Romancing the Stove - How to cook to impress!

Posted by Leticia, 28 May 06

Take one man. Add a heaped tablespoon of passion for cooking, blend in a love of writing and a wicked sense of humor. Combine that with years of dating experience and...Voilà, you have Rocky Fino. Fino is the author of "Will Cook for Sex," a clever take on wooing the opposite sex, not with movie-star good looks or seductive pickup lines, but with quality food. Now this book is NOT a way to get someone into your bed but rather a way to impress your date with gourmet style cooking that is simple and easy and is sure to impress! Rocky Fino is quick to point out that he's not a professional chef but that didn't stop him taking out the silver award in the recent IPPY awards for cookbook of the year. Rocky isn't a celebrity chef but rather a regular guy showing other regular people easy steps to produce tasty, gourmet-style meals. So listen in as Dr Wright chats to Rocky's about his passion for cooking and unlocks how his book "Will Cook For Sex" can help you!

Dr. Wright:
This is Dr. Letitia Wright and we are here at idcdating.com's podcast. We are talking today with Rocky Fino. And our topic is "Will Cook For Sex." That is right. Will Cook for Sex - A Guy's Guide To Cooking.

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Welcome to the podcast, Rocky.

Rocky Fino:
How are you doing Dr. Wright?

Dr. Wright:
I am doing great. I am doing great. Let me tell you a little bit about Rocky. Number 1, the book Will Cook For Sex is a lovely, well-put together beautiful cookbook. And at an early age, Rocky had a passion for good food and a healthy appetite. And so he was Sous Chef. Is that what they call it? Is that all right?

Rocky Fino:
Sous Chef will be correct.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. With his father. And Rocky's father-we will call him the old man. He often handled most of the cooking for the busy family of 6 and he had a flare for inventing fabulous menus. Aside from cooking for the ladies in their lives Rocky and the old man have enjoyed an active lifestyle: hunting, fishing, sailing and on the weekend -on their weekend passes. Having achieved the success in their own kitchens and again testing a few of their gourmet creations on their usually grateful friends. The guys will then take this special menus home to their wives who beg them to develop their own culinary skills.

Well, now, the father and son bond is still strong. And Rocky enjoyed experimenting with his extensive library of cookbooks and recipes. And the restaurants that give him inspiration. He and the old man frequently enjoy dining in some of the California's top culinary destinations where they have an opportunity to sample those creations of top executive chef. Rocky oftentimes will order unusual and interesting menu items; if impressed, incorporate the flavors into his own simpler gourmet creations.

He is from Arcadia, California. And he is one of 4 children. He attended Temple University at Philadelphia where he earned his degree in Radio, Television and Film. Upon returning to Southern California, he participated in a masters of professional writing program at USD and later earned his MBA from Cal State San Bernardino.

Welcome Rocky to the show.

Rocky Fino:
That sounds pretty good. It made me sound better than I am.

Dr. Wright:
Yes. You sound very, very impressive. Well, I have known you for a little while and everywhere I go everybody loves this concept, Will Cook For Sex. They love talking about it and they love saying Will Cook For Sex as many times as possible. So explain to everybody what you are talking about. Will Cook For Sex.

Rocky Fino:
It is a little bit-I am a little guilty of stating the obvious. I mean it is-I came up with an idea that based on my own personal experience, women like to see a guy put forth a little effort. And a guy has some talents somewhere. And have a lot of money, too. But if you do not have the money you got to work your way out of all other angles. But I found that in my dating lives and playing around that whenever I got into the kitchen and offered to prepare a meal, it was just amazing how impressed she would be or even her friends or anybody that you always cook for. It is so few people cook nowadays that I just found it worked for me.

Dr. Wright:
So is this a natural skill that you found was really impressive in the dating world.

Rocky Fino:
Well, yes. What was funny about it is I actually like doing it. So it was not like it was a stretch because I prefer to get in the kitchen anyway. If she was going to be there or not, I was going to cook a meal for myself but the fact that it worked two-fold there to impress her.

