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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 2


Gustatorian
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Presumably though, they have clean hands beforehand, are wearing gloves, and/or wash their hands again after touching the food

Good point. You always taste the food! But we must also remember that the glove law is effective in New York State. It pretty much says that everytime we touch ready to eat food we must do so with gloves on! Rocco, are you breaking the law now?

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I wonder if Drew the Intern was aware of how completely he was cast as the villain -- the one character EVERYBODY could loathe -- and to what extent his loathesomeness was created for dramatic effect.

Maybe he was to be a sacraficial lamb from the begining?

Living hard will take its toll...
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As an attorney, I love this show.  It conclusively demonstrates that people in the restaurant business are way lower on the evolutionary chain than lawyers.  (Sure, advertising, insurance, child pornographers and politicians are also beneath us.)

Where do personal injury attorneys place on your evolutionary chain? :raz:

South Florida

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I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk here about the double dipping on plated food that Rocco did last night.

Or how about Chef Tony directing his staff:

"Is the food hot? Stick your fingers in it! Is it hot?"

Makes me cringe... :wacko:

I can't be completely happy about the WAY Rocco did it (I don't have the tape queued up here, but he took it off of a plated order, didn't he? And they certainly cut away too quick to tell if he washed his hands beforehand or afterwards), but tasting and touching food are all pretty constant and essential steps in preparation.

Presumably though, they have clean hands beforehand, are wearing gloves, and/or wash their hands again after touching the food.

Rocco's hands went from plate to mouth, back to plate, and back to mouth. If I remember correctly, it was one shot, so it wasn't just crafty editing. I could agree that the first taste wasn't that bad ... but a return trip?

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Now wait a second. To the best of my knowledge, it is not illegal to bartend at 20 years old in NY. Under age servers are allowed to serve drinks and I don't think there's any difference.

Also, did anyone else think it strange when Rocco tells his assistant, "Get my lawyer on the phone." I mean, who sez that? They say, "get me Tony Scalia" or Benny Cardozo, or whomever.

You may wan to look at the NY state law on the web. You can serve at 18, to dispence you have to be 21. Splitting hairs, Yes.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk here about the double dipping on plated food that Rocco did last night.

Thanks for bringing that up. We know its done, we just don't want to see it.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk here about the double dipping on plated food that Rocco did last night.

Thanks for bringing that up. We know its done, we just don't want to see it.

I think the key thing is that saliva shouldn't be returning to the plate. I can deal with a few microbes off a dirty hand a bit better.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I did notice the "I'm too good to wear a head covering in the kitchen" attitude of Rocco. Considering he looks like he hasn't showered and shaved in a few days, it's pretty gross. Then to see him eyeball that plate, then dip, lick, and dip again, it really got my stomach churning. If he's supposed to be a professional, I'd hate to imagine what's going on in the kitchen of my local chinese place...

I did cheer quite a bit when Rocco let Drew the Idiot have it... then cheered even more when Jefferey put him in his place. Then couldn't stop cheering when he couldn't get a cab! It all evens out in the end!

Poor Mama, what can she do? At least she's doing what she can... working hard at the restaurant. Gotta respect that.

No too impressed with the tall do-rag corporate chef. I have more respect for the other suits that actually constructively criticized the lack of drink refills to Laurent. Seemed courteous enough and geniunely concerned, not just critiquing for critique's sake.

I wish they showed more of The Meeting Outside between JC and Rocco.

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I did notice the "I'm too good to wear a head covering in the kitchen" attitude of Rocco. Considering he looks like he hasn't showered and shaved in a few days, it's pretty gross. Then to see him eyeball that plate, then dip, lick, and dip again, it really got my stomach churning. If he's supposed to be a professional, I'd hate to imagine what's going on in the kitchen of my local chinese place...

I did cheer quite a bit when Rocco let Drew the Idiot have it... then cheered even more when Jefferey put him in his place. Then couldn't stop cheering when he couldn't get a cab! It all evens out in the end!

Poor Mama, what can she do? At least she's doing what she can... working hard at the restaurant. Gotta respect that.

No too impressed with the tall do-rag corporate chef. I have more respect for the other suits that actually constructively criticized the lack of drink refills to Laurent. Seemed courteous enough and geniunely concerned, not just critiquing for critique's sake.

I wish they showed more of The Meeting Outside between JC and Rocco.

