Intent on serving up a win
BIRD’S Nest co- owner Marie Yokoyama is bracing herself to be reality TV’s newest villain after vowing “not to make friends” on Hot Plate.
Yokoyama is determined to win the $ 100,000 first prize on the Nine Network series, which launches tonight, and says she’s not interested in making friends.
“I figured that out ( I would be the villain) half way through the show because the other contestants couldn’t understand I wouldn’t get involved because I wanted to win,” Yokoyama said.
“Making friends with people, you get your emotions involved and when you have to try and judge their food it can become a bit tricky.
“I think I’ll come off cold in the beginning.”
Yokoyama and Emi Kamada run Brisbane Japanese restaurant Bird’s Nest – one of six established eateries competing for the $ 100,000 cash prize.
There are two restaurants located in both WA and NSW and one in Victoria. Each eatery is judged on its food, atmosphere and decor by food critic Tom Parker Bowles and acclaimed chef Scott Pickett.
Also casting votes are the five opposing teams at each sitting.
Yokoyama also kept a very big secret from the producers. She was pregnant with her third child during the filming of the series and only told the cast late in production when it became blatantly obvious to the wardrobe department.
“I kept it a secret for as long as I could,” she said.
Winning would allow Yokoyama and Kamada, who have been promoted as the samurai girls, to establish a second restaurant.
Bird’s Nest is not your everyday Japanese restaurant. It does not serve sushi or tempura and focuses solely on a variety of chicken dishes.
“We tried to go in determined because the reason we have gone on the show is to get our business name out there,” she said.
“We took a big risk ... and the first year was really hard because people would come in and say ‘ you’re only serving chicken, where’s the sushi and the tempura?’.
Hot Plate is one of two new reality cooking shows which air on Tuesday, with the Seven Network launching Restaurant Revolution. On the surface, Restaurant Revolution looks similar to Seven’s former cooking series My Restaurant Rules. Teams design and run their own pop- up restaurants and they will be judged each week by their customers, a group of experts, including top chef Neil Perry, and on their profit margin.
The best and most profitable restaurant will win $ 200,000.
Hot Plate launches tonight, 7.30pm, on the Nine Network.
EXPANSION PLANS: Bird's Nest owners Emi Kamada and Marie Yokoyama.