Lidia Bastianich, First Lady of Italian Cuisine, to Lead 2007 Columbus Day Parade in New York

Innovator Helped Introduce Fresh Italian Cuisine to America

Aug 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Columbus Citizens Foundation

    NEW YORK, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, the
 Italian-born emigre to America who has brought an appreciation of fresh
 Italian cooking and of Italian culture to the homes of millions, will be
 Grand Marshal of the 2007 Columbus Day Parade in New York City.
     "We are delighted that Ms. Bastianich has accepted our invitation to be
 Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade," said Louis Tallarini, President
 of the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York, which organizes the event.
 "Ms. Bastianich's great love of Italian cuisine and culture, as seen in her
 cookbooks, nationally broadcast television programs, syndicated column,
 restaurants and travel company, have inspired countless Americans to
 explore the great pleasures of Italian dishes and the beauty of her native
 country. Her passion for her art, for life, and for the people of Italy, of
 her native Istria and of her adopted land of America make her the ideal
 person to lead our pageant of Italian and Italian-American culture. She is
 an enormously warm, genuine person who selflessly gives her time and
 efforts to numerous humanitarian and philanthropic causes. We are proud to
 count her as part of our community and among our friends."
     "I was thrilled when the Foundation asked me to serve as Grand Marshal,
 an honor previously bestowed on many great Italians and Italian Americans,"
 said Ms. Bastianich.
     "The United States welcomed me as an Italian immigrant nearly 50 years
 ago, and it has been a joy and a pleasure to share with the women and men
 of America secrets from my grandmother and mother's kitchens as well as
 more recent confections. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have
 received in my adopted country and for this wonderful honor presented to me
 by the Columbus Citizens Foundation."
     New York City's 2007 Columbus Day Parade will be held on October 8 and
 will be broadcast by NBC affiliates and by the Italian broadcasting
 companies RAI and RAI International.
     The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New
 York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American
 heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of
 philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for
 advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various
 scholarship and grant programs. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the
 Foundation is providing scholarship support for 887 students in the amount
 of $2.4 million. It has organized New York's Columbus Day Parade since
 1929. For more information about the Foundation, please visit .
     For additional information, including a bio and images, please contact:
     Andrew Decker
     Andrew Decker Communications

SOURCE The Columbus Citizens Foundation