Dr. Wright:
Now, what do you say to the women that go "You cook. You clean. You have got to be gay"?

Rocky Fino:
It is just playing on a stereotype of misconception that people think-I think there is a big misconception that people think bachelors and men in general are pigs. I do not think we are. Women can afford to be sloppy. Because if we get invited over to her house, we are not turning around because she got a dirty-because her living room got stuff on the floor or her bathroom, I mean we are there.

On the guy's end, you got to have everything in place. Because you just do not know when you are going to make the mistake that turns her out the door. So you got to make sure your house is clean. And I think a lot of guys, especially single guys they know this. They know that any moment-we are dealing with woman here. At any moment we can make a mistake so we are doing everything we can to make it look as nice as we can. And of course, whenever you are preparing a meal for them I totally encourage guys to take the extra steps for a little ambience on the table. Provide the table set. Provide the candlelight. Make it good all the way through.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Make it a total experience.

Rocky Fino:
Make it a total experience. And whatever you do, do not dare pull out you cook, I clean. The guy who ever created that line died a lonely man.

Dr. Wright:
That is good. We are going to remember that. Now, you say warning a cute move with (inaudible) only works with Ben Affleck.

Rocky Fino:
That is right. I have seen it scripted in Hollywood where the guy has got a dirty apartment and he pulls out the beer and the pizza trick and of course, its somebody like Kate Hudson and she falls for it, well, come on. That is Hollywood. That is going to work once maybe or that is if you are a really handsome guy and you are really debonair. But the rest of us guys, we got to do it a-we got to up the ante a little bit.

Dr. Wright:
Now, you also tell people-guys to do first course, second course, third course; I mean to really stretch it out?

Rocky Fino:
Yes. I like the idea. I mean, one, it is kind of-it connotates fine dining when you bring one plate out at a time when you eat at the restaurant it is typically this way. You do not want to push a salad on to the plate next to a vegetable side and an entree and it is all crammed on there and sauces are moving around and changing flavors. That is one reason.

Another reason is it extends the evening. It is part of the show. You are presenting a meal. You have worked pretty hard at it. You want it to be nice and you want to take time in between courses for both parties to enjoy it. And it is easier that way.

And the other key to me-and this is me personally. When I am moving and grooving in the kitchen real fast, I sweat. I am an Italian. I am sweating. I am moving fast. And boy, that is just a turn off for any woman when she-if you are having to try and coordinate 3, 4 dishes just the first time ever in your life. And you are coming out there and wiping the towel on your brow and you got a dirty apron in front of you and stuff and it just does not go off the way you hope. Image is everything.

Dr. Wright:
Image is everything. Okay. Let us talk about the basic equipment. You want people to have a three non-stick pans and you want them to have all this stuff. It kind of seems like a lot.

Rocky Fino:
You know what? That picture in the book, I will tell you, that is one the areas-we put in the equipment that we used to create the book. Now, what I am saying in basic equipment, aside from the photo that you are referring to, is unlike a lot of cookbooks on the shelf that are prepared by the master chefs they have all this gear in a commercial kitchen that we the novices in the our home kitchens, have no clue what it is.

And a lot of people think that well, I cannot cook, I do not have the gear. Well, you do not need much. You just need some good pans, some non-stick pans preferably. They do not have to be expensive. Because if you buy the cheap ones, you use them up, thrown them out and get a new one. Get a decent knife or a set of decent knives. From there you can get going. And add a few items along the way as you get better. But all these excessive items you see at the kitchen culinary stores that are really neat for people that like to shop, you do not need.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
You can get away without a lot of that stuff.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Now, you also talk about basic essential ingredients. And I am going to go through each of them and I want you to tell me a little bit why they are important. Olive oil, everybody is cooking with olive oil.

