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Last Restaurant Standing - BBC America

lax2mia Feb 8, 2008 01:49 PM

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.

http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/302...

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    shallots RE: lax2mia Feb 10, 2008 05:57 PM

    I missed the Thursday preview, but caught a quick ad on BBC today.
    At least it will be two hours of original programming on Tuesday night.
    A prison caterer (Huh?).
    But I like the second test of the lowest three. In concept, at least.

    1. s
      shallots RE: lax2mia Feb 13, 2008 08:45 AM

      I hope I'm not the only person watching this. It's not about the food, yet. But it is about getting organized and thinking ahead.
      Some couples are disasters. Some aren't.
      But the inspector who found she'd eaten a piece of chicken which came from a breast that was woefully undercooked, then went into the ladies room to throw up what she had eaten. They take their undercooked chicken VERY seriously.
      The birthday party clothes were a hoot.
      I do wish they had subtitles for some of the accents. (Same problems as Kitchen Nightmares.)
      But it's not violent, not preachy and has pretty pictures of England and some food that looks interesting.
      I've lots of worse ways to waste an hour.

      3 Replies
      1. re: shallots
        Sloth RE: shallots Feb 13, 2008 10:11 AM

        It was 2 hours, but point made. I generally prefer BBC reality shows to American ones . They seem to be less shrill and aggressive. My one problem with the format, and this goes for most reality contest shows, is that in the beginning there isn't enough time to get to "know" contestants before they are kicked off. Sometimes the first ones gone look the most interesting.

        I hope future episodes focus more on food now that the restaurants' identities have been somewhat established. Oh, and I liked the light classical music in the background. I'll be tuning in again.

        1. re: shallots
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          LabRat RE: shallots Feb 13, 2008 10:11 AM

          BBC America generally does offer closed captions on it's shows, but that feature needs to be turned on on your television. I made it home a little late last night and didn't get to watch most of the first hour, but I hope to be able to catch an entire episode next week.

          1. re: LabRat
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            Fydeaux RE: LabRat Feb 18, 2008 05:13 AM

            I really enjoy the closed captioning notices BBCA has been running before some of their shows--"The accents you are about to hear would be much more understandable if you hadnt thrown all out tea in Boston Harbour" and the like.

        2. h
          Harters RE: lax2mia Feb 14, 2008 10:15 AM

          It's original title over here in the UK was simply "The Restaurant". As the OP says, it is like loads of other reality shows. As with other shows, there will be folk you come hate, detest - and hope they die a horrible death from eating their own food.

          I know what you mean about the accents. I can't understand the American woman. But then, I guess it's like when I visit the US, I am often asked if I'm from New Zealand (which is a bit odd for someone from north west England.

          I watched it just for Blanc who is a food hero in the way Ramsey could never hope to aspire to.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters
            Kajikit RE: Harters Feb 22, 2008 05:13 AM

            There was an Australian show with a similar concept about 10 years ago (my goodness, was it REALLY that long ago - it seems like yesterday!) except that they gave each couple a restaurant in a different part of the country and they never brought them together into the same room.
            I watched this eagerly - it seems like an entertaining hour. I wish they'd put the one couple out of their misery though - they so utterly clueless they couldn't buy a clue if you gave them a thousand bucks. And it's a shame that they're only showing one hour a week after the first night - it would be more interesting to see the challenge followed through in one week instead of two.

          2. applehome RE: lax2mia Feb 22, 2008 02:24 PM

            I really like the premise. While there are some professionals (a royal marine cook, a prison cook, caterers) there are also folks that simply think of themselves as good cooks that have always wanted to have a go at opening up a restaurant - like some of us, I'm sure. This isn't about becoming a TV star, or about a schooled chef getting his own new restaurant - it's purely about the amateur dream. My friends and relatives all think I'm a great cook and are always saying I should open up a place - what if I did?

            The teams are 2 people - husband and wife, friends, twins, mom and son, one is FOH and the other, BOH, the chef. That's an interesting dynamic. Some of these teams have excellent cooks, but the FOH person is just a complete loser - others, the other way around. Maybe half way through, there is Trump/Apprentice type shuffle and the good guys pair up to form truly formidable teams.

            The process is somewhat convoluted. Like Kajikit said, the waiting for 2 shows to eliminate someone (the first show is a major competition, followed the next week, by the three losing teams getting a challenge) is a slow process. But I'm also left wanting for more details through the competition process - so squeezing it all into one hour would not do at all.

