American chef Rocco DiSpirito was born on November 19, 1966 in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1986, and he later obtained his bachelor’s degree in business from Boston University. The celebrity chef has risen to fame due to his Italian-American cuisine, as well as his inventive fusion cooking. DiSpirito is also a cookbook author, and has been known for his involvement in Union Pacific, a restaurant he opened in Manhattan. It was launched in 1997 but the chef left it in 2004. During that time, DiSpirito became the subject of NBC’s reality show, The Restaurant. The series followed the opening of a new restaurant, Rocco’s 22nd Street. It also starred Nicolina, his mother, and the restaurant co-owner and financier Jeffrey Chodorow.
DiSpirito has also hosted his own radio talk show from October 2004 to December 2005, working with WOR. Another appearance of the chef was on a Lincoln MKX commercial, seen on the ABC sitcom Knights of Prosperity. He later became a guest judge twice on the Bravo show Top Chef. He later appeared on NBC’s The Biggest Loser: Couples, where the contestants were asked to prepare three healthy courses based on his recipes. He judged the food and determined the winning team. He next work with the ABC television network to appear as one of the contestants on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars. DiSpirito was paired with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff for the series. Joining 13 other couples, the two are set to perform various types of dances that will enable them to win the much-coveted mirror ball trophy. The show is hosted by Emmy Award-winning game show host Tom Bergeron, and features Len Goodman, Carrie Anne Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli as the panel of judges.