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Last Restaurant Standing [America Showing]

Is anyone else prepared to watch this week after week? I really enjoyed this show last season, though I didn't find it until the fifth episode.

Different format this year which I am enjoying. At least the first episode had far more Raymond, and a lot of discussion about the food. It is always a pleasure to listen to someone who knows a tremendous amount about food and the business of food teaching those who know less.

The first eliminated couple was... well... stupid. How can you use a can of stuff with three addins and time in the freezer in this competition? Too bad, the food they showed her preparing at home looked so very much better.

Do hope a few people will find discussing this show weekly to be at least amusing.

[And Harters, I haven't read your thread about this season, since it aired so much earlier in the UK.]

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  1. I only caught the second hour last night (Tues) on BBCA (in case anyone is searching.)
    I found it refreshing that the contestants didn't get shafted for the gas leak in their restaurant that forbad its opening. The father-daughter combo were perhaps the worst disaster I've ever seen; their initial premise was 'brilliant' (Blanc's word) but the Father redifined clueless. The Welsh Wok had problems that were predictable.
    Did these contestants learn nothing from last season?

    The Provenance place seems to have the best gimmick (although I misread it as Provence, and I'd guess I wasn't the only one to so misread it.)

    4 Replies
      1. re: mordacity

        8 pm on Thursday night. There is a rerun at 11pm, following the news.

        1. re: smtucker

          No - there's nothing on Thursday nights. Here's the schedule:

          It premiers on Tuesday nights at 9pm with multiple reshowings, but nothing on Thursdays.

          1. re: applehome

            Tuesday/Thursday.... my dyslexia comes through! This is why I have a calendar that sends me text messages. Thanks for the correction!

    1. I watched it this morning, though I did fast forward through bits. How is the format different? It seemed similar to me. I do agree about Raymond, and enjoyed his insights about the food - i.e., how one would know that the lamb wasn't spring lamb, etc.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Hi there!

        I don't know where I have been - I never heard of it before, but by chance I saw ad advert for it while watching Kitchen Nightmares, so I did Tivo it, but I havent watched it yet!

        I am really excited to watch it and know I will enjoy discussions about it here!


        1. re: MMRuth

          I don't recall seeing this particular kitchen last year. The couples waited to hear Raymond's comments in a far less comfortable space, and are being housed in hotels, not all together in a house. There are two inspectors this year, down one from last year. I also felt that the inspectors were very active in the discussions or at least were given more air time.

          Please remember, I didn't see the initial episodes last season, so I could _easily_ be off base here!

          1. re: smtucker

            No, your points are correct - I guess they were ones that I didn't think of as being outcome determinative, though I hope that they were staying closer to their restaurants than they were last year at the house.

        2. I'm so glad this show is back. I really enjoyed last season. It was nice to see people competing so....congenially with each other, and Raymond is such a gentleman. As for this season, although the contestants don't appear to have as much personality as last season's (i.e. the twins, the bingo hall attendant, and even the annoying American girl), more of this season's contestants seem to have practical experience in the restaurant/catering fields.

          I agree with you re the first eliminated couple. How could they think they would get a chance to open a restaurant based on mixing canned mango, cream and a few squirts of lime juice and throwing it into a freezer for an hour? Even if the mango had been fresh, the cup of baby food still would not have been awe-inspiring.

          I'm worried for the Welsh Wok couple. Their clientele has never even heard of potstickers. None of them seemed familiar with Asian food. uh-oh. And Sorbet & Seasonings: Wouldn't you think they'd have several different sorbets on the menu instead of just one special, which was peas & mint? bleh. I thought the inspector was going to spit it up right there in there restaurant. Looking forward to seeing what The Gallery guys do. They seem to have good focus.

          The Blue Goose father-daughter team lucked out, but they are really going to have to overcome all the people the father pissed off by asking them to pay for their drinks after getting NO FOOD after a two-hour wait. Unbelieveable. At this point, who knows what their food even tastes like? I don't buy that it was all dad's fault in FOH, because it looked like the daughter was just busy freaking out at the register and in the kitchen. Like that one customer said [paraphrasing]: "What is taking so long? I ordered a steak. Two days ago. I could have cooked a steak by now!" Seriously. What was going on in the KITCHEN?

