Sundays starting at 6am
“David Rocco’s Dolce Vita” is our guide to all things Italian. As always, the starting point is food. Italian cooking is all about the simple things, and how, if you learn to do these simple things well, life is that much better. I say this all the time and believe it absolutely: you don't need a cooking diploma to make fantastic Italian dishes.
The show is also about how food brings friends and family together.
Since the show began, it was based in Florence. Season one and most of season two were all about beautiful Florence, Firenze, from the sophisticated cafes and restaurants to the markets, some of the great characters who work in the food sector, and of course friends and family. At the end of season two, David takes viewers south to the legendary Amalfi coast, famous for its lemon groves.
In season 3 Rocco spends the day putting together an insider’s food guide to Florence. Along with his photographer friend Chris, Rocco shows us the ins and outs of buying fruits and vegetables at one of the city’s fabulous open air markets; he explains everything you’ve ever needed to know about ordering a coffee in Italy. He shows us a recipe from one of Florence’s hot restaurants, and finally, he takes time out to enjoy a pre dinner aperitivo and of course, an after dinner digestive. This is la dolce vita.
Season four of David Rocco’s Dolce Vita is all about the beauty of basics—and the alchemy and magic of Italian cooking that anyone can achieve at home. David and his family have settled at a centuries old farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside in the small town of Monteloro, just outside Chianti. Inspired by ‘cucina povera’ or ‘peasant cuisine’ that is at the heart of Italian cooking, David makes dishes using great olive oil and simple seasonal fresh ingredients sometimes even picked from his own garden. David also draws his inspiration from the Italian cooking philosophy of Quanto Basta—taking as much as you need, no more and no less, and passes that on to the viewers. It’s not about exact measurements. It’s about being in the moment, connecting to what you’re cooking, the sensuality of ingredients and your personal preferences. It’s really about empowerment and the joy that starts when you open your kitchen and have fun cooking.
The Roccos travel to Sicily to visit the Planetas-a Sicilian noble family of winemakers. A tour of exotic vineyards, some family recipes, and wine tasting on a yacht, these are some of the ingredients of a full day that ends with a feast and a bonfire on a secluded Sicilian beach.
It's St. Andrea's Day, as Rocco and Nina return to Ravello to visit their good friends Professore and Eddie. They discover that Professore now owns La Rondinaia, the former home of famous writer Gore Vidal. It's a beautiful property built into a cliff with incredible views of the Mediterranean. Rocco helps Prof and Eddie throw a party on the terrace and makes dishes using the famous Amalfi lemons. The Roccos end the day at a traditional St. Andrea's procession in Amalfi.
Since Roman times people have been coming to the Italian town of Ischia to bathe in its thermal waters, said to have healing properties. Ischia is also famous for its incredible natural beauty, its beaches and great food. Rocco and Nina explore it all--visiting old friends at their beachside restaurant, and a top chef, who has landed a gig at the luxurious Manzi Hotel and Spa. While Nina gets pampered, Rocco and the chef go to new heights to get fresh ingredients.
A vacation along the Amalfi coast is not complete without getting into some sort of mischief with Peppe. With Rocco as his accomplice, Peppe plays hooky for the day, turning a quick 5-minute coffee break into a trip to Positano, a game of soccer, and a feast fit for his bachelor friends.
Rocco is treated like family when he meets up with the charismatic Eddie Oliva while on vacation along the Amalfi coast. Guided by Eddie, Rocco embarks on an adventure in search of fresh mozzarella, limoncello, and the true Neapolitan pizza.
From the perspective of a Canadian-Italian living in Florence, Rocco writes a true-to-heart article for a North-American magazine about the sights and sounds of his city and the comfort foods it inspires.
Rocco and Nina experience all that Florence has to offer when it comes to the performing arts. A night at the ballet is followed by a day of acting, dancing and of course, cooking. Rocco and Nina spend their time at Teatro Del Sale, a dinner theatre created by famed chef Fabio Picchi, which fuses performance art with innovative dishes.
David throws a fall festa at his farmhouse for friends and neighbours with a little help from a group of artistic friends. This is an annual feast where they celebrate the vegetables of the season, freshly pressed olive oil and serve Italian classics like fire-roasted porchetta.
Inspired by a lunch in Florence at one of his favorite street vendors, David makes a series of Italian sauces including a chili pepper jam that is to die for.
David travels to the Tuscan town of Panzano and spends time with the most famous butcher in Italy, maybe the world! Dario Cecchini is a flamboyant character who is fanatical about meat and a master at selecting, cutting and serving it. People from all over the world make pilgrimages to meet him and eat in one of his restaurants. David and Dario spend a wild time together exploring their mutual passion for meat, cooking meat and eating meat!