Andrew Talks to Chefs

Episode 110: Rocco DiSpirito (Chef and Author), Part 1; Scott Varricchio (Citrus Grillhouse; Vero Beach, Florida)

Episode Summary

Rocco DiSpirito discusses his childhood in Queens, New York; his early kitchen jobs; his training at the Culinary Institute of America; and his star-making success at Union Pacific restaurant in the late 1990s. And Florida chef Scott Varricchio recounts how he made the best of a tragedy at his restaurant, spending time in two of the world's best kitchens.

Episode Notes

Rocco DiSpirito's been in the national spotlight for so long that many fans don't know how he got there in the first place, or haven't thought about it in years. Andrew and Rocco have known each other since Rocco's first chef position, and in this very personal conversation--the first of 2 parts--they revisit his childhood in Queens, New York; his teenage gigs in neighborhood pizzerias; his training at the Culinary Institute of America and in great kitchens in France and New York; and his rise to the top of the New York City dining scene in the late 1990s. It's a side of Rocco many listeners don't know or haven't heard in his voice, and a great listen. (In part 2, we'll talk about his shift to fitness and healthful eating and his forthcoming Rocco's Keto Comfort Food Diet.)

In our second segment, Vero Beach, Florida chef-restaurateur Scott Varricchio shares the harrowing story of the night his restaurant (Citrus Grillhouse) was destroyed in a fire, and how he made the best of the year when it was being rebuilt--by spending time in such renowned kitchens as Eleven Madison Park and The French Laundry to take his acumen up a notch ... at age 59! A great lesson in perspective and resilience.


0 - 8:48  Intro

8:48 - 45:00  Rocco DiSpirito

45:00 - 48:10 Show Notes & Personal Appearances

48:10 - 1:29:40 Scott Varricchio


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Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco's Keto Comfort Food Diet (order a signed copy)

Citrus Grillhouse