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#1
Posted March 14th 2011, 9:01am
Is anyone watching this steaming pile of crap?

I started because I'll give most reality shows at least a chance but I don't know if I can stick with this one.

This is a competition to choose the next awful chain restaurant. The contestants all have "concepts" are are competing to win the investment of the show's judges (the CEO of Chipotle, Bobby Flay, a chef from Miami, and "Celebrity Chef" Curtis Stone). The winning contestant gets to open three locations of their restaurant (NYC, LA, and Minneapolis). Most of the contestants don't know how to cook. Few have any experience in the restaurant industry.

So many parts of this show are poorly executed and ill-conceived. Bobby Flay is apparently awful on set because at least half of his dialogue is obviously edited in after the fact. Last night's challenge involved serving 1,000 people at Universal Studios. The first part of the challenge was to interview and select a chef (remember, the contestants can't really cook...even though they were forced to in the first episode to see if they would win a spot on the show). Of course, a couple of teams wanted the same chef so the usual drama ensued. There's this poor guy who wants to open an Indian chain (one of the few good ideas on the show) and he got stuck with a chef from Sweden who has never actually cooked Indian food. Then, in the challenge, the judges criticized the food. Really? How about assigning each team a chef for the duration of the show? Maybe one actually familiar with the style of food for each concept? Of course, that would make too much sense.

Anyway, some lady who used to play in the WNBA got eliminated last night. This is fine because her concept was "wraps" and the last thing this world needs is more wraps.

Anyone out there want to share in my pain?
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#2
Posted March 14th 2011, 11:18am
jesteinf wrote:Is anyone watching this steaming pile of crap?

I started because I'll give most reality shows at least a chance but I don't know if I can stick with this one.

This is a competition to choose the next awful chain restaurant. The contestants all have "concepts" are are competing to win the investment of the show's judges (the CEO of Chipotle, Bobby Flay, a chef from Miami, and "Celebrity Chef" Curtis Stone). The winning contestant gets to open three locations of their restaurant (NYC, LA, and Minneapolis). Most of the contestants don't know how to cook. Few have any experience in the restaurant industry.

So many parts of this show are poorly executed and ill-conceived. Bobby Flay is apparently awful on set because at least half of his dialogue is obviously edited in after the fact. Last night's challenge involved serving 1,000 people at Universal Studios. The first part of the challenge was to interview and select a chef (remember, the contestants can't really cook...even though they were forced to in the first episode to see if they would win a spot on the show). Of course, a couple of teams wanted the same chef so the usual drama ensued. There's this poor guy who wants to open an Indian chain (one of the few good ideas on the show) and he got stuck with a chef from Sweden who has never actually cooked Indian food. Then, in the challenge, the judges criticized the food. Really? How about assigning each team a chef for the duration of the show? Maybe one actually familiar with the style of food for each concept? Of course, that would make too much sense.

Anyway, some lady who used to play in the WNBA got eliminated last night. This is fine because her concept was "wraps" and the last thing this world needs is more wraps.

Anyone out there want to share in my pain?


I have a general disdain for a lot of food-related reality competition shows (Hell's Kitchen, America's Next Great Restaurant) because they don't select chefs who have a viable chance of success outside of the reality show world. IMHO, this show would be much better if they chose contestants who were already running their own single-location fast-food restaurants. Can you imagine this same show with Ba Le, Del Seoul, Hannah's Bretzel (granted, more than one location), Falafill, [fill in your favorite taqueria], etc.?

Also, what's with opening locations in LA, Minneapolis and NY? Sounds like hell from a management and distribution perspective. I'm shocked that the "investors" think this is a sound business idea.

Finally, why not have consultants/advisors who are separate from the judging process (a la Tim Gunn on Project Runway)? Most viable start-ups rely on a host of mentors & advisors.

That said, I'm watching despite the fact that I cannot stand Bobby Flay. My money's on Tiffin Box (though I was more enthusiastic before he got stuck with the Swedish chef) or Meltworks.
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#3
Posted March 14th 2011, 11:37am
The grilled cheese thing is one of the few "concepts" on the show that I like. Narrow it down to him, Tiffin, the lawyer from Chicago, and maybe the taco guy...everyone else can go IMO.
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#4
Posted March 14th 2011, 11:41am
jesteinf wrote:The grilled cheese thing is one of the few "concepts" on the show that I like. Narrow it down to him, Tiffin, the lawyer from Chicago, and maybe the taco guy...everyone else can go IMO.


