Chef Giovanni Rocchio of Valentino Cucina Italiana in Ft. Lauderdale joined the James Beard Foundation on Sept. 25 in preparing a meal for more than 75 guests at the world renowned James Beard House in NYC. As one of South Florida’s top chefs Giovanni supports the James Beard Foundation’s mission of celebrating, nurturing and honoring America’s diverse culinary heritage.
Valentino’s Chef de cuisine, Jimmy Everett joined Giovanni in the kitchen and they prepared a delicious dinner that was expertly paired with vintage wines from Antinori Family Vineyards and hand-selected by their sommelier Rudolpho Bobini.
The meal was called Inventive Italian and was made up of seven courses that paid homage to Giovanni’s signature innovative culinary approach. Some of the dishes included an aperitivo course of beet and goat cheese macaroons; a fish dish of Monkfish served with chowder, sunchokes, manila calms and bacon; foie gras terrine with oat cream, dark chocolate granola, brioche and goose berries; veal casoncelli with prosciutto, brown butter and red wine jus; and lamb saddle with black olive, eggplant, cucumber, paprika yogurt and pear.
As the dessert course was served, Silvi Forrest, a long time James Beard Foundation member, event coordinator and friend of James Beard, introduced Chef Giovanni and his team to the guests and members of the James Beard House. Guests had the opportunity to speak with Chef Giovanni and ask questions about the dishes, the menu and his inspiration when creating this memorable culinary experience.
Valentino Cucina Italiana is a fine dining restaurant cooking “Innovative Cusine with a Modern Italian Twist” owned by Chef Giovanni Rocchio who often travels to Italy to expand his palate of authentic Italian cuisine and explores regional farms and vineyards while mastering new recipes to share with South Florida. Serving only the freshest, high quality ingredients that they use to create consistently delectable dishes. Furthermore guest can expect exceptional service in a beautifully warm and inviting dinning room with some rustic elements. There is also a full service bar and a lush private dinning room for all kinds of events. The eatery was originally opened in 2006 and moved to its current location in Fort Lauderdale in 2012.