            The drummer/musician is such loser as a chef that he has got to go. His blaming the sous he hired, (actually the acting chef, as the musician guy does nothing but set up his drums), was such an act of ignorance and/or stupidity. He knows how ineffective he is, but that doesn't mean he should stay - it's not that he can't get any better in the short time he has, but that he appears not to want to. That's too bad, as his wife, as chatty as she is, is a very good hostess and FOH person.

            I was really happy to see the Ghanian couple do well this time around. It's good to see different foods getting accepted so well.

            The two guy friends - are they gay? My gaydar just doesn't work for Brits, they all knock the needle off the meter... anyway, they have done well for two shows in a row. But I get the feeling that the reason the FOH guy doesn't smile is that he really doesn't want to be doing this at all.

            8 Replies
            1. re: applehome
              MMRuth RE: applehome Feb 23, 2008 02:32 PM

              I've been enjoying the show as well - and I agree about the musician w/ the American actress wife - couldn't believe the scene where he fired the sous chef!!

              1. re: MMRuth
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                Dee S RE: MMRuth Feb 25, 2008 07:15 AM

                I could.....he's got to blame somebody for things not going well and he's sure not going to take the blame himself! I didn't think the sous chef was doing that bad of a job in the kitchen. "The Ostrich" needs to close and I think it will.

                I watched him trying to slice the leeks and cringed. I'm not trained in any cooking methods by I can prep better than that! His knife skills were terrible. He's got no business in the kitchen. And what was up with the last minute dash to the store? The editing is pretty free-form but it appeared he devised the new menu and THEN went shopping for it. Seems he should have had all supplies on hand before announcing the new menu.

                It appears the focus for "The Ostrich" is to play jazz music. Both nights plus the first challenge were focusing more on the music then the food. I say scrap the restaurant approach and go for a jazz bar. Serve upscale starters and have a decent bar. What's wrong with that?

                1. re: Dee S
                  applehome RE: Dee S Feb 25, 2008 10:59 AM

                  "What's wrong with that?" Just that it wouldn't fit what the show and competition is looking for. It's a good observation - this couple may have had something different in mind (at least the guy did), and, in fact, he might be good at it - play a couple of sets, hobnob with the glitteratti, hire a chef in a small kitchen that makes pub grub/tapas, make bongo bucks on the bar. But given that the format requires that he at least manage the BOH, if not actually be the chef, and that they operate as a full restaurant, I think they're sunk.

                  1. re: applehome
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                    Dee S RE: applehome Feb 25, 2008 02:45 PM

                    You're right applehome....I forgot they have to operate as a full restaurant. Maybe I was trying to generously give them the benefit of the doubt by going in that direction. I think they would be successful at a smaller venture as there seems to be the desire to achieve.

                    MMRuth, I think you were very clear earlier and agree with your point below. The sous did the best he could based on what he had. He really wasn't given much.

                    Rajat, I agree completely with your last point. I know the last challenge had the balance of the contestants helping out but it would be VERY interesting to see what The Ostrich's kitchen produces with a new sous.

                    I can't wait to see what the challenge is!

                  2. re: Dee S
                    MMRuth RE: Dee S Feb 25, 2008 11:32 AM

                    In case it wasn't clear - I agree w/ you completely - he seemed so ridiculous firing the guy who, IMHO, was doing his best to save his behind!

                    1. re: Dee S
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                      rajat RE: Dee S Feb 25, 2008 02:27 PM

                      The thing is, I'm not exactly sure that he wasn't right in firing the guy. But, not because the disaster was the poor sous chef's fault, but because Sam needs to hire a real head chef, and stop pretending he's got anything to do with the kitchen. Of course, that's probably against what the show is about, so it's not a possibility.

                      What is disgusting is the way he fired the poor guy, and how all the problems were blamed on him. Again, what he should have said is "hey, I need to hire a real head chef, and I'm afraid you're not it. But thanks for everything you tried to do."

                    2. re: MMRuth
                      Gingerleen RE: MMRuth Feb 25, 2008 03:35 PM

                      What I couldn't believe was when he pushed back on his client who didn't want to have a jazz band at her catered event. The fact that they hadn't fully discussed the music at the event, but he already signed a contract with a jazz band was not the client's problem and I couldn't believe how rudely he behaved.

