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Thursday, April 5th, 2012


Lidia Celebrates America with
Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New


Lidia Celebrates America - Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New Premieres Tuesday, April 17th from 7-8pm on WTVP-HD.

Lidia Bastianich poses with a Korean-American couple on their wedding day.



A blushing bride glows in her gold-trimmed red sari. Mardi Gras Indians dressed in vibrant feathers move to the beat of a drum. A happy couple, clad in jewel-toned robes, bow reverently before their elders. From jumping the broom to tying the knot, wedding celebrations in America are as diverse as the nation itself.

Celebrity chef and culinary author Lidia Bastianich cordially invites viewers to be her “plus one” on a cross-country matrimonial odyssey in her new PBS prime-time special, Lidia Celebrates America: Weddings: Something Borrowed, Something New, airing Tuesday, April 17 from 7-8pm on WTVP-HD.

The second in a series of Lidia Celebrates America specials airing on PBS, this one‐hour program explores America’s rich cultural heritage as seen through the lens of its wedding ceremonies and the special foods and traditions associated with them. The program will encore Friday, April 20 at 9:00pm.

“Weddings are really telling of a culture, and they are all beautifully different,” says Lidia, who marries her passion for food with her love of family in the special. “Each ceremony is a celebration of family, continuity and new life.”

Lidia’s engaging exploration of wedding traditions includes a visit to New Orleans, where Liz and Ray are making the final preparations for a wedding that will showcase their love for The Big Easy. That means a wedding featuring Mardi Gras Indians dancing to the beat while bedecked in brightly colored feathers, and traditional New Orleans fare such as jambalaya, crawfish and pralines.

“I grew up in New Orleans all my life, so it’s a part of me, it’s in my in my blood,” Liz says. “The food, the music, the Mardi Gras Indians – I think they really put a stamp on the wedding that this is New Orleans.”

Ray agrees. “I think this wedding is just going to sum up New Orleans in a few hours.”

In Chicago, Angie and Reggie are about to wed in a traditional Indian ceremony. “Angie, the bride, is from Punjab, which is north of India, and Reggie is from Sri Lanka, which is a different country,” Lidia notes. “So there’s a lot of space between them – big difference, yet a lot of commonality.”

Lidia leads viewers through the preparations for the lavish ceremony, as Angie’s hands and arms are decorated with intricate henna tattoos and Reggie arrives on the back of a sumptuously adorned white horse. Joining in the festivities is actor Mario Cantone, known for portraying a wedding planner on Sex and the City, who has his henna done alongside Lidia. Indian actress and food writer Madhur Jaffrey, meanwhile, serves up a delicious primer on classic Indian wedding dishes, including tandoori specials, seafood kebabs and traditional Indian breads.

In Flushing, New York, Lidia meets David and Jessica, who are preparing for their traditional Korean wedding ceremony. Jessica welcomes Lidia into her kitchen for an appetizing introduction to Korean cooking – a cuisine that Lidia finds surprisingly familiar.

“There were parallels between the Korean cuisine, what they were cooking, and the Italian cuisine,” she notes.

Noted designer Isaac Mizrahi creates a special outfit for Lidia to wear to her first Korean-American wedding, while Survivor champion and America Revealed host Yul Kwon offers his insight on Korean food, as well as Korean culture and tradition.

“Korean cuisine is very spicy, it’s very flavorful,” Kwon tells Lidia. “I think Korean food is one of the ways I sort of reconnected to my culture.”

And in New York City, viewers witness the marriage of two cultures – Irish-American and Italian-American – with a wedding that holds special significance for Lidia: Estelle, the bride, is Lidia’s niece and goddaughter. As the happy couple feast on both traditional Irish wedding cake and classic Venetian desserts, Lidia muses on the true significance of wedding celebrations.

“It sort of trickles down, this thread of who the family is, the strength of the family, the love of the family…” she says. “This thread trickles down and carries on into this new family that’s being formed.”





For recipes and more about the television broadcast, visit pbs.org/lidiacelebratesamerica.





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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