Editor's note: We are reposting this story in honor of the premiere of the episode of "My Grandmother's Ravioli" featuring Michele Riggi, which airs Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on the Cooking Channel.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — If a driveway full of cameramen was the first clue, a photo tweeted last Friday by Saratoga socialite Michele Riggi was the second.
Riggi and Mo Rocca of the Cooking Channel wore starched white aprons as they showed off a platter of eggplant parm. Could Riggi be co-starring in an upcoming season of one of Rocca’s shows, such as “My Grandmother’s Ravioli?”
Not starring in a show, but featured in an episode airing this fall, says Riggi. “Mo’s such a funny guy. We had a blast.”
Rocca is first an actor and satirist, then a “food person,” according to his bio on the Cooking Channel’s website. In fact, Riggi may have taken the lead in the kitchen; after making eggplant parm, the duo followed her “famous” meatball recipe. “My father is an excellent cook, and he taught me what he knew,” said Riggi. She “massaged his recipes” before making them her own.
Michele Riggi lives with her husband, Ron, in a striking $6 million mansion in Saratoga Springs. The couple has gained fame both for
their charitable giving to arts and nonprofits and for their many dogs (as of last year, 35).
Riggi says that her dogs “loved all of the smells coming out of the kitchen” last weekend, but they didn’t get in the way of the camera crew or the cooking.
Their reward for good behavior? A nibble or two of the meatball dish, of course.
When asked if any future reality shows were being discussed, Riggi only responded “no comment.”
This isn’t the first rumor of a Riggi reality show.
Last April, the E! Cable Channel announced that “Palazzo Riggi” was coming soon, allowing viewers a peek inside the lavishly furnished family mansion.
Michele’s 35 dogs were slotted to star in the show alongside herself and her husband. E! released a statement describing the “eccentric personalities” and “jaw-dropping” estate that the show would portray.
Two months later, the Riggis decided to terminate the show, citing the protection of their family and local community.