Blog Event | David Rocco, an Italian with a disarming smile. Of course he’s a chef too!

“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian.”
David Rocco

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New DelhiHe can kill with his eyes, he can wound with his smile … David Rocco! Sigh!! An Italian with a disarming smile, words that roll off his tongue with an accent you want to hang on to, energetic, animated, full of life and fun! Such a good sport!! This Italian food guru was at the mercy of a bunch of women food bloggers to “Celebrate the Exquisite Flavors of Italy at ITC Maurya“. Or maybe, we were at his mercy!! 

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi It was an afternoon well spent at the rustic yet elegant West View, ITC Maurya, New Delhi, in animated food discussion. Indian food, Italian cusine, the cultures, the similarities yet the differences and Davids’ India experience. The charmer that he is, there wasnt a moment left silent, a table of 9 women geared up to quiz the Italian chef.

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi Keeping him company was affable ITC Executive Chef Manisha Bhasin who I have been fortunate to meet at the Singapore Pop Up and at the Ozzie  Master Chefs meet up. David is in India for a series called Dolce India.

Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi 4From the sambhar and dals that he experienced down south, to the Mcdonalds pit stop driving in Maharashtra, from olive oil to mustard oil, from complicated Indian dishes to simple four ingredient Italian meals, we had a banter going. The man’s Italian! That says enough for his style of cooking, his passion for food, his love for fresh produce … and above all his love for his family! His mantra is simple. Make cooking fun! He wants to bring food education back to the table.

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi David wears many hats – actor, director, chef, father, son. A charmer through & through! He learnt cooking from his mother, and his kids have picked it up from him. How inspiring that at 5 years old, his little twin girls can already stir up a mean risotto! Simple rustic meals, no fancy equipment and ingredients, fresh seasonal flavours, David’s an inspiration to home cooks around the globe. You can catch him on TV – “David Rocco’s Dolce Vita” and “David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway.” {they air in india too}

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi He steers clear of controversial questions {like the pomace oil vs olive oil type}, considers Indian cuisine quite complicated and involved, yet loves the vastness of our cuisine with infinite regional variations. At a culinary event with ITC chefs in Mumbai, the challenge was to create signature dishes using similar ingredients.  While the ITC chefs were still listing ingredients for ‘galaouti kebabs’, our man here was done in a heartbeat stirring up meatballs using four standard ingredients!

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi We were deep in culinary banter as the the first course made an appearance. The meal consisted of David recipes. Primo! Penne com Pomodori e Melanzane, a neapolitan style pasta with eggplant & mozzarella sauce. It was fresh, bursting with simple flavours and quite addictive. Mine didn’t seem to have eggplants in it, or so I thought. David talked us through the recipe as we ate. Did I tell you that the bread served was excellent? It was indeed! Nice selection and very addictive.

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi Secondi! This was something I loved. Saltimbocca di Pollo, chicken with sage cooked in marsala wine. Lilting flavours, chicken done just right, the saltiness coming through beautifully, and the pairing excellent. On the platter was a Beet Risotto which was perfecto! Good to the bite, amazingly delicious. Was the portion too small? Maybe it was just me, but I did wonder if the portions served for lunch were tinier than normal!

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi Time for Dolce … and amidst much anticipation dessert was served. Looked really nice. Torta Caprese {flourless chocolate cake}, and Zabaglione con Fruitti di Bosco {mixed fruit with espresso zabaglione}. Neither delivered. One spoon into the zabaglione and Ruchira warned me off. ‘Eggy‘ she whispered, knowing my disdain for eggy desserts.

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi I tried a teeny bit. Eggy indeed. Sadly enough, even the Torta Caprese was overpoweringly eggy. It was disappointing. Nothing some good old vanilla beans couldn’t have fixed!

With Chef David Rocco, ITC Maurya, New Delhi We got over the disappointment soon as the 100 watt smile drowned the bunch of us. David left soon after lunch leaving us with his invincible charm and accent that seemed to hang in the air! Thank you ITC Maurya for organising the lunch. It was an afternoon well spent, and I love the stylish West View! The other food bloggers present were Anita, Reeta Skeeter, Charis, Sangeeta, Ruchira and Parul. We had a great great time!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 4 years ago

    David lives part time in the Toronto area here in Canada and part time in Italy doing what he does best. He seems like a real charmer on his TV shows and some of his recipes are standard here in my home. How exciting for you to meet him. He does speak English with an Italian accent.

  • 4 years ago

    Oh lucky you..I have only one of his books..but he is a favorite here..have not seen his little girls in a while ..they must have changed so much.
    He IS charming and seems genuinely nice.

  • 4 years ago

    I would have loved to spend an afternoon with him. Beautiful pictures!

  • 4 years ago

    You’ve written about the afternoon so beautifully…and the drop dead gorgeous pics! sigh! Was lovely meeting you..maybe you should do a post on what all you grow in your garden…woul lurvee to know!

    • 4 years ago

      Lovely meeting you to Tanya; always is! Thank you for your sweet words. My garden is really little. All I have is bunches of tomatoes and mint at the moment LOL! Hugs!!

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    Good word, ” disarming.”

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