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‘Culinary Conductor’ and ‘Love Chef’ Woo Rocco Online

Rocco DiSpirito
You probably don’t care that Rocco DiSpirito will be hosting a cooking show on Bertolli’s website, but the people who are auditioning to be his co-host sure do! As you might guess, there are a few oddballs in the bunch: In one video, Jernard “The Love Chef” and Rocco’s self-described No. 1 fan promises to “spread love all over the kitchen,” only to bark out his cooking demo like a drill instructor. Then there’s Nicole Navarro, a retired Vegas showgirl “inspired by culinary” who, as if to make up for her use of “culinary” as a noun, ends her demo with a high leg kick.

Having Hit Rock Bottom, Rocco DiSpirito Speaks

Rocco DiSpirito's descent from the heights of gastronomy has been a steep one: He started out as one of the most talented and lauded young chefs in New York, made a jerk of himself on TV, was demoted to "Food Talk," and then got fired from that. Now Rocco's abasement is complete: He has been reduced to shilling for Bertolli's stealth-marketing campaign, which recently involved 100 poofy-toqued "chefs" staging a mock protest of the company (their grocery products, in this delightful marketing alternate reality, supposedly keep people from eating out). This had to happen: Rocco could not attempt a comeback until he reached the pinnacle of cheesiness, and even his appearance on awfulplasticsurgery.com didn't get him there. So what does the man have to say for himself? "Bertolli makes their dinners just like we do in the restaurant world." Wait — he's working in a restaurant now?