Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anyone who goes on televsion should KNOW--as an absolute truth--that sooner or later, we ALL of us--will find ourselves, making that final,  inevitable Winkler-esque approach to the shark-tank. There is rarely a Pinky Toscadero waiting on the other side.

LMAO Tony! I love the 'jumping the shark' reference... :laugh:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and the blackout at Rocco's? Heaven knows how that went ... maybe just the night off was needed by all, especially the mama! .... and the cameras ...

Blackout at Rocco's? I bet the food was cold. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also caught the show for the first time last night. I propose a few questions:

1. Who are these people who think it's romantic to propose in that setting? Was the line too long for the Sally Jesse show?

2. How many of you professionals sympathized w/ Rocco and how many with the 3 disgruntled cooks? Technically, he was in the moral right (it wasn't a lie, but pulling the "you made Mama cry" card was a low blow) but I couldn't help feeling he deserved what they gave him. It may be just television, but somehow Rocco comes off a little short of human, like he's recovering from shock therapy.

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hear that Union Pacific is still doing great food. And that Rocco shows up now and then to work the room.

Has anyone experienced this? How did you feel about it?

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What did you guys think you'd find when you opened your eyes to this?

Do you non restaurant-lifers think all chefs are respectable? The fact that Rocco smeared egg on his face with his poor nod to RAO's and subsequent titty baby management techniques is a beautiful psychological experiment designed, I think, to bolster chefs hollier than thou images. Everyone should be made to put their heads in the stock and glare frightfully at the hanging guillotine. It builds character. He knows he screwed up, and maybe even planned it to work out that way. He's now my favorite everyman. I like the guy now with all of his figurative acne and bad karma. He's real, not that yin and yanger on Melting Pot.

Edited by I. Reilly (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Rachel and I were saying last night, there's something very wrong when you know the best part of the show is the theme song.

Without Tony's and Eric's appearance on the show yesterday I think I would have felt I wasted yet another hour of my life.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a followup to:

"and, to emphasize the point here, these chicks do love him (witness the one who joked about "renting" him to work for her! ) Wonder if Ruth Reichl would feel similar vibes about him?"

allow me to take you all way back to October 2000 and the Gourmet magazine issue which invited us to "meet America's most exciting young chef." Rocco got the full, predictable, Michael Ruhlman treatment on the inside--"His plates arrive at the table with a simplicity of presentation and a complexity of flavors and ingredients that belie his age"-- and a big wet kiss from Ruth on the cover, which laid the groundwork for all sorts of things to come.

It was perhaps the best chef cover of a magazine I can recall seeing--anyone not remember Rocco heaving that whopping "60 pound tilefish?" This wasn't your parent's old Gourmet magazine anymore, it was Ruth's.

For those willing to read along--Ruhlman really earned his paycheck with stuff like this:

"There is indeed something of the Eagle Scout about DiSpirito, something a little too clean in his complexion and his brilliance, straight teeth, in his graceful posture, in his easy laughter. Something perhaps calculating. Serious, driven, and intense, he knows that being a chef today requires an image as managed as any major politician's, and he aims to manipulate that perception as efficiently as he brings a risotto to silky perfection."

Prescient, huh?

Ruth and Rocco gave us a lesson back then, a roadmap if you will, and it's up to us to decide whether we'll learn from that lesson. Rocco has given us another lesson with this TV show--the question this time is what will we take away from this lesson and what does Rocco have to learn, if anything?

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"There is indeed something of the Eagle Scout about DiSpirito, something a little too clean in his complexion and his brilliance, straight teeth, in his graceful posture, in his easy laughter.  Something perhaps calculating.  Serious, driven, and intense, he knows that being a chef today requires an image as managed as any major politician's, and he aims to manipulate that perception as efficiently as he brings a risotto to silky perfection."

Prescient, huh?

Good show there, Chef SpecialK.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prescient, huh?

Wow! Not only prescient but a genuine "slam dunk" for those of us who either didn't recall this piece or, quite possibly, never actually read it the first time!

Guess one need not be a Nostrodamus to see character traits early on ..... Thank you for locating this item and for bringing it to us for our deeper edification ... the Ruth Reichl comment rather echoes my initial humorous aside, made in total innocence.

More to Rocco than NBC allows us to see? Very probably!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was amazed at how the chef-to-be was given his chance to "be the Man" in the kitchen and yet was yelled at the entire time for not doing it the right way. Geesh, isn't anyone trained anymore? Then they showed him prepping more ducks for the rotisserie, which means he ain't at the grill cooking or plating. Couldn't someone else have done this so he could get back to more important matters?

Are all restaurant kitchens run this way?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to understand the editing of the show.  One two prior episodes they've shown Ripert eating at the restaurant.  On this, the third time, they show him with Bourdain.  Just how many times has Ripert eaten at this place?  And if it's only once, why show the footage every week. I'm so confused!! 

:wacko:  :blink:

According to the latest post on Uzay Tumer's site, Ripert has been back to Rocco's, this time with Alain Ducasse!

Kathy

Minxeats
http://www.foodloversguidetobaltimore.com/'>Food Lovers' Guide to Baltimore

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to understand the editing of the show.  One two prior episodes they've shown Ripert eating at the restaurant.  On this, the third time, they show him with Bourdain.  Just how many times has Ripert eaten at this place?  And if it's only once, why show the footage every week.   I'm so confused!! 

