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"The Restaurant" Reality Show Season 2


Gustatorian
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I am so incredibly peeved at the Restaurant. They are all behaving like children. I understand that working in a restaurant is not easy ...

Its ridiculous. Laurent was not happy with Rocco for firing Tony yet he didn't say anything at all about it. He could have voiced his opinions, I mean can Rocco really afford to fire him too?!!?

I have to agree … the infantile and ludicrously unprofessional way in which the Sous was canned was … disturbing.

I am also baffled by the fact that Laurent, the Stealth Manager didn’t grab Rocco by his bratty little ear and haul his ass back into the kitchen to lead his ever panicking / whited-out kitchen staff.

Rocco cans the one person holding his kitchen together and then continues to schmooze the ladies at the bar as if his old support were still in place?

You can’t have both my dear.

If you’re a celebrity chef, working the dinning room like a Vegas Show Girl, then make sure your kitchen is running with the same calculated perfection.

I think every management / owner / lawsuit participant on that show should be soundly spanked, sent to bed without dinner and then made to watch their own drivel until they sob uncontrollably and pee their pants… promising NEVER to do this again.

Minou ~ Kitchen Widow

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he can't contain his loathing of his own ethnicity...

That's a bit strong, don't you think? Perhaps, like many people, he feels that in a pc world, it's still o.k. to poke fun at one's own kind.

It does sound strong, but the rationale comes from Rocco's own statements. In past interviews he has criticized italian cuisine and openly admitted he is ashamed of being italian. He said those were the motivating factors for opening Rocco's - to atone to his mother and make amends for dissing his heritage. At the beginning of the shows for Season 1 he starts the shows off with similar statements.

Interesting. But when he said he was ashamed of being Italian, was he referring to the quality of food in Little Italy or [deleted anti-Italian slur]? Big difference. (As a self-loathing Jew, I know what I'm talking about.)

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To sum it up for myself: Gah.

"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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Interesting. But when he said he was ashamed of being Italian, was he referring to the quality of food in Little Italy or [deleted anti-Italian slur]? Big difference. (As a self-loathing Jew, I know what I'm talking about.)

In interviews I've read he had no use for italian cuisine, period. He grew up eating it but wouldn't learn how to make it. When he went into cooking, he studied French cuisine - his true love and passion. It's been rumored that he has had substantial cosmetic surgery (nose, eyes) to make him look less italian as well.

He'll be an interesting talk show host...

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Interesting.  But when he said he was ashamed of being Italian, was he referring to the quality of food in Little Italy or [deleted anti-Italian slur]?  Big difference.  (As a self-loathing Jew, I know what I'm talking about.)

In interviews I've read he had no use for italian cuisine, period. He grew up eating it but wouldn't learn how to make it. When he went into cooking, he studied French cuisine - his true love and passion. It's been rumored that he has had substantial cosmetic surgery (nose, eyes) to make him look less italian as well.

He'll be an interesting talk show host...

The Michael Jackson of 22nd Street!

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Interesting.  But when he said he was ashamed of being Italian, was he referring to the quality of food in Little Italy or [deleted anti-Italian slur]?  Big difference.  (As a self-loathing Jew, I know what I'm talking about.)

In interviews I've read he had no use for italian cuisine, period. He grew up eating it but wouldn't learn how to make it. When he went into cooking, he studied French cuisine - his true love and passion. It's been rumored that he has had substantial cosmetic surgery (nose, eyes) to make him look less italian as well.

Well, really. That could describe any of us.

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Interesting.  But when he said he was ashamed of being Italian, was he referring to the quality of food in Little Italy or [deleted anti-Italian slur]?  Big difference.  (As a self-loathing Jew, I know what I'm talking about.)

In interviews I've read he had no use for italian cuisine, period. He grew up eating it but wouldn't learn how to make it. When he went into cooking, he studied French cuisine - his true love and passion. It's been rumored that he has had substantial cosmetic surgery (nose, eyes) to make him look less italian as well.

Well, really. That could describe any of us.

Stone:

I, for one, have NEVER had plastic surgery to make me look less Italian. Or Jewish. Or old.

