Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure is an annual fundraiser in support of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Since the event began in 2010, it has raised over $3 million for care and research in women’s cancers. Canadians across the country can register and raise money, and the top 50 fundraisers earn a chance to compete on stage alongside celebrities and notable chefs on February 8. Our very own David Rocco, host of David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway and the upcoming series, David Rocco’s Dolce India, will once again participate as a celebrity chef alongside the likes of Mark McEwan and Guida de Laurentiis. David took the time to answer a few questions about the event and about being…David Rocco:
You’ll be leading a team of chefs (some novice) in the upcoming Chef’s Challenge. What should your team expect at this event?
It’s a ton of fun! This will be my fourth Chef’s Challenge and, win or lose, we always have a blast. We work like a team to cook and prepare dishes, it’s all under pressure and sometimes it can get pretty competitive.
What’s the secret to a well-run kitchen?
Organization and communication. We have to have a plan and be organized as to how we’ll execute it. Communication is important so everyone know what they have to do, knows their responsibilities, and is available to help out their team members if they are stuck.
What do you want your team to know about you, as a chef?
I like to have fun, but when we’re cooking, it’s all about focus and intensity and making sure the dishes turn out beautifully.
Everyone has a job in the kitchen…does your family get involved in your own kitchen?
For the most part, but it’s not a democracy! There can be only be one executive chef
Food brings everyone together–Italians are known for bringing family and friends together, what’s a typical family meal like for you and yours?
A lot of yelling and a lot of laughter with a dash of dysfunction, but the food is what unites us all.
What do you want to tell the other teams competing against yours?
In previous years, Team Rocco has always had the most fun, so apologies to the other teams in advance.
Who do you think will be your fiercest competition?
Probably Mark McEwan — He’s a great chef. He’s always got his game face on, and it scares me a little.
Um… can you say something in Italian?
Buona fortuna a tutti!