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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 1


bpearis
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I'll point out again . . .

It's not about Rocco's the Restaurant or even any of Rocco's restaurants.

The guy realized he wanted to make money.  The money isn't in the restaurants.  The money is in book contracts, appearances, endorsements, etc.

Grimes has had it right all along:  it's about Rocco's career.

And the guy is going to have a fine career--at least for awhile & at least economically.

Absolutely. There was a quote from a marketing person in an article linked a ways back in this thread...something like 'it's all about brand Rocco.'

That pretty much sums it up...at least as I'd speculate on Rocco's perspective.

=R=

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

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Why do we assume that 'the average people' didn't pick up on the fact that Rocco and Rocco's both came off very badly in the show and would still be interested in going there?

Just basing this (admitted assumption) on the fact that people/tourists, even while on vacation in a great city like NYC, will go to TGIFridays and Bennigan's. Also, there are reports that Rocco's is still full on a constant basis. Just thinking too about the tv medium in general, and how many look at the very appearance or mention of a place on tv as an 'endorsement'. Of course, many are more discerning but IMO there are enough folks out there who are not, to keep the place full in perpetuity. I really hope that I'm wrong about this.

=R=

I've never lived in New York City. I've been a few times -- I guess you could consider me one of those annoying mid-west tourists. I can assure you that when I've eaten at a place like Bennigan's there, I'm not thinking I'm having a real New York experience. I'm thinking I'm starving to death, they've got tables available, and I need food while I continue doing the things I want to do. There are things, like going to FAO Schwartz, that I've done in NYC knowing full well they were the tourist things to do. There have also been things I've done in NYC, like going to places highly reccomended restaurants by lifelong New Yorkers as the non-touristy places that I've loved, and felt like I was having a New York experience.

But I have to ask -- to some degree, don't you guys prefer it that way? I have family that live in a high-tourist area in Florida, and I know they have a few places they go where they love the fact that tourists don't know to go there. As soon as they see too many out of state license plates in the parking lot, they get a little dissapointed, knowing their anti-tourist sanctuary is going down hill. Do you really want all the tourists to have a REAL NYC experience?

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Problem: I didn't see any of the episodes, but I so want to generate a brilliant bon mot... :unsure:

=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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The sole merit in this show is as a teaching aid in any restaurant management and perhaps any management human resources course. Edit together all of Rocco's interactions with his employees into "How many things did Rocco do wrong?" A whole semester could be built around Rocco's attitude towards his employees.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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In these myriad contextualizations Rocco functions as a cipher in the analytic matrix (or The Matrix, not sure) of real/fake, integrity vs. sellout, jerky boss vs. likeable guy, geniushead vs. cheeseball, sex symbol vs. enhh, charismatic leader vs. climber.

Huh? Me am stupid. Not get. Rocco not real charismatic geniushead likeable sex symbol with integrity? Rocco actually fake jerky cheeseball sellout climber trapped in Matrix? :wink:

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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It almost made me miss the nasty Brazilian chick who couldn't be nice to the customers "because it's not me".

is Caroline brazilian? i thought during the interview she was talking about her "nonna" and her making "taglierini" with the "pasta machine"??? was she pretending to be italian just so they would hire her?

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This has all been something. Has there ever been a thread at gullet that has stirred so much response - for so little content?

Hippest thing on last night's episode was where one of the black chicks sitting at that table said, "Once you've done black, you'll never go back." Amen, my honkie brothers.

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Why do we assume that 'the average people' didn't pick up on the fact that Rocco and Rocco's both came off very badly in the show and would still be interested in going there?

Just basing this (admitted assumption) on the fact that people/tourists, even while on vacation in a great city like NYC, will go to TGIFridays and Bennigan's. Also, there are reports that Rocco's is still full on a constant basis. Just thinking too about the tv medium in general, and how many look at the very appearance or mention of a place on tv as an 'endorsement'. Of course, many are more discerning but IMO there are enough folks out there who are not, to keep the place full in perpetuity. I really hope that I'm wrong about this.

=R=

I've never lived in New York City. I've been a few times -- I guess you could consider me one of those annoying mid-west tourists. I can assure you that when I've eaten at a place like Bennigan's there, I'm not thinking I'm having a real New York experience. I'm thinking I'm starving to death, they've got tables available, and I need food while I continue doing the things I want to do. There are things, like going to FAO Schwartz, that I've done in NYC knowing full well they were the tourist things to do. There have also been things I've done in NYC, like going to places highly reccomended restaurants by lifelong New Yorkers as the non-touristy places that I've loved, and felt like I was having a New York experience.