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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Hello again everyone,

It has about a month since I made a fledgling post (around page 17) concerning this topic (and I hate to drag it up and beat it down when so much discussion has already been directed towards it and it is pretty much over). However, after rereading the topic and picking up several points as well as noticing I had made a comment so long ago as a new member (I originally came here after a friend and fellow forum member alerted me Alton Brown was doing a Q & A) I thought I would summarize both my presence here and the conclusions/impressions I have come to since viewing all episodes and posts here. ( Yes all 22 pages and I now see I spent about 3 hours reading them all LOL)

First, I am grateful for the lack of scathing and flaming posts directed my way as a newbie member. I would like to comment on my post about the waitress alcohol incident, I have no confusion discerning between that incident and that of the intern incident; in my state no handling or consumption of alcohol unless of age (21 due to arm twisting of federal funds for highway repairs/building). Just a clarification.

Second, I can say the most important and relevant information I have obtained from the experience was Katie Loeb's post concerning overhead in the restaurant business. Like many, I also dream of opening a successful restaurant someday; which was one of the prime motivations for watching the series to begin with. Hopefully my pursuit of an MBA will aid me in steering clear of some of the pitfalls. Although, by the second season the backstabbing and betrayal and psuedo drama sucked me in like Twinkies and the National Enquirer LOL.

My conclusion is that Rocco let stardom (or apparent stardom) cloud his judgement along the lines of "other celebrity chefs open a restaurant and are never there to cook so I can too" ideology. I do not know the man or experienced his product so I really can not comment about that, only from the series (editing notwithstanding) can I draw my conclusion.

What amazes me the most is how celebrity chefs can let the very thing that made them successful (being IN the kitchen and creating and delivering a great product) become such a non vital part of their operations afterwards. Excuse my naivety but I like to suppose that if I did open a restaurant and promoted my involvement as heavily I would actually spend much time there ensuring standards and satisfaction. Then maybe after a couple of years I would branch out a la Thomas Keller or *gasp* Emeril and open a theme/clone restaurant.

And I do think that the fact many staff were also *mainly* interested in furthering their acting careers regardless of what they say (and I appreciate the posts and comments made by same in this thread) had a bit to do with stability and consistency of product. It is only my opinion, but I believe no matter what occupation you choose as a primary vocation (i.e. med school, acting) while performing as server/waitstaff that it it is obvious your effort and attention is somewhat diverted from your restaurant performance since it is not your ultimate goal. However, it seems the majority of the problem is because of kitchen management (or lack of).

I suppose I should do an introduction in the near future (in the appropiate thread). Nothing special about me, only a limited exposure to the bar and restaurant industry while filling in between jobs related to my main skills; but enough to make me realize that I really like the food service industry as long as it is toned down a bit. Not particularly interested in feeding millions daily LOL.

Also would like to give a special mention to torakris whom I have talked to briefly in the Japan thread, thanks for welcoming me to eGullet.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Judge lets Rocco in... but only to take photos.

Wow, this is getting fugly.

You're right, IT IS getting ugly...seems you all put down every chef who makes money for anything besides cooking.

And his cookbook, "FLAVOR" just won the James Beard award this past MAY. But nobody here ever mentions his acheivements. And so what if he's Italian and favors French food? I'm Jewish, was raised on Jewish food, and except for a few traditional dishes dislike it. I prefer Italian and Japenese.

As for his cookware I actually bought it. It's wonderful. I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk. Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan. Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

As far as plastic surgery half the country is getting it now...for many reasons. But does that make them the scum of the earth?...regardless even if they want to change the look of their origins?...

Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique."-Anon

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You're right, IT IS getting ugly...seems you all put down every chef who makes money for anything besides cooking.

And his cookbook, "FLAVOR" just won the James Beard award this past MAY. But nobody here ever mentions his acheivements.

As for his cookware I actually bought it. It's wonderful. I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk. Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan. Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

Mama? Is that you?

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You're right, IT IS getting ugly...seems you all put down every chef who makes money for anything besides cooking.

And his cookbook, "FLAVOR" just won the James Beard award this past MAY.  But nobody here ever mentions his acheivements.

As for his cookware I actually bought it.  It's wonderful.  I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk.  Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan.  Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

Mama? Is that you?

