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Rocco Gets Real

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  • catrn Nov 29, 2008 06:33 AM
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Is this new? I was flipping through the stations this morning and found this on A&E. Looks like he goes to someone's house and teaches them to cook something they are afraid of.
Love Rocco, so guess I will give this a shot.

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  1. It's been on for a couple of months now. The first episode was awful, he taught somebody to make creme brulee using packaged vanilla pudding. I saw the 2 episodes today and they were very watchable. Not great but okay.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KTinNYC

      I haven't been a big fan of Rocco in the past but I like this show. The food instruction is good but I like how he brings the guest's story into it. A couple of good stories were; the woman who had breast cancer and wanted to make dinner for her husband for all his support and the Italian woman who brought her Irish boyfriend's father over from Ireland and Rocco taught her to make coddle for the surprise dinner.

      1. re: tofuburrito

        Those were the episodes I saw. Thought they were pretty good. Like you, I liked the story behind it all. He seems very calm with the people he is helping, and knowledgeable about the food he is preparing. I don't remember which episode it was, but he brought his mother on for help. Cute. Will watch again.

    2. I think the series will conclude with Rocco cooking for prison inmates (whose expectations meet his abilities).

      14 Replies
      1. re: Leper

        Leper, your comment about Rocco's "abilities" is a clear indication that you've never eaten his food. you may not like his personality or media presence, but he's a brilliantly talented chef. those of us who had the good fortune of eating at Union Pacific before it closed can attest to that.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Rocco is/was a "celebrity" chef.
          I'm with leper. As a professional chef myself, I'm just not impressed.
          Rocco had not been part of daily ops at union pacific for a long time.
          Celebrity chef is hard work but takes you far from the daily grind of creating and managing a kitchen. I didn't see creme brulee episode but if Ktin is right.....that says it all!!!!
          I did see the fish show, and the irish food - I thought he did a fair job teaching the women to make the dishes. In the fish show he had a couple of presentations that sounded creative. His reality restaurant show certainly made him out to be a fame starved , arrogant jerk with little chef ability. ( Great cook , great chef way different)
          That is reality TV and they can put any spin on it that they want BUT........so maybe they made him look like that on purpose, if so they sure fooled me.

          1. re: coastie

            Rocco was in the kitchen until the last year possibly two of U.P. His talent was visible to those who ate his food. I don't really care if he just looked like a jerk on tv or he's a jerk in real life all I know is that he could cook. Even his detractors that ate his food will tell you that.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              he can cook. He is not a good chef

              1. re: coastie

                Do you know this from first hand knowledge or just from what you saw on tv?

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  I have not worked with rocco but a sous chef I worked with claimed to have. Most of what he said supported the lack of leadership that I saw - he did say that the kitchen was a pretty fun place to work and that they had very high quality ingredients. he said he rarely saw Rocco. He said Rocco never taught him anything. I took that to mean he wasn't there as a teaching chef, though maybe he was trying to tell me he knew it all already I don't think so but its been 7 yrs . Also , he could have been exaggerating . Kitchen war stories always get worse after the fact.

                  1. re: coastie

                    "Also , he could have been exaggerating . Kitchen war stories always get worse after the fact."
                    ~~~~~~~
                    which is precisely why it's irresponsible to bash someone's abilities or food when you haven't been in his kitchen or eaten his cooking.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      he puts himself out there to be bashed - hence the word celebrity.
                      A working chef puts in 60-70 hours a week. He could not possibly accomplish everything he has while actually putting his time in the kitchen. Union closed in 2004 and by most accounts he had been mostly absent for 2 years at that time.
                      We real working chefs kind of tend to laugh at celebrity chefs.
                      By putting himself out there, he opens himself up for dissection just like celebrity actors, musicians etc. Small price to pay for the fat cash and nice hours. Who is more suited to make judgements than his peers? Me and my mommy would stand toe to toe with Rocco anyday. (I got the reume, experience and mom to back it up)

                    2. re: coastie

                      If your sous worked at UP toward the end I can believe Rocco wasn't really present and didn't teach. I think he had mentally checked out by that time.

                      1. re: KTinNYC

                        from today's NY Times:

                        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/din...

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I read that this morning and thought about posting it but I really think the detractors have their minds made up already and nothing will convince them that Rocco, in his day, was a great chef.

                2. re: KTinNYC

                  If you prostitute yourself, expect catcalls.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    I really don't care what anyone thinks of Rocco but when people say he can't cook then they obviously don't know what they are talking about.

            2. re: Leper

              ~laughs

            3. the only show I saw - this woman made a curry with leeks and did not wash the leaks and then had a sandy curry.
              So, Rocco showed her to save her curry by washing the sauce off and starting over. I like that the "student" learns to make their own mistakes and has to follow the recipe on his/her own.
              I know Rocco gets a bad rap..but, his food did look good.