If I had to pick #3 & 4 contenders, mine would also be the lawyer (the calorie-conscious stuff, right?) and the taco guy. I like the taco concept, though I hate his personality...he's too arrogant (and I suspect it will come back to bite him), but at least he has restaurant industry experience.

I hope the lawyer succeeds, because after her comments last night she may have trouble finding employment in the legal profession going forward!
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#5
Posted March 14th 2011, 2:48pm
Bobby Flay is apparently awful on set because at least half of his dialogue is obviously edited in after the fact.

I was thinking the same thing about Bobby being so obviously edited in.

The Hick's crew cracked me up last night-They went from concept (which was never as strong as the judges said it was) to total gimmicky crap in one episode. Regarding most of the contestants/concepts I kept thinking, is this really the best they came up with? From concept, to signage, to cooking it's been a true crapfest. Even most of the names are terrible. Yet I will give it two or three more weeks. Go figure.

If I had to pick three-Tiffin, Meltworks, Hard and Soft (terrible name). Mr. Saucy Balls and W-3 will probably go deep too because they can make people cry. TV folks like that.

Jeff
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#6
Posted March 14th 2011, 3:57pm
Do you think there's any chance these people will have to write a business plan as part of an episode? I sincerely doubt it, since it doesn't make for compelling TV.
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#7
Posted March 14th 2011, 3:57pm
jesteinf wrote:Is anyone watching this steaming pile of crap?

I started because I'll give most reality shows at least a chance but I don't know if I can stick with this one.



Hmmm, just the opposite here - I'm predisposed to hate any "reality" show sight unseen. However, on the odd chance that I might have been tempted to give this one a whirl, thank you for taking one for the team and alerting me to the fact that it's dreck.
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#8
Posted March 14th 2011, 4:26pm
It's certainly better than any show starring Gordon Ramsay, and need I mention Top Chef -Just Desserts?
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#9
Posted March 14th 2011, 6:42pm
rickster wrote:It's certainly better than any show starring Gordon Ramsay, and need I mention Top Chef -Just Desserts?


The British version of Kitchen Nightmares is actually really good (you can watch it if you get BBC America). Definitely the best of Ramsay's shows, and vastly superior to America's Next Great Restaurant.
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#10
Posted March 15th 2011, 9:46am
chgoeditor wrote:That said, I'm watching despite the fact that I cannot stand Bobby Flay.


Hear, hear.

It also annoys me that there's a show promoting fast food chains when we seem to have plenty already. Not to mention all the blather about how fat and unhealthy this country is—that all goes in one ear and shitty burritos come out the other.
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I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

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#11
Posted March 15th 2011, 10:01am
Pie Lady wrote:
chgoeditor wrote:That said, I'm watching despite the fact that I cannot stand Bobby Flay.


Hear, hear.

It also annoys me that there's a show promoting fast food chains when we seem to have plenty already. Not to mention all the blather about how fat and unhealthy this country is—that all goes in one ear and shitty burritos come out the other.


Please, "fast casual". :wink:
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#12
Posted March 15th 2011, 10:23am
That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode built around Kenny Roger's Roasters: "not fast food, good food quickly."

But what doesn't remind me of Kenny Roger's Roasters?
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I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

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#13
Posted March 28th 2011, 3:08pm
I don't think the target audiance for this show is "foodies", it's actually for people who watch TV for what it is, I for example am a big fan of Jerry Springer show and will eat at any chain or fancy restaurant and think it actually is good food...if you are watching TV, you can't be a TV snob.
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#14
Posted March 28th 2011, 3:19pm
According to an article in the NY Times today, this show and "Shark Tank" on ABC are based on a Japanese show called Dragon's Den. The focus is supposed to be on successful entrepreneurship and the originator thought audiences could relate more to restaurants than some of the obscure inventions presented for funding on the other shows. So no, it's not for foodies, it's just what it says it is, a reality show about coming up with a nationally marketable fast casual restaurant.
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#15
Posted March 28th 2011, 3:44pm
Pie Lady wrote:That reminds me of the Seinfeld episode built around Kenny Roger's Roasters: "not fast food, good food quickly."

