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David Rocco’s Dolce Vita

David Rocco’s Dolce Vita

Celebrity chef David Rocco brings his passion for food and healthy cooking to millions of kitchens every day through his worldwide hit television programs David Rocco’s Dolce Vita, David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway, and his newest program, David Rocco’s Dolce India. He is also the author of two internationally bestselling cookbooks. Lending his wit, charm, and charisma to everything he does–whether hosting a unique event or overseeing a corporate cook-off, appearing at a charity gala, or endorsing a brand–whatever David is  involved with, it’s sure to be fantastico! David  made a stop in Windsor on the weekend to showcase his  line of wines — a Chianti, a Prosecco and a Pinot Grigio aptly named Dolce Vita. He tells Beatrice Fantoni at The Windsor Star what makes life sweet these days:

Q: You’re in Windsor every now and then for events. How do you find the food and wine scene here?

A: I’m not surprised that it’s good. It’s actually very good …. It’s interesting because when I go to the Windsor events I’m usually hosted by the event itself and I don’t get the opportunity to go all over the place, but this weekend I’m looking forward to it because I will be checking out four or five different restaurants.

Q: Why go into wine?

A: It’s all part of the pleasures of eating and celebrating at the table and that connection you have with food. Wine is just that extension of it. It just kind of keeps people at the table longer. So for me it was important to do a wine that was everyday, so to speak. All the wines are under $15. It kind of speaks to everyone and really what Dolce Vita is all about.

Q: What’s it like making wine? How does it compare to making TV shows and cookbooks?

A: It was such hard work. I had to go away for four weeks to Italy and taste wine! I’m not the winemaker obviously. I’ve partnered with an oenologist in Italy named Franco Bernabei and his son Matteo and he’s like the Wayne Gretzky of wine making. All the big wineries like Frescobaldi, Antinori, Banfi, they hire him. Together we came up with our own blends. The Chianti is DOCG, which means it’s authentic from the Chianti region, the Prosecco is DOC. I guess the short answer is it was damn fun.

Q: Food-wise, what are you inspired by these days?

A: I’m really excited by the spices of India and where I can take certain Italian recipes and give it a whole flavour profile that is at times even better than the original recipes.

Q: You’re all about la dolce vita, or the good life. What’s making life good for you this season?

A: It’s always my kids and my family. I feel absolutely blessed to have my family and my health. Not to sounds cliché but everything else is bonus. I can do wine, I can do TV shows, I can travel, I can go to great hotels and live that kind of life but at the end of the day I like coming home and having that time with my family and bonding over a meal.

Q: You’ve done TV, books and now wine. What’s your next project?

A: I just shot a series in India. In the last two years I’ve been to India over 26 weeks. I’m coming out with a new Italian family cookbook and I just signed another deal for an Indian-Italian fusion cookbook. We’re going back to Italy to shoot season six (of Dolce Vita) in Naples this March and we’re doing a new series in pre-production in East Africa so we’ll be in South Africa, Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia. There’s lots going on.

Recipe: Vin brulée

Zest of one orange

Zest of one lemon

1 lime

200 grams white sugar

6 whole cloves

1 stick cinnamon

1/2 whole nutmeg, for grating

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthwise

3 star anise seeds

2 bottles Dolce Vita Chianti (available at LCBO)

Put everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve. Keep on low heat for second helpings. Serves 6 to 8.

Beatrice Fantoni/Windsor Star/December, 2015