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

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

Res­tau­rant

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.

Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion

Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion

“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.”

RES­TAU­RANT REVO­LU­TION

MON­DAY, 7.30PM; THURS­DAY, 8PM, SCT

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