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Restaurant Express

Restaurant Express

Photo Credit:  Food Network
  • Premiered: 
    November 3, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Food Network
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Talent
  • Tags: food, cooking

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Plot Synopsis

Nine chefs travel across the western United States aboard the Restaurant Express Bus for seven weeks and compete in elimination challenges, as they vie for the chance to become the executive chef of a new restaurant at the M Resort Spa Casino in Las Vegas. After each challenge, which tests the contestants' culinary skills and business savvy as potential restaurateurs, chef Robert Irvine reviews their performances and eliminates one chef, allowing the remaining competitors to keep their seats on the bus. When the nine aspiring chefs arrive in Vegas, they must pitch their dream restaurant to Robert to get one of the eights spots on board. The bus heads to Lake Las Vegas, where the competitors must create a restaurant from the ground up with just $500 and six hours to feed 250 hungry guests. After Robert eliminates one of the bottom three earners, the bus travels to Temecula, CA, where the competitors compete in a mini-challenge to get extra money for the main challenge: testing their restaurant ideas on the locals at a lunch fair. Once again, one of the bottom three earners is eliminated. The bus moves on to Los Angeles, where the contestants compete in their first group challenge: each of the two teams are given 24 hours and $5,000 to revitalize a struggling restaurant. After another elimination, the five remaining contestants travel to Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, CA, where each person opens a concession stand with the same three dishes -- a burger, a dessert and something on a stick -- after competing in a mini-challenge to create a commercial. The remaining four contestants are given their biggest budget challenge: create a supper club with $1,000 and an empty restaurant shell. With only three chefs left, each contestant is given a food truck and are challenged on their ability to serve specific groups of diners at three iconic locations: a zoo, an upscale shopping center and a late night bar scene. The bus returns to Vegas, where the last two chefs have $5,000 to create a restaurant fit for The M Resort, where they must design their restaurant, create their menu and impress not only 100 diners, but also Robert and two M Resort executives. The nine competitors are: Jan Charles, a 44-year-old home cook from Greeneville, TN, who is a longtime Food Network fan and a mother to her own four children and her three nieces and nephews; Eric Gitenstein, a 30-year-old supper-club owner from Phoenix, who believes his business practice and time in the kitchen will give him the tools to be successful in the competition; Adam Goldgell, a 46-year-old executive chef from St. James, NY, who is not satisfied unless someone tells him it's the best thing they have ever tasted; Johnathan Hurley, a 31-year-old Army veteran from Los Angeles, who suffered a brain injury that took away his ability to taste and smell before he enrolled in culinary school and his sensory perceptions started coming back; Seonkyoung Longest, a 29-year-old home cook from Columbus, MS, who was born and raised in South Korea and grew up working in her family's restaurant before moving to Mississippi; Kimmy Moy, a 46-year-old daughter of a master chef, who closed her restaurant in Cincinnati after a devastating car accident left her unable to work and moved to Las Vegas to waitress; Bianca Rose, a 35-year-old chef from Los Angeles, who is confident that with her desire and combined experience in business and the kitchen will allow her to open a tapas lounge; Patrick Ruocco, a 34-year-old private chef from Danville, VA, who is eager to leave small-town America for the big city and provide for his family with his own eatery; and Ameerah Watson, a 27-year-old private chef and single mother from Atlanta, who would like to own a restaurant to pay tribute to her late brother and ultimately offer her daughter a bright future.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Relativity Lifestyle Television


  • The M Resort Spa Casino - Las Vegas, Nevada USA - Map It!