When it comes to authentic Italian cooking, Enrica Rocca is the real deal. Born and raised in Venice, she’s a pro in Venetian cuisine and teaches her many students and followers the ins and outs of making the ultimate Italian meal.
“Learning authentic Venetian cookery is more about finding the best regional ingredients than knowing how to fry a fish,” remarked The New York Times in an article dedicated to Rocca. Having Italian food in her blood and a contagious zest for life, Rocca’s teachings are thorough, without being overly serious.
Having graduated from the Hotel School of Lausanne, Rocca brought up her two daughters and ran two Italian restaurants in Cape Town for 11 years, before making a move to London in 2002. In London, she opened her first Italian cookery school, which her two daughters have run since 2014. As for Rocca, she is now back in Venice, where she runs a second branch of the cookery school.
Her classes—full of zest and enthusiasm—begin with shopping tips at Venice’s Rialto fish and produce market and end with a jolly cooking tutorial in Rocca’s home.
“A cuisine is built around the local ingredients so exporting a culinary culture is really difficult,” explained the chef in an interview with Suitcase Magazine. “You can’t access the same ingredients, not everything can be exported and compromises are not always successful.”
“I never eat in Italian restaurants outside of Italy as I enjoy discovering the local specialties,” she admits. “I also know how difficult it is to replicate any cuisine outside of its original country.” Her dishes always comprise just two or three ingredients, chosen well, cooked simply and brought to the table with gusto.
We dream of taking her cookery classes in Venice’s Dorsoduro district, just across the Grand Canal from San Marco. But for the time being, we’ll have to make do with her online courses.