March 20, 2011 06:57 PM by Lisa Princ
America’s Next Great Restaurant on NBC returned tonight with another new episode. This time, the remaining nine contestants are put through a tough challenge working at Chipotle under Steve Ells‘ nervous, watchful eye. When they are also asked to make some changes to their concepts, who will impress and who will be sent packing? Keep reading for all the details!
America’s Next Great Restaurant on NBC kicks off tonight with a Chipotle challenge as the contestants have to work at one of Steve Ells’ restaurants for the lunch crowd. But the contestants don’t just have to work there, they actually have to work the lunch counter, serving up the meals and greeting the hungry customers. Working the counter of Chipotle did come as easy as some of the contestants had hoped it would. Stephanie did a great job of greeting folks with a smile and Alex seemed very comfortable – you could tell that he has worked in a restaurant. Some of the others were having a rough time though, leaving the stations messy and not greeting the customers properly. Jamawn was running around and yelling which was making the customers a little uncomfortable.
Finally, Steve Ells could take no more of these people destroying what he loved so much and he had to step in and get down and dirty and help speed things up. After lunch was over, the number of customers were tallied and were only about half of what they normally serve during this time – a truly poor performance by the contestants, leaving some very disappointed judges. Bobby Flay however, was very impressed with Stephanie and told her that she come and work at one of his restaurants anytime she wanted to. Although flattered, Stephanie was not liking the idea of working for him as much as working with him, in hopes her restaurant would be the one funded.
Next up for the contestants on America’s Next Great Restaurant was choosing a new name, and a slogan since not many of the names went over well with the customers at the last challenge. They were then told they would need to create one new signature dish as well which they would be serving at restaurant row to a crowd. Joey, however had the most popular name and was told to keep “Saucy Balls” but add a slogan and new logo. Most of the contestants took the advice and really did well with it such as Sandra who decided to change “Limbo” to “Sinners and Saints” and Jamawn who went from “W3′s” to “Soul Daddy”.
Some of the others did not take the advice well, such as Stephanie, who decided to stick with “Compleat” despite numerous attempts by the judges to get her to change that name. When the judges took a walk through to see how the contestants were doing with their menu’s, name changes and slogans, they were advised both Marisa and Sudhir to fire their chefs considering that they were not doing them any justice. Immediately when they finished and went back to the dorm, Sudhir fired his chef while Marisa chose not and give hers a second chance – but would it hurt her in the end?
Finally it was time to cook their new signature dish and display their new logos and slogans for the hungry visitors. Just like last time, the diners would put coins into boxes for the person they liked the best. The judges wandered around and were impressed with a lot of the changes but there were a few they did not like. Alex, according to them made a bad tasting ‘wonton’ taco while Marisa once again made her stir fry bland and boring. But the diners would be the ones deciding who would win the challenge and when they were tallied up, it was Jamawn who impressed the most people with his new idea of Soul food – even Curtis seemed to enjoy that food when he tried it – and we have seen how picky he can be.
Then it was time for the judges to speak to the three worst concepts which were Marisa, Stephanie and Greg and Krystal. They could not get over the fact that Greg and Krystal just could not seem to get their ideas straight – they changed their name and menu to grill, but they still wanted to serve pulled pork? Stephanie’s food did not impress as much as the judges hoped, and although she did such a great job at Chipotle, Bobby Flay no longer cared as he could not get over her lack of name change and stated he would not fund that unless she changed the name. Marisa made a big mistake by not taking the judges advice and firing her chef, which showed them exactly how she would run her kitchen staff if they funded her and that is why they ultimately decided that Marisa and her stir fry wok concept would not be America’s Next Great Restaurant, instead she was sent packing.
Be sure to tune in next week for a brand new episode of America’s Next Great Restaurant on NBC!
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Photo Courtesy of NBC