By Michael Sanson
Restaurant Hospitality, October 2004
This section profiles chef Rocco Whalen. After graduating from culinary school and while barely out of his teens, he left his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to continue his education with professor Wolfgang Puck. Rocco earned his higher degree in the trenches of ObaChine in Phoenix, Granita in Malibu, California and Spago in Las Vegas, Nevada. With lessons learned, he moved back home and at age 25 opened Fahrenheit, a 125-seat restaurant that generated heat the moment Whalen began cooking. Gourmet magazine immediately listed Fahrenheit in its Guide to America's Best Restaurants. In 2003, with Fahrenheit busting at the seams, Whalen and his partners-sisters Kelly and Kim Repas-took over the space next door, adding 50 more seats.