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Rocco's Dinner Party: Exclusive Interview with Frank Otte

Posted on 08/04/2011 by Gina in Rocco's Dinner Party and Cast Interviews

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Frank Otte


by Gina Scarpa


This week on Rocco's Dinner Party, the chefs were asked to prepare a fashion-themed event for his guests. Executive private chef Frank Otte went up against caterer Sharon Robustelli and it was clear that Frank's years of experience were going to pay off. He left the loft $20,000 richer and we caught up with him in an exclusive interview today to find out more about his experience on Rocco's Dinner Party.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What sparked your interest in cooking?
A. Frank: I was a latchkey kid with a busy, single mom who didn't have a lot of time. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, both European, and really just picked up cooking from them. Cooking was kind of a necessity and it turned into a real fascination. I was a young punk rock kid, I found something positive, and this gave me a whole future. It was a necessity at first and then it became an identity. It became my addiction then and it's still my addiction at an older age.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Why did you do Rocco's Dinner Party? Had you thought about reality tv before?
A. Frank: I always kind of poo pooed reality tv. I never had time. That's why I hated it. I was between contracts. I'm a private chef. The opportunity came up and I jumped on it. It was a great reason to go to New York.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: This week seemed tougher than the other episodes this season, especially since you basically had to make two dishes per course. What did you think of it?
A. Frank: This was so challenging! I had no idea it could possibly be that challenging, especially when I saw my competition wasn't as fierce as I had anticipated. I'm not allowed to talk a lot about the production but from the time they gave me the notion of what I had to do to the time I was shopping was literally one car ride. I had to plan all these courses without any knowledge of anything. It was really difficult. The cooking was easy.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: You were a little tough on your competitor, Sharon, in the episode. What was your honest opinion of her?
A. Frank: Honestly, I thought she was wonderfully sweet and very kind. I love people that mid-life change jobs. That means they're truly passionate about what they do. God bless her for being passionate about something that I'm passionate about. As far as being competition, I don't know if that makes me egotistical by saying that 20 years of experience makes me in a different clas than a homemaker and someone who spent time in a marketing lifestyle. I didn't think there was a whole lot of competition. The show played me out to be an ass but the reality is that I'm a professional chef and she's someone that recently changed careers. There was plenty of time that I spent being kind to her and giving her advice.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Sharon basically said in her interviews on the show that you were cocky. Do you think she mistook your confidence for arrogance?
A. Frank: Absolutely! I'm a confident person. I cook for extremely high net individuals. They're multi-billionaires. These are people who surround themselves with the best of hte best. When I show up, I don't show up modest, scared, or challenged. I show up 100% ready to take care of them. On the show, I put my game face on like I do every day. When I get home, I pick up my skateboard and ride. I have a beer, spend time with my wife, spend time with my daughter, and enjoy our friends.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Did you feel like Rocco was being especially hard on you?
A. Frank: Sharon had so many issues going down in her kitchen and honestly, in retrospect, the only challenge to me on that show was the conceptualizing of what I was going to do. A lot of the dishes are in my repertoire. I don't need recipes. Yeah, I feel like he was attacking me. Not to say that there wasn't anything wrong but given no time to really prepare for them, I was pleased. I think he was a little hard on me.


Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What does winning the show mean for you?
A. Frank: I really have no idea. My wife gave me a big hug and kiss and I'd say that's the best thing it did for me. I honestly don't know if there's anything to be had from winning this other than a check, which I'm grateful for. I'd love to be on television again. I'm hugely passionate about food. I had so much positive feedback on my Facebook page and website. People were laughing at what I said and I guess I am witty. I hope something does come of it.


Rocco's Dinner Party airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Bravo.


(Image courtesy of Bravo)


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