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Thread: Rocco DiSpirito - The Chef

  1. #1
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Sep 2002

    Rocco DiSpirito - The Chef


    From NBC

    Named one of the “10 Best New Chefs” in the United States by the editors of Food & Wine, triumphant and trend-setting chef Rocco DiSpirito has turned heads in the American culinary community with the success of the Manhattan eatery Union Pacific. More recently, he helped revamp a classic midtown restaurant Tuscan with a menu highlighted with classics from his native Italy. Now he will use the same critically acclaimed skill and technique to open and operate New York City’s newest restaurant in conjunction with the new NBC unscripted drama “The Restaurant.”

    Executive produced by Mark Burnett (“Survivor”), Ben Silverman and Robert Riesenberg, the six episode, one-hour series will run in summer of 2003 on the NBC Television Network and follow DiSpirito – one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” – and his staff as Rocco embarks on a journey to create, launch and operate his own ultra-chic eating establishment. Unlike other reality programming, “The Restaurant” will be the first dramatic series that caters to the viewing public where fans can actually visit the eatery and have the staff welcome them for a truly unforgettable night on the town.

    A first generation Italian-American chef, DiSpirito’s culinary talent can be found in his family and traced to his love affair with food since age eleven. After graduating from Boston University, his acceptance into the esteemed Culinary Institute of America soon followed. He then made a pilgrimage to France, where he cooked under Dominique Cecillon at Jardin de Cygne, and learned from a handful of New York’s most prominent master chefs including David Bouley, Charles Palmer, Gray Kunz and the late Gilbert Le Coze.

    While he learned the craft of cooking in those kitchens, DiSpirito’s signature style was born of pure, unbridled imagination and passion for his work. DiSpirito is one of the few chefs that comes along who is blessed with the ability to imagine food differently than anyone who has gone before him. His cuisine is described by New York magazine’s Gael Greene as ringing with “poetry.” The New York Times exclaimed that his dishes “can provoke moans of pleasure” and Ruth Reichl reviews, “Mr. DiSpirito has an interesting mind; he seems to think about flavor in ways that ordinary people don’t.”

    In 2000, Gourmet magazine dubbed him “America’s most exciting young chef.” And since Union Pacific’s opening almost six years ago, the restaurant has received three star reviews from The New York Times and The New York Observer.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  2. #2

    Is Rocco an interesting character?

    This is a new concept in so-called "Reality TV" programming - which most of us are smart enough to realize only means "unscripted."

    There is no voiceover, no elimination, no prizes, and Rocco is the main character with his satellites or staff - front and back.

    Is he interesting enough to carry this show? What is your opinion?

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey CantGetNuf's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    I don't think Rocco is interesting by himself to carry the show. But I think the staff and the customers and catastrophes are going to be enough.

  4. #4
    Did anyone else catch Rocco on Last Call with Carson Daly the other night? I just happened to be flipping through the channels, and Rocco and Carson were "cooking" together. I didn't see the original episode but from the recap, I think Rocco did the same "I can cook with crap" schtick that he did for the radio DJs. The premise was basically what could Rocco make using ingredients of a vending machine and the lefovers froma a big beer bash/ party. Carson was pretty funny, and even admitted that he did not like the first item Rocco made. That was pretty funny. Lots of deep fried pizza also ended up being thrown and passed around, too. I haven't seen the show yet, but I can see how Rocco would make for interesting TV. They showed a clip of him with the F-bombs flying. Carson told him it was cool.

  5. #5

    rocco's attitude

    i am a server (waitress). and if my boss talked about me the way he did to the blonde, i would have walked out right then and there! Just from watching him say that to a customer, i would not eat there. so far rocco seems to be worried about picking up girls and not what is going on in his restaurant.

  6. #6
    FORT Regular
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    Aug 2003
    I agree. I wouldn't eat there either. Having been a waiter for 9 years, I wouldn't want to eat in a restaurant in which the owner talks to customers about an employee in that manner. Especially when it wasn't even the waiter's fault, but the kictchen's. Even the customers knew that.

    That brings me to another point. If I dine at a restaurant that is named after a chef, I want that chef to be preparing my meal. One of my favorite restaurants if named after the 2 owners (one with the business know how, the other the chef). Although he doesn't cook during the busy time anymore (he's 70+ years old), he does during the slower times. He also helps prep the kitchen during the day. I know all of this because I used to work there. Anyway, this is what Rocco whould be doing. Instead he's trying to get laid.

  7. #7
    FORT Regular ChefWinduAZ's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    I am astonished at Rocco's lack of respect for his employees. He is just begging for a large lawsuit. And what was the deal with the smart ass remarks he was making towards the NY Post food critic. Some of the things he was saying to her could have been classified as sexual harrasment.

  8. #8
    I am a bit torn on my feelings for Rocco. Having worked in food service many years ago, I understand that he is trying to be professional and run a business. All the crying and whining can get pretty old. On the other hand he seems not to have a clue on what problems he has with the restaurant and what he needs to fix. So I'll ask the question for the folks that actually work there and post on here. Is Rocco really a horse's ass or does he just play one on tv? I'd really like to know, because as I said, I can see both sides of what is happening

  9. #9
    So far he is doing an excellent impersonation of a horse's ass.

    I would not work for the guy nor would I ever eat in a restaurant of his. Did he really think this show would be good for business or does he just want to go Hollywood?

  10. #10
    FORT Fogey wendiness's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by ChefWinduAZ
    I am astonished at Rocco's lack of respect for his employees. He is just begging for a large lawsuit. And what was the deal with the smart ass remarks he was making towards the NY Post food critic. Some of the things he was saying to her could have been classified as sexual harrasment.
    Absolutely. And the way he throws around comments like that suggets to me that he has absolutely no edit button in his brain. He looked handsome to me when I first saw him but, now that I've heard him speak and seen his behavior, he gets uglier every day.

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