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.
What's more comforting on a chilly day than a bowl of soup? David makes simple but hearty soups using mostly inexpensive cupboard staples with a few seasonal vegetables thrown in.
David visits his local butcher who raises his own animals and sells organic meat from a cart at the side of a country road. After the visit, David heads home and makes a variety of meatballs using the beef. He also makes meatballs out of fish and some vegetarian ?meatballs' that would please any meat eater. And for each meatball, there's a matching sauce.
David makes a series of foods called ?sfizi': These are smaller bites that can be enjoyed on their own or put together in a big antipasto spread.
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!
Welcome to Chianti one of Italy's most famous wine regions. Here in the verdant rolling hills of Tuscany is Castello di Trebbio, a historic 11th century castle now owned by Anna, Stefano and their family. They produce some of the best wine and olive oil in the area. David tours the grounds, takes part in the grape harvest and makes some dishes using their wine and grapes.
Who doesn't love pizza? David makes dough from scratch and then its pizza pandemonium as he makes savory pizzas, calzones, foccacia and dessert pizzas in his wood-burning oven.
Fall is chestnut season in Tuscany. David finds out everything you'd ever want to know about chestnuts, from the very unusual way in which they are harvested, to how versatile and nutritious they are.
Simple ingredients make magical meals. For instance, its just flour and water but from these two humble ingredients Italy has built several culinary classics. David goes to an organic farm, grinds his own grain in a windmill, and then makes some of those classics: including Tuscan bread and pasta. And then another simple combination produces the classic dessert zabaglione.
Every fall the Tuscan Hills ring with the sound of guns as hunters track the famous cinghiale, or wild boar. This wild meat is so associated with Tuscan cooking that the area's capital Florence has a bronze statue honoring the beast in one of its major tourist markets. David goes out with a group of hunters and then prepares dishes with the meat. David also befriends his neighbours who have a gourmet men's cooking club that meets once a month to cook some macho dishes-including their own take on cinghiale that no woman in their right mind would touch.