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Joe Bastianich stars in and serves as executive producer on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup,” where he and chef and restaurateur Tim Love vie to invest their own money in restaurant concepts they believe could make them millions.
Beginning with almost Dickensian roots, working in his parents Italian restaurant in Queens, washing dishes, cleaning the sidewalk, and touring the jungle-like meat markets of the Bronx, Bastianich's life charts a culinary adventure that ends with this nice Italian boy becoming one of America's premier restaurateurs -- as well as a noted author, reality television personality, and eventually, a triathlete.
After studying finance and spending a year on Wall Street, Bastianich bought a one-way ticket to Italy and explored the country's small corners, keeping food and wine a top priority. He came back to New York and opened Becco with his mother, Lidia Bastianich, and then partnered with Mario Batali to open Babbo, which garnered three coveted stars from The New York Times and the prestigious Best New Restaurant in America Award from the James Beard Foundation --indeed, the auspicious beginning of their thriving collection of restaurants. In 2005 he was recognized as an Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional by both the James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit, and in 2008 both he and Batali were awarded the 2008 James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur Award.
In 2010, Bastianich, his mother Lidia, and Batali teamed up with Italian retail pioneer Oscar Farinetti to bring Eataly, the world's largest Italian artisanal marketplace, to New York.
Bastianich has co-authored two award winning books on Italian wine, and in its first week of release in May of 2012, Bastianich's highly anticipated memoir, “Restaurant Man,” became a New York Times Best Seller.
When Bastianich is not whipping up new business ventures, or working the dining room at one of his many restaurants, he can be found at his home in Greenwich, Conn., playing guitar and spending time with his wife, Deanna, and their three children, whom he counts as his greatest achievements to date.