Food & Travel Spotlight

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PBS Special "Lidia Celebrates America" is dedicated to Shirley Fong-Torres

Suzanne Kai

PBS program Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables and Traditions - a Chinese New Year is dedicated to chef, author, and founder of Wok Wiz tours Shirley Fong-Torres who passed away of leukemia after a brief illness in June, 2011. 

Shirley Fong-Torres with Lidia Bastianich host of Lidia Celebrates America - Photo courtesy PBS

The program filmed the host, TV chef, author and restauranteur Lidia Bastianich with Shirley Fong-Torres walking through San Francisco's Chinatown and celebrating the Chinese New Year with a dinner at Shirley's home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

It was one of Shirley's last television appearances. Shirley's brother, author and broadaster Ben Fong-Torres also makes an appearance in the program.

Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday Tables and Traditions - a Chinese New Year is the first in a series of specials coming to PBS. 

The PBS special featuring Shirley Fong-Torres aired on December 20, 2011 nationally and continues to be broadcast on future television schedules. 

RtoL Shirley Fong-Torres and Lidia Bastianich - Lidia Celebrates America - Photo courtesy PBSCheck your local PBS listings for new airing dates of this special.

In Lidia Celebrates America, host Lidia Bastianich embarks on four holiday adventures:

A Chinese New Year

An Italian Christmas Eve 

A Mexican-American Christmas Day 

A Passover Seder

The series explores the American immigrant experience through the revelry of the holidays. In future specials scheduled for broadcast in 2012, Lidia will feature a variety of tasty ethnic celebrations, including weddings, rites of passage, and celebrations of independence.

As viewers participate in the various ethnic and religious celebrations across the country, it’s clear food is the common denominator that ties all human beings. “No matter what your religion, or your ethnicity,” Lidia says, “we have the opportunity to celebrate whatever we worship, whoever our families are, and this is something to celebrate: America is something to celebrate.”