​Joe Bastianich Exit: MasterChef Announces Bastianich Exit As TV Judge

Staff Reporter
Dec. 7, 2014

Joe Bastianich’s exit from the Fox’s MasterChef show comes at a surprise, but the TV judge may have too many projects on his plate.

The restaurateur and foodie entrepreneur is known for his blunt, often sharp-tongued assessments in his role as a “MasterChef” judge, according to Yahoo News. Bastianich is also a featured player on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup,” which begins its second season in January. Shine America, producer of “MasterChef” and “Restaurant Startup,” is in the process of finding a third judge to serve alongside Gordon Ramsay and Graham Elliot on the popular cooking competition series.

Fox turned to “MasterChef Junior” after its ambitious reality series “Utopia” bit the dust. The second season of “Junior” will end next month, with round three set to premiere on Jan. 6. Bastianich’s exit will happen at the end of that season.

Overseas, however, Joe Bastianich’s exit is new news in Italy. He will remain a judge on “MasterChef Italia.” He recently acquired an Italian production banner, Todos Contentos, and he produces a travelogue food series “On the Road” for Italy’s Sky Network.

The TV judge has an interesting background. He was born in Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, in 1968. He was raised working in his parents’ Italian restaurant Felidia in Manhattan. Ultimately, he wanted to work on Wall Street, so he studied finance at Boston College.

After spending a year on Wall Street, he took an extended trip to Italy. In 1993 he decided to exit his Wall Street career and open Becco (Italian for “peck, nibble, savor”) a traditional Italian restaurant with Lidia Bastianich. It was clear what direction he wanted to take, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Joe Bastianich then partnered with Mario Batali to open Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca, an Italian restaurant that gained the prestigious three stars from the It became the first Italian restaurant to gain the award in 40 years. Together they opened seven more restaurants in New York: Lupa, Esca, Casa Mono, Bar Jamon, Otto, Del Posto, and Eataly (an Italian marketplace). In 2010, Del Posts received a four-star review from The New York Times.

Del Posts is one of only six restaurants in New York with the award. Their culinary empire has expanded to 10 restaurants in New York, 4 restaurants in Las Vegas, 2 restaurants in Los Angeles, 2 restaurants in Singapore, 1 Italian market in Chicago, and two restaurants in Hong Kong.

Bastianich eventually joined the cast of MasterChef, and MasterChef Italia, as a TV judge for the FOX reality show. Joe Bastianich’s exit from Fox’s MasterChef even surprised Gordon Ramsay. He is tough with cast members, and it is always an honor to gain favorability from the TV judge.

Joe Bastianich owns three wineries in Italy, where he cultivates a variety of grapes. The Bastianich winery was founded in 1997 in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. It consists of 70 acres of land. La Mozza is a 90 acres winery located in Maremma, Tuscany.

La Mozza is known for the Aragone blend. The Brandini Winery is located in the Langhe region of Northern Italy, specializing in Dolcetto, Barbera, and Barolo wines. Bastianich owns a winery in the Mendoza province of western Argentina with Matias Mayol and Steve Clifton. They have produced TriTono, a Malbec.

Joe Bastianich’s exit from the Fox’s MasterChef has also brought out some new information about the TV judge. Bastianich is an avid triathlete completing in numerous races. He currently lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife Deanna and their children Olivia, Miles, and Ethan.

Share this article