                      1. re: MMRuth
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                        rajat RE: MMRuth Mar 2, 2008 09:50 PM

                        So, on a different site, the lady who owns the restaurant (with her husband) that was temporarily closed to house The Ostrich, posted about what happened. If you are interested, search for The Allium, Ostrich. The lady's name is Erica Graham. One of the other regulars on the forum was one of the guests in the show (and actually appeared in the televised version) and he posts his experience too. Hilarious.

                        I never really trust that what they show on a reality show actually approximates reality. Editing can make white appear black. In this case, however, the reality apparently was more chaotic than what we saw. Sam was really setting up his drum kit in front of the guests while they waited for food and watched the head chef not cooking. People really refused to pay. Wow!!

                    3. m
                      melly RE: lax2mia Mar 3, 2008 11:16 AM

                      I enjoy this show. The American actress needs to drink less coffee maybe. :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: melly
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                        shallots RE: melly Mar 3, 2008 04:38 PM

                        The actress was American? I'm so mortified. She seemed to be one of the sweet young brainless things in search of a Benny Hill.
                        Yes, their being gone could not happen soon enough.

                        Last night I saw mention that Ramsey's Hells Kitchen will be back this spring; after this (relatively) calm show, I'm not sure I could stand thirty minutes of Ramsay.

                        I wish BBC would post menus (at a minimum) on their site.

                        1. re: shallots
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                          arttaylor RE: shallots May 17, 2008 07:36 PM

                          It is not Dru Masters. It is from Amélie the soundtrack to the French Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated motion picture Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie). The track at the end of the show is #4 Comptine D'un Autre Ete: L'Apres Midi.

                      2. m
                        mbroxterman RE: lax2mia Apr 9, 2008 09:42 PM

                        Does anyone know what the name of the light classical music is when they close out the show?

                        1. g
                          gojogo RE: lax2mia Apr 9, 2008 09:50 PM

                          I LOVE this show! I cried tonight when Martin and Emma were sent home, someone with some business savvy could make some money out of them.

                          What is the music played while the losers close up the restaurant.

                          My prediction is that the Ghanaians win, most original concept for Raymond to capitalise on.

                          1. applehome RE: lax2mia Apr 10, 2008 12:08 AM

                            The music is original to the series and is composed by Dru Masters who has done other series, including the UK Apprentice.

                            His web site is:
                            http://www.drumasters.com/index.php

                            He does have several soundtrack albums, but there doesn't appear to be one for The Restaurant (UK name for the series) just yet.

                            Martin and Emma was robbed. As bad as they had done in weeks before, they actually did pretty good here - and if they had indeed finally found their brand, then that could refocus their entire operation.

                            Jeremy just has a rotten attitude - one that always fails in restaurants, from what I've seen. Ultimately the customer is always right. Demanding that they eat 8 courses and like it, just irks me.

                            It's Lloyd and Adwoa or maybe Jess and Laura - both have marketable and sustainable restaurant concepts. Grant and Laura are dark horses. If Jeremy and Jane last another round, I'll be surprised.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: applehome
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                              smoovebert RE: applehome Apr 15, 2008 08:42 PM

                              I wish Jeremy to choke on an eel.

                              1. re: applehome
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                                HarryK RE: applehome Apr 15, 2008 08:53 PM

                                I agree it's going to be the twins or the couple with the food from Ghana.

                                I also agree that Martin and Emma should have stayed for getting the concept where as Jeremy and Jane only proved again they can't change (and he's always insulting a person or insulting the challenge, yet gets through. Amazing!)

                                1. re: arttaylor
                                  applehome RE: arttaylor May 18, 2008 10:33 AM

                                  Well, then - Dru is certainly taking credit for it.

                                  From his site:

                                  "Dru Masters is the composer behind some of the UK's most successful TV shows, including BAFTA and RTS winning The Apprentice and The Restaurant."

                                  1. re: arttaylor
                                    applehome RE: arttaylor May 18, 2008 11:20 AM

                                    I did some more research, and sorry to say Art, but you are wrong. I just listened to the Amelie track here:

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiJVSMFLZ6g&feature=related

                                    It is not the closing theme.

