Lidia’s celebrated ‘Homegrown Heroes’

April 30, 2018

Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes

Celebrated chef and food ambassador Lidia Bastianich just won her second straight James Beard Award for PBS’s “Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes,” telling uplifting stories of military veterans and food. Like her 2016 public media program “Holiday for Heroes,” which won also won best special, “Homegrown Heroes” featured Bastianich visiting and sharing meals with veterans across the country who’ve made the successful transition from the military to civilian life.

This week, Bastianich also won a Daytime Emmy as best culinary host. She describes how she has a special place in her heart for those who protect freedoms and says that food is a natural entrée for her to share untold stories of military veterans. “Food opens all the doors – food is a communicator, a direct line to everybody’s heart and stomach,” she told public media leaders earlier this year at the APTS Public Media Summit.

The “Homegrown Heroes” featured in the special include veterans who find meaning in all sorts of farming: growing crops, keeping bees and raising alpacas or fish. Bastianich discovered that the veteran farmers share a common bond of teamwork, discipline and looking out for one another as they find a new way to serve their country through the life-affirming production of food.

Trailer: Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes, by WGBH

“Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes,” Bastianich’s fifth holiday special on PBS, can be streamed at