I wasnt' that he's too good to wear any sort of head covering ... it's just that he finds it silly to do so for the three minutes he's in the kitchen ... and it'd give him hat head that woudlnt' look good for his TV interviews. :wink:

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I like the show.l

It views compelling, much more so than most of the contrived crap elsewhere on the screen. Looking forward to next weeks clash between Rocco and Chodorow.

But Rocco, brush your hair or see a stylist and;

why do you look so damn tired all the time, its

not because your cooking these days, so whatever is going on

get some sleep boy.

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Was Rocco attempting to sneak in an act as if he'd been around the restaurant all night? That's kind of how it played. He seems overly shifty at times. I get the feeling he knows full-well what's going on but just doesn't care in the least. He'll take the salary, do the bare minimum and ride it out. After all, it's not his money on the line.

And yeah, I agree with a few others who wished for more of a "scene" with Drew after JC canned him. it would have been satisfying to see his response and hear all the subsequent rationalizations. In the grand scheme, being canned from a "job" as an unpaid intern is a tough accomplishment. On a resume, at least it would distinguish him from just about any other prospective candidate. :biggrin:

=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

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Was Rocco attempting to sneak in an act as if he'd been around the restaurant all night? That's kind of how it played. He seems overly shifty at times. I get the feeling he knows full-well what's going on but just doesn't care in the least. He'll take the salary, do the bare minimum and ride it out. After all, it's not his money on the line.

I personally did not get the impression that Rocco was "sneaking in". I thought he was just walking in, and getting right to why he was there, since he wasn't going to be there for long. I also got the impression when he and Chodorow were talking that in Rocco's eyes, the time that he's spending there is sufficient, and that when Chodorow was asking him if he was in or out, he was saying he was in, as if he didn't have to change a thing to be in. So, if he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong to never be there, why would he sneak in?

I've said before, I think that in Rocco's eyes, when he's on various talk shows, book signings, etc, he's working for the restaurant by promoting it. I also think that theory would work if he was actually at the restaurant more often. But when he's selling the place on his face and personality, and then the customers never actually see his face and personlity, that appoach doesn't work, IMO.

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So, if he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong to never be there, why would he sneak in?

I agree. He seems, at times anyway, comfortable with the absentee role he's taken on for himself. And yes, promoting himself (and also the restaurant) seem like legitimate tasks for him. But still, it looked to me like he entered sneakily (for whatever reason) and I was wondering if it looked the same to anyone else. If so, why would he?

=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

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I'm not sure if I consider Rocco's book promotion to be "for the restaurant", any more than I consider him being on "Days of Our Lives" as such. I don't think those things bring more butts into the seats of Rocco's 22nd Street--because he's already well past the exposure point where the butts come in anyway. He's on that tour and those soap operas to sell one thing, and one thing only. Rocco DiSpirito. Okay, maybe some Rocco cookware too, but that's just another example of something that goes in his pocket and not the restaurant's coffers.

You know what's interesting? That Rocco and Rocco's 22nd Street seemed to have had the same website at one point, but it's been partially redirected.

http://www.roccosrestaurant.com/site/ - for the Restaurant

http://www.roccosrestaurant.com/ - for Rocco--redirected now to http://www.roccodispirito.com/

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I'm not sure if I consider Rocco's book promotion to be "for the restaurant", any more than I consider him being on "Days of Our Lives" as such.  I don't think those things bring more butts into the seats of Rocco's 22nd Street--because he's already well past the exposure point where the butts come in anyway.  He's on that tour and those soap operas to sell one thing, and one thing only.  Rocco DiSpirito.  Okay, maybe some Rocco cookware too, but that's just another example of something that goes in his pocket and not the restaurant's coffers.

Yeah, overall I agree. Just thinking that a reasonable argument (or rationalization :biggrin:) could be made in that direction.

=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

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It's just a shame how that makes youall out there doing the job, and doing it right, look to a surprisingly large segment of our society. Personally, with Chodorow's Fed. case, I'm just glad I was never on board one of his planes that were the first one at the scene of the accident! Hayyah!

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He'll take the salary, do the bare minimum and ride it out.

Wasn't he griping about not receiving a salary at some point?

If so, I missed it. Anyone else?

=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

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He'll take the salary, do the bare minimum and ride it out.

Wasn't he griping about not receiving a salary at some point?

If so, I missed it. Anyone else?

=R=

In the first episode, after Chodorow and Rocco met without the cameras, Chodorow said that one of Rocco's complaints was that he wasn't getting paid.

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I've said before, I think that in Rocco's eyes, when he's on various talk shows, book signings, etc, he's working for the restaurant by promoting it.

