Meet Lidia Bastianich, Jodi Picoult And Meg Wolitzer At LitFest

Lidia Bastianich (Photo source:

Long Island LitFest returns this fall with two exciting events that bring together readers and writers. On Friday, Sept. 28, Chef Lidia Bastianich appears at Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington to discuss and sign copies of her book, My American Dream. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, New York Times bestseller Jodi Picoult chats on stage with critically acclaimed author Meg Wolitzer at Landmark on Main Street in Port Washington. To purchase tickets, visit

Lidia Bastianich is best known for her Emmy-winning cooking programs on PBS. Lidia’s Kitchen, which focuses on creating simple, seasonal and economical dishes, enters season six in 2019. She can also be seen as a judge on Junior MasterChef Italia and on Italy’s La Prova del Cuoco. Wherever she goes, Bastianich cultivates a sense of home in the kitchen and teaches viewers to draw on their roots to find inspiration for their cooking.

Bastianich, a resident of Douglaston, Queens, is the author of 13 cookbooks and owner of several restaurants, including Felidia, Becco, Del Posto and Esca in Manhattan, as well as a partner in Eataly, an open-concept marketplace and dining center with locations throughout the world.

In My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, Bastianich recalls her childhood on the Istrian Peninsula, modern-day Croatia, where “farm-to-table” cuisine was the norm, not a trendy buzzword. The simple meals her family made from the animals they raised and vegetables they grew on their farm became the basis for her first restaurant. Her elevated style of “peasant food” caught the attention of Julia Child, who in 1993 invited Bastianich as a guest onto her television show. Child encouraged her to “do for Italian food what I did for French food” and the rest is history.

My American Dream also delves into Bastianich’s early life behind the Iron Curtain, her time in a refugee camp and immigration to the United States. These experiences shaped her views, her businesses and her desire to share Italian culinary traditions with the world.

Tickets to see Bastianich in conversation with food writer Erica Marcus cost $35 and include a copy of My American Dream, an audience Q-and-A and a book signing reception. Book Revue provided the books.

Jodi Picoult is the author of 25 novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, Small Great Things, which explores issues of power, privilege and race. The Nesconset native most recently published A Spark of Light, a provocative novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis. The gripping tale follows a police hostage negotiator to a women’s reproductive health clinic where a gunman has opened fire.

Picoult’s books have been translated into 34 languages and several have been made into films, including My Sister’s Keeper, starring Cameron Diaz. Small Great Things has been optioned for motion picture adaptation and is set to star Viola Davis and Julia Roberts.

Tickets to see Picoult in conversation with Meg Wolitzer, author of the acclaimed The Female Persuasion, are also $35 and include a copy of A Spark of Light, an audience Q-and-A and individual photo opportunities with Picoult. The Dolphin Bookstore provided the books.

Bring your friends and your entire book club to these special literary events.

Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave., Huntington, NY 11743.

Landmark on Main Street is located at 232 Main St., Port Washington, NY 11050.

For more information about Long Island LitFest, call 516-810-7781 or visit

Kimberly Dijkstra
Kimberly Dijkstra is the web editor for Anton Media Group, a writer for Long Island Weekly and recipient of several Press Club of Long Island (PCLI) and New York Press Association (NYPA) awards.

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