Mo Rocca Learns to Cook from our Elders: My Grandmother’s Ravioli

A young Mo Rocca and his grandmother. Photo courtesy of the Food Network/Cooking Channel

February 19, 2012 Perhaps this is something many of us would like to do at some point – learn how to cook like the pros…our grandparents! Mo Rocca, correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, is at a point in his life where food is taking on a new meaning for him and he has no clue how to cook. His memories of good food stem back to many childhood meals prepared by his grandmother. But she is gone now, so who to turn to? Other people’s grandparents – of course!

“Rocca says his idea for the show came out of a particularly embarrassing dinner. “I had a friend over for takeout,” Rocca tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “Since I don’t cook, that’s all I could serve him. And he said, ‘Do you have any salt? I need some salt.’ I said, ‘Uh, yeah. I think in the cupboard over the oven that I never use.’ And he said, ‘That’s sugar.’ And I realized I didn’t even have salt in my apartment. I mean, it’s pathetic!”

Rocca says that if he had a time machine, he’d go back 30 years and shadow his grandmother in the kitchen as she prepared bounteous Sunday meals for her family. “She made extraordinary meals,” he remembers. “I don’t have her anymore, so I’m doing the next best thing, which is learning from the old masters — from grandmothers and grandfathers across the country.”

The hour long special premieres on the Cooking Channel – Sunday, February 19th (tonight), at 8pm (EST), with repeats listed here.

As an added treat, watch Mo Rocca learn how to make his grandmother’s ravioli with Lidia Bastianich, 3 years ago.

Read more via NPR, “Mo Rocca Learns From the Masters: Grandparents


  1. tony morinelli says

    Some years ago I produced a TV Cooking Show Pilot called “Come to My House.” The program featured a young woman who would visit the kitchens of the “grandparents” to learn not only their culinary secrets but their personal stories in coming to America. I submitted this pilot to Food Network, Scripps and others. All of them rejected the idea. Then, what do we find on TV, the very same concept now hosted by Mo Rocca and called, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli.” Where did Food Network get this concept? Here is the original pilot on the website created several years ago. What conclusions would you draw?
    And here is the You Tube.

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