Joe Bastianich

by andrew on June 9, 2016

LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 2: Joe Bastianich arrives at the 2010 FOX

Birth Name: Joseph Bastianich

Place of Birth: Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 17, 1968

Ethnicity: Italian, Croatian, Slovenian

Joe Bastianich is an American restaurateur, winemaker, author, and television personality.

Joe is the son of Lidia Bastianich (born Lidia Giuliana Matticchio) and Felice “Felix” Bastianich/Bastianić. His mother is a chef, television host, author, and restaurateur. Both Joe’s parents were born and raised in Istria, a peninsula that is now part of Croatia. Felice was from Brovinje. Lidia is from Pula.

Joe has Italian, Croatian, and Slovenian ancestry, a mix that occurred over many generations in the region his family is from.

Joe’s maternal grandfather was Vittorio Matticchio (the son of Antonio Motika and Francesca Lovrecich). Antonio was the son of Silvestro Motika and Catherina.

Joe’s maternal grandmother was Erminia Pavichievaz (the daughter of Rosaria Smilovich). Rosaria was the daughter of Giovanni Smolovich Karlic and Francesca Lukšić.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that Joe’s mother’s genetic ancestry is:

*63% Eastern Europe
*28% Italy & Greece
*6% Western Europe
*3% Trace Region

Sources: Obituary of Joe’s father –

Article about Joe’s mother’s appearance on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) –

Genealogy of Joe Bastianich (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Photo by kathclick/

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew September 20, 2017 at 4:49 am
madman September 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Does he have any Italian ancestry at all? It looks like all his ancestors were Yugoslavian based on the surnames.

follers September 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Well, his mother did score “28% Italy & Greece” on her DNA test. As I recall, Gates also stated on the show that her ancestry was a mix of Italian and Eastern European, although perhaps that was not in a strictly ethnic sense.

andrew September 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm


it should be the other way round, does he have any Jugoslavian ancestry at all? I know some families of Istrian descent who still has Slavic surnames (and names too) and identify as Italians.

bablah September 19, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Key word is ”identify”.

madman September 20, 2017 at 1:17 am

The other way around? How? We can easily see that all surnames are Yugoslavian or originally Yugoslavian. We don’t label Irish people English just because their family only speak English and has changed their original surname, McGowan, to Smythe.

I guess Patrick Hernández’s maternal ancestors were ethnically Austrian then.

fatkat September 1, 2017 at 2:05 am

“They speak Italian and they identify as Italian. They were forced to leave their land when Tito took the power, because of their Italian status. ”

What the hell are you on about ? What land did Tito take? Istria was always part of Croatia (back in Tito’s time it was the socialist republic of Croatia and part of Yugoslavia) and like the article states, their real surname was Motika, which is Croatian.
I do have an issue with the “Eastern European” genetics. Croats are no Eastern Europeans, they are Southeastern and yes there is a difference.

Peiple from the Balkans have a different genetic makeup from Eastern Europeans (like Poles, Czechs, who differ from each other as well); there is a big mix with all types of people (Venetians, Illyrans, Celts, Ottomans…). The language is slavic (with turkish and Italian or German (depending on the region) influences) but their ethnicity is very diverse due to the history of the Balkans.

andrew September 1, 2017 at 5:17 am
follers June 11, 2016 at 10:37 am

More information about his background up now, Andrew.

andrew June 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

whatever his genetic is, and whatever those % mean, his family is Italian. They speak Italian and they identify as Italian. They were forced to leave their land when Tito took the power, because of their Italian status. Some of those surnames were changed (as Matticchio). Slovenians or Croatians don’t carry names like Antonio or Francesca.

bablah June 11, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I know plenty of Croats named Antonio. For instance, the Croatian actor Antonio Franić, the movie director Antonio Nuić, tennis player Antonio Veić, etc. It’s not as usual as Antun, but it’s not unheard of. Francesca on the other hand, isn’t common, Franka is preferred.

follers June 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm

It was mentioned on the show that the surname was changed from “Motika” to “Matticchio” and then to “Motika” again, over a few generations.

A lot of Lidia’s ancestors were ethnic Croatians/Slovenes who had Italianized names like Vittorio, Giovanni, Francesca, etc. but Eastern European surnames like Lovrecich, Smilovich, Lukšić, etc., which is why the DNA result shows so much Eastern European ancestry.

andrew June 11, 2016 at 6:19 pm
bablah June 12, 2016 at 5:27 am

Oh, we’re posting wiki articles. Cool. Here’s my contribution.

andrew June 12, 2016 at 7:06 am
bablah June 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

”Most Dalmatian Italians gradually assimilated to the prevailing Croatian culture and language between the 1860s and World War I, although Italian language and culture remained present in Dalmatia. The community was granted minority rights in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.”
is a lot different to systemic oppression of Slavic people under Italian rule that resulted in italianization.

andrew September 20, 2017 at 4:54 am

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