Le Restaurant: an extraordinary new program

Le Restaurant: an extraordinary new show


A brand new culinary competition program broadcast on Zeste will surprise viewers at the start of the school year. Hosted by Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc and Vincent Dion-Lavallée, Le Restaurant promises to impress. 

Twelve candidates will compete during the 10 weeks of the show, with the aim of winning $50,000 to start the restaurant of their dreams. In addition to seducing the judges with their culinary talent, they will have to demonstrate their management skills and serve a real clientele. For the first time, the competition will take place in a real restaurant!

The Hoogan et Beaufort restaurant, located in Montreal, was chosen as the setting.

Vincent Dion-Lavallée, co-owner of the restaurant Au Pied de Cochon and founder of the Cabane d'à Côté, will play the role of judge and mentor for the candidates, in addition to hosting the show with actress Hélène Bourgeois-Leclerc, who will be the voice of customers. According to him, the candidates will meet challenges that are very similar to the reality of the job.

“Candidates have to deal with the arrivals of the day, it can happen that a dishwasher is missing, and when customers enter the restaurant, they enter! They are there, with their allergies and intolerances, and they will judge their dishes without knowing that a diver is missing, just like in reality! We really try to paint a realistic portrait of the restoration,” says Vincent Dion-Lavallée.

At each show, the candidates will be subjected to two tests: the Creative Challenge and the Great Service. At the Creation Challenge, they will have to offer a dish that meets the constraints set out by the chef animator. Then, the three candidates whose proposals will not have convinced him will have to compete and surpass themselves in the Grand Service to remain in the competition, by offering their dishes to the customers who will judge them in turn. If they have convinced neither the head animator nor the customers, they will be eliminated!


< p>“It can be very confrontational,” says Vincent Dion-Lavallée. At Grand Service, there are three cooks, with three menu options, and no customer may choose your menu! It's like in reality, in the end, it's the customer who chooses. And conversely, if your menu is too popular, you may find yourself in too much of a rush and running out of time to finish your plates, which will ultimately work against you. »

Adrenaline and passion will be on the menu of the show Le Restaurant. “Sometimes the twistscome from the judges, sometimes they come from the clients. Some cooks tend to imagine a restaurant for themselves and their friends, but not necessarily representative of reality. We see some who are destabilized by having to make 30 or 40 plates! It's a real test of their concept,” adds Vincent Dion-Lavallée. 


Produced by Sphère Média in collaboration with Quebecor Content, the culinary competition show Le Restaurantwill feature 12 aspiring restaurateurs from across Quebec. Endowed with different entrepreneurial strengths, they all have in mind a restaurant project that they wish to bring to fruition within five years, whether it be gourmet, counter, experimental or lunch. 

The candidates will try to convince the judges that their restaurant concept is the best to win the $50,000 cash prize that will allow them to start the restaurant of their dreams. Only one candidate will walk away with the grand prize.

“He will have to prove that his concept holds water and that he has what it takes to succeed. The entrepreneurial aspect is essential. In catering, you have to be able to do a lot with little, always with money in mind, while being consistent with your concept. Depending on how you manage, you can make a lot of dishes, but make less money. I always tell them that in reality, if you don't make a profit, you don't exist,” says Vincent Dion-Lavallée.

The show Le Restaurantwill be broadcast from August 18, 9 p.m., on Zeste, the only French-language channel 100 % cuisine.

Click this link to watch the reel -announcement.

Where does your passion for cooking come from?

H: From my mother , obviously ! We have cooked a lot together since childhood… She is very resourceful and creative in the kitchen!

V: The culinary journey is what gave me the bug: traveling to eat and being able to cook while traveling.

What was your favorite dish when you were a child?

H: Lasagna: because it's so delicious…!

V: Macaroni and cheese, again and again… 

And the dish you absolutely hated? 

H:Black pudding: we ate it once when we were little, and when we realized what it was, my brother threw up on his plate… I never tasted it a second time!

V: Everything was good (laughs)! I hated chunks of fat and hot tomatoes.

What is the dish or food that puts you in ecstasy?

H : Pasta: because you can do anything with good pasta! But also fish, seafood, fresh vegetables from the garden, cheeses…

V: It is not so much a dish or a food, but more the freshness. I like to have an exclusive food with the greatest freshness. A Quebec canteen with good fries and a terrific poutine. 

Which dish do you make perfectly?

H: Soups and pasta dishes! I'm a bit like my mother, I'm creative and resourceful in the kitchen, and with everything I've tasted in restaurants, I steal things and flavors here and there!

V : I enjoy cooking Quebec classics: cipaille, pea soup or leg stew. When sugaring-off time arrives, I get feverish. Otherwise, catch salmon once a year.

What is your favorite ingredient?

H: vegetables (because you can do anything with good vegetables) and cheese: it's always a guarantee of success!

V: Maple syrup. We are sitting on a gold mine and we must promote the syrup and be proud of it. It tastes like Quebec.

Describe your best restaurant memory?

H: There are so many…! It can range from the poutine at Cantine d'Amours in Trois-Pistoles (near my chalet, so an annual tradition during the holidays!), to the restaurant Chez Georges, in Paris, where I ate the best tomato mozzarella di&nbsp ;Bufala of my life…

V: Japan was always perfect. It's all about the details, but the service and products are always of the highest quality, both in the gourmet restaurant and in a simple bar. 

Is there a experience at the restaurant you dream of doing?

H: Why not take a gastronomic journey to sit down at different Michelin-starred restaurants…? (OK, you'll have to plan a crazy budget! It might stay in my dreams…)

V: Going to harvest truffles in France or Italy and cooking them until I get sick of myself.

When you get served in a restaurant, what detail of the service will make you feel really VIP?

H: Glasses always full! And the little dusting of the table after a service, I'm not sure yet if I like it or if it makes me feel like someone who can't eat without crumbs!

V: When I receive a surprise service that is not à la carte or a test. Or simply a dish that I did not order. 

Which detail will make you feel badly served?

H: The familiarity, and waiting for the service, without explanation…

V: Someone who does not know his menu and that has a patina. 

In your opinion, do salt and pepper shakers still have their place on a well-laid restaurant table or is it up to the customer to

H: Unlimited salt and pepper please! Just like the parmesan: leave the little dish on the table for us to use as we please, please!

V: It depends on the restaurant, I like to think that in my restaurant, we season to perfection. When I was younger, it insulted me, as if we always had the perfect taste. Now I let go, but there are still no salt and pepper shakers on our restaurant tables.