Mid-day, Mumbai, Modified: March 11, 2013 11:40 IST
He is a rockstar in his own right. His show, Dolce Vita, is watched by millions in India on Fox Traveller. And now, David Rocco is in India in flesh and blood, shooting for what will be a new series focusing on his experiences and culinary adventures across different regions of the country. He speaks to Dhiman Chattopadhyay on his tryst with different Indian food, his love for all things spicy and his many culinary adventures around the world.
What brings you to India?
We are shooting a 13-episode series on my culinary adventures in India for Fox Traveller. I am not sure, but we could call the show Dolce India. Let's see. In the shows, I travel across the country during the next fortnight, learning about different regional food, pick up stuff and give back in my own way to Indian cuisine by creating new infusion dishes that combine the best of India and Italy.
Is there a particular cuisine that has caught your attention?
Indian food has so much variety! There's enough here to call it a food continent. I have really enjoyed some of the contrasts with how we cook in the West and how the two styles can come together. I love Maharashtrian food, Punjabi cuisine, the dosas from the south, Bengali food...everything. And I loved the kebabs here at ITC Grand Central. But it's the sheer dominance of spices that you use in your food that amazes me. For instance, yesterday at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai I watched the chef prepare Lamb Galouti Kebabs. He used 18 ingredients to make it. Then I made some lamb meatballs which is an Italian delicacy whish is not unlike a kebab. And all I could use were three ingredients!
Yes, most regional cuisines use a lot of spices...
It's been a revelation. I love spices and spicy food, unlike most people from the West. So maybe I raise a few eyebrows when I ask for more chillies in my food. A few days back I ordered a vada pav at a shop and they gave me only two chillies inside the bun. When I asked for four more, the guys at the shop gaped. I love the kebabs, of course. And in Chennai, I had some amazing dosas. It's nothing like the stuff I get in Canada. The sambar, the varied chutneys...divine!