Yesterday (2/24/14), Albany lost a legend – Pat (Pasquale) Rocco, chef extraordinaire and all around mensch.
Pat started out with a small restaurant on upper New Scotland Ave.
Pat then went on to become the Executive Chef at the legendary Ambassador Rstaurant – first on State St. and then on Elk St. when it was forced to move by South Mall demolition.
After the Ambassador closed, he served as executive chef to Governors Carey and Cuomo. Chef Rocco was instrumental in the development of the pastry department of the well-known culinary division of Schenectady County Community College. Pat subsequently moved to Las Vegas and worked his magic there, before returning to Albany.
Pat was perhaps most known for his magnificent and spectacular sugar creations; extravaganzas of pastillage. Pastillage is the art of creating decorations and objects from sugar dough, and dates back to perhaps the 16th century.
Pat was the master. He exhibited at the International Culinary Food Show in NY, Societé Culinaire Philanthropique, for many years. In 1972, he won the silver medal in the pastillage category in the World Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. His pieces were amazing!
Pat literally wrote the book, in 1998.
He was an astonishing talent, in addition to being a much beloved husband and father.
7 thoughts on “RIP Pat Rocco Albany Chef and Artist Extraodinaire”
You couldn’t have written it any better! An outstanding human being that helped many, above and beyond!
I remember Mr Rocco when he lived near me in Clifton Park NY. He was ann amazing father and an triumphant artist and baker. I was particularly close to one of his daughters, Diana. My prayers go out to you and your entire family! He will be truly missed. God Bless you! RIP Mr Rocco.
Pat, Joe and family,
Your father was a true artist and such an inspiring person. You must be so proud! God bless his soul and I ask that he bring your family peace at this sad time.
Glad we got together to share a few emails before your passing. Although we lived miles apart and had separate lives our early friendship on Jefferson St. every year when I would live with my Aunt Anna who lived next door to you. You were always kind and caring. Rest in peace my friend. Maggie
My friend and wonderful mentor when I worked for him at Clifton Knolls Clubhouse. He took the time to teach me to cook in the kitchen and taught me the recipe for “the sauce”. I will never give the recipe away. You will be missed. Thank you Pat.
Hi Susan. My name is Kathy. I am curious if you are the same Susan F Lynch Brown who lived in Albany. I was born in Albany, January 21, 1971. Please feel free to respond. Your comment should go to my email. Thank you. Best, Kathy
first chef i ever knew and worked for…..grew up in his kitchen 11yrs old washing dishes after a catering with the owners son gregory (ambassador restaurant)….later i became a chef! great memories …. thanks chef! my condolences to his family.