What do you get when you cross Top Chef with Mark Cuban’s The Benefactor (anybody remember that? HA), steal half the name of America’s Next Top Model, and throw in inexplicably famous “chef” Curtis Stone? Only the single greatest reality show on NBC during the 8 p.m. time slot on Sundays: America’s Next Great Restaurant.
This groundbreaking pilot’s premise is that people who did boring things with their lives because they were too poor or risk-averse pitch restaurant franchise ideas to Curtis, Bobby Flay, and two other judges that nobody recognizes, who then back the winner with money from NBC’s budget their own wallets to open three identical restaurants so they can fail in three different cities at the same time.
As you may have guessed, America is not watching, the show is not Great, and I somehow doubt that The Spice Coast (or whichever proposed restaurant wins) will threaten the national hegemony of McDonald’s, although I might order it from Seamless Web. If I liked Indian food. Which I do not.
In any event, competing in “ANGR” is one of our own…
Meet Stephenie Park, a 28-year-old, former second-year corporate and finance restructuring associate in the Chicago office of Paul Hastings. Park is pitching Harvest Sol: a fixed-calorie, healthy fast food chain, featuring meals ranging from 450-750 calories. Given the fat-ass lawyer epidemic, I’d say we could certainly use more healthy grab-and-go options.
Here’s Stephenie’s NBC bio:
Stephenie Park grew up in a middle class Korean family in the Chicago suburbs. She achieved a JD from Harvard Law and a BS in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Park volunteered for the Peace Corps for two years and even though she’s accomplished so much, she’s never had enough faith to really go for what she’s wanted until now. Her ambition is to have fixed-calorie fast food meals in busy metropolitan areas – full meals with an entree, side and small dessert. Her goal is to teach Americans portion control, especially in fast dining.
Though she has yet to win a challenge on the show and has been in the bottom twice, it seems like Stephenie’s a decent chef, and the judges like her concept. It’s not over until the tribe has spoken/she has to pack her knives and go.
But assuming she doesn’t win the “prize” of being a novice manager and non-equity owner of three high-stakes restaurants in wildly different locations, don’t look for her in the office adjacent to yours anytime soon. According to her Twitter feed, she hates being a lawyer.
Us too, Stephenie. Us too.
Good luck on the show!