• Member Spotlight: Chef Rocco from R House

  • Q: Please share with us a bit of your personal background(s).

    A: With my parents coming from the Southern tip of Italy Puglia, food and gastronomy have always played a huge role in my life. From my mother I learned about fruit and vegetables perusing the local markets and from my dad I learned my butchering skills. You can see the influences of my Italian heritage in the R House menu today. As a young adult I started a career in accounting and banking, but soon realized I couldn't stay out of the kitchen. After stints on the New York and San Francisco restaurant scenes, I settled down in Provincetown Massachusetts where I owned and operated a restaurant called Edwige At Night for 13 years.

    Q: What made you want to open R House and has the experience measured up to your expectations?

    A: After spending many winters here in Miami, I decided I wanted to open a new venue that would be open year-round, in contrast to the seasonal business of Provincetown. I came across Wynwood and the multitude of art galleries back in those early days blew me away and really reminded me of the art scene in Provincetown. I knew I wanted to part of the Wynwood movement, so jumped at the opportunity to lease an empty warehouse which soon enough we transformed into what is now R House. There were a lot of people who doubted Lynwood's potential at the time I leased the building, but nothing could've prepared me for the phenomenal pace of change that we have seen over the past years. It is so exciting to be part of the cultural, artistic and gastronomical explosion that the neighborhood has become.  

    Q: What is the best memory you have since opening the restaurant.

    A: One of the things that I am most proud of since we opened R House in January 2014 is the creation of our Drag Brunch. The brunch started off as a monthly event, then we moved to twice monthly, now we hold the brunch every Sunday to a packed house. It's an amazing experience combining fine food, great drinks and outstanding entertainment from some of South Florida's most talented drag entertainers. What makes our drag brunch so special is that we not only have a huge LGBT following, but an equally enthusiastic straight customer base also. It's really a place where everyone come together to kick back, indulge and be entertained. My best memory of the brunch was the very first one when we celebrated my 50th birthday!

    Q: As a Corporate Member of MDGLCC, what makes the Chamber worthy of your support?

    A: Being an integrated member of Miami's LGBTQ community is so important to us here at R House. The opportunities that the MDGLCC provides for networking and building business relationships and partnerships in our community are outstanding. It's amazing how the Chamber really supports and believes in its members. Thank you!

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