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Living la dolce vita with Canadian chef David Rocco

By: Julie Hunter

Chef David Rocco Author: Canadian Living Credits: Chef David Rocco

Menus & Entertaining

Living la dolce vita with Canadian chef David Rocco

By: Julie Hunter
With a top-rated cooking show on the food network, best selling cookbooks and a new soundtrack from his hit foodie show, David Rocco is showing the world why he is living la Dolce Vita.

You've just released a new soundtrack of music featured on your show, David Rocco’s Dolce Vita. Why is the music such an integral part of the show?
Oh I just think music is fundamental to a good show and it's kind of part of our lives. There is a lot of heart in the music we've chosen and we always believed in it, (my wife) and I are both very proud of it.

How did you choose the music?
We didn't have this criteria that we were in Italy so we had to have Italian O Sole Mio music – good music is just good music. Some of the songs were actually created for the show but I think the first criterion was that it just had to work. 

You started in the culinary world by opening a restaurant with your wife Nina, what was that experience like?
We kind of fell into this small pizzeria/pasta/wine bar and really enjoyed it but after a few years we wanted to move on and tried our hand in the television business.

Is it true you don't have a culinary degree?
I do not have a culinary degree and am kind of proud of it. Some people intuitively know how to take apart a car and put it back together and food has always been that way for me. No one ever taught me, I just kind of threw myself into it. I have always loved food and always been connected to it and found cooking to be very easy. 

You have homes in both Italy and Toronto; which do you prefer?
I love Toronto and I love Italy. Toronto is a great city and we are Torontonians, but of course having the experience of Italy is great. We always look forward to going back.

Do always cook Italian at home?
It's interesting because when I go out to eat I never go to an Italian restaurant because I can do it and it's something that I do at home so I prefer to experience sushi, Indian, Chinese, anything else. When I am at home I cook mostly with an Italian base but I take what I have experienced elsewhere and make what I call Italian spins like an interesting curry risotto. I think cuisines now are all kind of meshing into each other so it’s your own spin on things.

Would you ever open another restaurant?
I'm not sure. I think it would have to be the right setting and the right style. My kind of restaurant would be where the menu changes daily and I'd probably be one of those crazy guys who says, "no menu tonight, this is what you are eating!" but I'm not sure if Toronto is ready for that. 

Feeling inspired? Click here for an easy, authentic Italian menu.

Page 1 of 2 -- Find photos of David Rocco in Italy on page 2

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Living la dolce vita with Canadian chef David Rocco