David Rocco – Simply Living the Good Life
Tantalizing his viewers’ palates with mouth-watering dishes made with authentic Italian ingredients, David Rocco and his newly extended family escape to the Tuscan countryside for the next season of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.
If David Rocco were a dish, he’d be pasta al forno, because, he tells me, he’s crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. It’s a good comparison, since oven-baked pasta is covered in a crust of gold, which symbolizes the level of success he has received over the years.
Dressed casually in designer jeans, a graphic tee, and military-green jacket, the host/producer of the Food Network’s David Rocco’s Dolce Vita oozes a boyish charm and electric energy.
A genuine smile spreads across his face as he begins to talk about his well-recognized show, which takes viewers on a gastronomic journey through Italy.
While past seasons of Dolce Vita were focused more on location and experiences, Rocco is adding spice to upcoming episodes by adding an ordinary ingredient: simplicity. “Moving forward; we’re going for a simpler approach on food stories,” says Rocco, 38.
“People seek a simpler way of life,” explains Rocco, who hopes to spread the importance of connecting with nature by shooting in Chianti, a prestigious agricultural region in Tuscany.
“The show has brought us tremendous joy and opportunities,” says Rocco, who is happily married to Nina, his high school sweetheart and the show’s co-producer. “We’ve made friends from around the world, and we’re fortunate,” he adds.
Besides experiencing the culture and beauty of Italy, the Roccos are basking in yet another joy – the birth of their twin daughters. “They’re both remarkable,” says the doting dad, who spends time talking with them each morning and throughout the day. “Emma is strong and almost fearless … she never cries. She’s very determined. Giorgia is loving, but also very sensitive,” he says proudly.
“The show is almost like a child,” compares Rocco, “and the more you nurture it, the more it develops,” he says, amazed by the beauty and intelligence he sees in his daughters every day.
In addition to the time he spends with his children and time allocated to the show, Rocco is shedding light on the connection between healthy eating and healthy living among children. He recently extended his talent to the Ontario government, which is aiming to teach today’s youth on how to eat and prepare healthy foods. “I think that if you eat healthy, you’re going to feel good,” says Rocco.
Known internationally for his uncomplicated recipes and love of life, Rocco delivers a profound message to his audience: You don’t have to be an expert to quickly prepare a delicious-tasting gourmet meal with your family. “Now, the days are so busy. Between e-mails, Blackberry, television … if you can bring your children into the kitchen to prepare a family meal, they’ll want to engage in conversation and not watch television. That’s part of connecting with your children.”
Growing up in an Italian family, Rocco honed his culinary skills by closely watching his mother and grandmothers whip up quick and delectable homemade meals. He divulges his secret recipes in his upcoming book, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita (HarperCollins Publishers).
From tasty bites of Fiori di Zucchine (Stuffed Zucchini Flowers) and Mozzarella in Carozza (Mozzarella in a Carriage), to mouth-watering spoonfuls of Zuppa di Porcini (Porcini Soup) and Uova in Purgatorio con Scamorza (Eggs in Purgatory with Scamorza), Rocco opens your eyes to the simple pleasure of life: food. Although every region in Italy boasts a trademark recipe full of luscious ingredients, Italians never over-indulge in eating, says Rocco. “Italians don’t overeat in Italy. There’s no all-you-can-eat buffets. Everything is in moderation … There’s a real respect in balance.”
This way of life ties in with the number 1 recipe instruction he writes of, which is based on moderation and balance. His Quanto Basta theory, which translates to “As much you need,” permeates through all of his preparations.
Despite his hectic schedule and a recent knee surgery to correct a soccer-related injury, Rocco’s wit is still intact. “This David can’t bend it like Beckham,” he jokes.
But when he is feeling the pressure, Rocco kicks life up a notch by spending time with his family and doing what he does best. “I cook, and it truly makes me relaxed.”