But I have to ask -- to some degree, don't you guys prefer it that way? I have family that live in a high-tourist area in Florida, and I know they have a few places they go where they love the fact that tourists don't know to go there. As soon as they see too many out of state license plates in the parking lot, they get a little dissapointed, knowing their anti-tourist sanctuary is going down hill. Do you really want all the tourists to have a REAL NYC experience?

I live in a tourist town and I hate it when my favorite places are overrun by tourists. I would rather have the tourists come to town, hit the Salmon Bake and head out to the glacier in their tour bus armed with their Alaska t-shirts made in China and leave the Breakwater, the Thai Kitchen, and walks on the Flume to the locals.

That said, I don't think a cultured tourist will think Rocco's holds the New York experience just as a cultured tourist will realize that the Salmon Bake is contrived... and stenchoriffic.

9 out of 10 dentists recommend wild Alaska salmon.

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Wow, this board gets some pretty good discussions going. I just joined, 'though I've been reading it for a few weeks now.

:cool:

Just to add my two cents - I watched every show, most of the way through. In general I found it pretty entertaining, but far from a docudrama. There were certainly some good (and some not so good) parallells to my experiences in starting and running restaurants.

Hope you won't think it too naive of me to say, however, that in my experience the restaurant industry has become much more professional in recent years than what was depicted at Rocco's. (Anthony Bordain's Kitchen Confidential not withstanding - great book, but parts of it made me cringe. You just can't do some of that stuff anymore, thankfully.)

Think that's what a lot of you other restaurant pros out there are complaining about - that too many people outside of the industry will take this over-characterization too seriously?.

Definitely agree with the post that said this would make good tape for HR training in what not to do!

A couple of comments: Going back to the pay issue - seems to me it wasn't necessarily for lack of funds, rather that the proper payroll procedures were not in place. Definitely not right to expect employees to wait for corporate glitches to be corrected, but it does happen.

Opening under pressure, when not quite ready - in my experience this is often the case, especially with independents. At crunch time the decision has to be made whether to go ahead unfinished and start the cash flow, or to finish off the last detail while time's awasting. We did a major renovation a few years ago, and were literally setting tables, restocking the coolers and vacuuming up sawdust within hours before opening. I can relate.

Rocco??? What were you thinking with those sexual inuendos and what some have interpreted sexist/racist remarks? You know we save those for after hours or at least off camera. Can't blame the editing for that - unless they scripted it for you. You should know better! I thought Mama raised a gentleman!

Well, thanks for letting me have my say. This is fun. Love seeing everyone's reactions and comments!

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The fact that several posters are posting negative comments isn't  bandwagon-ing - it's called consensus.

it sure does resemble a bandwagon in the sense that a bunch of people are doing the ol' i'll-pick-out-one-soundbite-and-proprose-that-it-makes-some-sort-of-grand-statement-about-rocco-the-person.

ITA. The forum doth protest too much, me thinks.

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It almost made me miss the nasty Brazilian chick who couldn't be nice to the customers "because it's not me".

is Caroline brazilian? i thought during the interview she was talking about her "nonna" and her making "taglierini" with the "pasta machine"??? was she pretending to be italian just so they would hire her?

Caroline is brazilian

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Vincent D'Onofrio is saddled with a hammy ROLE on the Criminal Intent... in real life his intensity is astonishing vz. FULL METAL JACKET. 

Full disclosure:  I worked on that show.  I think the writing is actually quite terrible, and he's doing his best. 

When I worked on Criminal Intent, though I had heard some horror stories about him, I found himto be a supercreative, incredibly intelligent person. Even though I was a crummy day player (1 scene) he went out of his way to let me know how good he thought my work was, and we had quite a lot of fun together.  I had an EXTREMELY campy role as the hard-hearted ex-wife of a schmucky dingdong who was getting framed.  My character had just bilked the guy of several Gs in cash when he got drunk one night. 

They know the show is schlocky.

Wait, wait! Is this the one where the schlock that played your husband gets pushed off of an under-construction building by the REAL killer of several women?

