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Lidia Bastianich to cook for pope

NEW YORK Well-known chef and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich will cook two meals for the pope during his visit to New York City later this week.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived at Andrews Air Force Base on Tuesday for a five-day stay in the United States. He is scheduled to arrive in New York on Friday morning.

Bastianich, who is Catholic, told the New York Post that she received few demands from the pope about the meals she would prepare, except that they be light and seasonal.

"You would think that this great person would have a never-ending list of demands," she told the Post. "But to see him exemplify simplicity, I think it's wonderful."

Bastianich had earlier told New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni that she would create menus for a dinner for 52 on Friday and a dinner for 24 on Saturday. Neither dinner would be in a restaurant, she said.

Bastianich is the co-owner of such New York restaurants as Felidia and Del Posto.

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