Dancing With the Stars 7: Get to Know Rocco DiSpirito

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Rocco DiSpirito is best known as a celebrity chef, reality star and a cookbook author. He is known for his involvement in Union Pacific, a restaurant he opened in 1997 in the Gramercy Park section of Manhattan to good reviews. He left Union Pacific in 2004.

In 2003 and 2004, DiSpirito was the subject of the NBC reality television show The Restaurant, which followed DiSpirito, his mother, Nicolina, and restaurant co-owner and financier Jeffrey Chodorow during the opening of their restaurant, Rocco’s 22nd Street.

Here’s a list of his awards and his cookbooks:


  • James Beard Award for his book Flavor
  • America’s Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine
  • Most Exciting Young Chef by Gourmet Magazine
  • Sexiest Chef Alive by People Magazine


  • Rocco’s Real-Life Recipes (2007)
  • Flavor
  • Rocco’s Italian American
  • Rocco’s Five Minute Flavor

On this season of Dancing With the Stars, he’s paired with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff.

Be sure to watch the Dancing With the Stars season premiere on ABC tonight at 9/8c.


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