I don’t know about you but I was tired of reality TV after I saw just one episode of Survivor years ago. Don’t even ask me about The Apprentice. But America’s Next Great Restaurant is a hoot to revisit. Billed as fusion-reality TV, it combines The Apprentice‘s business savvy, the culinary smack downs of Top Chef and a set of judge-moguls investing their own money from Shark Tank.
The brains behind 10 original “fast casual” restaurant concepts duke it out for the grand prize: a franchise of their own, with three locations simultaneously opening in New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, plus name recognition and support from the following well-connected investor-judges: Food Network mainstay Bobby Flay, Biggest Loser regular Curtis Stone, Chipotle chairman/co-CEO Steve Ells and Miami restaurateur Lorena Garcia. The bonus of free publicity on network TV surely doesn’t hurt the ultimate winner either.
Watch as a pool of 21 concepts are whittled down to the last 2 featuring some wild and whacky pitches from contestants like a boisterous Italian-American who hawks meatballs under the name Saucy Balls to an unemployed Detroit autoworker looking to launch a chicken-and-waffles franchise.
Photo and video embed courtesy of NBC