                                    I also listened to several Amelie tracks on Amazon and iTunes. It is very similar stuff, I'll admit. But everything I've heard from Yann Tiersen is either piano only or orchestrated very heavily and uses the traditional French accordion sound, where Dru's stuff is one-man on a synth. That doesn't mean that the music isn't the same, but it obviously isn't.

                                    I wish that Dru had his album out for a better comparison, but this you tube clip has a small bit from the end theme at the very end of the clip. You can tell right away that it's not the same.

                                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHxHLi...

                                    1. re: applehome
                                      DanaB RE: applehome May 18, 2008 10:52 PM

                                      I'm pretty sure it's not the Amelie Theme as well.

                                      When people first posted on the music, I thought they were talking about the music they play when they are shopping, etc., which was first used in (or sounds incredibly similar to) the theme from True Romance by Oliver Stone. But the music they play when they are closing their restaurants is different.

                                      1. re: DanaB
                                        applehome RE: DanaB May 19, 2008 05:34 AM

                                        I ended up exchanging some emails with Dru Masters - he responded quickly and very nicely. I also asked about the CD for The Restaurant. This is what he said:

                                        Yes, you’re quite right, it is by me, but is is quite similar to the Amelie track! It’s actually quite different musically, but the ostinato left-hand and structure of the parts is inspired by it, although the tune is deliberately not the same. I was also influenced by Chopin, who might have been an influence on Yaan Tiersen... I recently put it on my website (it’s the last track on my Flash player), so you can compare them for yourself. I’m disappointed that people are mistaking the two, as it means I failed to create something original enough to be recognised as such, and it wasn’t my intention to pastiche that tune, merely to capture the charm and simplicity of it – I describe it as a sixth-former’s ballad! Now I’ll have to change it for the new series!

                                        Regarding the album, we were going to release it to coincide with the new series, but as they want to radically change the style of the music this year, we’re waiting to see what we have, and then will probably release a mixture of the two. I have to say that I’m not desperately keen to release things that people are mistaking for someone else’s work, though!

                                        Thanks for your interest,

                                        Dru

                                        1. re: applehome
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                                          arttaylor RE: applehome Jun 13, 2008 04:57 PM

                                          Wow,

                                          Thanks for all your research Apple. No knock on Dru, I think he is brilliant. And not the in the British slang sense of the word. I think he is talented and his music is beautiful. Regarding Yaan Tiersen vs Dru Masters versions, I'm not classically trained and I can't tell a difference. But I think it is a credit to Dru that I searched the web to find the tune and then went to iTunes and bought it. I'd love to buy Dru's version too. It's not on iTunes. I think we agree it's a lovely tune.

                                  2. l
                                    LucindaLC RE: lax2mia Apr 16, 2008 08:01 PM

                                    This is the best food show on tv at the moment. I think Lloyd and Adowa are too inconsistent to win. I am so surprised that Jeremy and his crying wife with the over tweezed eyebrows haven't gone yet. And how could they have won this past week? Is Raymond out of his mind? I think the last two couples will be the twins (Jess and Laura) and the Scottish couple (or at least he is Scottish). They haven't made too many mistakes yet, so I was surprised Raymond put them in the challenge. Could it have be because his wife sang for the customer's delight?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: LucindaLC
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                                      Dee S RE: LucindaLC Apr 17, 2008 07:16 AM

                                      Oh I don't think it was her singing that put them in the challenge. This, I believe, is the first time they are in the challenge. They have been the most consistent without winning restaurant of the week. I think Raymond wants to see them perform in a more focused situation.

                                      Unfortunately, I think it is the end for Lloyd and Adowa. I too wish it were Jeremy and Jane. Jeremy's wine tasting idea was really good but would have been spectacular if they had arranged for a wine pairing with the 8 course purchase. It would have pushed the concept at bit more and made it a special event.

                                      What the heck were Jess and Laura thinking with the can-can!?!? My husband made comments during the little show that the judges said later. They are the team to beat; they have personality, treat their staff well and the customers seem to enjoy their restaurant.

