Review: Family Style
I saw the casting call for “Family Style” a year or so ago and thought that it might just prove interesting. I thoroughly loved the documentary Food Network did about the opening of Iron Chef Morimoto’s restaurant in Philly several years ago entitled Morimoto: Raw. It was a behind the scenes look at how a big time restaurant opens. It chronicled the ordeal with trying to open on schedule, dealing with contractors and creating buzz. It was riveting television. The first season of NBC’s the Restaurant was similar before they began engineering behind the scenes drama.
That is what I was hoping for from Family Style. It was billed as a show about a family-run restaurant with behind the scenes access. The family is real, the Maggiore clan in San Diego is well respected for running some of the area’s best Italian restaurants including Tuscany and Tommy V’s. The family patriarch, appropriately referred to as Papa Maggiore, is a bit of a legend in the uber-competitive Southern California restaurant scene. The TV show, however, focuses on the brother-sister competition between Joey and Melissa as they each endeavor to open the best new restaurant in San Diego.
Here’s how the Network describes it in it’s one paragraph page on the FN web site:
Family Style is the new docu-series that follows siblings Joey and Melissa Maggiore as they each open restaurants in the San Diego area. Joey is opening the flagship restaurant in his chain of barbecue restaurants. Melissa is auditioning executive chefs for her full service eatery. Will Joey be able to open after he is unexpectedly pulled away from his restaurant? And how will Melissa respond when one of her chef candidates asks her out on a date?
So that’s what I was expecting, a “docu-series” about opening new restaurants. I was hoping for the behind-the-scenes adventures that come from opening a successful business and learning from the marketing push leading up to the grand openings. What I got was Jersey Shore in a kitchen.