Theyre a cute couple, Rocco Whalen and Cheryl Tiegs.
Hes 36, chef and owner of the new Fahrenheit Restaurant in uptown Charlotte; shes 66, one of the original supermodels, the first to appear twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
During a break Tuesday afternoon between grand-opening events at Fahrenheit (which opened for dinner Monday night), the pair couldnt stop showering praise on one another.
Whalen: I think weve done a really nice job
Tiegs, interrupting: Hes being modest. He only has thousands of people who are calling for reservations for the next couple of weeks.
Whalen, later: Shes a phenomenal person. Im a better chef, entrepreneur, person, just for having the opportunity to spend time with her.
Tiegs, on his food: I only asked for three bowls of his chicken last night. Only three.
Whalen and Tiegs are clearly friends, but its also a business relationship (and besides, hes happily married to Alexis Dankovich-Whalen): The former swimsuit model is a spokesperson for Cambria Quartz, a type of stonework that Whalen also has used in his six Cleveland restaurants.
Tiegs, who calls L.A. home, made her first visit in Charlotte to do meet-and-greets on back-to-back nights to help launch Fahrenheit, which sits on the 21st floor of the new Hyatt Place building at Caldwell and Third streets. It is uptowns only rooftop restaurant.
She also mingled with fans after a photo shoot with Whalen Tuesday morning at the Ritz-Carlton, and was mostly unfazed by the blast of winter thats welcomed her here.
I loved it (Monday), Tiegs said. It was drizzly and cold, and I just loved it. I get a little bored with 72 and sun every day.
Fahrenheit: 222 S. Caldwell St. www.chefroccowhalen.com or 980-237-6718.
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