Marian Burros, the Times' stand-in reviewer, just kicked the giblets out of Union Pacific. Took him down a star, and probably would have gone more except I think you can only go a star at a time.
SOMEWHERE around 9:40 p.m., our waiter at Union Pacific presented us with a large piece of steak covered in the ashes of burnt hay. It was nestled in a bed of hay in a copper casserole.
We were all excited. It signaled the arrival of our main courses, one hour and 40 minutes after we had been seated. Unfortunately, the steak was returned to the kitchen to await the other main courses, which finally made their way to the table at 10.
At 11:15, we dragged ourselves out of Union Pacific, wondering who was minding the kitchen.
The cringe paragraph:
But that showstopper rib-eye steak, with all its bells and whistles, did not rise above decent. Rabbit served three ways was in all ways cold. A flatiron steak, which at one meal was perfectly fine, arrived at another oversalted to a point that rendered it inedible. And that turkey schnitzel proved to be two paillards of turkey breast with anchovies and capers slathered between them and then fried. It might as well have been a fried-fish fillet.
Channeling Rocco DiSpirito For The Top 10 Reasons For Rocco's Current Problems .
10. Mean spirited investors bringing on
bad karma .
9. It was mom's fault .
8. It was the cooks fault also. Really,
they just could not follow my
directions while I was blessing the
customers in the dining room
with my presence.
7. The wait staff also , heck they were
out for themselves and camera
6. OK , really , you all have to know it
was mom's fault .
5. The camera crew , they never really
captured my creative genius .
4. The vendors , I know they bent me
over and gave me cheap stuff
knowing I was to busy to check in
the food my own self .
3. I called John Edwards at
"Crossing Over" and John said it
was the Spirits of Chefs that have
past and were jealous of my
culinary genius .
2. A curse that was placed upon me
at birth by chinese pigmy"s .
1 . OK , You know it , America and the
world know it , it was MOM' S
Fault so lets just do the next
season without her .
Thanks all of you beautifull people.
Rocco (AKA the new Careme)
What, chefboy2160, would you have done differently? Being an arm-chair chef is easy. Trying to navigate the world, not knowing what the outcome will be, that's a little trickier. How many of us on this forum have failed in such a public way? No one asks to fail. I don't think anyone likes failure.
When I hear about Rocco's problems, I think about how much I relate to that sort of difficulty. I don't sit around delighting in his failure in order to build myself up. I think, wow, that sucks. Hope it gets better for you, dude.
My question is: Does Rocco even KNOW that he failed? Is he still so busy listenning to his press agent that he missed the fire, or the health inspector, or the customer comments, or the very unhappy cooks and waitstaff?
"WE" all hate to fail, but if "WE" can't recognize the signs of impending disaster...Well, Ya gets what ya pays for!
HEY, Rocco! Dump the Big Time investor! Dump the baldheaded Frog with the attitude! Dump most of the p!sspoor pieces of humanity you chose to staff the place with! Lose the cameras and the corporate sponsors! Go back to that little basement place, design a small but workable kitchen, and open that gritty, homestyle, no bull***t, plain and simple AmerItalian joint that you originally had in mind.:chef:
My dear RitaFajita , Im sorry if I came across as a armchair chef who is looking just for a chance to sneer at one of my co-workers . What would I have done different as an armchair chef who has been involved in several upscale hi volume restraunt openings . HMM , as my Drill Instructor said in school in the military
"Prior preperation Prevents Piss Poor Preformance" . If you are in this biz , and as the executive chef there is just no excuse for poor food , poor sanitation , and last but not least poor customer service . You are not doing your job properly if these things are happening . gilbear hit the nail on the head . Again sorry for my feeble attempt at some kind of enlightening humor , guess Id better stick to the armchair ...
All I meant, Chefboy2160, was that all the preparation in the world can't always solve the problems of doing business, especially in the world we live in now.
And to Gilbear I ask, how could Rocco not know of his failure (or of his naysayers)? It's been all over NY papers and the internet. Years ago, I got one bad review in one very small paper that no one even reads. I still think about that when I'm trying to go to sleep at night. How could Rocco not be aware of those similar feelings?
Every day I go to work I thank God for what I have. And I try to remind myself... there but for the grace of God go I.
Something like eighty percent of the people involved in the restaurant business are involved in a business that will eventually fail for them. And it isn't because they don't know the military "pee" phrase.
Any one in this trade that hasn't been panned, at least once, is for more magical than I. You got a review that is upsetting you YEARS later. Me, I won't even run Chicken Bon Femme, in my place. Bad experience.
When I first saw the show, I thought "They're making him look like a fool". Later, I thought ,"He's letting them make him look foolish". Finally, I concluded"He's helping them make him look foolish"
Making mistakes and looking foolish is not a crime. Otherwise I would have a life sentence. Ignoring correctable errors, until they compound, should be.
I would say that Rocco is not aware of his shortcomings . Even though things turned out bad and his investors , customers , health department , TV audience and staff can all say he is a poor manager he himself does not appear to be able to own up to the facts !
I guess that this is a prime example that
denial is not just a river in Egypt !
did anybody else catch him on QVC shopping network? i was flicking stations yesterday and came upon his new line of cookware for the home cook. didn't impress me. and we will soon be treated to another round of his reality show on NBC.
We just saw an ad for the Restaurant II. I suppose I'll be watching it like one would a train wreck. I was so disappointed in the first one. This one promises to be even less food related, as I believe the premise will be that Rocco's financier wants to take the place over, resulting in a power war.