By cooking with your kids, you can help them understand that food is a powerful tool in connecting human beings.
Kids today are really so alienated from the source of food. If they are going to nourish themselves properly, if they are going to safeguard this environment we have and the economy that goes with it and world hunger that goes with it, they need to know about food.
Italians are very conscious of what they eat, how they eat, and its digestion.
Julia Child came to my house and wanted a lesson in making risotto.
When I started as a young chef, I was Italian, and I was a woman, and everyone else in New York was French and a man.
If we don't focus on when we eat - like, let's say we watch television or something - you eat much more. If you focus on the food - you smell it, you cook it - you're enjoying it already.
That's the beauty of risotto. You can make it any flavor you want. It's a great carrier.
Match the right food to the right occasion. Think about what you are celebrating. If you are honoring people, what are their favorite foods? If it is a holiday, what is the food for it? When you give an identity to the party, people appreciate that.
The food of a country is my story. It is a small story, but people relate so much to it. I want to share that, but also the idea of bringing people and family together.
The Caprese salad perfectly represents the colors of the Italian flag. While I am not so sure that the colors of the flag stem from the cuisine, there is no denying that those colors do evoke a typical Italian plate.
Food feeds our souls. It is the single great unifier across all cultures. The table offers a sanctuary and a place to come together for unity and understanding.
In 1981, we opened Felidia, and the newspapers, the city papers, the big timers came, and I got invited on the 'Today Show' and so on. A lot of food luminaries would come to Felidia - Julia Child, James Beard, they all came.
I think traditions change and modify with each generation. With new members joining the family, their customs and traditions have to be respected and combined with the exiting traditions. And the children that follow are part of that new evolving tradition and, as they grow, will have input that will, in turn, continue to evolve that tradition.
When you sit down to eat at a table, you are ready to take in nourishment - we all need to eat to live. Even in primal tribes, people ate together. It's the opening for friendship.
For me, it's the ultimate to be able to nurture and nourish someone. They trust you. It's a basic form of intimacy in a community.
As a chef, I feel that it is my duty to make the most of what the earth gives us.
All of my books have been about authentic Italian food in Italy and bringing that message about simple and authentic food.
My grandmother was the genesis of my connection and passion to food.
My success is that I have these two great cultures behind me. One is Italian. I've continued to nurture that. But I also feel very American.
You can freeze a nice sponge cake and then have a strawberry shortcake any time.
I'll get home from work on Friday night and take out some beans and soak them. The next morning, I'll put them in a pot for soup, then just keep chopping, chopping, chopping - carrots and celery and cabbage - and in two or three hours, you have this wonderful, mellow soup that fills up the whole house with its aroma.
I see how people connect with me on different level through my show, how they want to transport what I cook into their home kitchens for their own families. It's my responsibility to always make sure that is quality.
The best things - when I really feel that I'm communicating, and when I really feel that people are getting it - are simple, straightforward recipes. I think simple is the hardest to achieve because you don't have all those elements to hide behind.
I cooked for the two Popes that were here. Pope Francis I cooked for and Pope Benedict before him. Pope Benedict is German. And I did a little research - his mother was a chef.
I develop trust, and I think it's the most important to my growth. If my restaurants are always full and my books sell, it's this trust.
Choose recipes like a base recipe; make a big pot of soup and freeze it. From then on, you can take it in any direction. Another day put rice in it, or then put corn or sausages. From there, it's endless.
Vin brule is a version of mulled wine enjoyed in Piemonte, in northwestern Italy. It's a perfect choice for holiday entertaining because you can double or even triple the recipe and leave it over very low heat, ladling it out as your guests come in from the cold.
Eating well, being around the table with the family or friends or relatives - it doesn't get any better.
I think Chicago's a great city. Like New York, it's full of energy.
Italian food is seasonal. It is simple. It is nutritionally sound. It is flavorful. It is colorful. It's all the things that make for a good eating experience, and it's good for you.
Physically, women have some challenges in the kitchen, like lifting heavy pots on and off the stove. You learn to adapt; you learn to find a way. But the biggest challenge for women in this industry is how to balance a family with such a demanding career.
When you are the host, you have to take the party into your hands like a conductor.
America has many cultures which makes it great, but it's difficult to create one strong identity.
Why do you think millennials are so into food? It's the way they relate to each other.
It's in the nature of Italians to live life with a positive tone and to celebrate the invitations that come along in life. Italian food is so conducive to all of that.
Telling my grandchildren stories of my growing up is some of our favorite times spent together. They want to know what it was like and what I did as a child. They seem to be especially interested in the organic and simplistic setting I grew up in.
What I do is my life, but it's not like I spend 18 hours a day, seven days a week in the restaurants.
When we're filming, I sometimes look into the camera and wonder who's out there, who will be watching.
Younger generations, they ask more questions, like on a recipe. But they ask them online. If my staff doesn't know how to answer it, I will answer.
When you invite friends over, especially for food, with the food you want to send out a message of affection, of appreciation, of celebration. But also of culture - who your family is.
Italy is so influenced by others: couscous in the south, cinnamon in the north because of the Venetian spice trade - I just want to divulge as much information as I can.
With the Industrial Revolution, the production of food was delegated to big companies in order for women and men to be in the labour force, to come home, stick something in the oven, and eat. It became a big industry that does not have a love affair with food nor is really concerned about nurturing you or giving you the right nutrition.