Many television foodie fans were eagerly anticipating the fist episode of Restaurant: Impossible, starring the muscular Brit Robert Irvine. Many of these foodie fans were worried that the new Food Network show Restaurant: Impossible would be a rip-off of the classic Kitchen Nightmares, a brainstorm project of Chef Gordon Ramsey. The question is, has Restaurant: Impossible been able to be original, or is the new Food Network series just a knock off of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares? The answer just may surprise you!
First episode of Restaurant: Impossible
The first episode of Restaurant : Impossible opened with a brief history of the return Robert is going to be working with this week, a casual dining Spanish restaurant named Villaries. The restaurant was started by the current owners grandfather. The decor of Villaries was warm but unchanged and old timey at best. In this casual dining environment the waiters were, of course, wearing full blown tuxedo’s!
On the first day, British cook and body builder Robert Irvine met the staff, the owners and started to put together a design plan for the interior of Villaries. In contrast, the opening of Chef Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares usually starts with a brief background of the restaurant in question and then a tasting of the everyday food available for the masses.
Robert Irvine dives right in, making changes after introductions, starting by rearranging the dining area. His design team gave him the biggest problems of the show. It had seemed that he nearly lost control of his own design team, arguing with them about why the design team had painted the nice wooden chairs with a basic white paint. Robert was furious.
On the start of the second day, Robert was determined to find a new chef for Villaries. Robert had several applicants come into Villaries kitchen and cook a dish as their interview. The chosen chef took the job, then promptly quit after talking it over with his wife. In a last minute ditch effort to find a head chef for opening night Robert and the owner ran down the leaving runner-up applicant , who agrees to take the job, and actually followed through.
Before the end of the second day, Restaurant: Impossible‘s Robert Irvine went after Villaries 12 page menu, a menu so vast that when Robert ordered every dish be made and tasted, the chefs had to stop halfway, due to exhaustion! With a new menu in hand, the chefs of Villaries went about making samples for Chef Robert Irvine and the owners to hand out around town, a classic Kitchen Nightmares scheme.
By opening day, remodeling the interior of Villaries was complete, except for one small thing, chairs. The design team botched the repaint of $150 chairs, instead of simply sanding and refinishing the chairs. With the target time for the grand reopening looming and the chairs unfinished to Robert Irvines standards, Robert orders rental chairs from the local rental agency. What he didn’t know was the only chairs available were upscale patio chairs, all of which sat some what low on the tables.
Opening night was packed, partially because of the walk about give-away and partially because the news had spread of the Food Network’s Chef Robert Irvine was in town. The waiters were now dressed in fashionable black satin shirts, the new head chef was the only female in the on the food line, and under the pressure of a full house on her first day in her new kitchen she did indeed fall behind, but before things completely fell apart Robert offered moral support as Villaries new head chef rallied the team and overcame the rush, getting out great food to happy customers. A complete turn-around for Villaries, whom on a Saturday night had a rush of 16 the week before. It’s only a first step, but it seems like Chef Robert has handed them a second chance.
In the end, is Restaurant: Impossible a knock off Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares? Yes and no. Yes, because many of the show’s aspects have been done time and time again by Gordon Ramsey. No, because the show revolves the around the idea that Chef Robert only gets a limited budget. Kitchen nightmares works on the idea giving the restaurant what it needs to succeed, even if that means parades, new stoves, or walk-ins.
Is Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network worth watching? I, personally, enjoy Roberts forceful yet not explosive way of changing and organizing the establishment without the anger and frustration that can be caused by Chef Gordon Ramsey’s in your face style. Chef Robert, the Food Network and Restaurant: Impossible has definitely made a fan of me, though I wish they’d change the ridiculous name to something more original, something that reflects more about the style of Robert Irvine than using an old wornout show title.