Friday, October 5, 2012
Rocco DiSpirito feels at home in Woodbridge, ON
I have been watching Rocco on his own shows and on many of the daytime talk shows making lots of tasty dishes. I decided to drop by and meet Rocco and pick up one of his cookbooks at his book signing.
Rocco was right at home with a mostly female and Italian background crowd. Rocco spent the time before the actual book signing flirting with the women, talking family with one woman and giving the men a call to action to be better boyfriends and husbands. He circulated the crowd sharing stories, info and cracking jokes in Italian. He is a very personable guy and seemed to enjoy entertaining the crowd and at one point said he loved it here and said he should move here. I think he would be right at home in Woodbridge, ON and I am sure he would have a lot less hectic life than in New York. He even mentioned how easy it was to get around here. I guess in comparison to New York rush hour I guess you could say that.
The reason he was there was to promote his new book "Eat this now, Italian" where he travelled to Italy to learn from the Italian grannies on their techniques to making real Italian food. He then deconstructed some of the recipes to try and lower the caloric values for each dish. He called it a "labour of love" and I think this journey began with the influence of his Italian mamma whom he learned how to cook authentic Italian dishes from that started his career.
I didn't pick up that book because I am pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to Italian food. Fresh, simple ingredients cooked properly and not overdone. Less is more in most cases of real Italian food. Something like a Caprese Salad, (Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzerella, Basil and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper) that's it. It really doesn't need deconstructing so I skipped that book but picked up one of his previous books that has a variety of recipes and other comfort foods like Mac & Cheese which is hard to make tasty and reducing the calories. That's the recipes I need help with. Or the things like chocolate chip cookies. Italian food seems easier to me because it really is healthy if you just bump up the vegetables and cut the portion sizes and just modify a few things.
Once I finally got to Rocco to get my book signed he said "did I meet you before", I said "No" I don't think so". He said "you look very familiar". I said who knows...maybe facebook, twitter. I know I have never met him directly before but maybe I have seen him at some food show or something in the past that I don't even remember. But I think I would remember meeting Rocco don't you? Maybe a past life thing..... who knows.... maybe I look like someone or everyone is starting to look familiar after he has met so many people. Either way... I suppose it's nice to have someone say that you look familiar as if they know you already.
If I ever run into Chef Rocco again I will definitely say we have met before and hopefully I will be able to tell him some of my favourite recipes from his book.