Restaurant Makeover

Formula for an episode of Restaurant Makeover

  1. Chef and designer make fun of restaurant
  2. Meet the owner, the owner is either:
    1. Proud, or
    2. Improbably accepting of criticism
  3. Money exchanges hands
  4. Construction guy says: “OMG, you want me to do what in how long?!”
  5. Local chef cooks
  6. Imported chef is astonished by lack of talent
  7. Construction guys run into major problems because designer was too ambitious
  8. Imported chef comes up with tasty but impractical dishes
  9. Owners get to see the restaurant and love it

I like this show, but I don’t know why. It is incredibly formulaic (see above). There are slight variations. The owners come in two stereotypes, combative and overly accepting, with the latter being more common. I mean, really, who takes criticism that well? People on TV, that’s who. And people who just dropped $15,000 and want to believe it was well-spent.

I can’t help but feel sorry for the chefs. I wonder how much input they get in the decision to bring in the Restaurant Makeover people. They certainly get the worst deal out of it. Some strange cook comes into their kitchen, makes fun of them on TV, then schools them. Sure, some of them are inept, but some of them (I’m thinking the ones who work at sports bars) are perfectly suited for their type of restaurant and shouldn’t be blamed for not being versed in haute cuisine (or even medium-high cuisine).

There is one episode that I’m very interested to see. They made over my favourite fish place last year. I notice that they didn’t touch the menu–or that the chef rightly ignored any input inport-chef offered (good job Hank!). They did a nice job of lightening the place (which was too dark) but I’m not sure they did much more than take out a sheet of glass and paint the place. I really want to know what they did (and what blasphemous things the evil import people said about the place).

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