Rocco DiSpirito Hosts Dine Around Downtown: Cooking At Home Edition
The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit business improvement district for Lower Manhattan, is transforming its 19th annual Dine Around Downtown lunchtime festival into a virtual Cooking At Home Edition featuring Rocco DiSpirito that will raise money for the local restaurant community. DiSpirito will act as host to three local Lower Manhattan chefs as they demonstrate easy-to-replicate dishes from their restaurants. The series appropriately launches with America's first restaurant Delmonico's (6.11) and will be followed by authentic Italian cuisine from Gnoccheria (6.25) and Mediterranean flavor from Taïm (7.09).
The series is free to join via Zoom and participants can donate to a fund of the restaurants' choice, which will support their staff and/or local food supply charities.
Pre-register here: downtownny.com/dinearound
Additionally, participants are encouraged to make the dishes themselves and then post photos of their plates on Instagram, tagging #DineAroundAtHome and @downtownnyc for a chance to win a personal 30-minute cooking class with the featured chef.
"We're finding new ways to support our restaurants given the incredible challenges they are facing," said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. "New Yorkers love to eat and we cherish our diverse dining scene. This series will connect our community to the people who help power our economy and keep us well-fed."
“Downtown is where I live, work and play. I am thrilled to be able to support the Downtown Alliance as we rebuild our rich restaurant community,” said Chef Rocco Dispirito on his latest hosting duties. Dispirito, a regular in front of the camera, is native New Yorker, James Beard award-winning chef, healthy lifestyle crusader and #1 New York Times bestselling author who is dedicated to proving that healthy and delicious are not mutually exclusive. DiSpirito has also hosted his own shows on Food Network and Bravo, and currently serves as an Ambassador for HealthCorps, inspiring students at schools across the country to build healthier habits.
Dine Around Downtown: Cooking At Home Edition Schedule
Thursday, June 11, 4:00p ET – Delmonico's – Billy Oliva
Thursday, June 25, 4:00p ET – Gnoccheria – Michele Iuliano
Thursday, July 9, 4:00p ET – Taïm – Einat Admony
"I can’t wait to welcome people back to the restaurant and start creating a new history at Delmonico's but in the meantime I very much look forward to getting to cook for viewers in the comfort of their homes for this new series," said Delmonico's executive chef Billy Oliva. For nearly a decade, Chef Billy has helmed the iconic kitchens of Delmonico’s, at 56 Beaver Street, and continues to advance its rich culinary legacy with his modern, seasonally-driven approach. Among many other accolades, Chef Billy earned his first Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction in 2006 and was named one of the country’s top chefs by Best Chefs America. His talents have also been highlighted by leading media outlets including CNN, CBS News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Bloomberg, BBC, NPR, Cooking Channel, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, The View and Business Insider.
"I got into this business to connect with people, and being able to share the authentic flavors from my childhood in Naples with New Yorkers has been a rewarding experience. I look forward to seeing new faces around this virtual table," said Gnoccheria's co-owner and chef Michele Iuliano. Chef Michele is best known for his first NYC restaurant Luzzo's Pizzeria which has amassed a cult-following in the East Village. Together with his wife Anisa Iuliano, they opened Gnoccheria in 2016 to bring inventive fresh homemade Gnocchi to East Village. Following a huge success, they opened Gnoccheria Wall Street at 100 Broad Street in an old bank clearing house where the open air kitchen flows into a uniquely appointed dining room with a 40 ft. marble cocktail bar and vaulted ceilings. The menu embodies Chef Michele’s eccentric creativity featuring fresh homemade Gnocchi alongside specialty burrata, wood-fired pizza and a refined selection of prime meats and wild caught fish.
"I want to bring flavors of Tel Aviv to Lower Manhattan. Whether that means in-person at the store, in a cookbook of Israeli staples, or by video demonstration, I know that once people get a taste for these dishes, they'll keep coming back for more," said Taïm owner and chef Einat Admony. An Israeli transplant and multi-hyphenate chef, author and restaurant owner, Chef Einat works to bring the best flavors of her home country stateside. In 2005, Chef Einat opened Taïm in 2005 as a tiny storefront in the West Village and a place where Chef Einat could share her love of falafel, sabich, s’rug and amba, cauliflower shawarma and smoothies. Today, Taïm has grown to include more restaurants, including one at 75 Maiden Lane. Chef Einat, with her husband and business partner Stefan Nafziger, has also opened three Israeli inspired, fine-dining restaurants including Balaboosta, Kish-Kash, and Bar Bolonat.
This project is part of a continuing effort by the Alliance to support businesses that are being adversely impacted by the spread of COVID-19. From educating local business owners about available funding opportunities and convening working groups, to communicating which businesses are currently open and spotlighting essential workers who are making a difference, the Alliance is actively working to help Lower Manhattan's business community. Efforts will continue through the recovery phase with dedicated marketing programs and initiatives to help turn the lights back on across the neighborhood.