Tom Colicchio knows a thing or two about good food and launching a restaurant. Which makes the Top Chef judge the perfect guy to host Bravo's newest series, Best New Restaurant, launching in January 2015.
So what type of dishes—and drama—can we expect from the show? "The production team went out and found the restaurants and ran a bunch of them by me," he tells Grub Street. "Some of the places sounded really interesting, so we picked them. You know, I’m really looking forward to this. We’re about halfway through shooting, and it’s pretty interesting."
On the show, Colicchio, along with a team of experts, will stack 16 of the nation’s hottest new restaurants against each other in a series of challenges which will determine which restaurant provides the best experience, from beginning to end.
In addition to being declared the "Best New Restaurant," the winner will also get an editorial feature in Bon Appetit and a spot at Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit 2015.
For those wondering, Best New Restaurant is nothing like Top Chef. He added "It’s completely different. It’s restaurant against restaurant."
This time around, TV viewers will go inside the restaurant business. "It’s everything — food, service, hospitality, and design. Ultimately, this show is about whether or not they are fulfilling their mission," he said. "For me, it’s about figuring out what these restaurants are trying to do and determining if they’ve accomplished it."
He added, "With restaurants, there’s always something you find that’s revealing, and stories are what connect people. When you find those things — those stories, you discover why people are doing what they do. And, to me, that’s what’s interesting about it."
Colicchio revealed that he also feels a real connection to the folks included in the series.
"Some of these chefs are very young, but some have been around for a little bit. But, yeah, I always feel a connection," he said. "I know what they do, and I know why they do it. And I can empathize with what they are going through. And these restaurants have been operating for less than three years, and sometimes they are struggling. I mean, you can see that they are trying so hard to break through."
He also dished: "Yes, this is important to me. I’m laboring over this, because I want to get it right. I’m deciding who wins and who loses. There’s no panel and no discussion, so it’s a bit different. I know what these people are going through and how hard they work. I want to reveal their stories, and I want to get it right."
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[Sources: Grub Street]