“Le Restaurant”: reality on the plate

Both reality TV and observational documentary, Zeste’s new culinary competition, ‘Le Restaurant’, first examines entrepreneurship and the realities of the restaurant industry.

We talk about money, “cost of living” and profitability. And the customer will get a big piece of the cake from all of this.

“We are in the gastronomy reality. It’s not just about creating good recipes, but also about putting them into practice. Cooking for 40 customers, in a competition with three other candidates who are directly fighting for their place, is very stimulating and very stressful,” said chef and owner of La Cabane d’à Côté, Vincent Dion Lavallée.

“We wanted to give the candidates a laboratory. Where these talented people would have all the tools, real customers in a real restaurant, to test and pursue their dream, to see if they would be able to handle the pressure of being profitable, a lead with the To have a team and to have suggestions for dishes that not only attract the audience but can also maintain the quality,” said Renaud Chassé, producer of the show.

“We shine a light on a world that has honestly been hit hard by the pandemic that keeps revealing that to us in spite of it all; There are dreamers, entrepreneurs who want to roll up their sleeves and who want to immerse themselves in gastronomy with their culinary DNA, underlining their personality in a restaurant concept that resembles them”, for his part, emphasized the animator and host, Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc.

The concept of the show is Quebec. Produced by Sphère Média, “Le Restaurant” faces a dozen future restaurateurs who must convince, yes, the mentor judge Vincent Dion Lavallée, but most of all the customers who will taste their dishes.

Each week, the contestants must first stand out in the “Creation Challenge” thrown at them by the chief animator. The three worst are then sent to the “big service”. This is where the around 40 real customers come into play. Once the room is open, everyone chooses a dish from the menu and writes it down at the end of the service.

The chef with the lowest average has to leave “Le Restaurant”.

In the end, the winner can put up $50,000 as a down payment to make their project a reality.

The 12 candidates were selected based on their suitability and the concept of their restaurant. There is sometimes a shock of experience, where in the same service the Mexican counter can face the bar or the fine gastronomy, and that with always very specific challenges of the catering such as the customers in a hurry or the small budgets.

And it’s not because a chef has a lot of experience or because his kitchen is the most refined that he will necessarily please customers, the chief animator recalled.

“The customer comes, eats and judges. We were very surprised to see dishes that weren’t on point or good for me, but get top marks, maybe even from the competition […] and that creates shockwaves sometimes,” added the chef, who we can see in the 11th season of Cook in the Cabin, which is currently filming.

And to spice up the competition a little, Hélène Bourgeois Leclerc naturally sprinkles in a few pinches of “twist” for the candidates here and there.

“Le Restaurant” begins this Thursday at 9pm on Zeste.

For its new television season, Zeste, whose viewership has grown by 54% over the past year, welcomes many new features this season, including a dozen acquisitions and new seasons for its original productions.

“Three Times a Day and You”

The new season of “Three times a day and you” starts this Wednesday at 7 p.m. This season, Marilou will welcome 24 guests in her kitchen, with whom she will chat while cooking.

August 17, 7 p.m

“Food Shots”

Just before the start of the “Coups de Food” winter season, Sébastien Benoît invites some personalities, including Karine Gonthier-Hyndman, Benoît Gagnon, Sabrina Cournoyer, Benoît Roberge and chef Normand Laprise, to his Christmas special.

December 22, 10 p.m

“The Wall of Pastry Chefs”

Chefs Patrice Demers and Ricardo Larrivee both participated as guest chefs in the Food Network Canada culinary competition “Le mur des pâtissiers”. Under the watchful eyes of 12 top chefs, Canada’s top amateur pastry chefs will compete for the $10,000 prize.

October 3, 8 p.m

“boss at the top”

Gordon Ramsey launched a brand new culinary competition earlier this year, pitting fifteen chefs against each other in three stacked kitchens. The highest enjoys privileges while the lowest must make do with the means at their disposal.

October 13, 10 p.m

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