:wacko:  :blink:

According to the latest post on Uzay Tumer's site, Ripert has been back to Rocco's, this time with Alain Ducasse!

Could it be that the food is more acceptable than we are led to believe. I can't imagine these two guys need the publicity or waste their time eating garbage food.

Bill Russell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to understand the editing of the show.  One two prior episodes they've shown Ripert eating at the restaurant.  On this, the third time, they show him with Bourdain.  Just how many times has Ripert eaten at this place?  And if it's only once, why show the footage every week.   I'm so confused!! 

:wacko:  :blink:

According to the latest post on Uzay Tumer's site, Ripert has been back to Rocco's, this time with Alain Ducasse!

Could it be that the food is more acceptable than we are led to believe. I can't imagine these two guys need the publicity or waste their time eating garbage food.

Perhaps Ripert is trying to warn Ducasse about going into business whith Chodorow?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to understand the editing of the show.  One two prior episodes they've shown Ripert eating at the restaurant.  On this, the third time, they show him with Bourdain.  Just how many times has Ripert eaten at this place?  And if it's only once, why show the footage every week.   I'm so confused!! 

:wacko:  :blink:

According to the latest post on Uzay Tumer's site, Ripert has been back to Rocco's, this time with Alain Ducasse!

Could it be that the food is more acceptable than we are led to believe. I can't imagine these two guys need the publicity or waste their time eating garbage food.

It's like a train wreck. They can't stop looking at it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

so does anyone know where the three disgruntled cooks are now cooking these days?

or did rocco blacklist them?

Its rather hard for cooks to get blacklisted by a chef. Restaurants are come and go by their nature, and there are so many of them. However, now that their faces are known accross the country they may find getting a job in a 2-star restaurant (one of their complaints) more difficult

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"and, to emphasize the point here, these chicks do love him (witness the one who joked about "renting" him to work for her! )

And how awkwardly he handled it? He kept asking "what?" as if either he's very modest and isn't used to the attention, or he wasn't gracious enough to go along with her joke because he didn't find her attractive. Actually, he looked petrified and shocked -- shot a "help me!" look into the camera. Should have said "I don't think you can afford me, honey..."

Queen of Grilled Cheese

NJ, USA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...allow me to take you all way back to October 2000 and the Gourmet magazine issue which invited us to "meet America's most exciting young chef."

..."There is indeed something of the Eagle Scout about DiSpirito, something a little too clean in his complexion and his brilliance, straight teeth, in his graceful posture, in his easy laughter.  Something perhaps calculating.  Serious, driven, and intense, he knows that being a chef today requires an image as managed as any major politician's, and he aims to manipulate that perception as efficiently as he brings a risotto to silky perfection."...

I had been thinking of this Gourmet piece for the last few weeks, and Steve Klc's mention of it inspired me to dig it out of my files. From the paragraph just before the one Steve quoted:

You are not likely to see him posing nude with an appliance or trying to beat the clock on a goofy TV show. Says Mark Dissin, a producer at the Food Network, "He doesn't really go after publicity like that. And yet he manages his persona very carefully."

Perhaps my read of this is slightly different than Steve's. Having been around him a few times at this period (2000-2001), admiring not only his food, but his intensity and professionalism, I saw his attitude as a template, at the time, an anti-Emeril. I respected him for the choices he was making, at least as it was perceived. I thought he might be leading the way for our generation of chefs, but all the while making sure the focus was on the work, the passion.

When I first learned of this TV project many months ago, I was excited, thinking that he was the one who could make it work. We'd see a slice of what went into a great kitchen, a great restaurant. As the details began to surface, my expectations and respect had plummeted, and have continued to do so with the airing of each painful episode. This makes "Ready, Set,...Cook" look like "Masterpiece Theater". This is the mother of all Vitamix ads, but without the blender there to hide all the naughty bits.

I was initially worried for Rocco, and his reputation. Now, I realize these were choices he made, and while I wish he hadn't made them, I hope he finds continued success, because it is well deserved.

I just have one less peer to look to for inspiration.

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean come on, squishing your ugly faces up to your 27 inch so you can feel Rocco's shame is kin to the American pasttime of catcalling the lardassios who break dance for money.

Too much talk so far about "real" as if it was a component of "reality tv." What ties this to other reality shows and what all reality tv seems to have in common is that someone, or more than one, gets embarrassed, put down, rejected, or broken in spirit, possibly to the point of tears, and we get to call it entertainment. The public isn't supposed to root for someone to get the million dollars or marry the millionaire, we're supposed to want to see at least one person told they're the weak link, get rejected, voted off the island and sent packing. Shame on the three cooks for the way they lied and shame on Rocco for the way he responded and treated the situation. Shame on us for watching, but the producers understand the the drawing power of disasters.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shame on the three cooks for the way they lied and shame on Rocco for the way he responded and treated the situation. Shame on us for watching, but the producers understand the the drawing power of disasters.

Yep...and I hate me (for watching).

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^ I can’t help but wonder if they had actually come clean what would have happened.

We’ve all scammed the boss in our “youth” and I think it would have been more riveting t.v. had one of them said, “Chef, yeah there was a fight – no there was no hospital. I’m stressed, tired and choked about work right now and took 4 weeks of frustration out on 1 night of drinking.

It wasn’t smart and it shouldn’t have affected you to the level it did. Won't happen again.”

Minou ~ Kitchen Widow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...