121708rocco.jpgThis week's NY Times Dining section has a long profile about Jamaica, Queens native Rocco DiSpirito, who many in the dining biz have criticized for focusing on TV shows and cookbooks when he could be running a restaurant. Some, like cookbook author Michael Rhulman, believe "he’s almost gotten to the point where people in the food world feel sorry for him and want him back." Others, like former NY Mag critic Gael Greene, opine, "I do believe that ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is kind of the last stop. I don’t understand—has he totally lost that passion to cook?" In his defense, DiSpirito paints himself as a populist who loves "advocating" for the "general public." But Ed Levine at Serious Eats scoffs at that, slamming DiSpirito and the Times in a fun blog post: "What DiSpirito really loves to do is bring attention to himself Paris Hilton-style and try to cash in on it. Only she can't cook."