Restaurant Startup Preview: “Young Hustlers” [+ Exclusive Antonia Lofaso Interview]
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Last week’s “The Comeback Cook” was a nail-biter. Sometimes I hate that Joe and Tim have to pick one duo to go with; sometimes I wish they could pick both. But the stakes wouldn’t be quite the same — and the show probably wouldn’t be as exciting — so, I get it. While last week was about second chances, this week focuses on two up-and-coming businesses run by twenty-somethings.
I got the chance to speak to culinary consultant Antonia Lofaso earlier this month. She talks about why she wanted to be involved with the show this season, what she’s hoping to offer to the teams and what a culinary consultant really does.
TV GOODNESS: How did this all come together? What was the impetus for you getting involved with Restaurant Startup?
Antonia Lofaso: They basically reached out and asked me to come in. I had seen a couple of episodes in the first season and have always been a fan of Joe Bastianich and Tim Love from a professional standpoint. Theyâ€™re such amazing examples of stars who have worked throughout the United States and abroad. When I knew it was the two of them, I was like, â€˜Absolutely. Iâ€™d love to take a meeting.â€™ They let me know what the scope of the work was and what I would be doing. For the first time I got really excited about just being able to talk about what I know all day long and mentor and help other people through the process.
This industry is so, so difficult. The scope of the work and what it really takes to make it, I feel like sometimes people sugarcoat that scenario. A lot of times, people think itâ€™s so great and so amazing to be in the restaurant industry and people donâ€™t understand the work it actually entails. For me to be able to be vocal on that platform, I was really excited about because itâ€™s basically what I do all day long.
When I met with the network, one of their questions was, â€˜Why would you want to do a show like this?â€™ I thought that was a really interesting question because a lot of times, so much reality television is just people being cast in a position not really based on their qualifications, more just, â€˜I want to be on television.â€™ When I was asked that it put my mind at ease a little bit more. I felt like I was working with a production group that was really interested in having somebody on board who was going to take this role very seriously. It [made] me feel like this role was real, like how reality television should be.
I was excited to be able to take that role as a consultant. Thatâ€™s what I really am. In real life, there really are restaurant and chef consultants. They work for different companies or different restauranteurs that are looking to either fix or restructure their business. Youâ€™ve got people out there who own restaurants and sometimes they hire executive chefs. They hire consultants to get any overview. The overview is, â€˜This is our concept. This is our brand. This is the art graphics. This is our menu. This is how to run the front of the house. These are our numbers.â€™
A consultant can come in there and see where theyâ€™re strong and where theyâ€™re weak. Thatâ€™s really what I do. I get notes from Joe and Tim, specifically about what they like and what they donâ€™t like, these are their concerns. I get a full overview of what menu theyâ€™re looking at in whatever respective state they live in or potential restaurant or quick start restaurant, what their ideas are, what their menu is, what their costs look like and what theyâ€™re looking to see and change and what theyâ€™re looking to have shine through for the pop up or launch.
What I love so much about it is this idea is how a lot of potential chefs are getting the interest of restauranteurs. This is a very real way chefs go about business. There are chefs all over Los Angeles right now who do pop up dinners throughout the city. They try to gain popularity or momentum based on their food and the buzz and through that a lot of great, successful restaurants have been born. Heart and the Hunter is an example here in Los Angeles of chefs that have been trying to do this pop up circuit and get potential restauranteurs excited and into a bidding war.
Here, theyâ€™ve got money and theyâ€™ve got the full amount time to basically show what their restaurant could possibly look like, what their menu would look like, how they would run front of the house, how they would put their costs in order and a sample of what the food would taste like. They want a mock service. From that Joe and Tim can really see are these people we want to be in business with and then you get an investment or not.
“Young Hustlers” synopsis, from CNBC:
Tonight, restaurateurs and investors Joe Bastianich and Tim Love struggle to decide between two young and hungry teams from the restaurant capital of the world: New York City. Rock the Kasbah is an edgy Moroccan food catering company with dreams of conquering Manhattan. Yeah Dawg!!! is the funky creation of two sisters who think they make the best plant-based hot dog on the planet. Which team will get the opportunity to open a pop-up? And will they get the financial backing they need to take a bite out of the Big Apple?
Restaurant Startup airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CNBC.
Extended Sneak Peek:
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Finale + Revisiting the Season with George R. Olson
[Warning; General spoilers ahead.] Strap in, SurrealEstate fam, because we’ve arrived at the Season 2 finale, and it’s a doozy. As we saw in the closing moments of last week’s episode, Susan is back. But because we have one more episode left, it’s not as simple as all that, as…
Tyler Hynes Talks Through His Eight-Film Hallmark Holiday Library
Things you realize when you have to re-record your shows on a new DVR – just how many Hallmark movies your people have done. Fan favorite – and one of ours – Tyler Hynes has done eight Christmas movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries since 2018. Alongside…
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
Alison Sweeney Talks About What’s Next for Hannah and Mike After Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery
[Warning: Spoilers for Carrot Cake Murder.] Everybody OK after that Hannah Swensen Mystery twist? Thankfully, our favorite crime-solving couple is still on speaking term, even if they’re on a break (hopefully not that kind of break). Most importantly, we already know this isn’t the last film in the series. No…
Counting Down to From Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] We’re just shy of two weeks away from Season 2 of last spring’s obsession, From, which premieres at 9 pm/8c, Sunday, April 23rd, on MGM+ (formerly EPIX). If you never picked it up last year, now’s your chance, and you can do it for free, catching…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…