Ramsay's Best Restaurant
About the Show
From John O'Groats to Land's End, diners have nominated their favourite local eatery. Gordon Ramsay sets out to put their chefs' skills to the test before finally crowning the best of the best.
Series 1 Summary
Gordon Ramsay returns with a brand new series seeking out the very best British restaurants up and down the country. Thousands of restaurants have been nominated by diners as their favourite local eatery, now Ramsay sets out to put these restaurants to the test before finally crowning the best of the best.
Across eight heats Gordon puts two restaurants from different cuisines - from Italian and French to Chinese - head to head to really test their mettle. Will their food be able to stand a series of rigorous tests? Can the chefs cope cooking under Gordon's watch and in a kitchen that's not their own? And how will they fare under the glare of the cameras?
After sifting through over 12,000 nominations, Gordon presents his two finest Italian restaurants.
First up is Mennula, a traditional Sicilian restaurant in London. Sicilian-born head chef Santino opened his thriving business less than a year ago, and specialises in authentic, simple dishes from his homeland. He says 'you've got to be good to work with just seven ingredients, brilliant to use just five and a genius to use just three.'
The opposition is Casamia, an innovative restaurant in Bristol. Head chefs and brothers Jon Ray, 26, and Peter, 24, are the youngest chefs in Britain currently holding a Michelin star. The food they create is both highly experimental and top class. And they are aiming for three Michelin stars.
Gordon puts both places through a series of gruelling tests, which include secret diners and undercover filming, a coach load of hungry diners that arrive all at once, and a final nerve-wracking test at Gordon's flagship restaurant in London. Who will emerge victorious?
Gordon pits a tiny Indian vegetarian restaurant from Bradford against one of the biggest establishments in London.
Prashad in Bradford is run by a young husband and wife team with an infectious enthusiasm for vegetarian cuisine. The restaurant has just 30 seats but the family running it have big ambitions, and many meat-eating locals have been won over by the cuisine's quality and flair. But Prashad must go head-to-head with one of the most respected names in the Indian restaurant world, The Brilliant in Southall, west London.
The Brilliant has been open for 37 years and has won loads of awards. Generations of regulars have come to love the restaurant's delicious, traditional Punjabi food. The owner runs the restaurant with his son and daughter, serving up to 250 customers each night.
Gordon puts both places through a series of gruelling tests, including secret diners and undercover filming, an unannounced coach-load of hungry diners, and a final nerve-wracking test at Gordon's flagship London restaurant.
Gordon presents his two best Chinese restaurants, Kai, based in London's Mayfair, and Yu & You, a family-run outfit in Blackburn
Located in the heart of London's Mayfair, Kai is currently one of only three Chinese restaurants in the UK with a Michelin star, and is reputed to serve the world¿s most expensive soup, at £108 per bowl.
Yu & You is a family-run Chinese outlet nestled on the outskirts of Blackburn that has become a destination restaurant across the whole of the North West.
Gordon puts the two restaurants through a series of gruelling tests, including undercover filming and secret diners, and a coach load of hungry diners rolling up all at once. And then a final nerve-wracking test at Gordon's flagship restaurant on London's Royal Hospital Road awaits them.
After sifting through over 12,000 nominations made by the public, Gordon presents his two finest local British restaurants, The West House in Kent and The Milestone in Sheffield.
Gordon's British restaurant finalists pit a pair of Yorkshire young guns against a former rock musician with a Michelin Star.
The West House in Biddenden, Kent is run by Graham and Jackie, who took a huge risk eight years ago by selling their family home to open their first restaurant. Ex-rock drummer Graham once toured with Queen, and only started cooking when he hung up his drum sticks at the age of 31. Despite this, Graham's talent for creating unpretentious British food was confirmed within 18 months of opening when he won a coveted Michelin Star.
The Milestone in Sheffield is a gastronomic wonder located in what was once the heart of the city's red light district. Yorkshire born Head Chef Simon and his sous chef James serve up mouth-watering helpings of big flavoured, hearty British food.
Gordon puts both restaurants through a series of tests with dishes including mackerel fillet with cucumber jelly; beetroot and frozen horseradish; and cured salmon with cucumber, lime and gin. Plus great meaty British classics including roast venison loin with onion marmalade, potatoes and pickled cherries, and grilled marsh lamb cutlet with sweetbreads, broad beans and peas.
The finalists in the Thai restaurant category are Nahm Jim from Scotland and London's Mango Tree. Sparks fly as the restaurants bid to be best of the best.
Nahm Jim is a homely Thai restaurant hidden away in the golfing capital of St. Andrews in Scotland. Owned by Bee and her husband Sandy, Nahm Jim was crowned Britain's best Thai by The Times two years ago, and has ingredients flown in from Bangkok on a weekly basis.
