No matter how dire the scene may be when Robert Irvine arrives at a business, he’s not one to back away from his mission. Over the course of nearly nine seasons, Robert’s surely been tested with fiery owners, filthy kitchens and family feuds, but through it all, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team have given even the seemingly farthest-gone eateries a second chance at success, all with only $10,000 and 48 hours to work. On tonight’s special episode of Restaurant: Impossible, Robert looked back at some of the most-unforgettable transformations, reliving the process it took to shift owners’ perspectives, as well as their kitchens’ cleanliness and dining rooms’ design, and ultimately revealing the impressive finished updates.
Tag: Robert Irvine
Intrigued after arriving at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe — a dual motorcycle-repair shop and restaurant — in Albuquerque, N.M., Robert Irvine told owners Ryan Green and Rich Rael, “We’re going to see a service so I can understand what you do, because I’m not sure what you do right now.” Though the food there wasn’t outlandishly poor, Robert wasn’t impressed, and designer Taniya Nayak admitted that the decor was “college dorm-ish.” Together Robert and his Restaurant: Impossible team had just two days to overhaul the interior of Shade Tree, foster a connection between the restaurant and the shop downstairs, and improve the relationship among Ryan, Rich and their fellow owners and investors. Read on below to hear from the guys to find out how their business is faring today.
The guys are wowed by what they’ve deemed the “stunning” look of the “motorcycle chic” decor now at Shade Tree Cafe. They plan to put the signs and relics that one lined the restaurant’s walls into the bike shop, and they add that they hope to begin refreshing the current wall space with artwork from locals.
It’s no secret that Robert Irvine, Food Network’s own restaurant renovator and the host of the upcoming special Fitness: Impossible (airing Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11|10c), has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to prioritizing his workouts. “I make the time, no excuses,” he recently told FN Dish of his exercise regime. But his determination in the gym doesn’t necessarily mean he goes fitness alone. “When Gail and I work out together, we will do the same circuit,” Robert says of his partnered fitness sessions with his wife, Gail Kim. “We motivate and push each other.”
For fans looking to take a similar better-together approach to working out with a partner or spouse, Robert says that when it comes to exercising in pairs, “it depends on your fitness goals,” but he offers his top-five ideas for ways to exercise as a twosome.
While restaurant owners must invite Robert Irvine to their business in order to initiate a Restaurant: Impossible mission, he’s not always warmly welcomed when he arrives, and hardly ever does he encounter no resistance at all in the process of his updates. Still, while some confrontation and minimal chaos may be expected, it’s rare that missions turn into all-out screaming matches or no-holds-barred tantrums; those seeming disasters, while surely salvageable, have indeed led to unprecedented arguments on air.
On tonight’s episode of Restaurant: Impossible, fans look back on some of the most-unforgettable blowups to ever appear on the series. From the outspoken servers at Hillbillies Restaurant to the yelling and door-slamming at Nanny Goat’s Cafe & Feed Bin, Robert has paid witness to over-the-top tempers, but they surely haven’t stopped him from completing his missions. Read on below to hear from the owners of some of the restaurants featured on tonight’s episode (a few couldn’t be reached for comment) to find out how they fared after Robert’s initial visit.
Robert Irvine never met a mission he didn’t like, and while most of his challenges involve rebuilding failing restaurants, in January he’s turning his focus to improving something else: Americans’ health. On Robert’s all-new special Fitness: Impossible (airing Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 11|10c), he’s setting his sights on motivating fans to achieve healthier lifestyles through smarter food choices and realistic exercise plans. FN Dish recently checked in with Robert to learn more about how he stays fit and to find out what his workout regime looks like. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Robert and get the details on how he manages to stick to his fitness plan even in the midst of his busy schedule.
Tell us about your fitness routine and diet. How do you stay in such shape?
Robert Irvine: I work out six days a week. … I eat small meals more frequently — eight to 12 meals a day, every two and a half hours. My protein is literally — whether it be chicken or shrimp, whatever it is — no bigger than a deck of cards each meal. And my starch — rice, potatoes, French fries even — no bigger than a mouse you use on your computer per meal. And [in the] afternoon, I don’t do carbs. I just do protein and salads and vegetables.
What’s your favorite workout routine?
RI: I work out each muscle group using low weights and higher reps.
