Premiering Tonight: Rocco DiSpirito and his Celebrity Parade of a New Bravo Show

That’s right folks, Rocco is back, or wait, has he ever left (The Restaurant)?  Anyway, his own show premieres tonight on Bravo: Rocco’s Dinner Party will pit three chefs against each other, each cooking their signature dish for Rocco. The two that impress him the most go on to cook a dinner party for the host and and his guests. Fortunately, Alan Cummings and Liza Minnelli are his nearest and dearest (and he name drops another handful of celebs!)

I got a chance to chat with Rocco and ask him a few questions about what we can expect from his dinner party.

Read More

Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Welcome to Salmonella Theatre


The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– A Japanese food show sends celebs to sketchy restaurants, braving serious infections for great food.  I wonder if Gansie is re-thinking that half-cooked egg?

– Yes, I’m actually required to include every mention of Sam Talbot, especially when they use the word “photogenic.”

After the jump…Food Network isn’t trying to kill me, Gordo looses the respect of another chef and a date I’ve had circled on my calendar for a while.

Read More

Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Life is Tweet for Rick Bayless

rick bayless tweeting

The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– Funny, but if I was Tweeting when I should be busy doing my job, I’d be fired, not profiled by the Associated Press.  But then again I’m not Rick Bayless, and I’m not cooking for world leaders.

– All of a sudden, Rocco DiSpirito doesn’t seem like such a giant asshole!  At least he hasn’t tried to hire a homeless guy to kill his wife.

After the jump…go to school without putting on your pants, meet someone who watches more food TV than me and find out why Paula Deen is going to kill your kids.

Read More

Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Hello, Joe!


BS’s recent mac & cheese article reminded me:  There’s a Trader Joe’s opening about two miles from my house this Friday!

You probably think it’s funny that the mac jogged my memory, but it illustrates a bigger point about TJ’s, which is that I love shopping there despite the fact I’m not 100% sure the stuff there is head-and-shoulders better than my local supermarket.

For instance, they have an organic shells and cheese that uses the ubiquitous packet-o-cheeze powder, yet I feel so much better about eating it.  Recently, there was the case of the canned tomatoes that I used for my quick marinara the other day.  They were a bit tinny and kind of scrawny, with a bad tomato to juice ratio.  I’ll be sticking with my Muir Glen.

And yet I just love shopping there, with the energetic, brightly-clad staff, copious samples and bell-ringing code that I can never quite decipher.  And, hey…most of the stuff there is pretty good.

I’m excited about the new Princeton store despite the fact that I could literally throw a baseball from my desk at work and hit the TJ’s in Philly.  The fact that I’ll no longer have to pack a fully-outfitted cooler in order to buy the frozen products has me downright giddy.

Now, if only I can convince them to change their mind and sell alcohol at the Princeton location, I’d be in heaven.

Free samples of smörg served by Hawaiian-shirted foodies below!

Mario has some advice for the pharmaceutical industry?  Oddly enough, it has nothing to do with his close contact with the pharmaceuticals traditionally used in large amounts to fuel kitchen staffs.

– From the ES “Been There, Done That” File:  In 1995, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin tried to hail a cab in his underwear outside the White House because he wanted a pizza. He was drunk, of course.  The difference is that Yeltsin had Secret Service there to wrangle him back inside whereas I had my equally drunk friends reminding me to bring them pepperoni.

After the jump, yet another reason to love that cuddly Brit on Top Chef and fresh news from some old adversaries.

Read More