Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Blanc’

The Restaurant

September 25, 2008

Though we’ve been keeping up with this over at Swineshead Towers, and despite its enormous similarities to The Apprentice, there’ll be no weekly breakdown of each episode as Badger Madge over at BMTV seems to be making a decent fist (titter) of it herself over here… and here. It’s undoubtedly improved on the first series and there’s a lot to enjoy in joining the affable Raymond Blanc as he orders a load of wannabe restauranters to undergo tests that would make any normal human being unravel within minutes.

Just as a taster, last night’s saw the teams of two – who each have been given their own restaurant for the duration of the show – delivered half a pig each and set the task of cooking and selling as much of the squealer as possible. Marks would be given for profit and then deducted for wastage. The format is exactly the same as the Apprentice and remarkably it doesn’t suffer from the transposition, apart from in one area.

Nick and Margaret are, by now, firm favourites when it comes to how Apprentice fans feel. The incredulous looks on their disgusted faces have become a part of the fabric of the show. In their place, on The Restaurant Monsieur Blanc is shanked by a couple of thorough bastards. Not cantankerous, lovable silver foxes like Sugar’s charges – these are just oily, smug shitbags and they take a bit of the fun away from proceedings.

David Moore wanders into the restaurants with the kind of fixed, shit-eating grin that lets you know that he thinks you’re shit before he’s even seen the supposed shitness of your shit and said ‘it’s shit’. His blank, jelly-baby face occasionally warps into a sneer, but on the whole he gives nothing away, making him the sneakiest Casper lookalike in the country.

Sarah Willingham is even worse. Permanently overdressed – like she thought she’d been invited to lunch with her Majesty – she takes herself far too seriously. The main problem wirh Willingham is that she asks leading questions to the contestants which offer nothing to the show, other to explain at point blank range what you already know is happening. If a cut of pork has been burned she’ll ask ‘do you realise that that’s burned?’ and both viewer and contestant will nod while shrugging as she smiles at how clever she’s been. She’s not a patch on Sugar’s Margaret. But then… who is?

Still, it all works out alright in the end when we hit the boardroom (or whatever they call it on The Restaurant) as Blanc sits in the middle of them and adds an air of respectable, reasonable Gallic charm to the proceedings. He does the job of Alan Sugar but he does it his own way – which is to be fair and offer appropriate advice. His approach is as effective as Siralan’s because, more often than not, contestants are blinded by his unerring friendliness and complete obsession with stuff you masticate and as a result they admit their failings immediately, as though they’ve let Daddy down. It’s very impressive.

And the food?

Magnifique!

The Restaurant

September 13, 2007

awful bastards 

I’ve seen a few of these; it’s fucking shit and getting worse.

The sort of Apprentice-lite format doesn’t work – Raymond Blanc is far too decent a chap to go down the Alan ‘you’re fire you are’ Sugar route. Besides, he sounds like Pepé the Pew doing an impression of Serge Gainsbourg.

The format of the show is simple: open nine restaurants and then get nine couples to run them from scratch. Each week, two of the shittest couples have a play-off task that sees one of their restaurants getting shut down.

The only interest comes from the jaw-dropping horror and stupidity of the contestants. One caused a restaurant Supervisor, working for Ray of course, to make herself physically sick after eating raw chicken breast. Staggeringly, this particular contestant is still in the show.

But by far and away the most dreadful coupling of humans I’ve seen in recent years on television were the thoroughly abhorrent Sam and Jacqui.

Sam is a ‘jazz drummer’ and Sam an ‘actress’. A pimp and a hooker, then. She’s a loud-mouthed oxygen thief and Sam a little toad of a creature with as much charm as The Marquis de Sade in the Bastille dildoing himself until he bleeds lumps.

In the first episode when they were trying to hire a chef. Sam was in the process of interviewing a fairly elderly chap who’d been working in kitchens most of his adult life. Unfortunately, the nearest he’d got to being a chef was chopping veg in a hospital kitchen, but instead of politely informing the elderly gentleman of his lack of suitability, Toad-boy, with the old guy a couple of feet away, called the recruitment agency and bollocked them at volume and length about sending him ‘useless people’. You could actually see the life draining from the poor old git. It was toe-curling stuff and from that moment I wanted see Sam dressed in life-threatening hives.

His recently-acquired wife took the role as front of house Manager, which meant she attempted to ingratiate herself with unsuspecting members of the public with an upside down smile that resembled a gorilla picking fleas off its winkle and a drawl that could melt glass at 100 yards.

In the meantime, instead of managing his fledgling and unenthusiastic staff, Sam threw strops and busied himself by staring at the prepared food as if a copraphiliac standing in a festival latrine looking up at defecating arses.

Needless to say they were booted off last week much to Sam’s arrogant objection and howls from his dreadful wife.

The remaining cast of nobodies are so fucking boring and lacking in any sort of creative intelligence or business acumen that I, for one, can’t even be arsed to finish th