The scene at San Antonio’s Knife and Fork Gastropub was tense when Robert Irvine arrived, as owners Gabe and Javier Orozco — two brothers — were facing a $400,000 debt to their mom and stepfather, who’ve contributed greatly to the eatery. After inspecting the bar and kitchen, Robert could easily see the filth that had accumulated at Knife and Fork, and with only two days to work, he and his Restaurant: Impossible team were faced with both making the space clean and safe, and also mending the strained relationship among the Orozco family. Read on below to hear from the brothers and their mother, Norma Montalvo, as they reveal how Knife and Fork has fared since Robert left.
“I needed someone to tell Javier some of the stuff and it had to be Robert,” Gabe said of the importance of Robert’s mission. “He has definitely fired me up. Now that it’s my kitchen, I think we are getting more done than ever before.” Javier added, “[Robert] didn’t say anything we did not already know, but [he] gave us a fresh perspective.”
In the largest Restaurant: Impossible challenge to date, Robert Irvine and his team traveled to Lake Luzerne, N.Y., for an extra-special mission at Double H Ranch, a year-round camp dedicated to serving children with life-threatening illnesses. Double H was founded on the premise of “health and happiness” according to CEO and executive director Max Yurenda, and the camp indeed lives up to its promise, as every child who attends is welcomed and made to feel safe and hopeful.
With the help and generosity of Lexus, Robert and his team had three days and an increased budget of $50,000 to transform the kitchen and dining hall at Double H, and it’s a good thing they had extra time and money to spend, because the 4,000-plus-square-foot dining room was among the largest they’d ever attempted. In true Irvine fashion, Robert welcomed the challenge, and not only did he overhaul those spaces and turn them into comfortable, friendly and functional designs, but he and Lexus also gifted the camp dozens of pieces of new equipment, plus a $10,000 donation. Read on below to hear from Max, and director of operations Jacqui Royael, to find out how Double H is doing today. Then, browse insider photos of the transformation in progress, and see Robert at Double H.
How have the new hot boxes improved serving time?
Jacqui Royael: The new hot boxes will allow more time for staff and campers to enjoy their meal together and less time waiting in a crowded line in the kitchen. The food can now be prepared and ready to go the minute the kids enter the dining hall, allowing all of camp to be served in half the time and eat together. So what once was 20-plus minutes and several trips back and forth to the serving line will now be a quick five to 10 minutes and one trip to have everyone enjoy a meal together.
Tonight marked the first time Oklahoma City’s Mama E’s Wings & Waffles appeared on Restaurant: Impossible, but it wasn’t the business’ first time on Food Network; just a few years ago it was a bustling eatery that enjoyed a showcase on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Problems began, however, when husband-and-wife owners Keith and Stephanie Patterson wanted to open a new Mama E’s outpost. Ultimately the venture proved unsuccessful, and, perhaps worst of all, the trials nearly cost them their relationship. It was up to Robert Irvine and his Restaurant: Impossible team to mend Keith and Stephanie’s damaged marriage before he could begin overhauling Mama E’s, and they had only 48 hours and $10,000 to do it all. Read on below to hear from Stephanie and find out how her restaurant is faring today.
“Over time the revenue has doubled or more,” Stephanie explains. “I love the walls with the recipes and so do the customers.”
When Robert Irvine arrived at Papa C’s Eastside Cafe, the family drama he discovered was unlike that at any other restaurant he’s visited in nine seasons of Restaurant: Impossible. Owner Sal Cimino and his three sons, Sal Jr., Justin and Rick, work at the business together, though much of what they do involves yelling and arguing. It was up to Robert and his team to mend the frayed family dynamic at Papa C’s and overhaul the menu and interior there to reflect a contemporary eatery. Read on below to hear from Sal and find out how his restaurant is doing today.
“The restaurant is doing much better,” Sal reveals of Papa C’s Eastside Cafe. “Revenue is up about 20 percent, and we are now closed on Mondays.”
From filthy kitchens and grimy furniture to mismanaged staff members and owners who’ve lost their passion for the restaurant business, Robert Irvine has seen nearly everything in his nine seasons on Restaurant: Impossible. But while all of Robert’s missions require his and his team’s full $10,000 budget and 48 hours of work, some projects are loftier than others, with the shell of the businesses all but crumbling under their failures when Robert arrives.
On tonight’s episode of Restaurant: Impossible, fans looked back at these seemingly hopeless missions and relived the daunting challenges Robert and his team endured in order to complete their tasks on time. Such restaurants, including Dinner Bell Restaurant, which was just days away from closing before Robert’s mission began, and Frankie’s, which was headed by a pair of sparring owners, have proved to be simply unforgettable and now are among the worst of the worst.