                                      1. re: Dee S
                                        MMRuth RE: Dee S Apr 17, 2008 10:04 AM

                                        My sense is that Jeremy's food seems to be consistently good, and they did well from a financial perspective, if I recall correctly. And the wine tasting was a great idea. That said, if he were my husband, and didn't call (or ask me to call) that party of 20 (seemed pretty damn clear to me that she was expecting a call), I'd have been inclined to hit him over the head with a frying pan. I had expected them to be called out on this (though maybe it was edited out), since Raymond kept emphasizing the need for team work on their part. I agree that the end is near for Lloyd and Adowa - don't know why they are having trouble filling tables, but the most recent weekend was v. problematic and the strawberries were lame. And yes, the can-can - I'd have been mortified for them if I'd been sitting in the restaurant - and thought that a good point was made about 60% of their customers being women, and that this didn't fit in with their theme. But, I still the twins have a good chance. I think it will be interesting to see how the couple with the Scottish themed restaurant does next week - they seem the "stealth" restaurant, but keep making good money. That singing and poetry reading would have made me cringe as well, though.

                                      2. re: LucindaLC
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                                        Dee S RE: LucindaLC Apr 23, 2008 07:20 AM

                                        I thought both teams handled this week's challenge well. The "love chamber" concept was a bit over the top at first but it seemed to go over well. Didn't really fit with their brand but I liked the idea of a quiet space. I was cracking up when they were explaining their approach to Raymond....everyone got the giggles. Wonder how long it took to really shoot that scene.

                                        Sorry to see Lloyd and Adwoa go but they've got good guidance for their future. I think they can make it, provided they get someone to run front of the house. Lloyd has a good presence and should stick around, just not be in charge.

                                        I don't envy Raymond for his decisions at this point. It's so close. I thought Grant's choice of food was heavy but stayed true to the brand. I thought Laura handled FOH marvelously and it appeared everyone had a great time.

                                        Can't wait for the next show!!!

                                      3. s
                                        smtucker RE: lax2mia Apr 30, 2008 04:19 PM

                                        We are down to three couples, with two in the challenge. I wish the show last night had been longer. I didn't understand how the twins could cook anything. The refrigerator was empty! And would have loved to hear more of the fifteen-minute conversations with Raymond in the kitchens.

                                        The final challenge looks very intimidating. Cooking in a two-star Michelin kitchen with a crew of chefs with far more skills will be nerve wracking. It wasn't clear what the front-of-house halves of the couples will be doing. Perhaps getting some training on how to manage tables and bookings?

                                        Still enjoying this series immensely. [And when did they have time to shop this week?]

                                        13 Replies
                                        1. re: smtucker
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                                          HarryK RE: smtucker Apr 30, 2008 09:21 PM

                                          Two things ... ok, they were able to cook with nothing in the frig cause it was actually nothing in the freezer. Plus they use fresh veggies the same day they said.

                                          What I want to know is how did the couple that never changed their eight-serving concept (which they were constantly told wouldn't work), the couple that tried to get out of the eel challenge after belitting it, the only couple that didn't properly do the fresh food from the farms challenge, the couple that insulted the microwave lady in the microwave challenge, the ones who has a problem with everything every time ... are the ones who got the green light to skip right to the finals?! Geeez, not only didn't see that coming. I also don't get it.

                                          Now before anyone says "but they made the most money over the weekend" remember Blanc and his assistants kept telling the couple they would NOT make money with their idea and had to change it. Does that mean Blanc was wrong? Does that mean he will admit to it? Hmmmmm.

                                          1. re: HarryK
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                                            Dee S RE: HarryK May 1, 2008 03:02 PM

                                            I agree with you about Jeremy and Jane. I'm still perplexed that with all the disregard to the rules, they are still around. The food must be good and they have consistently brought in big money. I think they're in the right market and have the clientele who are willing to open their wallets for a nice meal.

                                            Concept be d@mmed; me thinks it's all about the money. Wouldn't you want to go into business with someone who's always making money? The prize is going into business with him; I'm not convinced the winners will have complete control over their restaurant. I'm guessing they will have a role but not be the major players. Pure speculation on my part. Wonder if we'll get to see follow up on the winners???

                                            I'm really torn between rooting for the twins or Grant and Laura. Grant and Laura have done well each week (flying under the radar) until very close to the end.

                                            1. re: Dee S
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                                              shallots RE: Dee S May 1, 2008 04:55 PM

                                              In my mind, the final three (and before them the final five) all have more negatives than positives.
                                              I see major problems that are insolvable:
                                              ditzy as in sisters
                                              scots food...haggis can't bring back customers
                                              the eight couple are't getting along any better

                                              Not a choice I'd want to have to commit money to. All the contestants have problems with taste, not just the taste of the food.