But what doesn't remind me of Kenny Roger's Roasters?


Or the "Bun 'N Run"; It's not food, it's fun!
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#16
Posted April 10th 2011, 9:13pm
Anyone still watching this? A couple of our (collective) early picks are gone, including the taco & grilled cheese concept. The Indian restaurant is still in the running and seems to be flying a bit under the radar. The lawyer from Chicago and the meatball guys are still hanging in there, though each with some ups and downs. The soul food and Southern concepts seem to be rising stars.

At some point in the last week or 10 days, I saw an article (blog post?) written by a person who'd auditioned for the show. Based on the article (wish I could find the link, but I've been on the road/seen many things in many media), it gave me the impression that contestants (or, at least, auditionees) are much more interested in becoming reality stars and much less interested in being restaurant owners.
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#17
Posted April 10th 2011, 10:18pm
I am watching this show and I hate every minute of it. Every week I tell myself, "ok, screw this, I am not going to watch what happens next week!" and they announce food trucks..Not cool.
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#18
Posted April 11th 2011, 9:31pm
Just caught up on the last few episodes tonight. Yeah, this is still pretty terrible.

I am enjoying watching Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone trying to stop Chipotle guy from extracting all of the authenticity from the Indian concept. No Burrito Man, not everything has to be "hand held". And what is this obsession with making sure that people can eat the food while walking around? Where are all these eating and walking people that the judges seem so focused on.

I'm ready for Saucy Balls to go. The joke has run its course. The guy isn't exactly the brightest bulb. His personality has just become irritating (not sure if it's because he's genuinely irritating or if it's because he's trying so hard to play a character).
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#19
Posted April 11th 2011, 11:25pm
I keep wondering why Chipotle guy wants everyone to do tacos ... is it all he knows? wouldn't that just be more competition for his own brand?

I like the lawyer but she doesn't seem to have the brand sensibility to really make a run of it - though she seems more likely to be a business success in general than anyone else except Indian food guy.

For me this is one of those rather annoying shows that makes good background sound while catching up emails and such. When I stop and actually watch it, it gets much worse.
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#20
Posted April 21st 2011, 10:20am
Well, the grill people who don't know the difference between BBQ and grilling are gone (thanks in no small part to their chef who seemed ready to just be done with the whole thing).

So, we've got a final 4 of Indian, healthy Mediterranean, formerly saucy balls, and chicken and waffles. If I were the Indian guy I would have come in armed with data to refute these "people don't want to eat Indian food" claims. Of course, I'm sure if he promised to make Indian tacos then this concern on the part of the "investors" would disappear.
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#21
Posted April 21st 2011, 10:51am
jesteinf wrote:...formerly saucy balls...


His balls are no longer saucy? What did he change to?
_______________________________________

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

Late-Nite Eats Database
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#22
Posted April 21st 2011, 10:54am
Pie Lady wrote:
jesteinf wrote:...formerly saucy balls...


His balls are no longer saucy? What did he change to?


Brooklyn Meatball Company

Ugh.
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#23
Posted April 21st 2011, 11:14am
Boo hiss. I wouldn't buy a meatball with a boring name like that! I might as well go to Subway!
_______________________________________

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen. ~ Chef Bruce

Late-Nite Eats Database
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#24
Posted April 21st 2011, 3:46pm
jesteinf wrote:
Pie Lady wrote:
jesteinf wrote:...formerly saucy balls...


His balls are no longer saucy? What did he change to?


Brooklyn Meatball Company

Ugh.


If it was Bklyn Meatball Company or better yet Bklyn Mtbll Wrx...that would be cool.
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#25
Posted April 21st 2011, 4:27pm
I will admit to watching this steaming POS but I absolutely hate myself for it. Also, this most recent episode was quite possibly the most sickening and annoying hour of reality TV I've ever watched. I can't figure out who I hate more, the judges or the contestants...oh wait, it's definitely the judges.

