Television

BBC's new reality show focusses on aspiring restaurateurs

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MUMBAI: British chef and restaurateur Raymond Blanc will put nine couples through their paces to see if they have what it takes to run their own restaurant in a new television event for 2007 for UK pubcaster BBC Two.

Incredibly, more than 1,000 new restaurants open every year in Britain; unfortunately, 900 close within a year. The Restaurant features nine couples whose dream is to run their own eatery. They have to create their perfect restaurant and then open the doors to the paying public.

Every decision, every mistake they make, every argument they have, will be caught on camera. They are working and living together 24-hours a day, under huge pressure. Each week, one of the restaurants is eliminated from the competition by Blanc, acting as judge.

At the end of the run, the winners get to run their own restaurant, financially backed and personally supported by Raymond with a six-figure sum of his own money.

The show is a brutal insight into the business of running a restaurant and the incredible pressure of living and working with your partner.

It's a lesson on how to and how not to cook, a lesson on how we like to be served, what we like to eat and what we like to send back to the kitchen.

It's a story with a great climax at the end of each show and a winning couple who will have been proven to have what it takes in the restaurant trade, the toughest of all business challenges.

Raymond Blanc said: "To set up a business - especially a restaurant business - and make a success of it is one of the hardest things in the world.

"It is a constant balancing act - of passion with acumen, ego with humility, knowledge with a hunger to take risks.

"Of course, I am very proud to be a leader within the restaurant industry. I owe a great deal of my success to my excellent team and maybe my greatest success is to have credited their intelligence rather than restricted it.

"I look forward to sharing my experience and expertise with like-minded people who are eager to enter this crazy but irresistible world and achieve the dream for themselves."

Raymond Blanc, widely acknowledged as one of the world's finest chefs, has held two Michelin stars for the last 22 years for his esteemed centre of excellence, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford. Raymond has also run a scholarship programme for ten years.

He has been at the very top of the restaurant game for more than three decades and has trained some of the UK's most brilliant chefs, including Marco Pierre White, Michael Caines and Eric Chavot.

BBC Two controller Roly Keating said, "BBC Two viewers are fascinated by food and business - this show audaciously brings them together for a television event. As well as providing an insight into the food that is served on our plates, it will reveal the harsh realities of the restaurant business. We're delighted that Britain's most legendary chef has joined forces with BBC Two to create this project."

The BBC adds that many people dream about running their own restaurant, but what many don't know is how high the casualty rate is. It's a dangerous business to be in. For those who get it right, it's hugely lucrative, challenging and rewarding, but get it wrong and they could lose everything. This show will capture all the drama, the pain and pleasure of setting up and either keeping, or losing, a restaurant says the pubcaster.

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