Review: America’s Next Great Restaurant

AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT

NBC’s briefing:

America's Next Great Restaurant ReviewFrom Emmy Award-winning producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves (“Top Chef” and “Project Runway”) comes “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” In this delectable new alternative series, people from every walk of life will vie for the opportunity of a lifetime to see their original restaurant concept spring to life – starting with the opening of a restaurant chain in three locations – Hollywood, Minneapolis and New York City.

Funding the restaurant concepts are four accredited investors: Bobby Flay, distinguished restaurateur (“Iron Chef America: The Series,” “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay”); Curtis Stone, internationally renowned chef (NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” “Take Home Chef”); Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle; and Lorena Garcia, executive chef and restaurateur.

I just watched the premiere of America’s Next Great Restaurant with Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Lorena Garcia and Steve Ells.  Typical reality show framework.  A group of wannabe’s (I love that) hoping be the recipient of a life changing win.

The first episode followed the American Idol script with a group of people – some are locks to make the top 10, some are on the fence and about a half dozen were only brought in to embarrass themselves on national TV.

That’s one of my major problems with reality TV is that it tends to cater to the very worst traits in humanity.  In this case the desire to see other people fail .  It’s sick.  There is nothing to separate people who love to watch those terrible singers from the people who filled the Roman Coliseum to watch their neighbors torn to shreds by lions.  They are barbarians.

America’s Next Great Restaurant is far better than that glorified karaoke contest which makes a week of programming out of failures.  Plus the winner won’t end up with a contract that cripples their career for years to come.  I’m not a fan of fast casual restaurants but the judges they picked have proven it can be done right.  With the unsavory part out of the way I’m looking forward to the rest of the show.  Nuf for now.

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Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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