                                              Eight are the ones who might be able to pull off an upscale restaurant. Maybe.

                                              1. re: Dee S
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                                                Harters RE: Dee S May 2, 2008 09:23 AM

                                                "Wonder if we'll get to see follow up on the winners??? "

                                                Nope - you won't. At least not yet. There hasnt been any follow-up on the successful ones. Series 2 is now in production and it wouldnt surprise me if they run a follow-up show before that series starts here.

                                                After the last episode, there was a "chat show" programme with the final groups of contestants. You may get that.

                                              2. re: HarryK
                                                DanaB RE: HarryK May 1, 2008 05:08 PM

                                                Theirs is the only restaurant (Eight in the Country) that has consistently been fully booked, despite the other problems the couple had with some of the challenges. I think Jeremy must be a pretty good cook and they seem to be pulling off a high end "concept" restaurant (i.e. one that could be "branded") better than the others, although I like the concept of the girls' Brown & Green as well.

                                                I think all three of the final couples deserve to be where they are over the other contestants. I'm leaning toward pulling for the girls for the final two.

                                                1. re: DanaB
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                                                  LucindaLC RE: DanaB May 6, 2008 07:07 PM

                                                  I am so surprised that Grant and Laura didn't get into the final two. First of all Jeremy has been arrogant throughout the whole series, he wouldn't follow direction most of the time. Granted, Eight in the Country has been full and making a profit. But they haven't embraced Raymond's suggestions. So how did they end up in the final 3?
                                                  I thought it would be Grant & Laura then the twins, Jess and Laura.
                                                  I was so sad to see Grant & Laura go home. I wonder if Grant and Laura have done anything yet? I read ahead and Adowa and Lloyd still have a Ghanian Catering stall ( I wonder what is that? We don't have catering stalls in the states). I would like to see follow up, at least interviews to see how the show has impacted everyone.

                                                  1. re: LucindaLC
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                                                    smtucker RE: LucindaLC May 6, 2008 08:25 PM

                                                    I thought his soup would get them to the next round. But Raymond has always had a soft spot for the twins.

                                                    1. re: smtucker
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                                                      HarryK RE: smtucker May 7, 2008 04:23 AM

                                                      Smtucker, have to politely disagree. I think what put the twins over the edge (as higher than Grant and Laura) was a combination of thing ....

                                                      First Raymond has always considered Grant's food as too heavy. Then you had the cook twin, Jess, being inspired by the produce in the restaurant "farm" (Grant wasn't, and that was part of the challenge, inspiration.) Plus the Laura twin did better in the front of the house than Grant's Laura.

                                                      Add those three things together plus the twins have had a slightly better restaurant pull and it was a no-brainer.

                                                      1. re: HarryK
                                                        DanaB RE: HarryK May 8, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                        I just don't think Grant and Laura's restaurant concept was high end or innovative enough to be in the final two spot -- while I'm sure Grant's cooking is tasty, the overall concept is not really something that can be "branded." It's basically glorifed pub fare. The twins' idea of a "whole food" restaurant is much more au courant, and although Brown & Green (like Grant & Laura's place) is a casual restaurant, it is much more innovative than modern Scottish cuisine.

                                                        Unless the twins really take it up a notch, though, I think this competition is Jeremy and his wife's to lose.

                                                        1. re: DanaB
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                                                          LucindaLC RE: DanaB May 8, 2008 11:02 AM

                                                          Modern Scottish cuisine not innovative enough? Did you see Bourdain's last episode filmed in Edinburgh? Tony Bourdain was all over new restaurants that feature fresh, local seafood and produce. Some of these restaurants had Michelin stars. Grant and Laura aren't to that level, however they do have a future in the business. I understand they are currently looking of the right venue, perferably in a hotel. I also read somewhere that while he was in the Marines Jeremy cooked for Gordon Ramsey. He seems to have the most experience out of everyone.

                                                          1. re: LucindaLC
                                                            MMRuth RE: LucindaLC May 8, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                            My sense is that Grant's cuisine probably wasn't innovative enough ... though he did seem to have a true revelation when he adjusted his soup dish per RB's comments.

