Iris’s Organic and Ever-Growing List of “Italian” Cooking Celebrities

Has a TV Show

Buddy Valastro

  • Cake Boss (TLC; parent company is Discovery Communications)
    • Buddy Valastro is an accomplished fourth generation baker born into the business owned and operated by his parents.  He was born in Hoboken, NJ and raised in an old fashioned Italian family.At an early age, Buddy showed that he was a natural by displaying his amazing talent for baking and cake decorating. Aside from that passion, he loved spending quality time with his father as his apprentice. Countless hours were spent in the bakery where Buddy’s father, a master baker, taught him all his old world secrets of baking.  They were best friends and dreamed that together that they would make Carlo’s Bakery a household name. “
  • Next Great Baker (TLC; parent company is Discovery Communications)
    • “The competition is still sweet, but Buddy is really bringing the heat in this 10-week competition premiering Nov. 28.There’s never a dull moment at Carlo’s Bakery — and Buddy’s ready to take another talented confectioner under his wing. The frosting will fly as 13 lucky bakers get a shot to show Buddy their stuff, with one of them voted on the show by, you, the fans.

      Each week, Buddy will push the contestants’ baking and decorating skills to the limit with challenges so tough, they’ll make you say “Holy Cannoli!” One by one, promising bakers will be sent to the box truck until one Great Baker remains — taking home the top prize and a chance to work with the Boss.”

  • Kitchen Boss (TLC; parent company is Discovery Communications)
    • “In a new TLC cooking show, Buddy Valastro brings viewers into the kitchen, where he shares his family favorite Italian dishes (sic). From his grandmother’s secret recipes to simple tips to make a more delicious meal, Buddy cooks everything from pastas and proteins to sides and everyday desserts that make dinner a family event. To help spice it up during the series, various guests, including members of the Valastro family, join Buddy in the kitchen.”

Giada De Laurentiis

  • Everyday Italian (Food Network)
  • Italians are masters at transforming simple, everyday ingredients into dishes that are quick, healthy and satisfying. In Everyday Italian, chef Giada De Laurentiis shares updated versions of the homey recipes she grew up with in her Italian family. She’ll show you easy dishes that are perfect for every occasion: a weeknight meal, entertaining a crowd, or a cozy dinner for two. Buon appetito!”

Linda Matticchi Bastianich

  • “From an award winning cooking show on public television to the best line of cookbooks on the market, Lidia’s Italy opens up the world of authentic Italian recipes like no one else. You can also taste the magic first hand with a visit to one of six incredible restaurants, Esca, Del Posto, Becco, Felidia are all Italian restaurants in NYC, and Lidia’s Italy leads the pack in Pittsburgh Italian restaurants and those in Kansas City. If you’ve always wanted to immerse yourself in the aromas, the sounds and the flavor of rustic Italian cooking with a modern flair, you have six choices to choose from. Each serves traditional Italian recipes you’ll love. 

You can also download everyday Italian recipes, including ones used on television, right from her website. One of the highest rated TV cooking shows of all time, the dishes you’ll find on site will create a new culinary experience for you. With just one viewing of her Italian cooking shows, you can begin creating amazing Italian dishes in your very own kitchen. 

Lidia also has an online store filled with great gift ideas and items no kitchen can live without, including food items, kitchen gadgets, copies of Lidia’s hit cookbooks and DVDs of her world famous cooking show, as well as gift cards to any of her restaurants and so much more. 

Lidia’s Italy welcomes you with open arms and a warm hug, so visit today.”

Mary Ann Esposito

  • Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™ (PBS)
  • “For Mary Ann, the art of Italian cooking is a way of life. As a little girl growing up in Depew, New York, she watched her two Italian grandmothers create wonderful Italian dishes. Both nonnas, one Sicilian and one Neapolitan, were Italian natives and professional cooks. This upbringing instilled in Mary Ann a deep appreciation for Italian food and culture. But it was a pivotal trip to Italy that made her ponder hosting a television program to share her love. Thus, Ciao Italia was born.”

Michael Chiarello

  • “Cookbook author and chef Michael Chiarello loves to find inventive ways to entertain his friends. His parties are casual, easy to plan and always revolve around great food. Each episode of Easy Entertaining, shot on location at the Trefethen Winery in Napa, California’s gorgeous wine country, features Michael planning, cooking and throwing a creative get together. His recipes – a mix of his Italian heritage and wine country lifestyle – are perfect for easy and effortless entertaining.”
  • “From his earliest childhood experiences – created around his mother’s California kitchen with his extended Italian family of butchers, cheese makers and ranchers – Michael dreamed of becoming a chef one day. Decades later, he has realized his dream – and much more.”

David Rocco

  • David Rocco’s Dolce Vita (Food Network)
  • “‘David Rocco’s Dolce Vita’ is our guide to all things Italian. As always, the starting point is food. Italian cooking is all about the simple things, and how, if you learn to do these simple things well, life is that much better. I say this all the time and believe it absolutely: you don’t need a cooking diploma to make fantastic Italian dishes. The show is also about how food brings friends and family together.”

Nick Stellino

  • “Nick Stellino grew up in Palermo, on the island of Sicily, and came to the United States in 1975. In 1991, he decided to leave his lucrative career as a Wall Street stockbroker in order to follow his dream of becoming a chef. He started in his culinary career as a dishwasher. Over time, he apprenticed with the best chefs in America. “I was in heaven working my way up the restaurant line,” says Nick. “But I wanted to share my enthusiasm for Italian cooking with more people. I decided a cooking show was the answer.” Employing the energy, dedication and entrepreneurial vision that had taken him from Palermo to Wall Street, Nick began calling television production companies. His efforts culminated in the highly successful series Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends, Cucina Amore I, II and III, Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen I, II, III, IV and V, and the PBS specials, Nick Stellino’s Dinner Party and Nick Stellino: Food, Love & Family.
  • “Nick has published many cookbooks and has partnered with major publishing companies including Putnam and Doubleday. In 2006, Nick celebrated the launch of his seventh cookbook, titled Dine In!, which is the companion to his public television series, Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen.His other titles, which can be purchased from major retailers such as the Barnes & Noble online store and, include:
    • Nick Stellino Cooking with Friends
    • Cucina Amore
    • Nick Stellino’s Glorious Italian Cooking
    • Nick Stellino’s Mediterranean Flavors
    • Nick Stellino’s Family Kitchen
    • Nick Stellino’s Passione; Pasta, Pizza, and Panini
    • Mangiamo! Let’s Eat!
    • Nick Stellino’s Dine In!

No TV Show

The following are advertised on Nick Stellino’s Website 

Michael Cimarusti

  • “Michael Cimarusti’s passion and curiosity for food was ignited at an early age by his grandmother, Jo Cimarusti. In the great Italian culinary tradition his grandmother, alongside his great-grandmother and aunts, made sure that every Sunday get-together was an event. Cimarusti can trace his reverence for ingredients and proper technique back to those Sunday family meals…”

Walter Pisano

  • “For Chef Walter Pisano, running an Italian restaurant was preordained. As the son of a New York restaurateur, the business runs in his blood; as part of an East Coast Italian family, the food is in his heart. Pisano is a longtime fixture on the Northwest restaurant scene, most notably for opening and operating Tulio Ristorante. Since its inception, Tulio has been a regular on the awards lists, including Seattle’s Best Italian Restaurant, Best Business Lunch and Best Kept Secret…”



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