Celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich Serves Pope Francis A Simple, Healthy Diet During His Stay In New York

Lidia Bastianich might not be the most famous of celebrity chefs, but she helped make a difference in the life of one of the Catholic church’s most powerful men. While Pope Francis stayed in New York, her cooking was his main diet.

Lidia’s hospitality was certainly more gracious than that of Congressman Bob Brady. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Brady had stolen the pope’s glass of water after the religious leader had given a speech at the White House. The Congressman, who claims to be Catholic, was allegedly hoping to get some of Francis’ divine energy through the “backwash.”

Bob Brady then gave the rest of the water to his wife and grandkids.

The Congressman had allegedly done the same thing during President Obama’s inauguration. According to Philly, he had explained his actions with the pope’s water, “How many people do you know that drank out of the same glass as the Pope?”

Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich didn’t seem so eager to take advantage of the religious leader. Instead, she greeted the pope on his arrival and fed him in a way she felt best served his needs. Instead of extravagant trappings usually reserved for royalty, she kept it simple and healthy.

According to WOWK TV, the pope’s doctor has been trying to get the religious leader to lose 15 pounds, and Lidia Bastianich took that into consideration. Instead of going all out with fatty items such as pasta and steak, she had gone out to her garden, picking vegetables and herbs for Pope Francis’ five-day stay.

On the menu were such notable dishes as tomato and lobster salad, porcini mushrooms, Concord grape sorbet, and angel food cake. That was just for Thursday. Friday’s lunch was risotto with summer truffles.

The celebrity chef explained her reasoning for what she and her kitchen crew had served the Pope, “In this food, for me, is everything I feel about Catholicism…. Let’s feed each other some sustenance, some love…. There’s an intimacy, a closeness, a warmth – he’s a guest who sleeps upstairs. It’s like having family visiting and you’re cooking.”

Lidia’s meals for Pope Francis may have been the highlight of her week, but they were far from her first major accomplishment. The chef penned the cookbook Lidia’s Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most and has a PBS show. Of course, every professional chef usually has a restaurant to guarantee their work’s quality. Felidia in Manhattan is her home base when Lidia Bastianich is not teaching the viewing public how to prepare her signature dishes.

CBS New York reports that Lidia Bastianich was also chosen as one of the chefs involved in serving Pope Benedict seven years ago. This gives her a degree of celebrity that some other chefs have yet to achieve. Even the notorious Gordon Ramsay, a Michelin Star winning chef and star of several TV series, can’t say he’s served the pope. His Holiness probably wouldn’t approve of Ramsay’s tendency to use vulgar language while preparing his meals anyway.

It is unknown who will be preparing meals for Pope Francis as he moves on to Philadelphia, the final stop in his tour of the United States. In a previous report by the Inquisitr, the pope had decided against dining with U.S. lawmakers to eat with Rome’s homeless and spread hope among those who need it most.

Urging Christians to come together for unity, Pope Francis has also revealed his distaste for government and any form of tyranny, as well as talking about climate change and immigrant injustice.

Thankfully for Lidia Bastianich, Pope Francis certainly had a taste for her cooking, personally visiting the kitchen and blessing the chef and her staff over an espresso.

[Feature Image via Brad Barket / Getty Images]