This Sunday is all about the fathers. Spending some quality time with the family and having a great meal is, really, what Father’s Day is all about.
Recently, I sat down with Food Network personality, David Rocco, host of the new series David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway (coming to Food Network Canada this fall), to chat a bit about what it’s like being a father, cooking for his kids and what Father’s Day means to him…
DC: You are a father of three now. Have you noticed your style of cooking change at all since starting a family?
DR: Well, you always think “Oh, my kids will eat everything that I make!” and then reality sets in…They discriminate on colour, texture, taste… The key to cooking with kids, getting them excited about food, is to get them involved in the kitchen. Even just to stir something, because then they get excited with something that ‘they’ made and say: ‘Hey mom, hey dad, this is what I made!”
DC: So what are your plans for Father’s Day?
DR: I’m just celebrating, being with my family. My dad just turned 70 on June 1st and I’m a new father of a baby boy who’s only 7 months. It’s still neat and new, so we’re just going to hang out.
DC: Do you cook on Father’s Day?
DR: I cook because I like to cook. It’s just like drinking water, you know, you need to drink it! I enjoy cooking, but there are certain things that my wife makes that I love. She makes a great lasagna. So, she might surprise me with that.
DC: Any simple tips to help make Father’s Day memorable?
DR: First, taking that time to set the table. If it’s kids cooking for their fathers, fortunately the mother is kind of behind it too, to help out. I think in the opposite situation (i.e. Mother’s Day), people [can] get really overwhelmed.
Ask your father what he wants and make it for him. Make those special things. For example, if there’s a special beer or a special wine, make a dish that he loves. Even if you’re a wife or child [typically] saying “Dad you shouldn’t be eating that.” If he wants double the bacon with his morning toast, just make it for him! It’s always about the celebration of food and eating together.
DC: Mother’s Day is typically known for having family brunches, and Father’s Day gatherings later in the day. What do you typically do?
DR: For us it’s definitely been more of an afternoon thing. Because of the weather, it was always about playing soccer that afternoon and coming back from the park with dad and having, like a…is there a word for a meal that’s somewhere between lunch and dinner…maybe a ‘linner’? [laughs]
DC: If you have to pick a drink to enjoy at a weekend brunch or barbeque would it be a Caesar, a mojito or a glass of prosecco?
DR: Well, all are good. Actually, I use prosecco (and this is great for mom or dad) and mix it with pear juice or cucumber juice. It’s really fresh. Prosecco acts a nice backdrop, the bubbly and sweetness [of it], to work with other things. For an Italian mojito, just use prosecco instead of soda water! Could be fun for dad if he wants to go a little crazy on Father’s Day!