Then I announced to Jen and Ryan the biggest challenge of all: your appetizer, entrée, dessert, and summer cocktail each had to be under 350 calories and 10 grams of fat with a note that, “My guests better not taste what they’re missing.”
The two chefs were shocked. Ryan said, “I’ve taken bites of food with more than 350 calories.”
I gave them a quick lesson and pep talk in how to develop the recipes and how to think in terms of low fat and low calorie. I emphasized aromatics like garlic and onion: Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, low-calorie seasonings, chicken stock that stands in for high-calorie oil, and more. Sure, making salmon with Béarnaise sauce and chocolate mousse is satisfying to a chef, but creating something equally wonderful and low in calories is an even greater achievement. I actually showed them how to make delicious low calorie fried chicken.
Successful dinner parties are all about the little touches. Guests notice the attention to detail and are wowed by them. Jen picked my Terrace Room for her dinner party and had it decorated in a South Beach theme with white sofas, a tented dining table, tiki torches – a real Miami vibe. Ryan brought the beach to the table: shells, message in a bottle, candles, surfboards, a cabana-type feel.
Getting the right mix of people at a dinner party is important too. Last night, I hosted a cool group:
Chazz Palminteri. Chazz is an actor with a long list of film, TV, and stage credits. You’ve seen him in movies, including Analyze This, The Usual Subjects, A Bronx Tale, Mulholland Falls, and Diabolique.
Betty Wong. Betty is the editor in chief of Fitness Magazine and a good friend. She is also a great athlete; she just ran a half marathon!
Joe Dowdell. Joe is a celebrity fitness trainer and owner of one of the top gyms in the country, Peak Performance, in New York City.
I love the one comment, definitely bring Bethenny Frankel as a guest! Also where can we find some of these recipes on the show? I would love to make the Matza Brie that was made for Jeff Ross. Please share!
Besides eating healthy I'm sure you work out as well. I will be buying your book. I love food and cooking healthy is the only way I cook. I love the Cooking Light Magazine but want to check out your book too. I'm always searching different ways to cook the foods that I love that are less fattening.
Ugh, I am so tired of people pushing the "dietary fat makes you fat" myth. What's worse is that "animal fat gives you heart disease" myth.
I just viewed the "Town and Country" episode and I wanted to try that shrimp wrapped in potato dish. Where would I find that kitchen tool that makes the potato look like spaghetti, and what is it called? Really love the show by the way. Thanks
I dont think the vegan chef really had a chance to shine on the town and country episode. Sure he overspiced the seitan, but when you are nervous, that sometimes happens. I think his menu would have been awesome. There is a stereotype for vegans (the animal activist) that is absolutely not true for all of us, including me. I went vegan two years ago because I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and would not accept the diagnosis. My change is diet virtually took type 2 diabetes out of my health picture and it needs to be spotlighted more for others suffering horrendous damage to their health because of this disease.
I also agree with one of the other bloggers about Rocco's cockiness. It seems to be running through the TV chef world like wild fire right now and it shows lack of humility from whence they came. We watch to learn cooking techniques and not because of your guests coming to dinner or that you are Rocco De Spirito. One needs to remember the humble beginnings to really connect with the people watching the show.
I love Rocco. He's passionate and very considerate about other people. I also think he's sexy! Great show Rocco! Love your confidence.
I love Rocco and his new show. He's confident, not cocky and it's a real turn on. He's passionate and considerate of his guests and the chefs as well. Great show! He is so sexy!
In love his Now Eat This Diet. I have lost 30 lbs since April following his recipes and tips. It really works. Thank you Rocco!!!