Television anchor Rosanna Scotto is the perfect choice for Master of Ceremonies of Dan’s Taste of Two Forks July 16 food and wine benefit in Bridgehampton. Not only is she well known to millions of tri-state viewers as the co-host of WNYW/FOX 5’s “GoodDay New York” morning show, she’s also a certified foodie: her family has owned the popular Fresco by Scotto Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan for nearly 20 years.
Scotto is also on intimate terms with the East End food and wine scene, having owned a home in Southampton for the past five years. “My husband, children and I share the house with my parents and sister. We love it out here…even in off-season…the restaurants, the beauty of the area. When I was approached about Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, I said, ‘Good food, good wine, good cause—I’m in!’” Dans Taste of Two Forks event will benefit East End area food pantries through the Have a Heart Community Trust.
Scotto grew up in an Italian-American family in Brooklyn and attended the prestigious Packer Collegiate prep school there. She graduated from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a major in theatre. In her sophomore year, however, she had an epiphany. “I thought if I am only getting understudy and chorus roles in COLLEGE theatre, I better rethink my career. I started looking for television internships, took some extra writing courses at NYU, and ended up with a job at Ted Turner’s Atlanta station.”
Scotto returned to New York in 1982 as a reporter for WABC-TV’s “Good Morning New York,” which eventually became “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.” A year later she joined WABC’s “Eyewitness News” as a reporter where she remained until joining FOX in 1986. In 1994 Scotto started anchoring the weekday edition of Fox 5 News, where she was teamed with newsmen John Roland and Ernie Anastos, among others, on the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts. Three years ago she was tapped for the weekday morning edition of FOX News, “GoodDay New York” with co-host Greg Kelly.
FOX 5’s morning show differs from the competing morning broadcasts—including “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show”—by focusing primarily on local news. “But we really only compete with ourselves,” says Scotto. “We interview local [tri-state] politicians, restaurateurs, people in the arts, education and entertainment. It’s so much fun, and so challenging at the same time.”
A three-time Emmy winner, Scotto is extremely likable on air and her chemistry with Kelly mixes gravitas with girl-meets-boy-next-door accessibility. “I often tease Greg ‘He’s the brother I wished I never had!’” jokes Scotto, but clearly they are friends on and off the air.
In fact, it’s all about family for Scotto. She switches gears with aplomb, from interviewing New York Chief of Police Ray Kelly (Greg Kelly’s father) about a brutal crime in the Bronx, to hosting a cooking segment with her own mother and siblings. When her big Brooklyn brood joins her on set, as they did last week—including mother, brothers and sister—co-anchor Kelly and crew have an “anything could happen now” attitude. Yet Scotto is unflappable, obviously having a good time, and proud of the family’s restaurant business. On a recent cooking segment, Scotto’s mother Marion Scotto (“The Boss”) took the lead with a mayo-less chicken salad, followed by brother Anthony, sister Elaina and brother John each demonstrating a recipe from their popular New York eatery. “My family loves the restaurant Fresco by Scotto and loves giving back. In fact, they will all be with me when I emcee Dan’s Taste of Two Forks.”
While she’s in the Hamptons, Scotto likes to kick back and relax from her busy schedule at FOX and the many charity events that vie for her time. She plans to attend ArtHamptons and a number of benefits this summer, but basically likes to spend her downtime barbequing with the family at home. “What can I say, I’m a Brooklyn girl…I like my backyard,” she laughs. She also gets together from time to time with other news pals who are part-time Hamptonites, including Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Jane Hanson and Donny Deutsch.
When we spoke, Scotto was at her desk at 4:30 p.m., prepping for an interview the next morning with Congresswoman Carolyn Malony. Scotto’s day had started at 4:30 a.m., as it does every weekday, and that night she was headed to Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant, Red Rooster in Harlem.
Scotto is looking forward to joining Samuelsson, who will be the official host of Dan’s Taste of Two Forks event on July 16. “I am grateful that “GoodDay New York” gives me the opportunity to promote in our area. There are a lot of year-round people on the East End who are not affluent, who need the services of the Have a Heart Community Trust, and this event will bring awareness and support to them.”
When asked what in particular drew her attention to Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, Scotto replied, “It supports local food and wine businesses, it helps local people, and the money stays right here in the local community.”
Sounds like a recipe for success.
You can meet Rosanna Scotto—and all the Scottos—Saturday, July 16 at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, Sayre Park, Bridgehampton. Visit www.danstasteoftwoforks.com for tickets and information. [/expand]