Host Interview: David, Rome

From Trentino-Alto Adige to Rome...

Ciao David! Tell us a little about yourself...
Ciao! I’m originally from the Fassa valley in Trentino, which is well-known for its beauty, culture and linguistic minority. I have always felt a connection with the city of Rome, where I moved and started my career as a potter.

That's quite a mix! Which dish sums you up?
I love mixing flavors and experimenting, starting from quality ingredients… It’s hard to decide on a single dish that I love the most! I’ll go for Felicetti spaghetti (the pasta produced in my hometown) served with garlic, olive oil, chili pepper and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

What's the most treasured possession in your kitchen?
I can't choose just one! I couldn't live without my wooden spoons, the little brush I use to clean carrots and potatoes, my cast iron saucepan… and of course the great-grandmother's wooden worktop that she used to knead the dough for strudel or for casonjie (our typical ravioli, or cialzons). You can read the recipe for casonjie here!

So many hand-me-downs, they must be really special to you! When did you learn to cook?
I can’t pin down the exact moment when I realized that cooking would be my future. I just remember all the years growing up with my grandmother and the countless hours I spent with her in the kitchen, standing on a little raffia stool with wooden spoon in my hand, asking in dialect if I could "ciagiare" (taste). I developed a huge curiosity about mixing different ingredients and colors to see how it would turn out.

What's your favourite memory of cooking with your grandmother?
One of my most special memories is when I made the sweet "iles flottantes" with my grandmother... re-reading the recipe written in an old sheet in curly calligraphy, in English. It was a keepsake from when she lived near London after the war, in the home of a former commander and pilot of the British army. My grandmother had been sent there to study English and the family’s housekeeper taught her how to make this dessert.

How lovely! Now you have your own kitchen, who helps you with the cooking?
I’m quite a solitary person, and cooking sometimes brings out the “mountain character” that is part of who I am… So I find it hard to have a cooking assistant. But, the best person for me to have around is my partner Flavio. He puts up with me!

Want to cook like an Italian?

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