Now we’re cooking
With things on starting to heat up, discusses which contestants are cooking with gas and who is struggling to keep up SHANNON MOLLOY
Revolution THE competition has only just begun but among the five teams who have turned empty shipping containers into pop- up restaurants around the country, there are a few early favourites.
host Jock Zonfrillo says the reality of the enormous task has well and truly sunk in, with some contenders battling to cope with the pressure.
An acclaimed restaurateur and chef, the Adelaide- based kitchen whiz believes the Channel Seven reality show’s $ 200,000 grand prize could go to anyone.
However, Dom Aboud from Sydney is undoubtedly an early frontrunner, impressing the judges with his clear vision and infectious enthusiasm.
“It’s been amazing watching Dom grow so much and really resemble a restaurateur,” Zonfrillo says.
Award- winning chef and expert judge Neil Perry has also been impressed by the young cook, who is competing in on his own, but thinks the road ahead will be tough.
“He has to do a bit of everything himself, so it’ll be pretty full- on,” Perry says, adding he has also been impressed by the Donehue siblings from Adelaide, four chefs with a clear idea of the sort of restaurant they want to open.
“They’re pretty impressive and I’m expecting them to put a pretty good foot forward,” he says.
In his view, the key to running a slick operation is the perfect mix of service, food and atmosphere. But he says the show is about more than just delicious dishes – it’s the restaurant with the biggest profit margin that will ultimately reign supreme.
“I think Brisbane is a strong possibility in that regard. Their idea of Mexican with an Asian flair is very interesting. If they can run a really slick operation, they’ll be hard to beat,” he says.
The three amigos, as they’ve dubbed themselves, are John McIntosh, his girlfriend Justine Yeong and her mum Maggie.
Melbourne couple Nathan Scarfo and Maz Koutsonikolas went in confident but had a few early stumbles, although Zonfrillo thinks the reality check was exactly what they needed.
And while Perth sisters Carmen and Nicole Watts have struggled, Zonfrillo says they shouldn’t be written off yet.
“They have zero industry experience and they’ve made some early mistakes,” he says.
“But that said, they have other strengths – particularly in PR and marketing.”
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