The Restaurant series two - BBC Two from Wednesday 10 September 2008 at 8.00pm
World-renowned chef and restaurateur Raymond Blanc returns to BBC Two for The Restaurant, the series in which nine couples battle it out for a once in a lifetime opportunity to open a new restaurant with him.
Passionate Blanc will be hands-on in his role as master restauranteur. To inspire the couples for each week's challenges, he will share and demonstrate his creative talents with them in a search to find the pair with the flair, enthusiasm and abilities necessary to succeed in the tough but hugely rewarding world to which he has dedicated his life.
Each couple competes to prove they have the vision and talent to create their perfect restaurant and open it to the paying public. They must turn their business into a success or risk facing one of Raymond's rigorous challenges.
Each week's losing couple will have their restaurant closed – for good.
Adding to the pressure are eagle-eyed inspectors and industry experts Sarah Willingham and David Moore, on a mission to scrutinise all aspects of the couples' restaurants, food, service and business acumen.
Each week, Raymond eliminates one couple until just the triumphant winners remain.
Co-executive Producer, Patrick Uden, explains the concept behind the series: "Almost anyone who can cook or is a great host has at some point been told, 'You should run a restaurant'. And many people see it as a dream of liberation from the nine-to-five drudgery of their current life.
"Raymond Blanc embodies that dream; he has elevated the idea of a restaurant to a fairyland otherness and on entering his world the spirits are lifted.
"In The Restaurant, Raymond offers hope to those who aspire to enter this world, yet he is also all too aware of the dark side: the sheer hard graft required, the long hours, the problems that can arise at any time – staff not turning up, wrong deliveries, an oven breaking down, the list of pitfalls is seemingly endless.
"But for those with the right passion, skills and determination, the rewards can be great."
Co-executive Producer, Chloe Solomon, continues: "Raymond is legendary for discovering talent. He fires-up the imagination and, because he is completely self-taught, knows all too well the value of knowledge and training.
"He has nurtured more Michelin-starred chefs and front of house managers than any other chef, and our couples hope he will spot that potential in them as he pushes, inspires and encourages them to fulfil their potential.
"More than anything, Raymond is excited by a desire and capacity to learn. This spirit of the possible is at the heart of The Restaurant."