Sunday, January 10, 2010

Last Restaurant Standing


Not a huge reality show fan, but there are a few I watch.  One that I'm watching for the third year is Last Restaurant Standing  on the BBC.  Nine couples are given a restaurant and each week much complete a food related challenge in order to stay on.    The lowest 3,  in terms of money made and success in completing the challenge,  are put into a further challenge and the loser leaves.  Simple as that, but it's not.  With each couple one must be the chef and one must run front of house, being the host/hostess setting up tables, directing staff, etc.  Some of the people have restaurant or kitchen experience and some don't have a clue.  They must name their restaurant (one couple named theirs Ostrich because she'd dressed as one while working at Disneyland and had become "one" with the ostrich---they didn't last long),  pick a food theme (organic, locally grown, vegetarian, ethnic, something), decorate the place, hire staff, shop for food and complete the weekly challenge, be it providing special meals for folks with dietary needs, writing a cookbook, turning one of their meals into a frozen dinner to be sold at the store, or putting on a theme night.
I know they vet the people who get on these shows, and of course they're looking for "good" television, but at the end of the day, or show as it may be, Raymond (pronounced Raymoan) Blanc, a Michelin starred chef in England, will become partners with the winning couple and open a real restaurant with them.
This show is quite well done, no Gordan Ramsey obscenities or screaming, Raymond is quite well spoken.  It's hilarious though that they put subtitles under him when he's speaking, when in fact it's the English, Irish and Scottish  on the show you have trouble understanding.  We've watched this show in England and they don't subtitle him there.
The first show was last Tuesday and they threw 2 couples out, one  a Mother/Daughter combo because the daughter was trying to open cans with a knife (and holding it by the blade to do it) and a Mother/Son combo because the son couldn't explain their vision for their restaurant.  He couldn't even talk, he just stood there.
Some of the couples look interesting and it should be a good year.
If you've never watched it give it a try. Also enjoyable is the fact that we know this part of England quite well (Oxfordshire) and recognize many of the towns and villages.

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