Rocco Dispirito Talks Food Festivals, NFTs, And His Upcoming Cookbook

How does that compare to working in a restaurant kitchen?

It’s very similar, because there’s still a lot of time spent talking to customers, which is very similar to how a restaurant works. It’s still time-consuming like a restaurant, and we have what you would consider “a service,” because when it’s time to deliver all these foods, we have hard deadlines that we have to meet. We usually stop before midnight, unlike restaurants, but there are nights where we’re … I say “here,” because I’m in the kitchen now … where we’re here until 10:00 p.m. still packing for clients. It’s different, and it’s the same.

What I do like is that I can focus on fewer people at a time and follow them over, in some cases, six or seven years, but in most cases, three to six months — follow their progress and watch them be successful. I remotely monitor their success using small data from tracking devices, like a Fitbit or a Wi-Fi scale, and my clients agree to use them so that I can use the data to create more predictive and prescriptive things.

It’s really fascinating. There’s a lot of tech and science involved, but what it’s confirmed is, when you fine-tune your food choices, you can achieve a lot in a very short amount of time. People have lost 10 pounds in two or three days and can’t believe it, and that’s what can happen with great nutrition.

The average American consumes 4,000 to 4,780 calories a day, that’s a national average [per SFGate, it’s 3,600]. When they get on my plan, depending on what their goals are, we feed them less than their BMR, their basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate determines how many calories you need to sustain weight. If you want to lose weight, you eat less than that, or you burn more, and if you want to gain weight, you eat more. Most people are eating two to three times their BMR.

I use all that data to figure out how many calories, how many grams of protein, how many grams of carbs, and how grams of fat each person should get.

That sounds like an incredible amount of customization.

It’s 100% customized. That’s where the challenge is, and also where the pleasure comes from. There’s tremendous satisfaction in watching a customer go from an 11 A1C to a 5.6 in 60 to 90 days. In some cases, we’re giving people hope where they thought there was no hope.

That’s a powerful transformation.

Thank you. I like to think so.

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