Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito sheds light on Kevin's win. 

on Jul 28, 2011

Ken Oringer, Chef and gastro-pub owner. I was delighted to have a real expert at the table and Ken provided some great commentary on this cuisine.

Christopher McDonald, actor. You know Christopher from the hundreds of movies he’s been in, including Thelma and Louise, The Perfect Storm, and Leave It to Beaver (he played the iconic Ward Cleaver.)

Frank Carfaro, founder of DESIRON Furniture, a highly-celebrated luxury furniture design company.

Raven-Symone, actress. Remember her from The Cosby Show? She’s grown up a lot since then and has acted in many movies. Raven doesn’t eat pork, meat, or organ meat of any kind, so the pressure was on Kevin and Janet to appease her tastes and do it deliciously. (Both chefs rose to the occasion with culinary mastery.)

Cat Deeley, host of So You Think You Can Dance. I was glad she accepted my invitation; Cat is British-born and bred and knows all about true pub food.

Janet’s dinner party went first. She started us off with her version of pub chips: Bacon Chili Crisps. Ken initiated us with a quick lesson on how these babies are made. The flavor components come from bacon fat and maltodextrin (a compound derived from starch that make fat turn into powder) to create bacon-flavored “crisps.”

Her next course was Pimm’s and Lemonade Beet Salad with Candied Pine Nuts and Wesleydale with Cranberries. Pimm’s and Lemonade is a popular drink in the UK; Janet turned it into vinaigrette for the salad--– very ingenious.