Rocco: be connected with your own body
Food experiments with Rocco and his girlfriend Greta in their flat in Barcelona.
A burst of Italian passion in the kitchen.
WHO: Rocco, siciliano, wise, profound and creative
HIS PLACES: Mexico, Italy: Sicilia (Isola delle Correnti) and Pisa, Scotland: Edinburgh
HIS PASSION: yoga, meditation, music, theatre, dance
HIS MUSIC: Alfio Antico, David Byrne
HIS nutrisophy: vegetarian, balanced, no sugar, his own dishes where inspiration meets creativity.
Rocco & Food
Rocco´s food story is a story of change – Sicilian roots vs his own food choices.
Rocco was born in a small town in Sicily and even though his diet has changed dramatically since childhood, he still loves and cherishes some dishes his grannies prepared back then. For example, simple salad of onion and orange with some sea salt and olive oil.
Rocco points out some typical Sicilian food: onion, lettuce, herbs picked from the garden or forest, parmesan, all kinds of seafood… When he was a kid, he didn´t eat much, then again eating too much as teenager. As he says, he has finally found balance now.
In addition to his cooking grannies, his Dad was a marine cook and Rocco himself started to work in restaurants when very young. However, he didn´t like the products they used there to cook food and it urged him to look further and define his own choices of food. He says:
“The most important is to feel connected with your own body. People have lost it nowadays and therefore they don´t recognize if some food makes them feel bad.”
Rocco´s food journey has been strongly influenced by his partner Greta. They met in Sicily back in 2002 when working together in a local theatre. Travelling and performing in Italy and Europe for a few years, they fell in love. In 2008 Greta moved to Barcelona to take part in a documentary course – and decided to stay.
After moving to this fascinating city, she started to look more into herself and learn about yoga. One thing lead to another – Greta realized that her body needs different kind of food, so she changed her diet. Then she felt like moving her body more and started to walk a lot. It was both a mental and physical change and this inspired Rocco to take the same route. It all happened naturally, discovering new flavors on the way and adding new ingredients to their daily diet – avocado, papaya, kidney beans, beetroot, herbs and spices like curry, turmeric, pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cardamom, anise… Rocco tells me:
“The change has to be gradual and happen from love, not from fight. Without too many discussions and theories, everyone at their own pace.”
They both have found their own way and enjoy life between Sicily and Barcelona. The future holds a journey to India, meditation and yoga practice and new cooking skills. Rocco´s home restaurant is on the way and I´m sure all his guests will enjoy it a lot!
Food is important for both Greta and Rocco, they want to know where their food is coming from and buy their veggies from local markets or organic food stores they trust. They don´t eat meat, eggs nor milk and don´t add sugar to their food, eating dried fruits for sweets.
When cooking, Rocco likes to take time for it and improvise in the kitchen. He often uses celery when cooking, but there is one herb he despises – coriander. Greta on the other hand likes to prepare sweet and fast dishes, she loves all kinds of salads – leafy greens with mango, mushrooms, avocado, seeds, brown rice etc.
Breakfasts have to be slow and consist of coffee, some vegetarian milk and dried fruits. The curious thing is that Greta likes her coffee cold! She prepares it the night before and places it to the fridge to enjoy next morning. Lunch means mainly different kind of beans and lentils, salads, cereals or vegetables. Then dried fruits and nuts for an afternoon snack. For dinner, something liquidy like smoothie, broth, vegetable soup etc.
When visiting their hometown in Sicily, Greta and Rocco are enjoying family time and local food, not thinking too much about diet restrictions. Moments with the family sharing love and food are worth to be flexible and break the rules sometimes!
What did we cook with Rocco and Greta?
Healthy bread and two colourful spreads to eat with, everything vegan, gluten and dairy free.
Find the recipes below!
gluten free, dairy free, vegan
500 g buckwheat flour
15 g of dry active yeast, gluten free
1 tl sea salt
100 ml soy milk
100 ml olive oil
– Mix soy milk, olive oil and dry yeast in a large bowl until yeast is dissolved. Add sea salt.
– Gradually add buckwheat flour, mix and start kneading. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky.
– Leave it for an hour in a warm place, covered.
– Form small buns and bake them in the oven at 200 °C (392 °F) for about 30 minutes.
gluten free, dairy free, vegan, raw
2 medium-sized or 1 big beetroot
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of sunflower seeds (soaked for 4 hours)
1 tsp of ground cumin
5 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp of tamari sauce
– Peel and slice the beetroots, chop into small pieces. Place in a blender.
– Add garlic clove, sunflower seeds, ground cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and tamari sauce.
– Blend everything in a powerful blender to have a creamy texture.
Cashew cheese with celery
gluten free, dairy free, vegan, raw, paleo
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1 garlic clove
1 celery stalk with leaves
– Cut celery into pieces, drain cashews. Chop garlic and onion.
– Place everything in a blender, add olive oil and herbs.
– Blend everything in a powerful blender to have a creamy texture. Add water if needed.