No, I don't think I'm your Mama Callipygos...sorry but you'll have to keep searching...

Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique."-Anon

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You're right, IT IS getting ugly...seems you all put down every chef who makes money for anything besides cooking.

And his cookbook, "FLAVOR" just won the James Beard award this past MAY.  But nobody here ever mentions his acheivements.

As for his cookware I actually bought it.  It's wonderful.  I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk.  Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan.  Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

Mama? Is that you?

I was reading, reading, reading...such a serious post...reading, reading, then BAM! -- I'm spewing Pepsi all over the computer screan. Thanks for the laugh, Callypigos.

Barb: I am not an apologist for anyone. People, myself included, can be negative on the boards. And they can resort to ad hominem attacks. But if you re-read your own post, I think you'll see a great deal of negativity, as well as ad hominem attacks.

Rocco's considerable talents as a chef have received attention on this and other threads. Maybe not as much as his egomaniacal behavior, his narcisism, or his apparent transformation in David Guest. But Rocco opened himself up to this kind of criticism by putting his life and his restaurant front and center on the public stage. The success of his book and his success at Union Pacific have both been noted, if only as a contrast to his very public failure at Rocco's.

People here love food. Many of them also love pans, pots, things with motors -- you name it. Yes, I love my All-Clad, and I'm not going to appologize for that. But I also love my French food mill which I picked up at a garage sale for $1.00. And the set of three blackened cast-iron pans passed on to me when a friend died. There is a whole, unimaginably long thread devoted to the cheap things in our kitchens we love.

I have never, not once, never heard anyone put someone down for being a novice. Indeed, I think even the most seasoned kitchen professionals feel quite amateurish in certain threads. (You get to talking about sugar work and I become the village idiot!) eGullet offers incredible opportunities to the kitchen novice for skills development as well as the development of self-confidence. Please, if you haven't already, check out the offerings at the eGullet Culinary Institute.

You are relatively new to eGullet, and I see from your other posts that you have done well in many boards here. I hope you continue to enjoy eGullet and the intellectual, emotional, and culinary banter which gets tossed back and forth. With an open mind and a forgiving nature, you will thrive. You may find that you will hate someone in one thread and love them in another. In that way we are very much like a family. (I love my cousin Willa when it's just us, but put us in a crowd and she becomes a total ass.)

Again, welcome and enjoy.

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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As for his cookware I actually bought it. It's wonderful. I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk. Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan. Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

Actually Barb, we've had a very long and informative thread about Target's line of ChefMate cookware, which has gotten a lot of praise on the site for its affordability and durability:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...=0entry206940

As to the extreme dislike of Rocco on this site -- a lot of it is coming from food professionals and his peers -- and if you check the Season 1 thread, his own kitchen staff.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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  • 2 weeks later...

If any of you missed The Restaurant the first or (second) time around, CNBC will be broadcasting the show starting in late July.

"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

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You're right, IT IS getting ugly...seems you all put down every chef who makes money for anything besides cooking.

And his cookbook, "FLAVOR" just won the James Beard award this past MAY.  But nobody here ever mentions his acheivements.

As for his cookware I actually bought it.  It's wonderful.  I guess because it isn't ALL CLAD you assume it must be junk.  Not all of us can afford to pay $50, $75 and up per pan.  Does that mean we don't love food, cooking or even trying to be the best novice in the kitchen we can?...

Mama? Is that you?

I was reading, reading, reading...such a serious post...reading, reading, then BAM! -- I'm spewing Pepsi all over the computer screan. Thanks for the laugh, Callypigos.

Barb: I am not an apologist for anyone. People, myself included, can be negative on the boards. And they can resort to ad hominem attacks. But if you re-read your own post, I think you'll see a great deal of negativity, as well as ad hominem attacks.

Rocco's considerable talents as a chef have received attention on this and other threads. Maybe not as much as his egomaniacal behavior, his narcisism, or his apparent transformation in David Guest. But Rocco opened himself up to this kind of criticism by putting his life and his restaurant front and center on the public stage. The success of his book and his success at Union Pacific have both been noted, if only as a contrast to his very public failure at Rocco's.

