We just began watching the new season of the BBC America show Last Restaurant Standing and I was immediately reminded why we love it and why I hate it.
Several couples are given the chance to compete to open a restaurant in partnership with French restaurateur and noted chef Raymond Blanc. Last season, after watching show after show where he was more harsh than ever before on contestants, reducing one to sweating pale near-heart failure every episode and other to tears, it became almost too upsetting and stressful to endure.
This time, we had hope. The process was tweaked a bit and pairs of contestants were split into three teams to compete for the first episode. As they cooked off, we decided how they would be picked off. We were utterly shocked at the mother /daughter team who appeared not only to know nothing about the ingredients they chose to “cook” with, but also seemed to not know their way around a kitchen, nor how to recognize or use a can opener.
Blanc’s onlookers merely winced and dodged as these women did things no one should ever attempt with a very sharp knife. Thankfully, to our great relief, Blanc himself entered and stopped them before someone ended up with a grievous wound. He let them go before they ever even left the kitchen, an obvious first choice–yet one that also begs the question of how they ever got into the show to start.
I chose for my first place finishers the mother/son team and was angered beyond belief when they were asked to leave next. The woman had delicious food and a great presentation. Her son is shy and flustered about with his descriptions, but it was nothing that hasn’t been seen before.
They were one of the four teams that showed any kind of skill or hope (Blanc-ety Blanc as a restaurant name? That would have been sweet! Do they not watch the interviews and filler at all? And why didn’t his mom step up to help the boy as he stammered??). He kept people who didn’t cook, who served food that was bad to begin with and badly repaired–food the fellow knew was gone horribly wrong. He kept people who served raw food and grossly overcooked food, prepackaged food.
If it was over concept alone, they chose to keep the duo who claim they want to prepare “picnic” food? Who, when confronted over this awful decision, proudly supported it with enthusiasm, but no real plan? Bad move yet again, Blanc. I want to love your show, but find you unfair and your decisions without merit.