Quantity AND Quality, never give up one for the other.
This week, the contestants faced their first major challenges. It's tough for any seasoned chef to prepare food for 1,000 people without compromising the quality. So you can imagine how difficult it would be for someone with no culinary background whatsoever. The first task this week and perhaps one of the most important of the competition was to choose a chef that could be part of their vision and help create the food that would make the contestants dream a reality. They had to use their best judgment when choosing their chef. Choosing the right chef could make you a frontrunner in this competition, the wrong chef could send you home.
For the first time, the public chose their favorite concept, giving the top scoring contestant immunity for this elimination. This was also a good indicator of which concept would be most popular with future customers and set the tone for the rest of the competition.
The second major challenge was to design their logos. This was the first impression of their brand, and I was looking for something simple but special. A logo should make a statement and be able to capture the feel of the restaurant.
I faced some major challenges of my own on this show. As a chef, standing and working in a kitchen all day, comfort is key. I spend most of my days in a chef's jacket and the most comfortable shoes I can find to endure eight plus hours cooking. Heels are not, thankfully, reasonable or acceptable in a commercial kitchen situation. Needless to say, walking around CityWalk all day in six-inch heels was a major challenge. I am happy to report, unlike some of our contestants that day, I succeeded, and am now totally comfortable in any size heel. The taller, the better. Well, enough about me...
Back at the investor's suite, ready to deliberate who would be eliminated this week, I realized that it was going to be difficult, and with time would only get worse. Being open to advice and guidance is key in this sort of competition, and part of the growth of both the concept and the contestant. Not being open would be a huge obstacle for our investment and a successful partnership.
Next week... a taste of the real world.