When Bobby Flay arrived at Gionni’s dream restaurant, Licari’s in Grand Rapids, Mich., just three days before the opening, he was almost positive they weren’t going to make it. Along with his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the restaurant, they invested everything — their house, sanity and marriage — but they were in the red, owing money to contractors and vendors, all while emptying their retirement fund and borrowing money from their parents.
Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the husband and wife team fix these four crucial issues: Lisa’s unestablished role, poor food quality, a disorganized kitchen and unleashing the secret recipes from Gionni’s mom.
On opening day, Gionni said “he closed a chapter, but opened a new one.” Are things still running smoothly? How are Gionni and Lisa handling their new venture together as a couple? We checked in with Licari’s six weeks later to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.
Click here to watch the video
At Zandi’s in Millersville, Md., sisters and co-owners Evette Aponte and Yvonne Zandi were just a few months from closing down when Robert Irvine showed up. He was discouraged to find not only lackluster food, poor service and tired decor, but a lack of passion on the part of the owners. A few months after their emotional Restaurant: Impossible makeover, we checked in with Evette and Yvonne to see how business is going.
Since Robert’s Restaurant: Impossible intervention, sales at Zandi’s are up 39%. They’ve gone from roughly 30 customers per day up to 70. Evette and Yvonne are slowly catching up on their debt and will soon be able to start paying their mother back.
Before tuning into the much-anticipated finale of Food Network Star tonight at 9/8c to find out which contestant — Ivan, Michele, Martie or Justin — will finally have their culinary dreams realized, watch a special episode of Chopped airing at 8/7c. Watch as past FN Star winners Jeff Mauro, Melissa d’Arabian, Aarti Sequeira and Amy Finley face the dreaded chopping block, judged by this year’s Star mentors Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Alton Brown. With unusual ingredients, you can certainly expect the unexpected from this showdown.
While Aarti has competed on Chopped once before, this will be Melissa’s and Jeff’s first time each on the show. “Food Network Star was still pretty fresh in my mind and I was anxious about doing another food competition,” Jeff says of being a contestant on Chopped. Jeff and Melissa both agree their first experience on the show was extremely stressful. “No matter who you’re up against in the Chopped kitchen, chances are you’re most likely battling yourself,” Jeff says. “We had a ton of fun and laughs during the process, though!” Aarti says that being on Chopped once before helped shape her mentality going into the show the second time around: “The last time I competed on Chopped, frankly I was so terrified of the whole thing that I couldn’t focus! This time, I decided to leave my ego at the door.”
Read more »
When Bobby Flay arrived at Diana and Darlene’s Melt Mobile food truck in Stamford, Conn., he wasn’t sure if this venture would ever take to the road — especially since the team had just three days until the opening. These two best friends quit their jobs to pursue this dream, but after mortgaging their homes, they were left with almost no money to open their business with. Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the team fix these six crucial issues: organization, food knowledge, wait time, expediting, food quality and packaging.
Bobby left his mission saying that he felt Melt Mobile was “a well-oiled machine.” Is it still running that way? Has Darlene and Diana’s friendship withstood all the stress of opening a business? We checked in with Melt Mobile to see how things are going a few months after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.
Click here to watch the video
It’s grill or be grilled when Chopped heads to the Wild, Wild West for its newest special, Chopped Grill Masters. Tune in this Sunday at 10pm/9c to watch the first four competitors battle it out on the grill for a chance at the $50,000 grand prize. These grilling professionals will face not only the dreaded mystery basket of ingredients, but the elements as well, as the competition takes place outside in the harsh Arizona desert.
Watch as host Ted Allen and your favorite judges, Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy and Aarón Sánchez, don their boots and spurs and head out West for the most heated Chopped showdown yet.
Hone your own skills on the grill by checking out all the great tips and recipes on Food Network’s Grilling Central, then tune in this Sunday, July 22, at 10/9c to catch all the action in the first epic face-off. Who will win and who will be chopped? Contestants, fire up your grills!
