Restaurateur David Moore is the owner of London's two-Michelin-starred Pied à Terre and its sister restaurant L'Autre Pied. For the past eight weeks he has been on our screens as the resident front-of-house expert on Raymond Blanc's BBC2 series The Restaurant, which announced the winners last night. He spoke to Joanna Wood
Caterer: What was filming like?DM It is an all-consuming process. We usually filmed four or five days a week. Having seven cameras pointed at you isn't natural, so I was uncomfortable at first - but, by week six, I'd got to grips with logistics and was more at home.
Caterer: How did you juggle filming with the day job?DM If we hadn't experienced the fire (December 2004) at Pied à Terre, I probably wouldn't have done the series. It made me look at what we were doing, how we operated our business and where we were going. It freed up my time.
Caterer: How did you get on with your fellow expert Sarah Willingham?
DM As a viewer I didn't like her much from the first series. But we got on fine. We're very different, and I think that worked well. She's one of the brightest people I've ever met, always on to the next thing.
Caterer: How did the dynamics between yourselves and Raymond Blanc work?DM Sarah was very much talking about concept, I'd be talking about front-of-house experiences and Raymond would be mainly about the food. So it was a good balance.
Caterer: Was there much off-camera debate?DM Sometimes. There was one week where Sarah, Raymond and myself were all battling for different couples, for different reasons, while they were waiting for our decision. We took four hours, while they were sitting in an ante-room. The producers had to keep going in to tell them it wasn't being done for dramatic effect.
Caterer: Who had the final say about who to kick out?DM Raymond always had the final call. But we often talked him round during debates. Sarah was the one who always got things moving when we were deadlocked over a decision.
Caterer: Did Raymond have to do many retakes of his links?DM I couldn't possibly comment! Let's just say that, even with scripting, Raymond enjoys a tangent. He's such a perfectionist, sometimes it took a while to get something he was happy with.
Caterer: Which of the finalists would you have chosen?DM If I'd been voting with my heart, I'd have gone with Alasdair and James - they're a slightly riskier bet, but I see a lot of what I was like at the same age in them. But Russell's a very Cool Hand Luke in the kitchen and he and Michele have a more mature working relationship than the boys. There are no real losers, though, at this stage: the experience and media exposure that everyone's had will help their careers.