on 10:05


Didn’t get back from Dusk till Dawn until early this morning after getting deep and finishing 42nd out of the 120 runners.

I decided to catch up with “The Restaurant” and watch the final episode featuring JJ and James (The chancer’s) who shouldn’t really be in the final and Chris and Nathan who must have been nailed on favourites going into the final.

The result was a sham considering that those who chose (Raymond, Sarah and David) aught to know a thing or two about the credentials of wannabe chefs, JJ has been in the kitchen for 8 weeks now and failed to come up with a “hot” meal – his main meal last night consisted of rare beef.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy got slated (rightly so) the other day for sending a makeshift team up to Old Trafford to face the mighty Man United in a premier league game – surely premier league players of any club would want to play the biggest game of their career – the fans have every right to feel cheated as does every other opposing side in the premiership, Wolves effectively “gave away 3 points”

Would be chefs would need to prove themselves in the kitchen – YES? Then how on earth did this couple of barmen con their way into one of the country’s leading chef’s beliefs that they would make a good partnership with them? I am amazed to say the least and I was left speechless at the end of the program – in eight weeks JJ has done absolutely nothing to prove that he is anything other than an “uptown barman” who can shake a cocktail or two.

The producers of The Restaurant, Raymond Blanc, Sarah and David and more importantly the BBC themselves have a duty to come out and explain to the many viewers and licence payers of last nights program how they came by their decision, did Raymond have a side bet with the book makers or something because the outcome given the production just didn’t shape up.

On a personal level I’d rather go down my local chippy than go to any new restaurant run by these two barmen and I’m 100% certain the food will be nicer from the local chippy.

I doubt very much that there will be a catch up programme after 12 months as they surely wont last that long – as a viewer I feel cheated as much as the runners up, Nathan and Chris must feel cheated by this outrageous, unreal outcome. – will I watch any future shows next year – I’d rather watch Gordon and all his swearing than watch this garbage.

Good luck to all the runners at DTD today – I’ve got my fingers crossed for a few runners that I would like to see take it down and will be watching the updates closely.


I did not do a runner. I stand firm on the decision that I (we) have taken. To me, it is simple: Nathan has matured fast - from a rude, careless host, he has learned to show some sympathy for his guests (and for his chef/partner!) and it was nice to see that emerging maturity, sense of responsibility; at times he even looked sincere.

On the other hand, Chris’ attitude was at all times professional, and mature beyond his age; critical yet supportive of his partner Nathan, the kind of young man that I am always eager to work with - at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons or at Brasserie Blanc. Chris faltered at the last hurdle - it was the final.

So - I according to many, I (and my partners) have committed a serious error of judgement which is so obvious to see. Chris is a good cook and Nathan is a reformed character; they should be the winners. On the other hand, both JJ and James are disturbing characters, stereotypes accused of being annoying, arrogant, superficial, shallow... and ... JJ cannot cook. So how could RB choose a chef who cannot cook? This defies all common sense; it is as simple as that.

Then why should I choose them as my winners? Why did we not go into business with Nathan and Chris? They are young, they are supple, they have moved on, learned, they are hard working ... yes, I hear, but, really for me, they are too immature, unequipped for that journey. I know that the first pressures, the stress of a real business would quickly break down the delicate relationship of my young and willing partners. Chris has been strong and consistent, he is the lynch pin of the partnership; and all credit to him. Nathan improved but not nearly enough.

My winners are JJ and James

I know too well that they do not fit the image of the conventional couple: Chef Patron and Front of House Manager, and it sounds bizarre that I of all people should choose a chef who cannot cook.

But… they have many qualities that I revere: they are hard working, resilient , smart and they think on their feet. They have sound and mature business minds, they are creative and they form the strongest team by far. Driven and hugely enthusiastic - and they have a concept, "a raison d être". The weakness of JJ (cannot cook) will be swept away by his obvious talent: cocktail-making. His cooking may be naive but his taste is immaculate. He is after all one of the most talented young British professionals. Give me JJ and James for a month, full on at Le Manoir, and we will see, for a start.

My partners and I feel confident that we have made the right choice and we very much look forward to working with JJ and James. Sure, the "Restaurant" that we are about to create will no doubt be different from most - yes , it will probably be eventful, but I know for certain - it will not be boring!

PS Last night, we celebrated with the boys, friends and family. Later today, I would like to share with you a few surprising, hidden facets of JJ and James .

I will see you later.


"Well I still think it's bullshit"



Newy said...

LMAO..... Sounds like JJ, his partner, the bosses at BBC and Mick mcarthy will not be on ur Christmas Card list this year. Didnt realise u were so passionate about such things but i look forward to ur views on the affair between tyrones missus and kevin webster and the x factor single lol. UL last night but plenty more comps jus round the corner

Steve H. said...

Good luck at the table today paul, my fingers are crossed that you, paul King and Colin Young all make the final table. All three of you are more than capable of getting that deep and all of you are deserving of a good cash. Be lucky all weekend mate.