America's Next Great Restaurant

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America's Next Great Restaurant
America's Next Great Restaurant (emblem).png
StarringBobby Flay
Curtis Stone
Steve Ells
Lorena Garcia
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes9
Running time60 minutes
Original networkNBC
Original releaseMarch 6 (2011-03-06) –
May 1, 2011 (2011-05-01)[2]
External links
America's Next Great Restaurant Website

America's Next Great Restaurant is an NBC reality television show featuring contestants pitching restaurant ideas to a panel of judges, where the winner receives financial backing for their restaurant concept.[3] Three locations were opened across the nation — Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York—on Monday, May 2, 2011, the day after the May 1 season finale.[4] The judges included chefs Curtis Stone, Bobby Flay, Lorena Garcia, and Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells,[5] who were the investors in the winning concept.[6] The production company behind the show was Magical Elves, the same company that produces Top Chef.[7] The show, which has been described as a cross between The Apprentice and Top Chef,[6] premiered on March 6, 2011.[8] The first-season finale aired on Sunday, May 1, 2011, with Jamawn Woods' concept, a soul food restaurant concept called Soul Daddy, judged the winner.

The season finale, which drew a 2.0 viewership rating, was rebroadcast on May 6, as viewers in the Pacific Time Zone did not learn the winner during the original broadcast, due to the breaking news of the death of Osama bin Laden.[9][10][11][12]

Due to low ratings, on May 13, 2011, NBC cancelled the show after the first season.[2]

The three Soul Daddy restaurants that were opened (in Minneapolis, Manhattan and Los Angeles) closed within two months of their May 2, 2011 grand opening.


Contestant and Age Hometown Occupation Original Restaurant Name Changed Name[13] Slogan[13] Restaurant Concept Eliminated
Jamawn Woods, 32 Detroit, Michigan Self-employed cook W3 - Woods' Wings & Waffles Soul Daddy® Cooking With Heart And Soul soul food Winner
Sudhir Kandula, 40 New York City, New York Software Sales The Tiffin Box Spice Coast® Eat Flavorfully modern Indian cuisine Runner-Up
Joey Galluzzi, 40 Brooklyn, New York Financial services Saucy Balls Brooklyn Meatball Company[14] Italian Home Cooking, Fresh Is Best meatballs Runner-Up
Stephenie Park, 28 Chicago, Illinois Attorney Compleat Harvest Sol®[15] Flavor You Can Count On healthy meals / Mediterranean cuisine Episode 9
Greg Westcott/Krystal Seymour, 30/29 Los Angeles, California Bartender/Personal Trainer Hick's Grill'Billies® Urban Grill With Southern Attitude; Be The Sauce Southern comfort food / grilling Episode 8
Sandy DiGiovanni, 54 Kansas City, Missouri Bartender Limbo Sinners and Saints® Food For Your Mood choice of healthy or indulgent dishes Episode 6
Eric Powell, 28 Nashville, Tennessee Financial Manager Meltworks® Artisanal Ingredients, Endless Possibilities grilled cheese Episode 5
Alex Terranova, 28 Marina del Rey, California Restaurant Manager Hard 'N Soft A Taco Bar Revolution Tacos® Explore, Discover, Indulge fusion tacos Episode 4
Marisa Zafran, 31 New York City, New York Director of PR/Marketing Wok Chǎo® The Art of Stir Fry stir-fry Episode 3
Fran Harris, 45 Dallas, Texas Personal trainer The Sports Wrap® healthy sports wrap Episode 2
Sarah Schier Private chef What's Good organic and healthy Episode 1
Aimee Kyriss, 29 Denver, Colorado The POO Crew, LLC co-owner SoupZ fast, healthy, raw, made-to-order soups Episode 1
Brianne Teevan Educator Café crEATivi interactive cafe for kids Episode 1
Kevin Tran/Viet Tran Nam Nam Vietnamese Episode 1
Anita Curran Restaurant manager Pot Belly pot pies Episode 1
Joe Barker Big Wangs Restaurant Chain Owner Lil’ Wangs wings Episode 1
Jason Macioge Restaurant owner Bully's Burgers & Wings burgers and wings Episode 1
Anastasia Alexander Giggling Greek Tavernia Greek Episode 1
William "Win" Bruce Mix It Up Sandwiches Episode 1
Farzan Fatehi Houston, Texas Abe's Cajun Market Manager Sina Persian Episode 1
Shannon Klepper Tiffin, Ohio Con Gusto Spanish Episode 1