          Anyway, glad to see there are others interested in the show. =)

          1. I loved this show last season and remember reading about the new season, on this board, a few months ago by someone in the UK. I had not realized it had come back on BBC-A until getting into bed late last night. It was 2:00am and we happened to catch the second hour. I was so excited!!! It was like a nice surprise. We only caught the second hour, but I now have it set the DVR to record the series

            Most of the couples seemed to have bumbled through the first challenge. Mostly, it seemed due to plain old cluelessness. A Welsh-Asian fusion could be interesting, but just plopping down a few dishes of each cuisine is pretty pointless and clumsy. I totally did not get the sorbet thing, especially since they only had one (poorly concocted) sorbet. And the pair calling their place True Provenance really should have been able to back up their concept. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why Raymond decided to keep the father/daughter team. Did I miss the reason? There is absolutely no excuse for the service to not have gone more smoothly than all of the other restaurants. And then, AND THEN!, to ask the customers to pay for their drinks- insist the customers would be correct to negotiate a fair price after no service and in some cases no food is just plain crazy! That guy really has some set on him. And even at the table, he tried to defend that to Raymond. He just does not get it.

            I am interested to see the teams improve.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Justpaula

              Hypothesis: The Father knew he was clueless. Somehow he thought that he'd be taught how to do things. Can't get more clueless.

              1. re: Justpaula

                ~"But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why Raymond decided to keep the father/daughter team. Did I miss the reason?"~

                Me too. I'm very surprised that Raymond would keep someone who had created such ill-will at any restaurant connected with his name. All I can think is that he really liked their entree ("spring" lamb) and likes their concept.

                1. re: pisang goreng

                  My sense was that she cooks pretty well, and as you say, the concept is a good one (at least compared to some of the others!).

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    It seems to me that they decided it would be unfair to eliminate one pair of contestants when another hadn't even been able to open their restaurant yet because of the gas leak in their building. So they get a second chance and a stern warning instead.

              2. "[And Harters, I haven't read your thread about this season, since it aired so much earlier in the UK.]"

                No, don't. It does give a blow-by-blow account of the whole series.

                I had been attempting to promote a discussion whilst it was being shown here. I had absolutely no success whatsoever. I susepct I may have literally been the only person amongst 55 million Brits who reads the Chowhound Media board - or at least no-one else contributed to the thread (unlike several other boards where it was extensively discussed).


                1. I missed last season but really enjoyed watching last night's episode(s) this afternoon. I thought the food looked nice at the elimated (but not) restaurant, but really, they made a mess of it and should have been kicked off. I think the Welsh/Chinese thing really needs to be rethought ... why not just go with Chinese. I suppose the fact that no one in the place had heard of pot stickers might answer my own question. Anyway, seems like it could turn out to be addictive.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: LulusMom

                    What are pot stickers, please? I don't think I recall ever seeing them on a Chinese menu in the UK.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Fried dumplings - imagine the round dough being folded over the filling, crimped, then fried. (I don't know if they get boiled first - they might.)

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Ahha. Thanks for that.

                        I think I know what you mean. Just had a look at a couple of our local main dim sum places and the menus tend to confirm that we'd just call them "fried dumplings". Most neighbourhood Chinese restaurants in the UK would only offer a very limited selection of dim sum (and rarely of the dumpling sort). Luckily, we have a significant Chinese communtiy in the area with, I think, the second biggest Chintown (I think Manchester used to be one of only three "dragon cities" in the west - with Vancouver and San Francisco).


                        1. re: Harters

                          Potstickers are thin skinned dumplings that are pan-fried crisp on one side only, then steamed to finish (water added to the pan and covered) which releases them and cooks them through. That's as opposed to what we call "peking ravioli" or dim-sum dumplings which are a thicker dough and can be either steamed or pan-fried (if pan-fried, they are done all around, not just on one side).

                          Personally, I was surprised by some of the comments and faces made. I didn't get at all, Raymond and his helper's preference for fusion as vs. discrete pieces of more pure or "authentic" dishes. I'd have no problem with a starter course of potstickers and then a grilled lamb dish for the main. I hate most fusion - some horrid mixture out of someone's imagination of what combining several cultural heritages ought to be... usually a person of neither heritage - pretty silly when you think about it. Nevertheless, Raymond is obviously spot on with understanding the local UK tastes. I hope that those two really can develop something that will not only cater to those tastes but elevate them as well.

                          1. re: Harters

                            John - would you believe that here in America - no one would know what "crispy seaweed" would be on a Chinese menu!

                            And in the UK no one would know what an "egg roll" is!

                            When I lived in the UK I missed egg rolls so much!
                            But now that I'm back - all I want is crispy seaweed!!!

                            Now my 2 cents about the show -
                            I agree that the front of house was not fully to blame for th father-daughter catastrophie! I think the daughter was a bit clueless too!
                            And the should have been eliminated just for being so obnoxious about expecting money for the drinks!
                            Maybe I just took a dislike to them....she seemed a bit spoiled

                            1. re: NellyNel

                              "here in America - no one would know what "crispy seaweed" would be on a Chinese menu!"

