For those of you who follow along with the DoTheDaniel.com team on social media, you’ll have noticed that we’ve been working on something big with Chef David Rocco and today we are so excited to tell you what that is. In conjunction with Barilla Canada, David has become the face of the #ShareTheTable campaign. Alongside the new website ShareTheTable.Barilla.ca, the program aims to help Canadians get back to what is important. We had the pleasure of creating a family moment with Catherine, Amanda & Lyric in Ottawa to celebrate the new program and even got the chance to chat with David about why it is so important to him. Come and see why we all #ShareTheTable with Barilla Canada products and so should you!
Let’s face it. With your daily routine at the office, family obligations, your social media and keeping up to date with the #DoTheDaniel team… life got busy. Chances are you’ve even gotten accustomed to having your phone with you during meals. “A new study hosted on the Angus Reid Forum for Barilla Canada reveals that although nearly all (96 per cent) Canadian parents surveyed feel sharing meals is key to connecting with their children, less than half (46 per cent) have family meals every day.” But does it have to be this way? We don’t think so and neither does Barilla Canada.
I still laugh when I think back to living at home and being so angry with my parents that I couldn’t have my phone at the table. Today, when I look back I am grateful that this was the rule in our house because I now have fond memories of sitting around the table being in the moment with my family. It’s why when we partnered with Barilla to bring you the #ShareTheTable message. Because all of us agree it is something we have to bring back into our lives.
“Barilla Canada has launched Share the Table in Canada, an initiative dedicated to helping make mealtime meaningful again. Celebrity Chef David Rocco has partnered with Barilla to help spearhead the movement. “Dinner is an occasion when everyone can come together, cook and share the day’s events in a relaxed atmosphere,” says David Rocco, host of Food Network’s Dolce Vita and author of multiple cookbooks.”
I had the great pleasure of chatting with David recently about the program and his own family. PS. what a stud!
Q: David, you’ve traveled the world in your culinary adventures. Asides from Canada and this amazing new program, what country best embodies the importance of family dinner?
A: Italy and India were his immediate answers based upon the fact that family values and a matriarchal structure have created a psychology of food. “It’s ingrained in the DNA of the culture.”
Q: You’re a busy man, how do you prioritize your day to ensure quality time around the table at home?
A: He explained that it’s all about the simple connections in life. Be it with your children, your family or your partner, by cooking together and taking those few moments to connect with no distractions, you create something special. “We all have to eat” he told me and I laughed when I realized how simple that statement really is. Eat, connect and share in moments that make the biggest difference in the long run. That’s really the whole point of the program and why he is so passionate about it.
Q: David, how do you feel about this mouvement which has created customized menus for children who are picky eaters where more than one meal is being served at a time? Picky eaters seem to be taking over the lives of their parents and dictating the meal decisions these days.
A: Similarly to how I was raised, David doesn’t believe in this at all. “Options? NO way.” he continued and he went on to even offer a solution to a picky eater. “That is where the power of cooking comes in. Kids will test you. But when you empower them to cook something with you, it becomes more of a ‘look what I made.’ When kids are empowered and excited about the food, everything changes.” Being that our very own Lyric can be known to be a picky eater, we gave this a try during our #ShareTheTable dinner, and it worked! So much so, that Amanda texted me amazed at the fact that he was eating kale!
Something as simple as focusing on your children, your family and your food choices truly can make the biggest difference of all. One trick that David offers which is sure to get your kids excited is to have them get their hands dirty. When making a tomato sauce at home, let them squish the chunked tomatoes with their hands in a bowl while you prep other ingredients. The simple (but messy, so be warned!) trick will immediately get any child into the process of not only cooking, but being a part of something so much more important. When there is an emotional connection with the ingredients, something magical happens.
“From their relationships, to their physical health and emotional well-being, Canadians surveyed who eat dinner together more frequently are more likely to be satisfied with every aspect of their lives.”
As some of you will know, we’ve even ventured into the world of YouTube to bring you a behind the scenes perspective of our adventures. Take a look at the short video below which helps to show how a simple meal made together with the family made the world of difference for us.
Want to recreate this delicious meal for yourself? Check out Catherine’s recipe below and head to Catherine’s Cabinet for more delicious and nutritious recipes sure to make any family member smile.
Catherine’s Fresh Marinara Sauce
Add olive oil and garlic to a pan, set to medium. Sweat garlic for approximately 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and stir. Add rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low for about 20 minutes until tomatoes are completely cooked, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool before serving. Keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Add to your favourite Barilla pasta and you’ve got one heck of a meal that not only is delicious, but the family helped to make. After all, the entire point of #ShareTheTable is to focus on good food and family again.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a family effort with beautiful photos by Amanda Hayden Photography. See some of our very own modern family photos during our first (but certainly, not our last) #ShareTheTable moments.
“Barilla invites Canadians to share their dinnertime moments for their chance to win one of three trips to Italy. Families are encouraged to submit photos, videos or blog posts to the contest page demonstrating how they are making dinner a more significant, fun and meaningful occasion. All submissions will be entered to win a trip for four to Italy from May 11 to July 31, 2015. AND Barilla will donate a meal to Food Banks Canada for every contest entry submitted throughout the Share the Table promotion period, up to 60,000 meals!”
Before you put your phone down for a family meal using Barilla products, follow @BarillaCAN on Twitter and ‘Like’ their Facebook page. For food and menu inspiration, follow @DavidRoccosVita on Twitter & Instagram while you’re at it! Use the #ShareTheTable hashtag to join in on the social media conversation and of course don’t forget to submit your special moments when dinner is done to www.ShareTheTable.Barilla.ca!
For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing brands we are working with, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account!
** I have partnered with the brand for this sponsored feature. The above content is my own and expresses our personal experience of the product. The opinions expressed are fully endorsed by DoTheDaniel.com and it’s staff.