Mo Rocca: he’s the man who doesn’t need any introduction. But, you know how this works…we’re going to give you one anyway. Mo Rocca’s all over your TV and there is no doubt that you’ve seen him, laughed at his jokes, or even smirked with him in agreement. Maybe you were obsessed with his writing on the children’s show Wishbone, his special reports on The Daily Show, his spot on jabs at pop culture on VH1 specials, his humorous and insightful comments while a judge on Iron Chef, his human interest stories on CBS Sunday Morning (did you see the professional pencil sharpener story?), his show Food(ography), or his brand new show on Cooking Channel, My Grandmother’s Ravioli? Phew, busy man!
However you’ve come to know Mo Rocca, it’s hard not to love him. His boyish charm, his wit, and his natural ability to tell stories make him the geektastic star of the TV world. He’s definitely showing all these qualities off in My Grandmother’s Ravioli, a Cooking Channel show that features how-to cooking lessons from a different grandma or grandpa each week. Along the way, we learn about these interesting people and Mo becomes their adoptive grandson.
Well, we had an opportunity to talk with Mo Rocca about what has made him successful, why he moved over to the culinary world, why he named a show after his grandma’s raviolis, some of his most memorable moments on camera, and some great advice for holiday meals.
You received your B.A. in Literature from Harvard. Some say that will prepare you to do well on Jeopardy questions, but clearly it has done a lot more for you. How would you say your Lit. degree and your time at Harvard helped get you to where you are today?
(Hesitates and takes a deep breath) Great question. I feel like my whole career has been a continuing education program. I don’t mean that in some kind of airy fairy abstract sort of way…I’m drawn to jobs and projects where I end up learning stuff. I’m especially drawn to areas where I know nothing at all. I’m one of those people that would have benefited, perhaps, more from my fancy college education if I had it later in life. I had all these great professors, took all these courses, some of them with world-class scholars, teaching. But, I couldn’t really take advantage because I wasn’t completely ready.