ifood.tv Interviews Bobby Flay About Hit Show, America's Next Great Restaurant!
For Foodies who dream of owning there own restaurant one day, scoring a spot as a contestant on Bobby Flay’s new reality series America’s Next Great Restaurant is, quite literally, the opportunity of a lifetime. In the series first episode, we saw 21 hopeful contestants of a variety of backgrounds give a presentation on their concept and prepare a dish to illustrate the style of the restaurant. Nine people were eliminated that night and throughout the season it has been whittled down one-by-one to three savvy and aspiring restaurateurs from very different backgrounds.
The first is Jamawn Woods, a self-employed caterer from Detroit. His concept is Soul Daddy, soul food with a twist. He’s trying to take the delicious classic southern food and make it bit healthier by taking some of the calories but still savoring the flavor and the soul of the soul food. Sounds like a tough task to me…
Next is Sudhir Kandula, who works in software sales, part-owner of two restaurants and calls his hometown New York City. His concept is a new modern Indian restaurant called Spice Coast. According to Bobby Flay, Indian is very “of the moment”, it’s healthier than some of the other cuisines and he “thinks that Indian culture in general has really percolated a lot in terms of fashion and furniture and of course food”. Will that be enough to give Sudhir the win?
Finally, we have Joe Galluzzi from Brooklyn who currently works in Financial Servies. Joe’s concept is the Brooklyn Meatball Company. Who doesn’t love meatballs?! They are a true comfort food. But do people want to eat meatballs on a regular basis? His challenge is really trying to make meatballs interesting and creative enough to keep people wanting to come back.
Tune in Sunday night for the final test. Watch them create what Bobby calls a “pop-up restaurant” where they’ll have to staff, open and serve actual diners. The judges will announce the winner at the end of the show based on a variety of criteria including, what they’ve seen in the past, how the contestants have learned from their mistakes and ultimately, who the investors (the judges) want to work with in the future. “I mean ultimately it's more than just a game. It's actually going to be a livelihood for one of these people and hopefully for the investors, as well. So I think that we take all that in consideration”, said Bobby.
On Monday, May 2nd, the winning concept will open their chain of restaurants in three locations across the country, Hollywood, Minneapolis and New York City. If you’re in the area and get the chance to stop by, feel free to report back to ifood.tv and let us know how it was!
Take note of this, foodies...
When I asked Bobby for some advice that would offer to all of our ifoodies with aspirations of one day owning your their restaurant, he very genuinely said “as a chef myself, I think the first thing when I'm going to open a restaurant the thing that drives me more than anything is the food. And so I think that you want to be focused on one idea, something that's really important to you. So if you're from let's say the South, then you grew up in South Carolina…that's the food that you know. And you focus - and then just keep your focus on that particular thing. Don't try to do everything. Don't try to feed everybody. Just try to make the best southern restaurant there is. And when people crave those ingredients and those foods and those flavors they'll come to you”.
There you have it, great advice from a very successful chef.
All photos belong to America's Next Great Restaurant and © 2011 NBCUniversal Media, LLC. All rights reserved.