The nation’s favourite French maître d' will host as food entrepreneurs graft for investment in Spinningfields
MILLION Pound Menu, a brand new TV show about running a successful restaurant, fronted by First Dates' maître d‘ Fred Sirieix, is to be filmed in Manchester in November.
The programme will offer a dozen of the UK’s most 'exciting and innovative food concepts' a chance to secure a life changing business investment, allowing them to open a venue of their own.
Each of the twelve new pop-up restaurant ideas will take turns running one of two adjacent spaces in Leftbank, Spinningfields, from November 7th to 25th. They will each be put to the test over three days, with one restaurant temporarily taking over the premises usually occupied by Beastro, and the other in The Kitchens unit opposite.
Their first night will be designated as a half price, soft launch period, where some mistakes might be overlooked. For the remainder of the lunch and dinner services, each will have to up their game for paying customers along with top food and beverage investors posing as mystery diners.
The twelve new restaurant concepts range from the radically wacky to some popular street food vendors, each facing the different challenges that a bricks and mortar venue brings, on national television.
First up, from November 7th-9th, will be Epoch; a modern British restaurant from Yorkshire-born chef Ruth Hansom and Emily Lambert, The Ritz’s first female sommelier. Opposite, and running at the same time will be Shrimpwreck by award-winning Scottish chef Ewen Hutchinson, who will be cooking a menu of fish and seafood.
Following on from this will be the turn of vegan Thai outfit Greedy Khao, Trap Kitchen’s American soul food, Black Bear Burger, Hollings seasonal food, The Cheese Wheel serving Italian fettucine from a large wheel of Grana Padano, and Dynasty, who cook with “plant-forward” East Asian and Latin ingredients.
Quirkier ideas include Naked Dough, who plan to create a menu of indulgent desserts based around raw cookie dough, and Bubble &, whose menu features innovative versions of the well-known classic Bubble and Squeak.
Hopeful restaurant concepts hailing from closer to home include the popular street food stall FINCA, whose vibrant Cuban street food stall has been wowing Liverpool, and Wholesome Junkies, a passionate, purely vegan Manchester-based street food vendor.
Members of the public who would like to apply to be guests can click the booking link (below)
The series will be hosted by Fred Sirieix, general manager of Galvin at Windows, the Michelin-starred restaurant at the London Hilton. Siriex is most well known for appearing on First Dates, a reality show devoted to helping single people find love, where he regularly offers advice to camera on the nature of romance and dating. Viewers might also recognise Fred from his appearances on Michel Roux's Service and The Apprentice.
He said: "I am very excited and honoured to be joining the talented team of Million Pound Menu. The UK restaurant scene is booming with creativity and a quality never seen before. To play a part in discovering, nurturing and helping the next generation of restauranteurs is an opportunity like no other. I can't wait to get to work and for the series to start.”
The programme will be produced by Electric Ray, the company behind hit BBC documentary the Class of 92: Out of Their League, which charted the takeover of Salford City FC by former Manchester United stars.
Pre-production work has already begun to convert the empty space opposite Beastro, with filming expecting to begin as soon as November 3rd.
Members of the public who would like to apply to be dining guests on the programme are invited to click on this booking link where they can find more information on each dining concept and view each of their menus and price lists.
All customers will be required to pay for their meals, with any profits being donated to the BBC’s Children in Need.