10 March 2009

Raymond Blanc's Restaurant Wars

Can I say how much I am loving this show. It is on BBC America, Tuesday evenings at 6p.m. here. It is a much more refined presentation than anything they've done here in the U.S. I very much like Raymond Blanc. He is a good teacher, throughout the entire series. He shows the competitors what he would like to see and it is a test of whether or not they were listening most weeks. The opportunity to actually work with Raymond Blanc, running one of his flagship restaurants, proves to be quite intimidating for most of them. Crushing self esteem seems to be the rule of the day.

But that's not Raymond's fault. There are some people who have no business thinking they can run a restaurant. You see, they are in a partnership. It's not one competitor, but a two person team - husband and wife, best friends, Mom and son, Dad and daughter, and other combinations of teams. However, when someone says "You should open a restaurant!" they are usually saying it to one person who cooks well and has a passion for being in the kitchen.

In this show the team is one BOH and one FOH. An FOH is the person who runs the front of the restaurant. You do not want a person who has difficulty talking to other people! If they cannot multitask it is probably not a good idea either. There is a lot of work involved in running a restaurant and just because you love the person you're working with doesn't mean their passion can rub off on you!

It is sad to watch week after week, someone's dreams be crushed because their partner just couldn't cut it. Sometimes it's not the FOH, it's the BOH - back of the house person. If you bake the best apple pie in nine counties, open a pie shop! Don't think you can cook prime rib at a moments notice because Raymond Blanc told you to do it.

All in all I love the show. Cringe through the cringe worthy sections and feel bad when they are eliminated. It's way better than having to listen to Gordon Ramsey scream his guts out at a person who never belonged in a kitchen in the first place.