Rocky Fino:
Olive oil is-I am Italian. It is lifeblood. No. People nowadays are very, very-especially the food channel, the people are-it is not just olive oil anymore. Oils are like wines. People are very particular about what oils they use. If you stick with just a decent, extra virgin olive oil it is kind of an all around oil that you can use to get going. It will work for salad dressings. It will work for the pan, for sautéing in your pan. It is a better oil. It is a better flavoring oil. It is better healthier oil than some of the American canolas and any of those Wessons or any of that kind of things that you see. So I think that is a pretty common knowledge now. You got to have it in the cupboard. You are going to need it no matter what you do.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Let us talk about salts. Because when I go shopping where I shop there is a lot of exotic sea salts and all these different salts and I am like where is the little Morton's girl.

Rocky Fino:
Yes. A toughy. Again, food network has exposed people to this gourmet world that has broadened people's horizons to realize that there is not just salt anymore. You have got all these-you got kosher. You have got sea salts. You got evaporated crystals. You got all kinds of things. And they have-everybody's got their reasoning to use certain high level salts for the purpose of getting started. Get yourself - I mean just have some salt in the cupboard. Morton's going to do you fine.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
(inaudible) evaporated sea salts for reasons of you are not using bleaches and other organics. That is your own preference. But as far as first flavoring, yes, I mean it a kosher salt to take you places when you are getting deeper into what you know how to do. But when you are getting started and especially with the recipes I recommend to get going. Salt is salt.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Let us talk about pepper. Because I am sure you mean pepper that we are going to grind fresh.

Rocky Fino:
Freshly ground pepper is better.
Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
There is no doubt about it. Freshly ground pepper has-that is when you grind it, it is when you exfoliate the flavor of the paper-excuse me of the pepper. And it is not everybody has the grinder, not everybody has the correct pepper. A lot of times, you still need-just have that peppershaker in the cupboard for the sake of using pepper when you need it. But when you are preparing something you are going to be better off with fresh (inaudible) pepper.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Butter. Let us talk about butter. I love what Julia Childs all these people stopped using butter, their skin is going to flake off and they are going to flake away.

Rocky Fino:
I have never understood the margarine craze, ever in my life. I grew up in a household that we never had it in the household. Any of those fake butters; that was just not heard of in our house. I mean, real butter has been around for a long time. And it is a key-that is a key flavoring ingredient. I prefer unsalted butter and then you use salt separately.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
It helps when you are cooking with certain aspects of cooking. But there is a lot of butter out there, too. But you just got to-part of my basic ingredients plan is these items that we are going through you want to have these in your fridge and your cupboard at all times.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
Because these are items that are going to come up literally on every recipe you make you are going to, at some point in time, needed a butter, salt, pepper, olive oil. Or in a case of leading into your vinegars for salad dressings.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. That one I was going to ask you about, wine vinegar - -

Rocky Fino:
White wine vinegar is the key to me have in the cupboard because what I try to do in Will Cook For Sex was every salad was you prepare your own dressing. You make a light vinegarette whether it is a raspberry vinegarette, or citrus vinegarette, or lemon vinegarette. You are using 3 basic ingredients. You are using your oil, your vinegar-your white wine vinegar and whatever the 3rd item is if it is lime juice or raspberries, crushed raspberries or whatever. And you are creating a very nice healthy, flavorful light vinegarette as opposed to relying on the bottled dressings that you see all over the supermarket shelves that are really pretty bad once you get-once you have established a pallette. Most of those dressings are pretty lousy.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. And of course, the flour.

Rocky Fino:
Again, an item that is going to come up. An item that you do not want to get in a situation where you are preparing something typically you are browning something and you do not have the flour around so you can flour it. Browning meets before you simmer it seems to provide a better look, presentation, flavor, provide a little crunch on the outside. It is a key ingredient that you want to have in your cupboard.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Do you recommend having 2 aprons one that you cook with and one that you can (inaudible)?

