Rocco DiSpirito Talks about 'Top Chef'
You would think after the potentially career-killing experience of The Restaurant, Rocco DiSpirito wouldn't be caught dead within a mile of more reality TV cameras.

But he braved them once again this season to act as a judge and sous chef on Top Chef, and online comments have even some of the contingency anti-Rocco begrudgingly appreciating his appearance on the show.

Rocco recently gave some behind-the-scenes scoop on the competition. Whose dish tasted like “Indian sewer water?” Who was “the sweetest, most deferential, well-valued, [and] talented?”

Casey Thompson is not the answer to either question. Rocco agrees with the general consensus that Casey choked, wondering if the lack of limitations combined with not enough planning were her downfall. "When Casey's third course arrived, we were all stunned at how different it was from all the good food she's served throughout this season. At this point it was clear that this was a two person competition."

So of those two chefs, it was Dale Levitski's dish that receives that first harsh assessment, and Rocco believes this key stumble was representative of the trait that lost him the competition: inconsistency.

Rocco said that despite the opinions of some disappointed Top Chef fans, the judges do, in fact, take the process very seriously, and deliberated for six hours on who should be the winner. "Tom [Colicchio] takes this stuff very seriously," Rocco said. And with Dale's lobster dish straying so far from the mark, "None of us could [pick Dale for the winner]," Rocco admitted. "[The lobster] tasted like Indian sewer water."

When Dale is good, he's “pure genius,” thinks Rocco, but he was too up and down in the competition. "If he were as focused as Hung – wow." He does plan on visiting Dale's restaurant in Chicago when it opens.

And as to his second statement? Hung Huynh, Rocco thinks, was “the sweetest, most deferential, well-valued, talented guy,” and “by far the best cook on the show.”

Despite that, however, he isn't actually planning on opening a restaurant with Hung, even though folks have taken his off-the-cuff remark during the competition as a serious plan. “I would definitely help him out however I could, but I don't know how a restaurant could fit into my life right now."

It seemed awfully suspicious how well-paired the three Top Chef chefs were with their celebrity sous chefs, but if it were planned, Rocco wasn't in on it. “It felt pretty random to me,” and said that if the pairs were planned, and it's the show's “worst crime, it's OK."

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Village Voice
(Image courtesy of The Village Voice, Bravo)