Last year's Million Pound Menu was a big success - so much so that BBC is bringing it back for a new series due next year (with the added "My" in front of the name).
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, it sees Fred Sirieix mentoring restaurants with a view to getting investment from key backers. Each week saw two restaurants open in Manchester on two days - one day was the soft launch, the next was the real thing. If they impressed the investors on the second day, they could get a big investment to open their restaurant for real.
Last year, Hansom Lambert were the big winners in the opening episode with Epoch - and there were more successes too. Finca got investment from Jeremy Roberts invested and they have already opened in Manchester out of Artisan, Dynasty got a residency from Lydia Forte in their Forte Berlin hotel. Bubble & got a development deal from Atul Kochhar and Wholesome Junkies got mentorship from Chris Miller.
As for the new series, we're promised something of a format change - with three contestants in each episode and one is picked to run a pop-up restaurant in Manchester for a couple of days. So here's who could get a big cash windfall this year - you'll recognise a few of them from London's street food scene. Note that this isn't the complete list - we'll have that asap.
In Episode 1:
- The Duck Truck - Currently in Spitalfields - and yes, they're all about duck
- Jah Jyot - Punjabi street food based in Horsham.
- BBQ Dreamz (winners of episode 1) - "They are offering bold, mouth-watering dishes inspired by Lee’s Filipino heritage."
- Baba Gs (winner of episode 2) - "Bhaji in your burger anyone? Baba G’s brings you a vibrant Indo-fusion spice revolution."
- XXVI Dining - "Two chefs who met at catering college and want to open their first restaurant fusing their love of Indian and Nepalese food."
- Krapow LDN - "High flying execs who’ve given up their finance and advertising careers to become the new Thai brand around town."
And in the rest of the series:
- Skaus - "Respected Liverpool duo who want to celebrate the synergy between Liverpudlian and Scandinavian food."
- Tiger Bites - "Tiger Bites is an Asian-American Fusion concept, centred around soft, fluffy, extra-large Taiwanese bao buns"
- Blue Caribou Kitchen - "French Canadian and Mancunian married couple who want to bring their authentic French-Canadian diner food to the UK and make a good life for their seven-year-old son."
- Burmese Kitchen - "New Yorker looking to leave the world of banking to establish Burmese Kitchen,and keep her late mother’s legacy alive."
- Coracle - "Inspired by childhood fishing trips on the River Teifi, Welsh duo Adam Wood and Gethin Davies present Coracle, a seasonal, modern British concept that celebrates their heritage."
- Sustainable Food Story - "Lab-meat scientist turned grain farmer joins forces with former Greenpeace activist to save the planet through their sustainability-focused food."
- Pilgrim - "Pilgrim will take you on a culinary journey along the various routes of the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage across France, Spain and Portugal."
- Hodge and Huggett - "Ex Ottolenghi Head Chef driven to work on a zero-waste concept alongside her partner, ex La Trompette Head Pastry Chef."
- Devi's - "Devi’s is an exciting, indulgent and creative plant-focused restaurant, encapsulating flavours from Indo-Persia to the Eastern Mediterranean."
- Oxalis - "Michelin star trained chef and former accountant come together to create an artisan British restaurant."
- MATR - "Married couple who want to bring Michelin style New Nordic cuisine to the UK."
- Really Rice - "Hospitality runs in this duo’s blood. Two friends from university who want to open a rice, and grain, predominantly plant-based grab and go outlet, with options for some meat or fish."
Million Pound Menu will be back on BBC TWO on 8 January 2019. Find out more about the programme.
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