Anyone catch this last night? The premise is like tons of reality shows we've seen before where people compete and get booted off by a cast of self-righteous judges. The twist in this show is that couples are each given a restaurant to run somewhere in Oxfordshire. Some are in trendy neighborhoods, others in small villages so each team must tweak their restaurant to their surroundings.
Last night's episode introduced the couples (married, newlyweds, mother and son, sisters, brothers, etc.). Each received £5,000 to prep their restaurants and hire staff. After the first night's dinner service, the couples returned to meet the judges (headed by Raymond Blanc, a Michelin starred chef based in the UK) and basically get reamed. Three couples were chosen to go into Blanc's "challenge" after which one couple will be asked to leave.
Given the variety of cooking competition shows around, do we really need this one? Compared to Next Food Network Star this show is outstanding. Both shows take amateur chefs and put them on the firing line. Where Last Restaurant excels is showing the difficulties amateurs would face in following their passion for cooking. It's grittier and more "real" than NFNS and, at least in my case, you feel a little more for the competitors. Looking forward to see how this show unravels.