Aspiring restaurateurs will battle it out for a "life-altering investment" when the BBC's latest slice of reality TV, Million Pound Menu, goes on air next month.
Fronted by Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin at Windows in London and maitre d' on Channel 4's First Dates, Million Pound Menu is like Dragons' Den for the hospitality industry.
Each week, two different sets of would-be patrons battle it out to secure investment in their dining concept. Each team gets time in an existing restaurant space in Leftbank in Manchester's Spinningfields to demonstrate their vision, business acumen and food and management expertise to a set of potential investors.
On the final day of service, the restaurant operators will find out if their food and business plans have been strong enough to secure "a momentous, life-altering investment".
Some of the industry's most influential figures and funders will ultimately decide who is deserving of their career-defining investments, the BBC stated, but details of the line-up of judges, investors and chefs are still under wraps.
However, one chef who has revealed on Twitter that she will be appearing on the programme is Ruth Hansom, winner of Young Chef of the Year 2017. Hansom will be working alongside Emily Lambert, the Ritz's first female sommelier, on their modern British concept Epoch, which goes head to head with Scottish chef Ewan Hutchinson's fish and seafood offer, Shrimpwreck.
Other contestants include a vegan Thai concept, Greedy Khao; a Latin and East Asian plant-based play called Dynasty; Naked Dough, a purveyor of raw cookie dough done as indulgent dessert; bubble and squeak specialist Bubble &; American soul food play Trap Kitchen; street food vendors FINCA and Wholesome Junkies; the Cheese Wheel, which serves pasta from a Padano wheel; Black Bear Burger and Hollings seasonal food.
Six hour-long episodes will be screened on BBC2 beginning around the middle of May. The precise launch date has yet to be announced.
Fred Sirieix said: "I am very excited and honoured to be joining the talented team of Million Pound Menu. The UK restaurant scene is booming with creativity and a quality never seen before. To play a part in discovering, nurturing and helping the next generation of restaurateurs is an opportunity like no other. I can't wait to get to work and for the series to start."
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