“Make sure you serve hot dogs, hamburgers, make sure there’s cold beer,” he tells me during the Target Party For Good: Making Meals To Feed Young Minds event to benefit the Food Bank For New York City held this week. “Don’t get stressed out. Don’t be too ambitious.”
He continues, “This is not the weekend to try new recipes; this is not the weekend to try a new grilling technique. And if you’re going to grill, grill on wood or charcoal. Gas is for wimps. Propane is for wimps.”
“No flavor, not enough heat.”
While many people give to the hungry during the holiday season, those suffering from lack of food get less attention during the summer months. To raise awareness, Rocco joins American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, Insider host Lara Spencer, Real Housewives stars Danielle Staub, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord and hubby Simon Van Kempen; 90210’s Tristan Wilds and singer Gavin DeGraw to pack meals for those who need them most.
“It’s very important that we help each other,” Rocco says. “The basic part of humanity is to recognize the need of other individuals in the community, and do what you can to help them. Chefs are called upon to feed people because that’s what we do for a living – it’s natural for us to feed people in the most haute environment to the people who need our help who don’t have enough to eat. It’s within the walls of complete irony for us because we spend our time in restaurants playing with the best ingredients in the world, yet one in eight Americans is hungry.”
Rocco’s book, Now Eat This! 150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods All Under 350 Calories, is out now.