Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Feb 10, 2009 09:23 PM

Last Restaurant Standing: Rest Area Challenge [Spoilers]

This is the first time in history [perhaps] that I have totally agreed with a reality show elimination!

Episode 3 made it clear that the two stewards, Richard and Scott, were simply not listening. No sorbet, no season, no spark actually. [Last week we also learned that Alisdair can cook, that Welsh Wok as a concept is doomed.]

This week's challenge was brilliant, I thought. I have not ever stopped into a UK rest area. The one time I drove in the country, I was always running late trying desperately to stay on the left side of the road and I was never in the correct lane! Again, our seasonings folks simply don't do the research. I can't decide if they were just a little slow, or thought that they knew better than the managers of the stop.

Michele and Russell have a little OCD I think. They don't seem to know what the focus should be at any particular time and make the wrong choices. But, I rather like them. They have a quiet and intense calm that must serve them well in real life.

Mike is really the salesman isn't he? We still don't know if he can run the front of house yet, or whether Harriet can run a kitchen, but the blue feet leading to their business was a great idea.

For me, Caroline and Chris along with Lindsie and Tim are still flying under my radar. Don't have a real feel for what makes them tick [besides all the miss-my-baby crying] or what their food tastes like. I think the Welsh/Asian food combo is not working, both culinarily and for their location. Until next week.....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Brilliant label for the show and sort of sad, at the same time. Congrats on having captured the names; aside from the three teams, the rest are sort of granola for me right now. I really can't tell them apart.

    From the cultural perspective, I really thought the giant blue emu had stumbled out of a Mardi Gras parade (one that you don't take the children to) and I was surprised that children didn't run screaming in fear.
    The forgotten Carrot Cake was a totally strange thing. No one who bakes would ever have put that thickness in; they would have cooked it in two batches.

    Mike and Harriet - are they really Father Daughter? There seems no chemistry, no understanding of the other's strengths. From the second episode, I got the feeling that they expected to be taught how to do things. Now they are treading water.

    Why did the Sorbet before dinner get one group dinged, and brownies and cookies before dinner didn't merit similar dings for the others?

    "I can't decide if they were just a little slow" seems to be a recurring theme from last season into this one.
    I'd take it and put a Jessica Rabbit (Who framed Roger Rabbit movie) spin on it and make it
    " I can't decide if they were just a little slow" or if they're just edited that way.

    4 Replies
    1. re: shallots

      Oh, I totally cheated. Pulled up the "Couples" page on in order to grab the names. I am terrible with names!

      1. re: smtucker

        Now, I feel better, although I still can't tell them apart, in a most embarassing way.
        The Oriental/Welsh fushion is memorable; it would be memorable anywhere, but perhaps in a better way.
        And the guys who had the gas leak....are they the ones who left ? Or are there two groups of guys: the gone Sorbets and the others?

        1. re: shallots

          No, the two gas leaks guys are childhood friends and run "Gallery."

          The two eliminated guys are the Sorbet people, airline stewards, first class, of course. They were sent to the challenge because their restaurant didn't serve any sorbet, but even more importantly, they did not respond to Raymond Blanc's critique the week before and make any of the recommended changes.

      2. re: shallots

        The forgotten Carrot Cake: as I recall, neither of them really knew anything about baking. Didn't the "narrator" say that the guy actually charged with baking had no experience at baking? And the impression I got was that Scott didn't really have any idea either, based on them saying that he simply multiplied the the recipe by x-amount and figuring the baking time would be directly correlated...

      3. The best part of this episode was that carrot cake. I was ROTFL because it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and I kept thinking of that I l Love Lucy episode where she bakes bread and opens the oven and a HUUUUGE loaf of bread comes out. But really, are those guys really that dumb? Why didn't anyone else in the kitchen stop them?

        It's too bad that the one guy was sick but I don't think his presence would have made much of a difference. Also, it's funny that they were so fixated on sorbet but apparently every sorbet they made was practically inedible. Yes, Raymond definitely eliminated the right couple.

        1. Are people in England really that polite to each other? Seeing how they all interact with each other makes me want to go there even more now.

          3 Replies
          1. re: pisang goreng

            Yes, we are. Generally speaking. It is one of our endearing national traits.

            Good to see you enjoying our programmes as well.

            1. re: Harters

              Your rest areas look really nice too, whereas ours are.... a little scary actually. lol. Certainly not clean and polished like the ones shown in this episode.

              Yes, I really like this show. Is it very popular there?

              1. re: pisang goreng

                Yep, pretty popular for this sort of thing. It was on BBC2 in the autumn and pulled in about 2 million viewers an episode - which is pretty good for that channel.

                I missed a couple of the early programmes as we were away on holiday but I was interested to watch as I saw some of the filming early last year when I was down in London for a couple of days. It was the "True Provenance" place - they filmed it in what had been an Italian restaurant that had gone bust.