Another Bravo cooking-competition show in the works: 'Rocco's Dinner Party'
Guess who's coming to dinner ... again. Chef Rocco DiSpirito is putting a new but familiar wrinkle in his oft-maligned career as chef-lebrity. The Bertolli spokesman/cookbook author/"Dancing With the Stars" contestant is developing his own Bravo television series: "Rocco's Dinner Party."
DiSpirito, once-acclaimed chef of Union Pacific in New York, also starred in A&E's "Rocco Gets Real," in which he helped "real people in their own homes get over their fear of cooking." He infamously appeared on NBC's "The Restaurant," which resulted in a legal fight between him and restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. And then there's the odd Bertolli-sponsored Web series "Into the Heart of Italy": He, Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese (whom you may or may not remember as the host of "MTV Sports" in the mid-'90s) tour Italy in pursuit of the delicious. DiSpirito's latest book, "Now Eat This: 150 of America's Fave Comfort Food All Under 350 Calories," hit the No. 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list.
"Rocco's Dinner Party" pits four contestants against one another to ultimately come up with a dinner-party menu approved by DiSpirito and his guests. The winner gets cash. DiSpirito gets a producer title.
-- Betty Hallock