Do you fall in love with his dimples every time you watch his famous cookery shows on TV? Meet the popular chef and food show host David Rocco in person, and he’ll charm you with the same smile and persona.
On his recent visit to the Capital, he revealed the secret of simple cooking as he laid down an Italian spread, complete with mushroom crostini, ruby red beetroot risotto, torta caprese and more at the West View, ITC Maurya. Here are excerpts from the tete-a-tete with Rocco.
Did you find it difficult to adapt to the Indian way of life?
The day I landed here, I found everything was so chaotic, crazy, dysfunctional and disorganised! And I instantly felt at home because life is just the same back in Italy.
Were you a foodie as a kid?
Oh yes! And because I loved to eat, I loved watching mum and grandma toss up these delicious items in the kitchen with such ease and simplicity. This rustic, simplicity about food always attracted me... to be able to make something lip-smacking with the simplest of ingredients.
When cooking, how important is the presentation of food?
You mean those zig-zags with the sauces and all that? It’s NOT important! Good food is all about simplicity, great company, and warm surroundings. It’s not about getting creative by drizzling sauces on the plate. The humility of food lies in not overdoing it.
What’s your take on reality cooking competitions on TV?
It’s all drama, entertainment and gimmick. And rest assured, by watching these shows, you can at least never learn cooking.
What’s the most important quality to be a good chef?
Emotional connect with each ingredient. Only when I saw these mustard fields, and then later cracked a mustard seed in my palms and smelt it, I actually understood the real zest of the ingredient. Cooking without knowing your ingredients is like marrying the girl whom you never dated!
What’s the biggest upcoming food trend?
Going back in time... grandmother’s cooking recipes. And that’s why you see people revisiting old traditional recipes so often these days.
Full name: David Rocco
Profession: Canadian actor, producer, food show host and Italian food expert
Shows: David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, Avventura: Journey in Italian Cuisine, David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway