Although Bastianich is the son of famed chef Lidia Bastianich, he originally opted for a career in finance, landing a job at Merrill Lynch upon graduation. After just a year, however, Bastianich quit and entered the family trade, eventually opening the theater district spot Becco with his mother at age 23. It was his partnership with Batali, however, that made him rich and famous. In 1998, the duo first teamed up to open Babbo, which quickly reeled in a glittery clientele, a three-star Times review from Ruth Reichl, and the James Beard award for "Best New Restaurant" of 1998. Batali and Bastianich have since launched nearly a dozen culinary ventures in three cities.
Bastianich also owns three vineyards in Italy and Argentina, acts as a judge on Fox's Master Chef, and has written two books (one co-authored with David Lynch, and the other, a memoir). He lives in Hell's Kitchen with his wife and three children.
[Image via Getty]