Nestlé and Chef Rocco Introduce Gourmet Pasta

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TORONTO — Food Network star David Rocco took a break from traversing Italy to impart a bit of the dolce vita on a restaurant full of foodservice operators and media yesterday, June 29. Rocco was charged with introducing Joseph’s Gourmet pasta to the community on behalf of the Nestlé Professional family at Toronto’s Distillery District eatery Archeo.

An outgrowth of Joseph’s Bakery, established in 1979 by the Faro family, Joseph’s Gourmet pasta was reborn in 1991 when, Joe, the Faros’ only son, aimed to create an upscale variety that took centre plate. His vision materialized in five gourmet flavours, now available to Canadian operators: ravioli with braised beef, ravioli with North Atlantic Lobster, ravioli with Mediterranean vegetables, ravioli with roasted mushrooms and — a favourite of many who took part in the five-course luncheon — the striped quattro formaggi agnolotti.  

“[They’re] made with meticulously selected ingredients like oven-roasted mushrooms,” explained Jordana Britt, Nestlé Professional’s corporate chef. “In addition to the premium ingredients, what also makes this pasta special is that the dough is rolled up to five times to ensure extra thinness and greater filling-to-dough ratio.”

It’s the simplicity and quality of ingredients that impressed the chef and cookbook author, Rocco, too. “It’s amazing how little cooking you have to do,” relayed the chef. “It’s all about assembling authentic ingredients,” he added, while explaining how he served his family the lobster ravioli, with olive oil, capers and parmesan cheese.

Inspired by the authentic Italian cuisine to which he specializes, Rocco compared the pasta to that of an Italian grandmother’s cooking, relaying its relation to the country’s traditional fare, which is based on the seasons and ingredients. “I’m not big on the 100-mile diet,” he offers. “Good ingredients are good ingredients.”

And, speaking of ingredients, chef Rocco left the audience with one stand-out tip: extra virgin olive oil is a must; enjoy a good two-month old vintage drizzled over some quality vanilla ice-cream, he says. “Keep it simple stupid,” he added, alluding to the famous KISS acronym. “People love that.”

Photo by Greig Reekie

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