Episode elimination chart[edit]

Jawan Woods' Soul Daddy concept was the competition's winner, seen here on opening day, May 2, 2011 at the New York City location. The location closed permanently on June 14, 2011.
Commuters in Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan treated to free samples of food inspired by the series, March 4, 2011.
Place Contestant Episode
1 2 3 4 5 6 7[17] 8 9 10
4 Stephenie Top 10 IN LOW IN IN LOW IN IN OUT[18]
5 Greg/Krystal Top 10 LOW LOW IN WIN IN LOW OUT[19]
6 Sandy Top 10 IN IN IN LOW OUT[14]
7 Eric Top 10 WIN IN LOW OUT[20]
8 Alex Top 10 IN IN OUT[15]
9 Marisa Top 10 LOW OUT[13]
10 Fran Top 10 OUT[21]
11 Jason OUT
T12-21 Sarah OUT
Aimee OUT
Brianne OUT
Tran OUT
Anita OUT
Joe B. OUT
Anastasia OUT
Farzen OUT
Shannon OUT[16][17]

[17] Episode 7 was an unaired episode that had contestants create a mini-website.

     The contestant was the winner of America's Next Great Restaurant and won three restaurants in three cities across the country.
     The contestant(s) were the runners-up of America's Next Great Restaurant.
     The contestant won the challenge for the week.
     The contestant made it into the Top 10.
     The contestant was safe from elimination but did not win the challenge of the week.
     The contestant was in the bottom group for the week.
     The contestant was eliminated.


Each episode combines a business challenge with a food challenge.

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Pilot"March 6, 2011 (2011-03-06)
The 21 preliminary contestants make their presentations to the judges on their restaurant concepts, and prepare sample dishes they would serve in their restaurant. After watching the presentations and tasting the dishes, the judges chose 9 contestants (Alex, Fran, Greg and Krystal, Jamawn, Joseph, Marisa, Sandy, Stephenie, and Sudhir) to compete for the opportunity to have their concept opened as a restaurant in three locations. Eric and Jason have an extra demonstration to determine who gets the last spot. Eric has to make as many grilled cheese sandwiches as he can, and Jason has to make a great burger. With Eric making 29 sandwiches in fifteen minutes and Jason's burger being merely satisfactory, the judges place Eric in the final spot.[17]
2"Episode 2"March 13, 2011 (2011-03-13)

The contestants must create a logo for their company and hire a chef. The challenge this week includes serving a dish to 1000 people at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. Each person who samples the contestants' dishes is given a silver coin to put into one contestant's jar. The contestant with the most coins is the winner and safe from elimination.

Winner: Eric, for acquiring the most silver coins from the 1000 tasters.

Eliminated: Fran, for being too stubborn and not listening to the investors.[21]
3"Episode 3"March 20, 2011 (2011-03-20)[22]

The nine remaining contestants must work the busy lunch shift at Chipotle Mexican Grill. All but Meltworks and Saucy Balls are directed to change their names, and each must come up with a slogan. All but Stephenie (Compleat) do so. For the food evaluation, each contestant must make a signature dish based on the slogan. Sudhir and Marisa are advised to consider firing their chefs. Sudhir does so, and takes over as head chef while hiring a sous chef, but Marisa stays with her chef. The evaluators include some of the country's top advertising executives. Flay recommends to Eric that he come up with some dipping sauces for his grilled cheese sandwiches.

Winner: Jamawn, for acquiring the most silver coins from evaluators.

Eliminated: Marisa, for not firing her chef, and for not getting her food concept to work practically.[13]
4"Episode 4"March 27, 2011 (2011-03-27)[22]

The eight remaining contestants must design and construct a smaller design of their proposed eatery and menu board, which they unveil for Dine Los Angeles event attendees. Stephenie changes her restaurant name to Harvest Sol. Eric does not follow Flay's last episode's recommendations to make dipping sauces.

Winner: Sudhir, for acquiring the most silver coins from evaluators.

Eliminated: Alex, since the investors felt his ideas and concepts were better suited to a bar rather than a casual restaurant.[15]
5"Episode 5"April 3, 2011 (2011-04-03)[22]

The seven remaining contestants must design a uniform for their proposed eatery and do a photo shoot with the uniform. For the food challenge, the investors propose a dish which is either not yet made, or might fill a gap on the menu. Flay pushes the sauce idea on Eric again, which he does this time, but not to Flay's liking.

