Filming Behind the Scenes with TV Chef David Rocco in Mumbai

Home With Heena , 26 Feb 2013
David Rocco and The Kitchen Butterfly
David Rocco and The Kitchen Butterfly

I confess; I am a cooking show junkie.  One of my favorite shows is David Rocco’s Dolce Vita.  So you can imagine my excitement when I heard he was in India and I’d be able to attend a live show!  I literally could not stop smiling (I’m smiling while I type this.) :)

David Rocco and Chef Rajdeep Kapoor in Battle Eggplant
David Rocco and Chef Rajdeep Kapoor in Battle Eggplant

Rocco invited a small group of food bloggers for a cook-off between himself and Chef Rajdeep Kapoor (Executive Chef at ITC Maratha). When we arrived he was wrapping up another cook-off show, starring eggplant. David had fried up cubed eggplant (melanzane as its is called in Italian) and mixed it into a fresh tomato sauce. He then tossed the mixture with al dente penne and mozzarella.  The finished product looked delicious! Chef Rajdeep also fried up eggplant and created a “Badin Jaan” or stuffed eggplant.  This dish was much more complex and was plated beautifully.  I’m glad I didn’t have to pick the winner, they both looked amazing!

David chopping eggplant
David chopping eggplant
The importance of Olive Oil
The importance of good olive oil
Penne with Eggplant and Mozzarella, Stuffed Eggplant, Chicken Saltimbocca
Penne with Eggplant and Mozzarella, Stuffed Eggplant, Chicken Saltimbocca

Later on, we watched a more intimate cook-off in the ITC kitchen, this time with rice, cheese and mushrooms being the star ingredients.  Both Chefs were great sports and very entertaining, and it wasn’t all just about cooking – we also learned some fun facts about David along the way.  For example, did you know he started out acting and modeling before he snagged his own cooking show?  Or, that the most odd (and disgusting) thing he’s ever eaten is a goat’s eyeball?!

Heena Jain, Malini Agarwal and Andrea Brown
Heena Jain, Malini Agarwal and Andrea Brown
Battle Mushroom Ingredients
Battle Mushroom Ingredients 
David Rocco and Chef Rajdeep, let the battle begin!
David Rocco and Chef Rajdeep, let the battle begin! 
Sauteed Mushrooms
Sauteed Mushrooms
David stirring the Arborio rice
David stirring the Arborio rice

For the battle, David used porcini and morel mushrooms, mascarpone and parmesan cheese, and arborio rice to create a Mushroom Risotto.  Chef Rajdeep also used the morel mushrooms but with cheddar cheese and basmati rice to create a Mushroom Biryani.   Unfortunately, I think Chef Rajdeep was dealt a losing hand with this one.  While it was an interesting concept to stuff the morels with cheddar and pomegranates, the combination created an odd texture when mixed with over cooked rice.  The entire dish was also a bit too mushy and chewy. On the other hand, mushrooms go very well in a risotto and David’s dish was the clear winner.  The risotto had a nice bite, a slight tang from the wine and provided a creamy cheesy feeling of comfort.

Chef Rajdeep's Biryani
Chef Rajdeep’s Biryani
Finishing Touch
Finishing Touch
Plated Biryani
Plated Biryani
Plated Risotto
Plated Risotto

This episode won’t air for a while, but until then catch our sneak peek and interview with David below:

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Lifestyle