Lidia Bastianich with her three grandchildren touring the streets of Vienna
In addition to knowing a thing or two about Italian cuisine and running critically-acclaimed restaurants, world-famous Chef/Restaurateur Lidia Bastianich (Felidia, Del Posto) knows how to appriopriately spoil her grandchildren (as all the best grandmothers do and should). Over Thanksgiving break of last year, Lidia took her three young grandchildren on an Austrian adventure during which they toured the beautiful city of Vienna, feasted on delicious sweets at famed Demel pastry shop, and enjoyed Vienna’s rich history and culture.
They went to Mozart’s old haunts, visited St. Anne’s Church, walked about the historic streets, and listened to the classical music that is so deeply a part of the city’s history. It was during this trip with her grandchildren that Lidia truly fell in love with the Viennese culture. So when Andres Grossbauer of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra called Del Posto inquiring about doing a special dinner at the restaurant, her immediate response was, “Let’s do it!”
And so they are! On March 4th Lidia Bastianich is proudly hosting an exclusive, musical dining experience that will showcase the beautiful harmonies of Austrian classical music and the best selections of Austrian wine. The evening will pay homage to the traditional way in which this genre of music was supposed to be enjoyed- over a dinner party. Historically, classical music has played an important role in dining as musicians would play during intimate dinner parties among friends and family at private homes.
As one of the most well-known chefs in the world, Lidia is oftentimes asked where she gets her “inspiration” when it comes to cooking. As it turns out, music is one of her biggest inspirations, especially classical. It “elevates my spirits” and the “creativity floats on beautiful notes.” For this reason Lidia is particularly excited to share this unique experience with fellow food and music lovers. Below she answers a handful of questions that relate to March 4th’s anticipated event. If you interested in attending this once-in-a-lifetime dinner, hosted by Lidia herself, then we encourage you to reserve your seat here.
"Best Grandmother Ever" award goes to Lidia Bastianich after she demanded that she and her grandchildren enjoy a lunch of only sweets at Vienna's Demel pastry shop.
It’s never been debated that food and wine have a strong relationship. What about the relationship between food and music?
Food and wine intertwine as they are both consumed and digested. Music intertwines with both on a mental level, on the sensory level. It magnifies the experience of wine and food. Harmony, texture, decadence can all describe both food and music. Both give you pleasure.
Do you enjoy Austrian cuisine? What is your favorite Austrian dish?
I do, I do! Boiled beef with horseradish is definitely one of them. I also love Wiener Schnitzel, Holstein-style, with breaded veal cutlet, a fried sunny-side-up egg on top of veal, then capers, anchovies and lemon.
Did you struggle at all in choosing a menu for this dinner?
No struggle with the menu at all. We had lots of fun. At first it was going to be all Austrian dishes, and then after talking to the folks involved from Austria, they decided to show off their music and wine in a way that is more appealing to the American consumer. They want to show how their wine can pair with other foods of world. So we are offering Italian dishes, mixed with a little Austrian flavors. We started with the music and went from there, pairing the wine and food to what the musicians will play.
What is one of your favorite Austrian wines?
I enjoy the wine north of Vienna which is complex and fruity. My favorite is Grüner Veltliner.
What do you hope guests take away from this experience?
I would like them to walk away with an experience of fine dining, with fine wine, and fine music. This will be a stimulation of the senses at its fullest. I also want them to feel as though they went back in time by enjoying this kind of music in the traditional manner.