Joe Bastianich

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

Bastianich in 2010, photo by kathclick/

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, television personality, and musician.

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. 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 and his mother own over thirty restaurants.

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

Joe is married to Deanna, with whom he has three children.

Joe’s maternal grandfather was Vittorio Matticchio/Motika (the son of Antonio Motika and Francesca Lovrecich). Vittorio was born in Pula, Istria, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Antonio was born in Žminj, now Croatia, the son of Silvestro Motika and Catherina. The name Motika means a “hoe,” the agricultural tool, in several Slavic languages.

Joe’s maternal grandmother was Erminia Pavichievaz (the daughter of Giovanni Pavichievaz and Rosaria Smilovich). Erminia was born in Tupliacco, Istria, Italy. 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% Europe West
*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) –

24 Responses

  1. madman says:

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

    • follers says:

      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 says:


      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 says:

        Key word is ”identify”.

      • madman says:

        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.

        • andrew says:

          Joe’s family identifies as Italian/Italian-American.

          • madman says:

            Repeating the same thing over and over is not the same as making a new argument. Why do you want him to be fully Italian so badly? He’s just not. Just be happy that Italian is listed before the Slavic groups, at least.

  2. fatkat says:

    “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.

  3. follers says:

    More information about his background up now, Andrew.

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