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David Roccoa��s Dolce India sees the celebrity chef adding a touch of Italy to our local cuisine

Hea��s experimental, self-taught and hates liver. The Canadian-born Italian has donned the role of author, chef and even his kidsa�� soccer team coacha��but you would know him better as the host of David Roccoa��s Dolce Vita, whereA� he explores the Italian way of life and food. After about 10 weeks of filming in India (Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai and New Delhi), his upcoming series, David Roccoa��s Dolce India, is just days away from being aired on Fox Traveller, and Rocco says that he spent countless hours cooking. a�?When I wasna��t cooking, I was eating. Ita��s a tough life, but someonea��s gotta do it,a�? he begins, adding that all his research was done post the filming of each episode. a�?I like going in with an open mind, open heart and just exploring… trying the different spices and ingredients first hand instead of just reading about them.a�?

Best of both
On the show, Rocco explores Indian food, coming up with an exciting fusion of Italian and Indian recipes along the way. a�?In Jaipur, I made mutton Bolognese. We started with Indian style minced mutton, cooked with garam masala and spices, and then added extra tomato sauce and served it over pasta,a�? says the celebrity chef who has fallen in love with mustard oil. a�?Ita��s now my second favourite oil! Ia��m still using it now, at home, for some of my dishes,a�? says Rocco, who enjoyed the chutneys and the fish markets that Chennai had to offer. a�?It was an amazing experience. Being there at 5 am and seeing all the fish come in. Except, I didna��t realise I was seasick until it was too late. I made the chutneys and dosas my morning ritual.a�?

Al dente, please
After having tried the likes of lamb eyeballs in Jordan, one would think that Rocco would have a stomach of steel, but he admits to being shaken at what he saw in a slaughter house. a�?I love goat, but watching one slaughtered before we cooked it gave me a lot to think about,a�? says Rocco. And as far as fusing two cuisines goes, he admits, a�?In reality, the cuisines are so similar that it was hard to go wrong when combining them. The biggest difference is that Italians like their rice and pasta al dente.a�?

Premiers on March 20 on Fox Traveller, and airs on Thursday and Friday at 9.30 pm

-Ryan Peppin

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