John Mariani is a food and travel columnist for Esquire, wine columnist for Bloomberg News, has a newsletter that goes out to 40,000 subscribers. He has been called by The Philadelphia Inquirer “the most influential food-wine critic in the popular press.” He is author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, The Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink, and with his wife Galina, The Italian-American Cookbook. He lives in Tuckahoe, New York.
Lidia Bastianich is an American chef and restaurateur. Specializing in Italian and Croatian cuisine, she has been a regular contributor to the PBS cooking show lineup since 1998. In 2007, she launched her third TV series, Lidia's Italy. She also owns four Italian restaurants in the U.S.: Felidia and Becco in Manhattan; Lidia's Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Lidia's Kansas City in Kansas City, Missouri.