=R=
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#26
Posted April 21st 2011, 9:07pm
I have to confess to watching as well ... crazy since I don't want to eat at any of them.

And yes, the judges are horrid (though the meatballs guy is too)
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#27
Posted April 25th 2011, 1:24pm
And then there were three...

Harvest Sol is no more. She had her heart in the right place wanting to serve "sustainable lamb" but just couldn't get her facts straight under the intense questioning of Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone and Chipotle guy.

Spice Coast seems to have a new lease on life now that he's serving tacos (real shock there).

We also got to see what a cross-section of Americans thought of the final four's food. These opinions came from actual Americans from places like Wisconsin, Las Vegas, the UK, and Australia.

Also, this was said:

"You certainly could create a more responsible meatball concept"

God I'm going to miss this show after next week.
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-Josh

I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
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#28
Posted April 25th 2011, 2:00pm
jesteinf wrote:Spice Coast seems to have a new lease on life now that he's serving tacos (real shock there).


Chipotle guy re. several competitors over the weeks: "They're just trying to open another Chipotle."
Chipotle guy to Spice Coast & Harvest Sol (I think): "How can I eat it while walking down the street?"

Maybe it's just me, but I think the Chipotle guy's trying to make every competitor into another Chipotle. (Ironic that they eliminate the Hard & Soft guy, but turn the Indian concept into into some Indian flavors served in tacos & quesadillas.)

jesteinf wrote:We also got to see what a cross-section of Americans thought of the final four's food. These opinions came from actual Americans from places like Wisconsin, Las Vegas, the UK, and Australia.


LOL......and a show girl, and a Penn & Teller.

I'm still picking Spice Coast to win, though I think Soul Daddy keeps getting stronger and stronger. Particularly after yesterday's "healthy soul food," I think he could top SC. (Curtis's comment last night was the first criticism we've heard of SC in a few weeks, and a legitimate one.)

True to my original prediction, they've never been asked to write a business plan as part of the competition. (It makes for thrilling TV!)

And I would have loved to have seen a competition that involved the public spending its own money. Sure, it's easy to pick a winner each week if you're giving the food away for free -- the public has a no-lose reason to try every offering. But if you can't get the public to try your food in the first place, then you could be making the best "fast casual" food in the world and still be a complete failure as a business owner.

This show must be incredibly low budget or else they hired a blind make-up artist. I've never seen so many people with distractingly obvious rosacea and/or sunburns.
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#29
Posted April 25th 2011, 2:45pm
Darn it! I ended up catching up on the past few weeks episodes.

I am surprised that the judges are spending so much time doubting if America is ready for Indian food. Maybe it's just me but I think it's ready for prime time and has been for a couple years. I also think Spice Coast makes the most business sense as far as the person that would be running the company.

However...never underestimate the power to make people cry. Especially on reality TV.
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#30
Posted April 25th 2011, 2:58pm
jvalentino wrote:I am surprised that the judges are spending so much time doubting if America is ready for Indian food. Maybe it's just me but I think it's ready for prime time and has been for a couple years. I also think Spice Coast makes the most business sense as far as the person that would be running the company.


I suspect that there may be a a direct correlation between proximity to city with a large Indian population & love of Indian food. Are people in Chicago ready for Spice Coast in the Loop? Of course. And I have no doubt that Spice Coast would succeed in LA & Manhattan (even though the restaurants will be in very touristy locations). But I don't know whether Minneapolis has a large Indian population (maybe someone else does) and I've never been to Mall of America, so I have no idea of the average visitor demographics.

I do think that one of the judge's perceived weaknesses of Sudhir ("He's a starter, not a finisher," and specializes in launching businesses) is one of his biggest strengths! He's a business person, and he's done it before.

And, for the record, I just have to say again that I think it's ridiculous that the winner gets 3 restaurants in 3 cities located thousands of miles apart. How do you manage 3 locations as a start up when you can't physically be in all locations regularly? How do you gain any efficiencies in purchasing? Logistically, how do you ensure you're serving a consistent product when you're sourcing from different vendors? Just another aspect of this show that makes it doomed for failure.

(LOL...yes, I'm hooked on this show in an infuriatingly maddening kind of way.)
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