After earning Michelin stars at two restaurants in Sicily before his 30th birthday, Fortunato Nicotra arrived in New York City to work for celebrity chef Lidia Matticchio Bastianich in 1996. Hired as her Executive Chef of the famous flagship restaurant, Felidia, the restaurant earned three stars from Ruth Reichl from the New York Times only three months after his arrival. Again in 2006, Frank Bruni wrote a second raving review with a three-star rating. Wine Spectator named Felidia one of the “Top Ten Italian Restaurants in the United States”, and USA Today named it number #2 in its year round up of restaurants around the world.   Nicotra has appeared on several television food segments including Lidia’s Kitchen and Lidia’s Italy and Food Network’s Iron Chef. He prepared meals for Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis I during their visits to New York.

the team

Lidia Bastianich

Lidia is an Emmy award-winning public television host, a best‐selling cookbook author with a dozen books published to date, a successful restaurateur, and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Most…

Tanya Bastianich Manuali, PhD

Tanya Bastianich Manuali’s visits to Italy as a child sparked her passion for the country’s art and culture. She dedicated herself to the study of Italian Renaissance art during her college years…