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October 24, 2014

NBC Adds Bobby Flay to Its Menu

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 15th 2010 9:30AM
Bobby Flay is putting his money where he hopes America's mouth will be.

The restaurateur, cookbook author and Food Network chef has joined the cast of NBC's upcoming reality series 'America's Next Great Restaurant,' in which Flay and a panel of his fellow chefs and business giants will help launch a new restaurant chain dreamed up by one of the show's contestants.

Not only will Flay and his panel select the winning idea, they'll also use their own money to become investors in the new eatery chain.

Contestants needn't be chefs, or have any cooking experience at all, really. Instead, those whose initial ideas impress the judges will then be put through a series of challenges that will test their business savvy, including how well they can manage a staff, how marketable their idea is and how crafty they are in creating a menu.Bobby Flay is putting his money where he hopes America's mouth will be.

The restaurateur, cookbook author and Food Network chef has joined the cast of NBC's upcoming reality series 'America's Next Great Restaurant,' in which Flay and a panel of his fellow chefs and business giants will help launch a new restaurant chain dreamed up by one of the show's contestants.

Not only will Flay and his panel select the winning idea, they'll also use their own money to become investors in the new eatery chain.

Contestants needn't be chefs, or have any cooking experience at all, really. Instead, those whose initial ideas impress the judges will then be put through a series of challenges that will test their business savvy, including how well they can manage a staff, how marketable their idea is and how crafty they are in creating a menu.

One grand prize winner will see his or her idea come to fruition on the season finale, as the show helps them launch a chain of four restaurant locations across the country.

The show, originally (and much more cleverly) titled 'United Plates of America,' is produced by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, the producers behind 'Project Runway' and 'Top Chef.' It's tentatively planned to premiere during the fall 2010-11 season on NBC.

Meanwhile, as producers continue to cast Flay's fellow-judges (there will be five total), they're also hitting the road to audition the contestants who will serve up the ideas for the next big Chipotle or Olive Garden. Beginning on Mar. 19 and running through Apr. 5, open casting calls for aspiring restaurateurs will be held in New York City (Mar. 19, 20), Raleigh, North Carolina (Mar. 22), Nashville, Tennessee (Mar. 24), Columbus, Ohio (Mar. 26), Chicago, Illinois (Mar. 28), Kansas City, Kansas (Mar. 30), Denver, Colorado (Apr. 1) and Los Angeles, California (Apr. 5).

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