Winner: Greg and Krystal, for acquiring the most silver coins from evaluators.

Eliminated: Eric, for not being flexible with his preconceived concept, and for not implementing the investors' wishes properly.[20]
6"Episode 6"April 10, 2011 (2011-04-10)[22]

The six remaining contestants must design a food truck and sell their food to pedestrians at one of two locations. With a $300 budget, the task is to figure out their food cost, set their prices, and make the most profit they can. Joey finally changes his restaurant's name to Brooklyn Meatball Company. Sudhir takes Ells' advice to put a taco on the menu. Sandy fires her chef, based on the investors' advice.

Winner: Jamawn; although no contestant made a profit, Jamawn took in the most money.

Eliminated: Sandy, for not being able to serve tasty enough food, and for not being able to properly implement her concept.[14]
7"Episode 7"April 17, 2011 (2011-04-17)[22]

The five remaining contestants must make food appropriate for children, and develop a toy for their restaurant. Stone and Garcia make an initial test of the food for the contestants, so they can modify it before the evaluation to make it more healthy or less spicy. Grill'billies argue with their cook and later lose half their food in a spill. The tasters are revealed to be families, one of whom is Flay's daughter.

Winner: Joey, for receiving the most coins from the kids, a total of 52% of the votes.

Eliminated: Greg and Krystal, for not being able to control their concept due to a lack of hierarchy.[19]
8"Episode 8 (Venture in Vegas)"April 24, 2011 (2011-04-24)[22]

The four remaining contestants head to Las Vegas, to test their concepts somewhere other than Los Angeles. They are put up in a luxury suite at Caesar's Palace, whose guests will be the testers. Penn & Teller show up as testers. The contestants serve three dishes to the crowd. For the business challenge, the contestants hire their next two employees, who will handle the first hour of serving without the contestants' help. Stephenie's staff is unable to identify the dishes as they spend more time prepping. She also adds lamb to an item after researching the treatment of lamb in America.

Winner: Jamawn, for getting the most coins

Eliminated: Stephenie, for not having a good focus on what her concept is.[18]
9"Episode 9 (Finale)"May 1, 2011 (2011-05-01)[22]

The remaining three contestants are to build a mini-restaurant in the former restaurant row area.[18] The mini-restaurants are to mimic a soft opening. Although the judges agree that Spice Coast's food is good, they feel that Sudhir has imitated the Chipotle Mexican Grill concept too much in the number of Tex-Mex style items he has added to his menu. The customers and judges also feel Brooklyn Meatball Company's food is excellent, but they must wait too long for it, as that restaurant's problem organizing legible tickets leads to a backup. Soul Daddy's food is also a success, though Bobby Flay is disappointed that Jamawn has replaced his fried chicken with baked chicken in order to provide a more healthy menu choice, and Lorena Garcia feels his food is too rich to eat more than once a week. This episode was preempted in the Pacific Time Zone due to coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Winner: Soul Daddy

Runners-up: Spice Coast, Brooklyn Meatball Company[9]

Opened restaurants[edit]

ANGR Holdings is the company that ran Soul Daddy's restaurants.[23] It also holds registered trademarks on several of the other restaurant concepts' names (marked ® in the first table above).[24] The Minneapolis Soul Daddy was housed in the Mall of America, while the Manhattan location was at the South Street Seaport,[18] at 189 Front Street.[25] The Los Angeles restaurant was located at Hollywood and Highland, in the same grand center as the Kodak Theater.[18] On June 14, 2011, the Manhattan and Los Angeles locations were closed in order for Woods to focus on the Minneapolis location,[26][27] which itself closed on June 28.[28] Woods was vocal in blaming Chipotle's management team for the failure of the Soul Daddy chain and said that the company owed him a year's salary.[29] He reached a settlement with Chipotle by September 27 of that year.[30]

As of early October 2011 the top three contestants were all working on opening restaurants based on their Next Great Restaurant concepts. While on leave from his job at Chrysler, Woods split his time constructing a Soul Daddy in his hometown of Detroit, while catering from his home and pursuing an associate's degree at Schoolcraft College, a school in Livonia, Michigan known for its culinary arts program.[30] Runner-up Joey Galluzzi intended to pursue his restaurant concept, and enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Le Cordon Bleu to improve his knowledge of the business.[31] Runner-up Sudhir Kandula also had culinary plans. He joined a San Francisco-based start-up called eCert, Inc. as their vice president of sales, advised a friend on his software/food venture called GlassCart, and worked with friends on a stealth food project called American Dirt.[32]

