Joe Bastianich (2011)
September 17, 1968
Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, United States
Joseph Bastianich (born September 17, 1968) is an American restaurateur, winemaker, author, and television personality. He, along with partners Lidia Bastianich and Mario Batali, owns thirty restaurants worldwide, including Babbo (1 Michelin star) and Del Posto in New York, Carnevino in Las Vegas, and in 2010, expanded the LA eateries Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza Singapore. Earlier that same year, the trio teamed up with Italian retail businessman Oscar Farinetti to bring Eataly, an upscale food and wine market, to New York and Chicago.
Family background and personal life
The son of Felice and Lidia Bastianich, Joseph Bastianich was born in Astoria, Queens in 1968. Raised working in his parents' Italian restaurant Felidia in Manhattan, he attended Fordham Preparatory School before attending Boston College, where he studied finance. Bastianich lives in New York City, with his wife, Deanna, and their children, Olivia, Ethan, and Miles.
After spending a year on Wall Street as a bond trader, he gave up his newly launched career and ventured into the food industry. He took an extended trip to Italy. In 1993, he opened Becco (Italian for "peck, nibble, savor"), an Italian restaurant with his mother, Lidia Bastianich. He then partnered with Mario Batali to open Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, an Italian restaurant that gained the prestigious three stars from The New York Times, the first Italian restaurant to gain the award in 40 years. Babbo also has earned one Michelin star. Together they opened seven more restaurants in New York: Lupa, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Otto, Del Posto, and Eataly (an Italian marketplace). In 2010, Del Posto received a four star review from The New York Times, one of only five restaurants in New York to win that award. Their culinary empire has expanded to 10 restaurants in New York, 4 restaurants in Las Vegas, 3 restaurants in Los Angeles, 2 restaurants in Singapore, 1 Italian market in Chicago, 1 Italian market in Boston, and two restaurants in Hong Kong.
He was a judge on the American MasterChef series broadcast by Fox until it took too much of his time, and MasterChef Junior until he was replaced on both series by Christina Tosi in 2015. However, he returned for the sixth season of MasterChef Junior on March 2, 2018 and for the ninth season of MasterChef in June 2018. He is also a judge on the Italian version of the program. MasterChef Italia shown on Sky Uno.
He has also appeared as a guest judge on MasterChef Canada on Season 1, Episode 14.
Bastianich also made a special appearance in the 2015 television film An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success as a judge in a fictional season of MasterChef Junior. From March 22, 2016, he presented, with Guido Meda and Davide Valsecchi, the first edition of Top Gear Italia.
He currently appears as a judge and mentor on MasterChef season 9 in their new competition format.
In an episode of MasterChef Italia which came to the attention of the U.S. media in January 2018, Bastianich makes several racist remarks about Chinese men while making sexually suggestive comments to women giving him a manicure and pedicure at a beauty salon in Milan’s Chinatown. He asks the women if they’ve ever had Italian boyfriends and remarks that that Chinese men are "inadequate" in certain situations. When asked by the blog Grub Street for comment, Bastianich issued an apology: "This was a scripted segment shot in a Milan nail salon that I’ve gone to regularly. I know the women, and we were given the questions to discuss in advance. That said, it’s clear that some of what I said was in poor taste and not reflective of my views. I’m sorry I said those things."
He received the America Award of the Italy-USA Foundation in 2018.
Restaurants owned or operated by Batali and Bastianich Hospitality Group:
- BABBO Ristorante e Enoteca, New York City
- Bar Jamon, New York City
- Becco, New York City
- Birreria, New York City
- Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Casa Mono, New York City
- Chi Spacca, Los Angeles
- Del Posto, New York City
- Eataly (New York City, Chicago, Boston, São Paulo and Los Angeles)
- ESCA, New York City
- Felidia, New York City
- Lidia’s, Kansas City, Missouri
- Lidia's Italy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- LUPA, New York City
- Mozza2Go, Los Angeles, California
- Orsone, Cividale del Friuli (Frazione Gagliano), Italy
- Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles, California / Singapore
- OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria, New York City
- Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, California / Newport Beach, California / Singapore
- Tarry Market, Port Chester
- Tarry Wine, Port Chester
- Tarry Lodge, Port Chester / Westport, Connecticut
- Tarry Lodge, New Haven, Connecticut
- U Lumpase, Žamberk, Česko
- 2015. Healthy Pasta: The Sexy, Skinny, and Smart Way to Eat Your Favorite Food. Knopf
- 2014. Giuseppino. Da New York all'Italia: storia del mio ritorno a casa. UTET
- 2013. Restaurant Man. Plume
- 2010. Grandi Vini: An Opinionated Tour of Italy's 89 Finest Wines. Clarkson Potter
- 2005. Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy. Clarkson Potter
- MasterChef (US TV series)
- MasterChef Italia
- MasterChef Junior
- Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series)
- Restaurant Startup
- MasterChef Canada
- Top Gear Italy
- "Bastianich, Joseph". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, Massachusetts: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 50–54. ISBN 9780824211219.
- Yi, Christine (2008-10-28). "Passion for Food Adjusts to Fit Passion for Running". The New York Times.
- Passing the Toque: For a New Generation, Hospitality Is Destiny, Suzanne Hamlin, published January 10, 1996; retrieved February 1, 2008.
- Bruni, Frank (2004-06-09). "Arias From the Kitchen As the Dining Room Rocks". The New York Times.
- Sifton, Sam (2010-09-29). "A Modern Italian Master". The New York Times.
- "Four-Star Restaurants in New York". 23 January 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Chefs Find Winner's Circle Familiar Turf". The New York Times. 2008-06-11.
- Hinckley, David (2010-07-26). "Sob stories, bad auditions: Gordon Ramsay's new 'MasterChef' is like 'American Idol' for foodies". New York: Daily News.
- Owen, Rob (2015-07-10). "TV Q&A: 'Ellen' moving to WTAE, 'Masterchef' and PBS self-censorship". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "Meet the 6 Chicago-area kids competing on 'MasterChef Junior'". Chicago Tribune. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
- Galarza, Daniela (8 April 2015). "American Girl Flick Captures Timeless Drama of MasterChef Junior". Eater. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Tishgart, Sierra (17 January 2018). "New Video Shows Restaurateur Joe Bastianich Making Racist, Sexist Comments on Italian TV". Grub Street. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Official website
- Bio from Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group website
- Bio from Babbo restaurant website
- Bio from Vino Italiano book website