues to be a bridge for her to her past and her loved ones.

There weren’t many women in the restaurant business when Bastianich and her husband opened their first restaurant in Queens in 1971, she now uses her fame and influence to make a huge difference for fellow women in food.

She helped form the organization Women Chefs & Restauranteurs, which is now over 2,000 members strong.