Rocco DiSpirito A 1999 F&W Best New Chef and James Beard Book Award winner, Rocco DiSpirito was the executive chef of Union Pacific in NYC from 1997 to 2004. He's the author of 13 books and the TV personality who produced and starred on Rocco's Dinner Party and Now Eat This! With Rocco DiSpirito. Experience After graduating from the CIA, DiSpirito worked in France and then at Lespinasse and Dava in New York.The chef gained fame upon opening Union Pacific in 19997 and receiving a three-star review in The New York Times. In 2003, DiSpirito opened Rocco's on 22nd Street, the subject of NBC show The Restaurant, which began with an open call for staff televised on the Today show. He was out at both restaurants a year later and briefly resurfacing on the restaurant scene at The Standard Grill in 2018.DiSpirito appears on food TV like Guy's Grocery Games and speaks on health after publishing books like Rocco's Keto Comfort Food Diet, The Negative Calorie Diet, and the Now Eat This! series. Education DiSpirito studied at the Culinary Institute of America and Boston University. About Food & Wine Food & Wine, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is an award-winning online resource for anyone passionate about the culinary world. With rigorously tested recipes and the most trusted restaurant, drinks, culinary travel and home coverage, we inspire and empower people everywhere to discover, create, and devour the best in food and wine. Learn more about us and our editorial process.