Each episode, two teams of aspiring restaurateurs square off in an extremely intense competition to prove they have what it takes to open their own restaurant. The teams have just 24 Hours to conquer a concept, décor, and of course the food to turn a blank space into the restaurant of their dreams. Once the doors are open, actual diners will be served and a panel of restaurant experts will judge to see which team showed the most potential for running a successful restaurant. The winner will walk away with seed money to help them actualize their dream.
Two teams of best friends battle it out with very different restaurants: a bustling Italian joint with a very ambitious menu, and a homey spot filled with very simple offerings. Charlie LoGrasso, a barbershop owner from South Boston, MA., and Mark Conde, a Dorchester, MA. concessions chef, are best friends who bonded over their Italian heritage and love for boxing. The bombshell duo Danushka Lysek, a New York model and private chef, and Angela Bartys, a private chef in Los Angeles, put their culinary degrees together to whip up a small, rustic menu with dishes that evoke childhood memories-but are they playing it too safe? Mark and Charlie plan to pack their menu full of authentic central Sicilian fare with New England charm for a unique Italian restaurant experience. But has this team bitten off more than they can chew? Judges include: Alison Brod, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
A team of brothers battle it out against a mother/daughter duo in this family feud of comforting meals versus posh plates. Brothers Mookie Hicks, the chef and owner of a Jessup, MD. catering company, and Saoul Vanderpool, a Bronx, NY graphic designer, hope to combine their soulful style and artistic experience into a restaurant. Rachel Goldman Nason, the chef and owner of a catering company from Brookline, MA and Jane Poefcher Goldman, a Waltham, MA. nurse and event planner, try to turn their catering experience into the restaurant of their dreams. Blood bonds are tested as Rachel and Jane bicker over plans for small plates in a modern setting while Mookie and Saoul go for a progressive soul vibe. Judges include: Jason Denton, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Two teams with restaurant experience face-off in a heated, high-skills battle. Erik Ruminski, a personal chef from Oak Park, IL and Ces Lopez, a food service manager from Chicago, are goofy and inseparable best friends. Sisters Barbara Apt, a food services sales account manager from Lantana, Texas, and Lisa Sheehan, an Argyle, Texas restaurant equipment sales representative, hope to combine their culinary backgrounds into a venture dedicated to their dad. When the battle begins, Erik and Ces develop ambitious plans for a European bistro with mystique while Barbara and Lisa take a more homey approach with a modern tavern piano bar featuring regional American cuisine. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Ben Leventhal, and Marcus Samuelsson.
That's Italian! This battle pits two teams of three against each other in a clash of Italian cuisine. Rossella and Angela Rago, along with "Nonna" Romana Sciddurlo are three generations of Italian women from Brooklyn, NY, who keep their cooking authentic with recipes passed down through their family. Best friends from Connecticut, Anthony Longbardi and Chris Gentile, together with Anthony's sister, Debra Jean, use their culinary educations to put a twist on the traditional Italian fare they grew up with. Will the patrons prefer the time-honored traditions of the Old Country, or will they gravitate toward the modern twist on familiar fare? Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Marcus Samuelsson.
Will their love survive? Things heat up in this battle as two couples put their love and their dreams on the line. Justin Warner and J.J. Pyle are newly dating; they met while working in a New York City restaurant just 7 months ago and have been inseparable ever since. Zach Gaynor and Lisa Fernandez, from Philadelphia, have been dating-and bickering-for five years after meeting at the restaurant where they both worked. These couples are as different as their restaurant concepts: Justin and J.J. cook-up a unique and super creative brunch restaurant serving sweet and savory jellies on a variety of waffles and pancakes while Zach and Lisa specialize in retro comfort food inspired by the 1950's. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
It's Home Cook vs. Home Cook as a father/son team faces-off against two best friends in this battle to make their long-standing dreams a reality. Lad Dizon is willing to give up his career as a postman in Teaneck, N.J., to make his son Andrew's dream of opening his own restaurant come true. Neeka Dockeny, a stay-at-home mom from Philadelphia, and Dorinda Hampton, a New Castle, Del. bakery business owner, have been inseparable since age one. Some unexpected twists to their menus arise: The Dizons go back to their roots with a Filipino-American concept in a modern setting featuring exotic fare, while Neeka and Dorinda focus on a menu that is "not your grandmother's vegetarian." Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
This battle pits two couples with failed business experience against each other for a second stab at a venture together. Washington D.C.'s Chris Alvear and Francisco Pliego have had a rollercoaster relationship in both love in business, and though neither endeavor worked out, they remain ambitious friends with plans to open a Latino-Fusion restaurant. Sara and Mitchell Matzek are a husband-and-wife team from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., whose roadside Texas BBQ stand was hit by a car and destroyed. It's a fiery battle of Texas vs. the Ex's-and it all heats up as the clock winds down. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
It's a battle of the Theme Restaurants! Caveman Cuisine vs. Trailer Park Chic! Gary "Skip" Klavans, a writer from North Hollywood, Calif., and Alan "Buzz" Klavans, a paramedic and musician from Winter Garden, Fla., are two brothers pursuing a dream they've had since they were kids - a raucous and over-the-top caveman-themed restaurant. Best friends and culinary wonder-kids from Denver, Aaron Seelbinder and Baylor Ferrier, hope to introduce some "new blood" and life to the restaurant industry with their Trailer Chic concept, featuring family recipes. Judges include: Alison Brod, Steven Schussler, and Geoffrey Zakarian.