OMG! I remember that episode! :biggrin: And you! Fine job -

I never miss Vincent - Sunday nights I'm there in front of the TV, waiting to see him, crappy script and unlikely story-lines and all. I have a HUGE crush on him! :laugh::wub:

FWIW - and it's been said before, over and over - the last episode was worse than any of the others, and I simply couldn't watch it. I think I saw the first minute, then got bored and went to do some laundry. I came back in when that table of women were licking their waiter (or whatever they were doing) and then I left the room again. I only returned for the last minute, I think. Actually, maybe a minute before the last minute, because I saw them in the Hamptons, saw Laurent playing with his children, and then saw some bitching going on between two girls, and left the room again.

I'm truly, truly embarrassed that I wasted any time at all watching this show. It wasn't even one of those "guilty" pleasures, like sneaking a few minutes of Survivor, or watching the BeWitched Marathon on TVLand. The whole thing was pretty bad. I think I can guarantee I won't be watching Rocco Part II if or when it comes out.

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Rocco??? What were you thinking with those sexual inuendos and what some have interpreted sexist/racist remarks? You know we save those for after hours or at least off camera. Can't blame the editing for that - unless they scripted it for you. You should know better! I thought Mama raised a gentleman!

many don't consider his remarks "sexist/racist". perhaps he was just fucking with those who would. actually, a lot of people talk/act just like he does, including me, and i've very rarely been labeled "sexist/racist". again, if people are going to pass judgment based on some sound-bites from a "reality" show, then perhaps they're predisposed to hearing what they want to hear.

god speed. rocco is invited to my house to meet my mom any time he wants.

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In these myriad contextualizations Rocco functions as a cipher in the analytic matrix (or The Matrix, not sure) of real/fake, integrity vs. sellout, jerky boss vs. likeable guy, geniushead vs. cheeseball, sex symbol vs. enhh, charismatic leader vs. climber.

Huh? Me am stupid. Not get. Rocco not real charismatic geniushead likeable sex symbol with integrity? Rocco actually fake jerky cheeseball sellout climber trapped in Matrix? :wink:

These are my favorite posts so far. Me stupid too. :cool:

Mark

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I'm new here but have greatly enjoyed the, uh, plentiful number of postings. While I appreciate the Derrida and Baudrillard references, I offer something only a childhood steeped in Mad magazine could produce: the new The Restaurant theme song, "Placement Freak."*

*sung to the tune of "Super Freak"

Rocco’s a very special chef-boy

Who seems hung up on his mama

He hangs upstairs from the kitchen with his girlfriends --

Chef-Boy is dyin’ to be seen.

He gets grabby with the ladies

They’re all his all-time favorite.

One day he’ll be crude to the wrong woman –

He’s kind of indiscreet.

He doesn’t cook in the kitchen

And payroll’s beyond his business

Good restaurants value staffs but then I realized

Good food is served with heat.

He likes the Amex Open and Mitsubishi

They're always on display

When tension's high he breaks out the Coors Light

instead of wine from Bobby Flay.

Rocco, are you alright?

Are you alright?

Rocco, your “vision’s” a fright

To me….

He's a placement freak!

Placement freak!

The ads are freaking

out....

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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I really think the past episodes of "The Restaurant" might best be classified under the all-purpose (or simply perhaps no-purpose) term "irritainment" ... namely:

"Irritainment is a word we've come up with that means something is so annoying, you can't stop watching it. Present all but that"

from Wordspy.com

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Note: There is an article in today's Daily Gullet, by our user TrishCT, on Tad Carducci and the Restaurant paycheck scandal.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Note: There is an article in today's Daily Gullet, by our user TrishCT, on Tad Carducci and the Restaurant paycheck scandal.

Fair and balanced.

"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

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But I have to ask -- to some degree, don't you guys prefer it that way?  I have family that live in a high-tourist area in Florida, and I know they have a few places they go where they love the fact that tourists don't know to go there.  As soon as they see too many out of state license plates in the parking lot, they get a little dissapointed, knowing their anti-tourist sanctuary is going down hill.  Do you really want all the tourists to have a REAL NYC experience?

I think we are actually at the point where there are more restuarants than tourists anyway, so that may not be a problem.

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TuWanda, that was indeed my episode. I'm flattered you remember me. Thanks for the kind words.

Irritainment -- what a perfect coinage. Nay... a brilliant bon mot!

On a different note, I think this topic may have generated so much response because (well, for me, anyway) I would love to weigh in on lotsa fancy restaurants but can't really afford to live like that yet... whereas watching TV is cheap and most (American) people have TV.

thoughts?

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