Chef Lidia Bastianich celebrates her American story in new cooking show

The cookbook author, restaurateur and James Beard Award winner pays homage to her past on a new show "Lidia Celebrates America - A Heartland Holiday Feast."
7:06 | 12/18/18

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Transcript for Chef Lidia Bastianich celebrates her American story in new cooking show
One job not shed commerce valued. To begin with something light like this is great enjoyment takes them absolutely right. Refreshing and it's not just her passion for Libya must see on it spoon in his life brilliant. Communicate with whom. We bring people together we would want to share food is love. It is it's a celebration of greatest thing that love over more than four decades has helped to build a food empire as one of America's most beloved Italian chefs. With six seasons on PBS bringing live use kitchen into America's homes. As simple to cut them. It put a little bit on top you're often referred to as America's Italian grandmother. I think that moniker I love it besides her namesake pasta sauces and wine label and her partnership at the wildly popular marketplace legally. Lydia boasts more than a dozen books featuring her cuisine which like Kurt is elegant yet rustic how many restaurants yeah definitely. Are quite a few. There's in the city itself there's so that the others back there's been possible that says got. That would have oblivious Kansas City live yes Pittsburg 1981 is when we opened for Libya and it's it's been great ever since then and this is shut out the rapidly problem that helped lead to. But behind her grandmother Lee appeal of powerful matriarch a woman dominating in a male dominated industry. In Italy a woman be longs. In the kitchen a women is part of the restaurant support meet with it. I sit you know unique to develop yourself freely invest in yourself and don't be afraid to stand up to do the right thing give respect and demand respect. Her artistry earning her seven prized James Beard awards and just this year winning a second Emmy for outstanding culinary host as co write and Lydia says she owes her TV career to get another powerhouse pioneer the legendary Julia child and. Who is to French cuisine but Lydia has become for Italians one thing. To the child. And James Buhner hit man you know this big. Towering house both of them are big they came back few times she wanted me to teach her how to make these out but she came over the house you get to teach Julia Child a fish yet. They sell them. And then she ultimately invited me to be Oprah Show to episodes. And then get all of the shows the producers living a pretty good have a national hero and that's was born anything. Fresh from me that's Lydia appearing on Julia child's cooking with master chefs 25 years ago. A lucky break in a life that didn't start out that way. Lydia was born in 1947 in history a part of northern Italy swallowed up by Communist Yugoslavia her family lost everything they escaped migrants in Italy at a refugee camp for two years before immigrating to the United States. We came heroes young I was trying to yourself we had nobody here and you know we were given a great chance of a new life. She made good on that chance with her version of the American dream. The now famous local paying homage to her humble beginnings are PBS special Lydia celebrates America. A heartland holiday feast premiering Tuesday that's chest. Lydia travels across rural America to six different states exploring the diverse cultures and traditions as. This is for me. Thank in America because I'm an immigrant and I want and know more about America I want to find out about the other other immigrants that are out there. The show is a cross country road map for ticket in food. It's amazing. How diverse rural America is and how wonderful you know it's like this great actual. Thank you. Her first stop son very Pennsylvania. Where the immigrant from queen spent her sophomore year of high school living with relatives it was kind of a quick subversion into being an American I became American right away because there were no. Kind of partners they are in essence she. Goes. Lydia uses her own story of coming to America to relate to other refugees along her route. Making tamales in Texas. Members of the Hmong community in Wisconsin with the shoe throwing. Teaching media how to make the traditional southeast Asian games with mustard green for the fourth and scientists like one a steep full ceremonial first. This is what. Makes America great this is what. America is. And you know I'm an example. And Americans Italian grandmother brought clients one of her five grandchildren on part of a road trip to northern Minnesota. To learn about the Scandinavian tradition of ice fishing but amiable if Condit. Well here while grandmas and kisses. Sun OK son don't. As Lydia heads to Louisiana. The gumbo she learns to make becomes a metaphor for the melting pot of people she encounters. Ethics committee. Things can't howling its food diplomacy for you. I think food should be used in world diplomacy yeah. But for me who is how Y end terror into. Homes or shafts or or different cities I think yeah resolving the problems. All of the world's on the region's whenever exhibit at the table eating an ice cold overnight delicious. Yeah. It can only make it positive. Zone Libya's seems relentlessly positive amid challenges in her industry even her own company. Her celebrity chef business partner Mario Vitale stepping away from their empire after sexual misconduct allegations. Though they're still working towards a resolution. The tally apologizing in a newsletter by behavior was wrong and there are no excuses I take full responsibility. Q is there. A good businessmen until he was good until he just didn't go off the tracks but that's. That has moved on we are focused on the fact. While Libya moves on from not partnership she has focused on creating a new one was. This holiday season and biting her new found friends to a holiday banquet earth literally. The living embodiment. Of the American dream I am I mean it I'm so grateful. You know and I simplifying if you give somebody an opportunity. And to they really. Appreciate and take it. In America that can really make it happen.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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