The word "love" appears frequently on the menu at Fahrenheit, Chef Rocco Whalen's restaurant in Tremont. Food equals love, and love reminds him of his late mom Rosie, the cooking whiz who set him on the path to a culinary career.
The Mentor, Ohio native learned at his mom's side from eight years old until striking off for the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in his teens.
After five years cooking at Wolfgang Puck restaurants out west, Whalen headed back to Cleveland in 2001 to head up the kitchen at Blue Point Grille. A year and a half later, he opened Fahrenheit at the tender age of 24.
He had a hit. Gourmet listed Fahrenheit, with its stone oven pizzas and straightforward preparation of American classics in its "Guide to America's Best Restaurants." Esquire dubbed Whalen a chef "to keep your eye on." And, the James Beard Foundation nominated him as a rising star.
Whalen is full of ideas, and his menu typically changes every six weeks. The biggest change lately is the addition of Fahren-lite options, including appetizers, entrees and desserts lower in calories and fat. Whalen introduced the idea after losing 124 pounds while appearing on Food Network's "Fat Chef" reality series.
Check out Whalen's other food/love options through his food truck, Short Rib 1; Rocco & Rosie's at Horseshoe Casino; and stands at FirstEnergy Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena.