Raymond Blanc is to return to our TV screens next week with a third series of the BBC Two hit show The Restaurant.
The new series, which will start next Thursday (29 October), will feature nine couples battling it out for the chance to open their own restaurant.
Blanc, this year's Catey lifetime achievement award winner, will be joined on the show by Michelin-starred restaurateur David Moore and former Clapham House director Sarah Willingham.
Blanc, chef patron of the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire, said the industry is under tremendous difficulty, putting fledging restaurateurs under increased pressure.
"Every day restaurants are closing down. I must tell you that the customer has become demanding and picky - he wants the best value for money and expects great things," he said.
"So the pressure is on us all. We must aim higher. We must do better."
Blanc will also star in two new BBC commissioned food programmes to run as spin-offs of The Restaurant.
Step By Step will show the chef demonstrating his own recipes will run alongside The Restaurant, while reality show Plate Expectations will be screened early next year.
Last year's winners of The Restaurant, Michele English and Russell Clement, opened their new property, The Cheerful Soul in the Hare & Hounds, earlier this summer.
The couple took over the Enterprise Inns' pub in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and are serving a seasonal menu in a relaxed atmosphere.
Raymond Blanc to go into business with 2008's The Restaurant winners >>By Kerstin KühnE-mail your comments to Kestin Kühn here.
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