When you work hard, you should play hard, that's the key to "La Dolce Vita" or "the sweet life." It's a work day in Florence, but when David Rocco decides to play hooky, Nina and a few of their friends pack their bags and head for the spa at a nearby town. Cooking a few dishes at home for the road, Rocco decides to stop en-route at a friend's place to cook up some lunch before bathing in thermal water at the spa. After an afternoon of relaxation, the gang enjoys Rocco's food as the sun sets over a magnificent view of the Tuscan countryside.
Every time Eddie pays Rocco a visit, they end up having a great time and this time is no different. Originally from the Amalfi coast area near Naples, Eddie brings with him fresh Neapolitan treasures along side his eccentric personality. Together with Rocco, they paint the town red with song, great company and delicious Neapolitan dishes.
Max, a childhood friend from San Diego, arrives in Florence, determined to see all the sites deemed essential in his Florence guidebook. Rocco promises to take him around, showing him an authentic Florentine experience never to be found on any travel brochure. From authentic Tuscan dishes to a lesson in Florentine cultural etiquette, this promises to be a trip he will not forget.
What's a pasta dish without an intoxicating sauce? From a classic bolognese sauce to the intricate taste of nipitella with porcini mushrooms, Rocco takes us through delicious Italian sauces and their complimentary starch counterparts. After an aperitif with friends by the beautiful Arno river, Rocco invites the gang over for dinner, featuring all that sauce.
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 travels well before arriving at the beach. Good food, great company and the sun, what else can you ask for?
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. He's offered to make some quick and simple food before hitting the club and perhaps an even quicker meal afterwards. Save some room for breakfast, nightlife in Florence doesn't 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 are sure to seduce and tingle the senses. David Rocco, cook and cupid xtraordinaire.
Rocco's an avid runner, but he's never done the Rome Marathon - a marathon every runner should do in his lifetime. To get ready, Rocco trains on the streets of Florence, running into friendly faces on the way. With the help of his friends, Rocco cooks up a few high-carb meals that are perfect the day before the big run.
Rocco takes Nina on a weekend getaway in Chianti, just 20 minutes outside of Florence. The agriturismo of choice is renown for it's historic villas mixed with edgy contemporary art. Inspired by the art and the abundance of fresh olive oil and wine made right at the estate, Rocco creates a few dishes in their open-air kitchen that is true to the Chianti region.
Rocco and Nina's friend is having a baby and they want to throw her a shower with all of her friends. Planning the menu is going to be tough though because the expecting mother has cravings that are all over the map. With the help of Gigi, Nancy's husband, Rocco faces the challenge of satisfying her odd requests with eclectic recipes that will surely impress everyone at the party. Chocolate eggplant anyone?
Paola, an old friend of Rocco's needs a helping hand in creating a cooking school at her estate in Tuscany. His mission - to create a distinctive recipe for each of her villas on her property, reflecting the interior and exterior characteristics with culinary flair. With the help of a student photographer, Rocco cooks up a storm and hands in his homework. Lets hope he passes.
Every autumn, David and Nina's friends throw a party to celebrate the changing of seasons. This year, it's the Roccos' turn and they have decided to throw it at Sesame, a chic new restaurant with excellent food. He's going to cook with the chefs at the restaurant but first he's got to run some errands, do a bit of shopping and get a haircut in preparation for the big night.
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 and Nina get the royal treatment on their vacation when they visit their old friend, Vincenzo Palumbo, who takes the couple out to sea. Cruising the Amalfi coast for fresh seafood, Rocco and Nina stop to check out the fiords of Furore, before getting a tour of Ravello by their generous host.
David 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.
Max, a friend from San Diego, returns as Rocco's houseguest indefinitely. Determined to get Max settled in Florence, and not on his living room couch, Rocco takes Max apartment hunting, teaching him a few Italian etiquettes on the way.
It's Gigi's birthday and what better gift for a busy dad than a day of fun away from a hectic parenting schedule? Rocco and Nina play babysitters for Gigi's two kids but the task turns out to be harder than they thought.
Rocco gets a frantic call from his sister, who runs a summer camp for kids. Enlisted as a camp councilor, he is going to teach the campers a few things about cooking but not before the camp grandmother shows him a thing or two in her kitchen.
When Nina leaves on a day-trip to Rome, Rocco spends a relaxing day alone, checking out markets and making his favourite snacks. That is until his buddy Francesco swings by, convincing Rocco to spend a wild night with the boys.
Rocco encounters a string of bad luck as he prepares a festive dinner. Between trying to find a costume, shopping for pumpkins and cooking for his friends, he gets a lesson in Italian superstition and as a result, learns the source of his misfortunes.
During a game of pool with Marco, Rocco realizes that he has forgotten his wedding anniversary. Thinking on his feet, Rocco improvises an anniversary full of surprises, including a few special dishes for Nina.
It's fall and mushrooms are in season. Rocco shops for truffles at the local market, only to find that most of them are at the truffle festival in San Miniato. Determined for a taste of the exquisite mushroom, Rocco and his friend Marco embark on a journey to the quaint town, hoping to find their very own tartufo.
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 organizes a potluck feast in a nearby castle for his friends and family, asking everyone to bring their signature dishes, this way the cooking is not left to one person. Rocco learns that not everyone is sticking to the rules, including his sister Maria, who tricks him into cooking her dish.
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.
New Wed. 9|8c