London's Mango Tree is a stylish Thai whose 50 staff serve up to 500 people a day. The English head chef is devoted to creating the finest contemporary Thai cuisine, and he's won a string of awards.
Gordon puts both restaurants through a series of gruelling tests, and tempers fray as both restaurants attempt to prove themselves as the best of the best.
On the menu is roasted corn-fed poussin marinated in coconut milk, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric and lime leaves, served with green papaya salad; exotic chargrilled tamarind duck; and tender lamb cutlets marinated in miso and sweet Thai chilli sauce; Thai haggis; honey mango with coconut milk, and sweet black sticky rice 'toffee' with banana.
An Edinburgh bistro goes head to head with a sumptuous fine dining restaurant in the battle of the two finest local French restaurants.
At La Garrigue in Edinburgh head chef Jean Michel has turned his back on complicated and fussy cuisine, re-creating the unpretentious delicious rustic food of his childhood with passion and precision. This connection to his roots has served Jean Michel well, as the restaurant was recently named the best in Scotland by the prestigious Good Food Guide.
Winteringham Fields, is a French fine dining restaurant less than a mile from the Humber Bridge. Head chef Colin and his wife Becs have spent the last five years ploughing everything they have into the restaurant, hoping to win back the two Michelin stars held by the former owner
As they fight it out to impress Gordon both brigades present some beautiful, classic French dishes, such as rillettes of rabbit, twice baked Roquefort soufflé, ham hock and foie gras terrine, and bream with a saffron and mussel fricassee. Fantastically elaborate dishes include poached John Dory with polenta and langoustine cake, oyster beignet and langoustine sauce, and roasted native lobster risotto with sautéed morels, parmesan tuile, and lobster bisque.
A small outlet in Hammersmith faces a celebrated eaterie in London's West End in the best North African restaurant category.
Azou in west London is run by passionate Algerian head chef Chris, and his wife Christine. The restaurant prides itself on cooking authentic North African cuisine. Chris is fiercely proud of his roots and set up this restaurant to prove that there is more to North African food and culture than belly dancing.
In his search for authenticity Momo's head chef David spent six months travelling around Morocco sourcing ingredients and researching traditional dishes. David's inspired cooking has made Momo a regular hotspot for many of London's celebrity A-list.
The dishes cooked by the restaurants include wood pigeon pastilla, scallops with aubergine chutney and fresh herb salsa, chakchouka (grilled peppers with merguez sausage and spices), cumin roast loin of lamb with aubergine casserole, and brik - a Tunisian stuffed pastry.
Fino in Central London faces El Pirata Detapas in Notting Hill in the Spanish category. And it's the first semi final in this double length episode.
Gordon presents his two finest local Spanish restaurants. Fino was opened seven years ago by brothers and successful restaurateurs Sam and Eddie Hart. Inspired by childhood family holidays in Mallorca, over the last few years Sam and Eddie have helped make Spanish cuisine hugely fashionable. In the kitchen female head chef Nieves Barragan produces delicious, authentic tapas-style dishes with flair and military precision.
El Pirata Detapas serves up to 600 tapas dishes in one service. The cutting edge outfit is led by head chef Omar Allibhoy.
Some of the dishes prepared to try and impress Gordon include squid wrapped in pancetta with ink sauce, stuffed courgette flowers, acorn fed Iberico ham, and Iberian pork cheeks with foie gras.
This double size episode also includes the first semi final. Gordon has chosen his final eight restaurants, and the first four semi finalists must now do battle, all of them facing further scrutiny as Gordon sends in his secret diners to assess the dining experience they offer. Later Gordon selects the two best restaurants from the four, who are then the subject of a surprise flying visit by helicopter from Gordon and two mystery guests, chef Angela Hartnett and critic Simon Davis. The restaurants then have to complete a 'One Night Only' task, and create a pop up restaurant from scratch in just one day.
The biggest restaurant competition of its kind reaches boiling point with the second semi-final and the final itself.
The second semi final features Gordon's best British, French, Indian and North African restaurants. The gruelling tests include sudden death secret dining and a surprise helicopter visit by Gordon and two mystery guests. The restaurants must deliver mouth-watering food and brilliant service if they're to have any chance of progressing.
The final itself features the daunting task of catering for a full service for over 30 specially invited guests at Gordon's exclusive restaurant Petrus, in London's Knightsbridge. The two finalists will have full rein over Gordon's top notch kitchen, but will also face intense scrutiny from the chef himself and the glare of the waiting diners.
Which restaurant will Gordon ultimately crown Ramsay's Best Restaurant 2010?
Ramsay's Best Restaurant synopsis
From John O'Groats to Land's End, diners have nominated their favourite local eatery. Gordon Ramsay sets out to put their chefs' skills to the test before finally crowning the best of the best.Episode Guide >