While waiting for his dream home to be built in Toronto's Rosedale area, celebrity chef David Rocco has, for the past year, been renting a 100-year-old Yorkville house that he shares with wife, Nina, and their three-year-old twin daughters (a baby boy is on the way).
The kitchen in this make-do dwelling is small by anyone's standards, but especially multitasker Rocco's. The star of La Dolce Vita, the cooking show broadcast in 120 countries, has just written a new cookbook, Made in Italy, which will be released in Canada on Oct. 25. Also in the works is a new show, David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway, set to start in the new year. No surprise, then, that the dining room is his favourite place in the home. "To me, a room is all about the energy and how it makes you feel when you're in it. This one is filled with memories of last Christmas, when my daughter, Giorgina, talked a mile a minute. Just thinking about it makes me smile."
1. The table
"My wife and I bought this when we were living in Rome; it's a Tuscan table dating from the 1700s, made of parquet inlay. It's got two leaves that allow it to be expanded into a large table that can seat 12 for dinner. It's fabulous and practical but also delicate because of its age. We are constantly having to maintain it, but we love it."
2. The painting
"This is by a Venetian painter, Pietro Finelli, but it was purchased here in Toronto at Fabrice Marcolini Artcore. We love the colours. He's a boy in shorts, which is pretty typically Italian. He watches over us while we eat."
3. The candlesticks
"Nina bought these in Madrid, in an antiques store, while we were on our honeymoon. We don't put candles in them. We use oil with a wick and a glass cover. They look beautiful that way."
4. The fire place with mantel
"This came with the house and it happens that I like a fireplace in a dining room. We use it mostly to display our kids' artwork, the little cards they make, like the one I just returned to after shooting my new TV series in Italy: 'Daddy, good luck with the show.'"
5. The statue
"This is a stone statue that my father-in-law found in the garden of a house he had purchased. We asked him immediately if we could have it, and he thought we were joking, because we lived in a condo at the time. But we were serious. We like her. She's always with us. She's part of our home."