                                                            1. re: LucindaLC
                                                              DanaB RE: LucindaLC May 8, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                              I guess I should have been more specific that modern Scottish cuisine *the way that Grant cooked it* was not innovative enough. Many of the dishes on his menu -- at least to me -- seemed heavy and more in line with pub grub than gourmet fare.

                                                              That said, the customers seemed to enjoy his cooking and there is definitely a place for such a restaurant. I hope he and Laura do open a place.

                                                              1. re: DanaB
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                                                                Harters RE: DanaB May 8, 2008 03:21 PM

                                                                I agree about the pub grub. I was always surprised Grant & Laura made it as far as they did. The concept never looked like a winner to me.

                                                                There's some very good food in the "Modern British/Scottish" genre. Edinburgh is fast becoming a real centre of the style of cooking in Britain. My own area's only Michelin place has just closed with the chef and his partner relocating to Edinburgh (she's Scottish, he isnt) to open a "restaurant with rooms". A big loss to the area!

                                              3. applehome RE: lax2mia May 7, 2008 11:15 AM

                                                I wonder if this whole thing is going to come down to filthy lucre... Jeremy gets the biggest profit, so will serve Blanc as the best partner.

                                                When you see the high end operation that Blanc runs, you really have to wonder how Brown & Green would ever fit into his corporate style. Jeremy would seem to be the better fit, even if he never did listen to Blanc. OTOH, Blanc has many other places, including this High Street chain that the pregnant, ex-waitress judge manages, so maybe the Twins do indeed have a chance.

                                                I wonder how well Jeremy would have done in the Maison kitchen. His having been a real chef would definitely give him an edge, but would he have even tried to fix or improve his dish based on the criticism from the first round?

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: applehome
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                                                  Dee S RE: applehome May 7, 2008 12:50 PM

                                                  I thought the challenge to prepare food in Raymond's kitchen was awesome! I do think Jess took more inspiration from the environement and Raymond's feedback than Grant did. Grant made some great improvements in his dishes but I didn't get the feeling he was inspired. It was a tough choice.

                                                  I think Jeremy and Jane would have done poorly in this challenge. Timing has been an issue at Eight and I don't think he would have performed better in Raymond's kitchen. Having said that, Jeremy might have pulled out a spectacular menu and could have sent them over the moon. If there were any feedback from Raymond, you *know* it would have been taken with a grain of salt. I also don't think Jane would have done well at front of house. The level of service EXPECTED was pretty high. I think Jane would have been flustered and it would have been very visible. Laura (Jacques Tameson) was very attentive but far too casual for the environment. Granted, she responded the best she could without experience.

                                                  I can't wait for the final. I know it will be a tough decision and I really hope it's not all about money.

                                                  1. re: Dee S
                                                    Antilope RE: Dee S May 7, 2008 01:22 PM

                                                    Spoiler. This show was first shown last year in the U.K. and titled "The Restaurant". The filming was finished July 3, 2007.

                                                    The URL below has an interview with the winners. Warning Spoiler: Don't click unless you want to know who wins Last Restaurant Standing.

                                                    http://tinyurl.com/5qk2rw

                                                    Warning additional spoilers. These URL's have followup news about the winners.

                                                    Warning Spoiler. Don't click unless you want to know the winner of Last Restaurant Standing.

                                                    http://tinyurl.com/6fcc7s

                                                    http://tinyurl.com/6echwv

                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                      MMRuth RE: Antilope May 7, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                      Thanks - I peeked. That also explains why I couldn't find anything on the BBC website when I was searching using the US name for the show.

                                                      1. re: MMRuth
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                                                        Harters RE: MMRuth May 7, 2008 01:51 PM

                                                        MMRuth

                                                        I'm glad you've exercised such restraint until now - as you'll have seen, my above post of 14 February gave the original programme name.

                                                        I hope that none of my comments on this and other threads have given any clues as to how the series progressed. It has been fun reading everyone's comments - and I have bitten my tongue on several occasions wanting to shout "No, they don't win. They get thrown off in 2 weeks".

                                                        I'm afraid the real spoiler is going to come when Series 2 is shown in the UK. There are more Brits posting on CH now so we are likely to discuss it here months before you get it.

                                                        John

                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                          MMRuth RE: Harters May 7, 2008 01:53 PM

                                                          Ah - I'd missed that in your earlier post - yes, considerable restraint indeed! You've not given any clues as far as I can tell.