People here love food. Many of them also love pans, pots, things with motors -- you name it. Yes, I love my All-Clad, and I'm not going to appologize for that. But I also love my French food mill which I picked up at a garage sale for $1.00. And the set of three blackened cast-iron pans passed on to me when a friend died. There is a whole, unimaginably long thread devoted to the cheap things in our kitchens we love.

I have never, not once, never heard anyone put someone down for being a novice. Indeed, I think even the most seasoned kitchen professionals feel quite amateurish in certain threads. (You get to talking about sugar work and I become the village idiot!) eGullet offers incredible opportunities to the kitchen novice for skills development as well as the development of self-confidence. Please, if you haven't already, check out the offerings at the eGullet Culinary Institute.

You are relatively new to eGullet, and I see from your other posts that you have done well in many boards here. I hope you continue to enjoy eGullet and the intellectual, emotional, and culinary banter which gets tossed back and forth. With an open mind and a forgiving nature, you will thrive. You may find that you will hate someone in one thread and love them in another. In that way we are very much like a family. (I love my cousin Willa when it's just us, but put us in a crowd and she becomes a total ass.)

Again, welcome and enjoy.

Comfort Me...I read your post quite carefully and I suppose since I'm new I might have misjudged a lot of you. It's just I was seeing in my mind a lot of pretentious attitudes on here.

I guess when I joined I didn't know there were so many professional people in the resturant and "chef" business and can understand your posts better now. I guess you gave me a good kick in the pants. Plus being new I simply did not have the time to go back and read all the threads. I still don't have all that time to read "all" the past posts on everything! :smile:

But I love egullet...I have learned so many things I didn't know before about food and the business connected with it.

So thanks Comfort Me for steering me in the right direction sort of speak...

Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique."-Anon

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Barb:

I hope I wasn't too hard on you.

I just wanted to encourage you to keep coming back and to forgive and forget. (Although forgetting isn't always easy. There is that guy who accused me of being a fat woman...)

Anyway, eGullet is great. I have been away for a while, and I missed my friends here. If you hang on the boards long enough and participate, you are bound to, also. And the stuff you can learn! It's just abso-frickin-lutely amazing! One day Paula Wolfert will be helping someone figure out a Moroccan spice, the next day Anthony Bourdain will describe what it is like to eat a fetal duck egg, and the next Rabbi Ribeye will give you an exhaustive lesson in brisket basics.

Oh, the things to smell! The foods to eat! And to think that I found them on eGullet Street! (Sorry, Seuss, z"l!)

Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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The continuing news -- Lawyer Says Clients Want to Sell Rocco's

NEW YORK (AP) - A lawyer for the financial backers of television chef Rocco DiSpirito said they want to sell the restaurant that was developed for his network television show and recoup the money they invested.

Laurence Kaiser, lawyer for China Grill Management, revealed his clients' wish to sell Rocco's 22nd Street, site of NBC's reality show "The Restaurant," on Monday at a court hearing to determine whether DiSpirito can be permanently barred from the eatery.

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Rocco's name on the licenses could be meaningless. My name is on Rouge's liquor license as the signator of the licensee. It hardly makes me a 50% owner.

If these brainiacs didn't write up an ironclad agreement ahead of this debacle then they have no one to blame but themselves for the mess they're in now. I'd be stunned to find out Jeffrey Chowderow and his Briefcase Brigade of Accountants and Lawyers didn't write this sort of stuff into the initial agreement. That would be just criminally stupid if they didn't.

Clearly they deserve each other. Mr. Chowderow got his "cheflebrity" to front his TV restaurant and all the buzz and free PR that comes along with it and Rocco got some deep pocketed schmuck to back his vanity restaurant. If they never discussed that the thing actually had to SUCCEED and make money I can't really pinpoint who the bigger jackass is.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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..."cheflebrity"...

A new word has been coined on eGullet! Please attempt to use this word at least once a week in daily conversation. Thank you.

I'm flattered you think me so clever.:wub:

I can't, in good conscience, take credit for this word. I'm pretty sure I read it here first, in someone else's post. But I can't remember who wrote it, or even if it really was here, the first time I saw the word in print. But it definitely conveys just what it ought to in context.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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