The really depressing fact is that the book - obviously written way before "The Restaurant" began showing- is actually very good indeed, carefully written and with innovative recipes that are fun to prepare. I have cooked several dishes from that book and it was definitely not put together in a hurry for publicity purposes. One wonders what will become of Rocco when he inevitably ceases to be of interest to the media; his old customers from Union Pacific will not crowd the doors again. It will take him a very long time to prove himself once more.

Ruth Friedman

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Can someone please explain to me what the purpose of Tony, the chef visiting from Italy is? Is he there for comic effect? Assisting with recipe development for a menu change?

Rocco went to visit Italy, ate at a vineyard or something and liked Antonio's food. He decided to bring Antonio to NYC for a visit so he could update Rocco's menu.

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If I remember correctly from The Restaurant, Round 1, Rocco had a vision: Celebrate his heritage as an Italian-American. Good, great, go for it. But what does that have to do with having an Italian chef "update" his menu? And does a 6-month old "fun-dining" restaurant's menu need updating???

Sounds like "retooling." A much more appropriate verb when you think about it.

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

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Let me preface this by saying, I love gossip and trashing people in the media's all watching eye as much as the next American but as someone who worked with Rocco and had friends who worked with him at both Union Pacific and Davio's who didn't gel with him (to say the least in some cases - hey Brent if you're out there!) I still think he's earned his stripes. Many of us in the industry wouldn't qualify to be a sous chef for Gray Kunz at Lespinasse or David Bouley for that matter. What is such a shame to me is to see someone who has toiled in some of the best kitchens be denigrated so quickly when he tried to open a concept based on something close to his heart.

When I watch the show, I see how easy it is to feel that he's not in control of the restaurant but it always reminds of a time the owner of a place I was the chef at came in the kitchen twice in one week and each time I was in the alley smoking a cigarette. For all he knew, that's all I did all day. Actually, I was busting my ass 12 hours a day, 6 days a week so I understand how selective editing can make perception seem reality.

For me, I've always chosen to not use the word lazy when it comes to a fellow cook since even though compared to their co workers they may be, compared to what most people do in a day even a lazy cook does 5 times the work.

Our hero, Bourdain was traveling the world and the Food Network didn't splice in footage of a waitress misfiring courses while he hung out in an obscure corner of the world. (not that I would've wanted them to, I could never overstate the therapeutic effect Kitchen Confidential had on my life, bless your heart Tony)

Rocco obviously has a good, hands on chef in Tony who obviously speaks for him and has his trust in the day to day of the kitchen.

I understand that the restaurant is supposedly losing 100k a month, but it took a half million in losses before anybody said anything? Not very fucking likely. Same thing with the financial statements, for all we know Laurent saw the basic monthly totals and grosses and not a profit/loss sheet. How much of those losses include paying back the initial investment and do you really think 4 million was spent on that space?

Why does Chodorow's corporate chef have to wear whites while just observing. If I went in to work tomorrow and there was another guy standing next to my expo station, I don't know how friendly I'd be either especially when he calls the owner to say everything is falling apart when a waitress who is trailing screwed up a table. (Though to be fair, the scene where he asks about the dishwasher's hours is an indication of things falling apart. A kitchen manager who doesn't know the pay rates is almost unbelievably screwed up.)

Obviously a lot of bad blood has passed between the two (Jeffrey and Rocco) before this season, to get to the point that it has. If that exchange outside the restaurant is what passes for a management meeting between the two of them then something is really wrong. After a year at my latest job, a restaurant that does an average of over $100k a week, I still speak to my chef for hours at a time on the phone, after working together all week. We don't always agree on everything but we don't let that stop our relationship.

Remember, everybody brings something to a party and at the end of the day it is everyone's fault/responsibility.

Of course, I'm enjoying this train wreck and drama as much as anybody, if not more but I hate to see a chef fall so publicly and watch people who don't know the pressure, work ethic, knowledge, skills, creativity, imagination and dedication it takes to be a chef, laugh at him like he's a buffoon or simpleton. To paraphrase Bourdain's KC - Cooks Rule!

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

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I have a sneaking suspicion that all the lauded losses are ultimately to come up in one of the other lawsuits. People don't make that much money being oblivious. This man's wily enough to see where it was going, and use it for ---guess who---certainly not Roc and mama. Rocco has got in water that he had no premonition he was getting in; bad break. He'll probably end up a wantabee in Hollywood. I used to like him, a lot.When he lost the politeness and humility, he lost me.

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