Rocco DiSpirito
Celebrity Profile
Birth Date November 19, 1966 (1966-11-19) (age 50)
Hometown Jamaica, Queens, New York City
Known For Celebrity chef, author

Dancing with the Stars 7

Partner(s) Karina Smirnoff
Placement 9th
Highest Score 21 (Mambo)
Lowest Score 14 (Foxtrot)
Average Score 17.8

Rocco DiSpirito is a celebrity from season 7 of Dancing with the Stars.


DiSpirito was born in Queens, New York City, New York. He graduated in 1986 from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and in 1990 from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in business. DiSpirito is known for his Italian-American cuisine and his innovative fusion cooking.

DiSpirito is best known as a celebrity chef and a cookbook author. He is known for his involvement in Union Pacific, a restaurant he opened in 1997 in the Gramercy Park section of Manhattan. A year later, New York Times reviewer Ruth Reichl, in an ecstatic three-star review, reported that a woman at the next table was moaning in uncontrollable ecstasy as she ate, but it was impossible to determine what dish had provoked that reaction, since just about every entree was worthy of such moans. DiSpirito departed Union Pacific in 2004.

From 2003 to 2004, DiSpirito starred in the NBC reality television show The Restaurant, which followed the launch and operation of a new Manhattan restaurant called Rocco's on 22nd. The show was canceled and DiSpirito was successfully sued by the restaurant's financier Jeffrey Chodorow to have the restaurant shut down and DiSpirito banned from entering the premises.

DiSpirito succeeded Arthur Schwartz as host of Food Talk, an hour-long morning talk show on New York Radio WOR (AM), from October 2004 through December 2005, and then hosted 12 episodes of the TV show Rocco Gets Real on A&E (October 4 through December 27, 2008).

He was also featured in a Lincoln MKX commercial and the ABC sitcom The Knights of Prosperity, and was a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef. DiSpirito returned in the Top Chef season three finale (Top Chef: Miami) — in which three celebrity chefs were brought to work as sous chefs to the contestants, with DiSpirito assisting Hung Huynh — and was a guest judge on the March 14, 2008 Top Chef season four premiere (Top Chef: Chicago). He appeared on NBC's The Biggest Loser: Couples (season 5) in an episode that aired on February 5, 2008 (episode 506), in which contestants were challenged to prepare three healthy courses based on DiSpirito's recipes; DiSpirito judged the food and determined the winning team. The following season he appeared on the second episode (airing September 23, 2008) of The Biggest Loser: Families, taking the "worst" cook of each pair shopping and teaching them to prepare healthy recipes.

DiSpirito was a contestant on season seven of Dancing With The Stars and was paired with professional ballroom dancer Karina Smirnoff. He was eliminated on the October 14, 2008, episode and placed ninth overall.

In 2006, DiSpirito performed a public service announcement for Do Something to promote food drives for schools.

On May 3, 2010, DiSpirito appeared as himself on the ABC television series Castle in the episode "Food to Die For".

On June 15, 2011, DiSpirito debuted as host of a weekly reality TV cooking competition, titled Rocco's Dinner Party, on Bravo TV.

DiSpirito appeared as a celebrity contestant on the June 21, 2012, episode of the Fox dating game show The Choice.

DiSpirito hosts the syndicated television program Now Eat This! with Rocco Dispirito, which debuted on September 15, 2012.

Debuting in 2013, DiSpirito hosts the Food Network reality show Restaurant Divided, where he goes to struggling restaurants where the owners have two differing visions. He then picks which concept will save the restaurant.

Dancing with the Stars 7Edit


Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Stray Cat Strut"
Mambo/"La Comay"
2 Rumba/"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" 5 6 5 Safe
3 Viennese Waltz/"What's New Pussycat?" 7 7 6 Safe *
4 Samba/"I Go to Rio" 6 6 6 Eliminated
  • Would have been eliminated but wasn't due to Misty May-Treanor's injury and forcing her to withdraw from the competition.

Gallery Edit

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