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“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.
Rocco acts as tour guide when his friend Max arrives for a visit. Clutching his guidebook like a gideon, Max insists on seeing Florence 'by the book'. From cycling around the city and visitng local mechants to authentic Tuscan dishes and a lesson in Florentine cultural etiquette, Rocco ensures that this will be an unforgettable trip.
It's 4 am. Do you know where your cooking show host is? At the last moment, Rocco invites his friends over for a night on the town. But first he must brave the Saturday afternoon supermarket rush and find a legit parking spot before the gang comes over. With the help of his friend Cila, Rocco makes some quick and simple food before hitting the nightclubs and an even quicker meal afterwards. Save some room for breakfast though as the nightlife in Florence doesn't just end when the sun comes up.
Sandra, a friend of Rocco, is coming through town to check out the local art scene. What she doesn't know is that Rocco has taken it upon himself to set her up on a blind date with a buddy of his. To ease Sandra's nerves, he promises to cook for the night, adding ingredients that's sure to tingle the senses. Playing cupid has never been this delicious!
Sunday in Florence is great, especially when it falls on game day. Rocco decides to whip up a few classic Italian meals for some soccer buddies before heading to the stadium full of diehard fans. Shy a few things for his pre-game feast, Rocco ventures out to the local pastificio shop for a Sunday must - fresh pasta. With fresh ingredients and a helping hand from Marco, the meal proves to be as classic as soccer itself.
It's sweltering in Florence and the only remedy is a trip to the beach. Rocco, Nina and their friends decide to strip out of their city clothes and drive off to the nearest hot spot for a dip in the Mediterranean. But what will they eat? Rocco comes up with a few simple-to-make antipasti that travel well before arriving at the beach. Good food, great company and the sun, what else can you ask for?