Introducing our friend Deborah Dal Fovo, an accomplished Chef and authority on the fine art of Italian living. She mastered her culinary education in Italian food and wine hands-on from some of Italy’s finest and most renowned chefs, winemakers, food producers and home cooks. Her formal culinary studies include classic training at French Master Chef Roger Vergé’s legendary cooking school in Mougins, France. A dual citizen of Italy and the United States, Deborah now lives primarily in Northern California and shares her vast Italian experience as a Private Chef, Cooking Instructor, Italian Lifestyle expert and an enthusiastic Italian ambassador of good taste. Here’s our short interview!
What’s the idea about your cuisine?
I like to think of my cooking as a joyous celebration of the beauty and diversity of regional Italian cuisine from a personal perspective. Having lived and traveled in many regions of Italy, I cultivated the eclectic traditions, flavors and cooking styles that make up Italian cuisine. This gives me a colorful palette of tastes and techniques to paint with in my cooking. My cooking repertoire travels from Lombardy to Lazio, Piedmont to Apulia. As a former artist, I now express myself through the art of cooking and love “playing” with flavors, colors, shapes, and textures to excite the senses and evoke emotions – first in myself while I’m cooking, then in my clients when they are served my dishes. I get my inspiration from nature and the glorious seasonal ingredients I use to create both traditional regional recipes and new twists on time-tested flavor profiles in innovative dishes. All in all, I believe that my cooking reflects the characteristics of fine Italian cuisine: freshness, quality, simplicity.. and the obligatory pinch of fantasy.
In your opinion, what is the “pasta concept” in San Francisco Bay Area?
The concept of pasta in the San Francisco Bay Area is slowly evolving. While there are now restaurants that serve pasta made “come si deve” – as it should be by authentic Italian standards – others continue to modify classic dishes according to American tastes. Fortunately, the landscape has improved in the last ten years, thanks to the availability of quality Italian ingredients and chefs/restaurants dedicated to serving “verace” – authentically made – pasta dishes. Handmade pasta is very popular and many chefs make their own fresh pasta with delicious results. Plus, the SF Bay Area is blessed with amazing organic produce – including many heirloom Italian vegetables – making it possible to prepare superb pasta dishes. There is still a tendency to order pasta as a main course with oversized portions and it is usually cooked a little more than “al dente”. Personally, I’ve been preparing and teaching authentic pasta dishes like they are served in Italy since moving to San Francisco in 2000 and my clients and students have always been enthusiastic. I believe it’s important to teach quality and authenticity by example in order to educate and inform people’s tastes.
And what was your first gourmet experience with Rustichella d’Abruzzo?
My first gourmet experience with Rustichella d’Abruzzo’s products was many years ago in my own kitchen in San Francisco where I used them to create dishes for private clients and teach students in my Italian cooking classes. I needed the highest quality ingredients that represented the best of Italy and chose Rustichella d’Abruzzo for this reason.
What is your favourite Rustichella pasta shape?
I love all Rustichella’s pasta shapes but my favorites are Trofie, Strozzapreti, Spaghetti, Egg Tagliolini and Casareccia. Plus, I really like Rustichella’s Farro and use it in my Tuscan dishes.
What is your favourite Restaurant in SF that serves Rustichella?
Delfina Restaurant, which serves Rustichella pasta in their quintessential dish, is one of my all time favorites.