Of all of the contestants, Galluzzi was the only contestant that had successfully opened a restaurant based on his original concept and that business had operated continuously for more than five years.[33][34][35]


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  2. ^ a b "America’s Next Great Restaurant: NBC Series Cancelled, No Season Two". TV Series Finale. May 16, 2011
  3. ^ MacIntyre, April. (2011-12-26). NBC Previews for Perfect Couples and America's Next Great Restaurant Archived 2010-12-28 at the Wayback Machine Monster and Critics. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  4. ^ O'Connel, Mikey. (2010-01-13). 'America's Next Great Restaurant': It's not fast food, it's 'fast casual' Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  5. ^ Best, Jason. (2010-12-23). 'America's Next Great Restaurant' Video Sneak Peek Archived 2010-12-27 at the Wayback Machine Slashfood. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  6. ^ a b Vestal, Shannon. (2010-01-13). America's Next Great Restaurant Is "About the American Dream" Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan. "Busy Magical Elves Headed to Banff for Keynote". The Hollywood Reporter. May 2, 2011
  8. ^ Gorman, Bill. (2011-01-18). NBC Keeps 'Parenthood' @ Tuesday 10pm; 'Law & Order: LA' Return & 'Marriage Ref' Delayed; 'Next Great Restaurant' To Sunday Retrieved 2011--1-19.
  9. ^ a b c Gorman, Bill. "NBC Announces The Winner Of 'America’s Next Great Restaurant' On Last Night’s (May 1) Season Finale Episode" Archived 2011-05-04 at the Wayback Machine, TV By the Numbers, May 2, 2011
  10. ^ Gorman, Bill. "TV Ratings Sunday: Bin Laden News Scrambles Ratings, But ABC Likely Tops The Night", TV By the Numbers, May 2, 2011
  11. ^ "Bin Laden death announcement preempts NBC programming", KPNX. May 1, 2011
  12. ^ MacKenzie, Carina Adly. "TV Ratings: President Obama's address turns Americans to their TVs", Zap 2 It, May 2, 2011
  13. ^ a b c d "America's Next Great Restaurant ep03". Retrieved 21 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ a b c "America's Next Great Restaurant ep06". Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  15. ^ a b c "America's Next Great Restaurant ep04". Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Contestant's Menu Episode 1". American's Next Great Restaurant. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d e "America's Next Great Restaurant ep01 Premiere". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  18. ^ a b c d e "America's Next Great Restaurant ep08: Venture in Vegas". Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  19. ^ a b "America's Next Great Restaurant ep07". Retrieved 27 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ a b "America's Next Great Restaurant ep05". Retrieved 27 April 2011.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ a b "America's Next Great Restaurant ep02". Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g America's Next Great Restaurant: Episode Guide
  23. ^ Hubbard, Sonya. "Expanding the Chipotle empire…". Morningstar, Inc. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  24. ^ "Trademarks of ANGR Holdings, LLC". Trademarkia, Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  25. ^ Shapiro, Julie. "'America's Next Great Restaurant' Coming to South Street Seaport" Archived 2011-04-30 at the Wayback Machine, DNAinfo, April 29, 2011
  26. ^ Brion, Raphael. "Soul Daddy Shutters Los Angeles Location, Too". Eater National. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
  27. ^ Dean, Lee Svitak. "Soul Daddy NYC closes; Jamawn moving here". Star Tribune. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  28. ^ Dean, Lee Svitak. "Soul Daddy closes its final location at MOA". Star Tribune. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  29. ^ "'Next Great Restaurant' Winner CHIPOTLE SABOTAGED ME". Retrieved 16 Aug 2011.
  30. ^ a b Dean, Lee Svitak. "Soul Daddy Heads to Detroit". StarTribune. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  31. ^ Joseph Galluzzi. America's Next Great Restaurant Official Site at accessed October 8, 2011.
  32. ^ Sudhir Kandula. America's Next Great Restaurant Official Site at accessed October 8, 2011.
  33. ^ "Chef Chat, Part 1: Joey Galluzzi of Brooklyn Meatball Company". Houston Press. July 1, 2015.
  34. ^ "Chef Chat, Part 2: Joey Galluzzi of Brooklyn Meatball Company". Houston Press. July 2, 2015.
  35. ^ "Brooklyn Meatball Company". KHOU. August 19, 2016.

External links[edit]