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What ever happened to Rocco Dispirito?

I never see ot hear anything on him. I used to listen yo his ever so boring talk show in NY on WOR 710 a.m.

His restaurant Rocco's was worse than any meal I ever had in Little Italy 15 years ago. I never see him on Food Network. Just wondering what happened the guy???

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  1. He was a guest on last week's episode of Top Chef.

    1. I saw a pic of him in an ad today for Bertolli, and you are SO RIGHT! The guy looks like he had some plastic surgery. We met him when we were forced into eating at that horrendous place, Rocco's. He kept carrying around his martini, kissing all the girls, signing autographs, ordering more martini's, the guy clearly thought he was a rock star.

      1. I actually really like his Flavors cookbook. It was definitely weird seeing him slimmed down for Top Chef, though. (And in general, I don't trust a skinny chef.)

        1 Reply
        1. He may not be all over the Food Network right now, but he's all over Bravo! Not only did Top Chef have him on their most recent episode; but they air his Bertolli Mediterranean meals commercial all the time!

          1. I never made it to Union Pacific because I always heard too many negative reviews on the place. Not that I missed anything, since it closed in 2004, but I am sure when he was new and fresh, the place was probably good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Angelina

              Negative reviews for Union Pacific? Are you sure you aren't confusing it for Rocco's 22nd? Because Union Pacific is what made him the big food star he is. Even the haters on this forum will agree that Union Pacific was amazing.

            2. You know, all of this has been hashed and rehashed the last few weeks in a thread that was nuked by the moderators.

              Salient opinions we all agree on

              1) Great chef at Union Pacific
              2) Made to look like a schmuck on "The restaurant", whether they did it by selective editing or by just using the footage is up for discussion.
              3) Hasn't done anything very impressive since the end of the show.
              4) Has made choices that makes people go : "Hmmmm!"

              Otherwise, discuss.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Phaedrus

                Pha i am pretty sure he's published 3 books since then

                1. re: finalforumnow

                  Impressive being something culinary and not in PR or publishing.

                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    So you want him to open a restaurant and that's it? Nothing else counts for you? Just curious...

                    1. re: gottasay

                      Yes, do what he does best, honestly, passionately and heroically. Show that he still has the chops before protituting himself to the highest bidder. Puck, Lagasse, Flay, Batali all proved themselves with their restaurants (plural) for a long time before they cashed in. Rocco showed talent with UP and then tried to take the short cut to fame and fortune, he lost sight of the goal and got sidetracked by the bells and whistles. he got high on the adulation and decided that was better than anonymously working on his craft.

                      1. re: Phaedrus

                        I agree. The best way for him to redeem himself (if he's at all interested in doing that) is to open a restaurant and kick butt like he did with Union Pacific. I think that would work with a lot of people. It would show that he actually is the talented chef we thought he was and not just a dude with a big head.

                        It would work for me for sure!

              2. I never went to Rocco's and I was appalled at a bit I saw of the reality-show, but I did have a few superlative meals at Union Pacific. Really miss it.

                1. Seems like no more restaurants, but a new show on A&E is in the works. Other than that, he writes and publishes books, makes appearances, and is a tv personality now. I am a huge Rocco fan and supporter and I love his new Bertolli ads! Maybe not food that the public can purchase from him, but his books are great food accomplishments in my opinion. Rocco is the BEST!

                  1. From the ad on Bravo seeking an amateur cohost, he's apparently developing an online cooking show.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Living in Florida, I haven't been to his restaurants, but I did watch "The Restaurant" and actually felt embarassed for him! I imagine he wanted to lie low after that debacle!! However, it was nice to see him looking so fit and trim on TC. His demeanor was so pleasant and I enjoyed him on the show. As someone has mentioned, Bravo is pushing his online cooking show alot. I hope he does well.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        "From the ad on Bravo seeking an amateur cohost, he's apparently developing an online cooking show."

                        I thought that was just a contest with Bertolli and not a permanent gig? Anyone know anything with that?

                        1. re: gottasay

                          Read the fine print on the screen next time, it is one appearance for the winner, just a marketing tool, with an uber marketing tool.

                          1. re: ChinoWayne

                            "...just a marketing tool, with an uber marketing tool."
                            Best Line of the week. :-)

                      2. Did you all see his blog as padma's guest blogger on the Top Chef page?