Star Kitchen: Rocco DiSpirito

Rocco DiSpirito cooks backyard-to-table in his Long Island kitchen.

Photo By: Jim Franco

Photo By: Jim Franco

Photo By: Jim Franco

Photo By: Jim Franco

Photo By: Jim Franco

Rocco's Long Island Kitchen

Rocco keeps all of his tools and gear at the ready, like a carving station, pasta maker and molcajete (mortar). Outside of the kitchen, he grows herbs ("Two kinds of tarragon!" he says) and tons of veggies, plus his favorite backyard crop: "ground cherries," small bittersweet berries. "I remember being a chef and paying so much money for those," he says. "Now I can't stop them from growing ... I just go out and grab them."

Carving Station

Rocco keeps a carving station set up because he makes so many roasts. "It's like a buffet!" he says.

Wood and Marble

His walnut floors and marble countertops are new, but Rocco can't wait for them to age. "When the floors wear in, they will look better," he says. "And I love patina on marble."

Easy-Access Tools

Kitchen clutter doesn't scare Rocco: He keeps utensils right on the counter. "If you're serious about cooking, you can't think, 'The counters have to be clear!'" he says.

Wine at the Ready

Rocco stores wine in both an under-counter wine refrigerator and a countertop version, a gift from his uncle. "I make him happy by putting my best wines in there," Rocco says.


He also keeps his own cookbooks handy, including his latest, The Pound a Day Diet.