Restaurant Express, Season 1: Top Moments of the Finale

Get an inside look at the contestants' challenges and relive the most-memorable moments from the finale of Food Network's Restaurant Express, Season 1.
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Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Return to Sin City

The top-three rivals arrive back in Las Vegas, and on account of his success last week, Adam has automatically advanced to the final challenge. Since only Jan or Seonkyoung can join Adam, however, the ladies will have to face off in a head-to-head cook-off to prepare their would-be restaurant's signature dish for Robert.

Comforting but Standard

Jan's stuffed pork chop is "seared nicely," according to Robert, although he wonders if it's too commonplace. While Seon's menu prices are too high, her seafood-based dish is successful, and she earns the final spot in the last challenge. Looking back on the competition, Jan says, "The past six weeks has given me a range of knowledge and experience that I couldn't have gotten anywhere else."

All on the Line

For their final challenge, Adam and Seon have just 48 hours to prepare to open their dream concepts alongside one another in the same restaurant. With $5,000 to spend on food and decor, each must execute all aspects of their business, including design, food preparation, and menu planning and pricing, plus management of their servers and cooks.

Cautiously Optimistic

"I've learned my lesson about overconfidence," Adam tells Robert as he prepares his American-focused menu of small plates for his restaurant, America. He'll serve dishes like flatbread with beef, lobster-laced gumbo, and mac and cheese with pulled pork. "I'm going with an eclectic American menu and items that are accessible to people," Adam says.

Self-Confidence

Although she struggled with confidence in the beginning of the competition, Seon now believes she "can do anything," thanks to Robert. She's adapting well to the demands of a professional kitchen and managing her staff members as they work on her contemporary Asian menu for her concept restaurant, Jade, which will include entrees of Spicy Soy Salmon and Chinese Sticky Ribs.

Busy Business

Adam's restaurant fills up fast, while Seonkyoung's tables remain empty, and she's concerned, noting, "Last time he was busy like that before, too, and he won again." Soon her former competitors return, however, and six of seven already eliminated contestants choose to eat at Jade instead of Adam's America.

Taste Test

Along with everyday customers, Robert and two hotel executives dine at each finalist's restaurant, and they'll ultimately determine whose eatery should join the hotel. The special guests are impressed with the pricing and incentive on Adam's menu, although they notice that some of his food is flawed. "A few good dishes executed well, the rest not so well," Robert explains.

Recurring Issue

Once again Seon struggles with the pricing of her menu, which Robert and the executives find too lofty. Nevertheless, she indeed delivers on the flavors of her food, as one executive notes of her offerings: "They seem to have elevated in flavor. It's progressively getting better."

Home Cook Claims the Win

Despite Adam's significant experience in the restaurant industry, he falls in the contest to a home cook, as Seonkyoung is ultimately named the winner of the opportunity to help launch a restaurant. Robert tells him, "Tonight was not your night, but you're an amazing chef." Reflecting on his weeks on the road, Adam says, "I tried my best."

Chef Longest

Now part of the M Resort team, Seonkyoung accepts her chef jacket before touring her new restaurant with Robert. She's overcome with emotion and later explains: "I believe that I [was] born to do this. I think I can make people happy with a restaurant."

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