Jeremy and I arrived at Brooklyn Fireproof Studios at 1:00 pm to sign our releases for the taping of season 2 of Food Network’s, 24-Hour Restaurant Battle, episode 1. Our waiting area was inside a local Brooklyn cafe, a place you’ll find no tourists. We snacked on Brooklyn water bagels, whole wheat of course, and organic coffee. After a couple of hours, we walked backstage to our first restaurant as cameras and crew watched our every move. We tried to act normal but it’s a little hard when cameras are all around.
We were seated and ordered our drinks. As our waiter Andrew approached (his real job is as a standup comedian in SOHO), he told us they ran out of all dessert. My heart dropped, as I am a sucker for sweets, and I gave him an “Oh really, that’s okay.” Really it wasn’t.
As he walked away, the producer came up to us and said, “I understand your waiter just told you that they are out of dessert. We’re going to shoot that again.” As the mic came over our heads and as they prepared to shoot this re-enactment, I started to get nervous. Finally the waiter came over, and I replied, “Oh really, that’s okay.” They ended up shooting it again and again. Each time my response was the same. A little boring I know. Was I supposed to “act it out”? Who knows? Hopefully it doesn’t get aired; I had a bad hair day today! lol
Halfway through our appetizer, the producer moved us to a table directly next to the judges’ table. Jeremy continued to eat his clam chowder and my plate of well-seasoned clams topped with chorizo and spinach. This was my favorite dish. For our entree, Jeremy ordered the roasted duck with mixed white and sweet potatoes. Something I’m going to try and make. I ordered the cod drizzled with a chipotle sauce and spinach. The cod was perfectly cooked and very tasty!
The judges ate and shared their entrees, including the dessert – a whoopie pie that they had “run out of” – which seemed to last about 2 hours. Halfway through, the producer added a couple to our table and the waiter continued to bring us more drinks and food, but no dessert. Adding a couple to our table made the experience much easier and by the time shooting was done, we weren’t nervous. Round two, in a couple of weeks! A blast for sure!
About the show: Hosted by renowned chef Scott Conant (chef and owner of Scarpetta and Faustina at The Cooper Square Hotel), each episode of 24-Hour Restaurant Battle features dueling two-person teams of aspiring restaurateurs who have 24 hours to conceive, plan and open their own restaurants for one night. On each team, one person handles front-of-house issues like decor, seating and service while the other manages back-of-house matters like menu planning, shopping and, of course, cooking. When the doors open, each restaurant serves a discerning group of diners, along with Scott and a rotating panel of judges representing three areas of expertise: restaurant marketer, restaurant reviewer and restaurant investor. Based on the restaurant’s concept, execution and viability, the judges choose a winning team to receive $10,000 seed money toward realizing their dream.