We already know that a restaurant opening can be problematic. Would free advice from a hot shot hands-on chef/consultant during an opening make it any less painful—especially if TV cameras were involved? Find out for yourself by signing up your new place to be on the Food Network’s The Opener. They’re casting it right now.
Star chefs who operate restaurants across the country or the world routinely rely on a designated opener to make their new places come together. Kerry Simon, for example, did that job for Jean-Georges Vongerichten for a number of years.
So if a guy of Vongerichten’s formidable talent and experience needs help getting his restaurants off the ground, where does this leave everybody else? The Food Network thinks it makes them ideal subjects for its new show, The Opener. It’s a series where Canadian chef David Adjey swoops into an about-to-open restaurant and helps bring it to life.
Adjey is billed as the “Canadian Gordon Ramsay,” although we’re not quite sure what that portends. He has been the host of Restaurant Makeover on the Food Network Canada, and the Food Network thinks he’s ready to take off in the U.S. So let’s just say he knows how to help restaurants serve better food and make more money than they were before he arrived, and it’s fun for TV viewers to watch him as he does it.
Adjey’s on board, and now The Opener needs to find restaurants willing to be part of the show. Here’s the casting call that went out last week:
“Are you about to open your first restaurant? Are you overwhelmed? Overworked? Overdrawn? If so, the Food Network wants you.
“In this new documentary series, Iron Chef and star of Restaurant Makeover Chef David Adjey helps first-time restaurateurs open their dream restaurant—often with their life’s savings on the line. Dave is a rock star in the restaurant world—untamed, smart and North America’s most sought-after consultant. He’s both an artist and a bottom-line guy and knows that food must be delicious and profitable.
“Whether you’re planning to serve Global Fusion Cuisine or gluten-free burgers, nouvelle pub grub or corn-themed desserts, he’ll help clarify your vision and identify problems. With the clock ticking towards opening night it won’t be easy, but for Dave, that’s the fun of it.
“We’re looking for variety and creativity-in each episode. Our resto rookies are utterly different from one another, and so are their dreams. David commits himself to doing whatever it takes to get the doors open, and the business spun for success…..
“If you’re a first-time restaurateur opening your place between now and December 2010, contact us at email@example.com or 416-324-8537 ext. 331 or 324.”
There you have it: a golden opportunity for free advice and priceless national TV exposure all in one fell swoop. You can learn a little more about what the show is looking for at these Youtube videos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjq57WNZklQ. And you can watch the trailer for the first episode, shot in New Orleans, here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=csNh_-khisA. Good luck. It looks to us like the chosen restaurants will have a near-foolproof chance at success.