When Robert Irvine arrived at The Main Dish in Meridianville, Ala., owners Lynn and Ken Tverberg were in desperate need of help. They bought the restaurant five years earlier because Ken loves to cook, but with no restaurant experience at all, the couple found themselves in debt and working 80 hours a week. We checked in with Lynn and Ken a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover to see how the restaurant is faring.
Lynn and Ken have seen a strong increase in sales since Robert’s intervention. “The new menu and decor has brought in old and new customers,” says Lynn. “Some customers don’t like change, and I have made sure that I explain to them that change sometimes is hard but necessary. For every one customer that is not happy, we have three new tables that come in and love the new menu.” Read more »
Bobby Flay is no stranger to opening restaurants. He knows the trials, tribulations and stresses that go into a start-up. He also knows the equation for success and now he wants to pay it forward on his new show, 3 Days to Open. When he arrived at Sticky’s Finger Joint in New York City — just days before it was set to open — it seemed like he was going to be their only chance for survival. With no recipes, decor, knowledge of food or leadership, Bobby set out to help Paul, Jonathan, Tommy and Stephanie open their clever chicken finger restaurant.
Paul, the visionary behind this concept, was undoubtedly all over the place, and his team needed him to organize his thoughts and delegate responsibilities. Nothing is ever that easy, though. With the help of Bobby Flay and some much-needed equipment, the team pulled off an opening better than anyone could have imagined.
But was opening night their closing night? We checked in with Paul at Sticky’s to see how things are going a few months after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.
Read more »
Melissa d’Arabian is returning this Sunday to Food Network with an all-new season of Ten Dollar Dinners, and her fans are in for a treat. We sat down with the queen of creative, budget-friendly eats to talk about the new season, her first guests and even a couple of little-known facts about herself.
What are you looking forward to the most with this new season?
MD: Ten Dollar Dinners has become sort of an accidental diary of my life. I prepare six months in advance for every season I tape and since I don’t see them until they air, they become a snapshot of my life.
This season was really inspired by my childhood — the time I spent in Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California Since moving back to San Diego last year, I think it’s reawakened that part of my life. It’s a celebration of my childhood and the memories that were created around food. For example, this season I make homemade tortillas, arroz con pollo and empanadas, which we made all the time when I was growing up. There will always be a part of me on the plate this season.
I can honestly say this season was the most fun to shoot. Even though it was hard work, it was so gratifying.
Little-known facts about Melissa
Just when you thought The Great Food Truck Race couldn’t get any more intense — with host Tyler Florence’s notorious cross-country challenges and its on-the-go dynamics — the series unveils a brand-new element to celebrate its third season.
In the past the show featured teams that were well-established in the food truck community, each with a dedicated customer following and prominent food truck operators experienced in mobile food service. This season’s teams, however, are food truck rookies. Having never worked on or cooked for a food truck, the eight teams are in for a world of surprise as they come to realize just how difficult a business it can be. But what these teams lack in real-world experience they surely make up for in enthusiasm, passion and drive to make it to the finish line.
Read more about the new season
Robert Irvine arrived in Fayetteville, Ga., to help owner Lisa Howard revive Longbranch Steak and Seafood, the restaurant her husband Lindsay gave her two years ago as a wedding gift. Robert and his team raced against the clock to clean up the kitchen, get the staff into shape and give Lisa the confidence and tools to run a successful business. We checked in with the Howards to see how things are going a few months after their Restaurant: Impossible makeover.
“We must admit, it was somewhat of a culture shock to our regulars,” says Lindsay Howard. To help longtime customers adjust, the Howards added back a few of their old favorites alongside Robert’s new menu items, a combination they believe will help them succeed. “We feel confident that we can make our restaurant a place where people want to continue to come and bring others as new patrons,” says Lindsay.
Read more »