Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Low Down Behind the Ideas of America's Next Great Restaurant

   Normally, I’m reviewing the food, but what about the people in the kitchen-those creating the food, the ideas, and the brands that we all love. This time I will be focusing on Bobby Flay and Steve Ells. Both men are judges on the new show America’s Great Next Restaurant. First, how did these guys get started in the business?
            Bobby Flay started working in a restaurant at age 17. Flay’s father was a partner of the restaurant called Joe Allen’s. Mr. Allen was impressed with the young Flay and paid for him to go to the French Culinary Institute. From there, he started making history in the restaurant business, as we know it. Bobby has been partners in opening restaurants including, Mesa Grill and BOLO. He has published 3 books and has he own show on the Food Network. Bobby Flay is now known as one of America’s top chefs!
            Steve Ells took a different route than Flay. He went to the University of Colorado for a degree in art history. Then he went to the Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1990.  Steve worked in Stars Restaurant in LA, but there he decided he would leave and open the first Chipotle in Colorado. In 93’ Ells founded Chipotle with a loan from his father for $85,000.  Plans were to only open one and then open a restaurant, but Chipotle has been to successful and continues to grow today.

         Currently both men are top investors for the TV show America’s Great Next Restaurant. The winner of the show will have millions of dollars invested into the restaurant to open in three locations, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York City. There are three main key points the judges are looking for: the name of the restaurant, the logo, slogan, concept of the overall company and marketability.
            Both Flay and Ells have different things they are specifically looking for. Flay is focusing on the ambition of the business concept, while Ells is looking at quality of food in the concept. Together these men are going to help make dreams a reality and change the food world, as we know it.

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