                                                          1. re: MMRuth
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                                                            Harters RE: MMRuth May 7, 2008 02:24 PM

                                                            I will repeat something I did say on one of the other threads... and that's I wanted the twins to win. But that was all about me being a middle aged straight bloke and wanting to see them each week. I did so enjoy the can-can episode :-0

                                                            J

                                                    2. re: Dee S
                                                      d
                                                      Dee S RE: Dee S May 14, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                      So the show is over and we can talk about the winners. I read through the links and am not surprised on the outcome. Having said that, I love the show's concept and hope we can see the next season soon!

                                                      I'm just a bit disappointed with Raymond saying it was about money. I was truy hopiong it wouldn't come to that....but it usually does.

                                                      1. re: Dee S
                                                        Antilope RE: Dee S May 14, 2008 08:11 AM

                                                        Here's an update article from May 8, 2008

                                                        "Head chef speaks out as Restaurant winners pack it in"
                                                        http://tinyurl.com/635n5u

                                                  2. b
                                                    Barbied0ll6 RE: lax2mia May 12, 2008 12:13 PM

                                                    I have to say, this show has me hooked! It is better than American Idol and Survivor put together. I really hope it is not a one time only show, I would love another season! Yup, I am from the U.S., nothing on American networks that are good right now, can't get enough of the BBC, etc networks!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Barbied0ll6
                                                      Antilope RE: Barbied0ll6 May 12, 2008 08:35 PM

                                                      According to reports, the BBC is preparing production on season 2.

                                                      1. re: Antilope
                                                        h
                                                        Harters RE: Antilope May 13, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                        Indeed - see my 2 May post

                                                    2. s
                                                      sommrluv RE: lax2mia May 14, 2008 09:39 AM

                                                      I was shocked to read they won. It was truly all about money.

                                                      I guess this ties in to the discussion we had about Top Chef, for those that watch it...you can ignore every challenge, and as long as you can woo the judges, or in this case, bring the money into your restaurant, it doesn't matter.

                                                      Each episode that I did catch, I was so shocked that he stayed...the farmers market, the eels he complained about, insulted, than didn't taste before he sent out...and was he the chef that served bloody meat to the muslims he was told specifically was to be prepared halal?

                                                      I just have to wonder, if someone doesn't listen to a word you say, and all of their hopes and dreams are on the line, wouldn't they listen to you even less now that they have what they want....

                                                      Just my 2c. tuppence. j/k

                                                      1. applehome RE: lax2mia May 14, 2008 12:58 PM

                                                        So it sounds like Jeremy and Jane went on maternity leave in March and never came back. I read the little blurb about Lloyd and Adwoa, which was interesting, but could not find a word about the runners-up, the twins. Has anybody heard what became of them?

                                                        I generally wish that there was more follow-up on these reality shows. Top Chef seems to do alright, with lots of info on their site, but I would never have known that Heather from US HK S2 wasn't even made the exec at the place in Las Vegas, and that she left after her contract year, until I went digging and found an article. Her cameo on last year's show was a sham. The BBC site on The Restaurant is exactly as it was when the show first aired (in the US, but presumably in the UK).

                                                        I seem to have missed the Kitchen Nightmares Revisited shows so far. That's one I'd really be interested in seeing. For all the bs that Ramsay says and does, you have this sense that he knows what he's doing. But only a real tally of the results would show you whether or not he really can turn restaurants around or develop executive chefs.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: applehome
                                                          s
                                                          shallots RE: applehome May 18, 2008 01:00 PM

                                                          When the contestants were chosen, were they clueless about what they were competeing for?
                                                          The 'love shack' and the girls (not women) doing a can can as a gift to their clients...insert grimace of distaste.
                                                          Did the people in competition for front of house ever dine in a refined restaurant? Some/many of them seemed one step away from a diner with waitresses that address everyone as honey.
                                                          The clothing the contestants brought was off. The difference in the clothes of the judges/inspectors and the go-to-a-fleamarket attire of the contestants left NO doubt as to who were the professionals. As I recall, the winners came closer to dressing for their prospective roles than anyone else.
                                                          I think one of the links above said the girls were cooking two meals at an established venue somewhere near London?

                                                          It was an interesting show to watch; I was never tempted to watch Hell's Kitchen on the same time slot.

                                                          But I'm think the title should have been "Least clueless restaurant with a chance of lasting a year."

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