                              How can you have Chinese food without "crispy seaweed". Surely it's an essential :-)

                              But you're right about transatlantic differences. My wife & I sometimes think we can understand what we're going to eat better from a menu in French than in American English (and it must be the same for Americans visiting the UK).


                              1. re: Harters

                                It may not be authentic - but it's darn good!
                                It is so delicious and tasty - GOD I MISS IT!!

                                To all you Americans - it is a "Chinese" snack available on most Chinese menus - the same as "egg rolls" are our Chinese snack staple.

                                It isn't actually seaweed at all - but some finely chopped greens (not sure exactly) and then deep fried in I would think sesame oil and topped with sugar and sesame seeds. It has the most delicious nutty/sweet but also quite savory taste.
                                To any Chinese restaurant owners -Bring it to the US please!!!
                                It would be a huge hit!

                                Yes!!!!! My English In Laws recently visited and said they were absolutely lost reading our menus!!

                                1. re: NellyNel

                                  "My English In Laws recently visited and said they were absolutely lost reading our menus!!"

                                  I remember first visiting the States in 1980 and seeing "English Muffins" on a menu. Had to try them. It would be years before the same thing was being sold in Britain!!!

                    2. Can anyone tell me exactly when the challenge airs? The show is set to record on my tivo every Tuesday at 9, but I never see the challenge. The next week, there's just a team missing. What has happened to the challenge? Does it air a different night?

                      I've checked the descriptions of all of the other showings and they're either for the following week or just the same as the one I've just watched, how do I know which one is the challenge?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: susanrocks

                        hi Susan... the challenge is for the couples that Raymond wants to "view more".... so they happen every other week. Then the other weeks, we see the "weekend service."

                        You can tell that it is a challenge, because more than one of the couples is striving to work together. Regular weekend service, the couples are in their own restaurants with staff. Hope this helps....

                        1. re: susanrocks

                          It doesn't help with this (or the other cooking 'reality competition' shows) that the show begins with four or five minutes devoted to the previous episode. That might be leading you to think you've alread seen it because you have.
                          Did you know that the repeat of the previous week is on at 8 EDT? and that a number of repeats are on BBCA much later the same night?

                          At least Harriet who might have had promise and her Father who thought he could sell anything are now gone. But there was really only one pair who shone in the last episode...she of the fabulous curly hair, and he of the sharp featured face and very good food.

                          1. re: shallots

                            OK, I think I get it....a team is only eliminated every other wee...so March 10 will be a challenge week with an elimination and March 17 will be a normal week without an elimination. Thanks!

                          2. Did anyone notice that the food was barely mentioned this past episode? I thought that Raymond would have a lot more to say about the Coq a Vin and the Japenese food. Instead he seemed to focus more on the errors on the menus, ect. I was also annoyed by the fact that the chef a Nel's (Helen?) stated that she hated Malyasian food, but then said later that she had never eaten it.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Gingerleen

                              Maybe they edited out talk of food because it was such a lame concept.
                              I really want to like this show. I think some of the challenges are really great.

                              But assigning cuisines is inherently unfair. Maybe letting them choose from a list of eight that they feel more comfortable with...and more than one pair can choose to do Belgian if they so desire.

                              Weren't they supposed to do fusion menus? Not cook what you think these cuisines might be? I saw the lemongrass that was grown and I wanted to ask how they get it through winter (my current project is rooting it from what I've bought). And how do they grow enough ginger. But I know those flavors and could add them to my staples.
                              Belgian? Norwegian (or was it Lapp) I've cooked for friends in Trondheim and their grocery stores are stocked like ours, but the prices of the things we are used to....otoh, their fish market was wonderful.
                              How are you going to bring such diverse spices into a situation where the pairs can be judged fairly?
                              I really thought they were supposed to do fusion, so only one sort of followed the idea.
                              I will be impressed if each restaurant has a total breakdown of the oven , but I worry that the breakdowns were not planned, just not very good preparation for the show...like making sure the kitchen has dependable working appliances.

                              1. re: shallots

                                "I saw the lemongrass that was grown and I wanted to ask how they get it through winter ............. And how do they grow enough ginger."

                                We are a small island off the coast of northern Europe. It's too cold to commercially grow lemon grass and ginger. We import it.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  But the implication was local sourcing.
                                  (I have gardening friends in Wales, near Wolverhampton, and just west of London. I kind of know your temperatures and seasons from our commiserating.)

                                  Right now our best looking and lasting ginger is coming from Brazil. I know that lemon grass can overwinter in New Mexico, except those years when it doesn't.