Rocky Fino:
I am saying that if you are getting really heavy and you are moving fast and cooking a bunch of things you are going to make a mess. If you are doing it course by course you have got yourself a little organized which is key. Get yourself organized before she comes over. You can prepare the food without-and still just wipe on the apron a little bit, little finger stains on the apron, no problem. If it is fully loaded from top to bottom with the bloodstains and everything that is probably not going to look too good. I am telling you and I am key on the apron.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
I know it for a fact. Women get weak in the knees when they see a guy in the apron.

Dr. Wright:
Okay.

Rocky Fino:
They are hot for the apron, I know it.

Dr. Wright:
That is an important item. Okay. Well, we want you to come back and will you come back and share some recipes with us in the future.

Rocky Fino:
You bet I will. Love to.

Dr. Wright:
Okay. Wonderful. Thank you so much for being a part of IDC Dating's podcast. This is Dr. Wright for idcdating.com. Creating multicultural relationships every day. And of course, you can get all the information about Rocky's book, Will Cook For Sex at www.idcdating.com. Remember ignoring what is conscious is neither safe nor right. And I will see you next time.

Responses to "Romancing the Stove - How to cook to impress!"

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  1.   Julie says:
    Posted: 30 Jun 08

    Rocky is not only a great cook/writer but an awesome guy!! I met him in NJ at the Toast to the Coast food show. His book is perfect for anyone man that is clueless!

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  2.   Fala says:
    Posted: 28 Nov 07

    I don't need a guy who can cook. I'd rather eat out anyway.

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  3.   hoganfan says:
    Posted: 24 Oct 07

    No one ever said a guy could never cook! I can! What is interesting is can a woman>

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  4.   Coco says:
    Posted: 15 Mar 07

    I want a guy who can cook for ME!

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  5. Posted: 05 Jan 07

    It would be nice if HE came with some culinary skills!

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  6.   yoby says:
    Posted: 06 Dec 06

    i love cooking and it is a very exciting thing....

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  7.   unme23 says:
    Posted: 27 Nov 06

    i love a women that can cook!!

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  8. Posted: 26 Nov 06

    help, i cant cook!!!!

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  9.   gms77 says:
    Posted: 21 Nov 06

    Sorry guys i am not into cooking but do other things well:)

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  10. Posted: 21 Nov 06

    the one thing i cant do is cook!!!

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  11. Posted: 31 Oct 06

    I love a man that cooks

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  12.   Fala says:
    Posted: 31 Oct 06

    I love the recipes and the food sounds great. Unfortunately if it doesn't come out of a can or a box I don't usually bother. Take-out was invented for people like me.

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  13.   Ann says:
    Posted: 08 Oct 06

    I just love his healthy recipes!! Thanks very much for sharing them.

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  14.   EMBRACEME says:
    Posted: 07 Oct 06

    I NEED A MAN THAT CAN COOK.. SERVE ME IN BED OR OUT OF BED.. I LOVE FOOD AS MUCH AS I LOVE MEN .. LOL...

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  15.   sweetest1 says:
    Posted: 01 Oct 06

    I loooooooooove a man that can cook!! There is nothing sexier than a man who puts in the effort and passion for his woman!!!

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  16.   sweetheart says:
    Posted: 30 Sep 06

    I know my honey can't cook, and I won't make him, but I do love the special take out meals he makes for me.

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  17.   bradlee says:
    Posted: 27 Sep 06

    It's good that some people think this is interesting info...and sure some women are hot for apron, but try it topless, lemme tell ya..damn!

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  18.   Dora says:
    Posted: 21 Sep 06

    I am looking for a man like Rocky Fino! My dad would cook for the family sometimes and could clean better than my mom.

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  19.   euroecuboy says:
    Posted: 21 Sep 06

    Good information

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  20.   Coco says:
    Posted: 15 Sep 06

    I love the food and dating columns. Keep the suggestions coming!

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  21.   BrwnnBeauty says:
    Posted: 03 Sep 06

    I think cooking is one of the most sensual things a couple can do together, as well as for their partner.

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