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[11/15/10 - 12:20 PM]
"Ramsay's Best Restaurant" Turns Up the Heat on BBC America
The U.K. import premieres Tuesday, December 7 at 9:00/8:00c.

[via press release from BBC America]

RAMSAY'S BEST RESTAURANT TURNS UP THE HEAT ON BBC AMERICA

- Also in December: Ring in the holidays with Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas -

Gordon Ramsay, one of BBC AMERICA's original and biggest stars, returns to the channel with Ramsay's Best Restaurant, an all new U.S. premiere series that gives a whole new meaning to restaurant wars. Starting in December and over the course of 11 episodes, the world-renowned and irrepressible chef will be picking his favorite UK restaurants in eight different culinary categories, with the survivors battling it out for the ultimate title of "Ramsay's Best Restaurant." Ramsay's Best Restaurant premieres Tuesday, December 7, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

After sifting through 12,000 entries, 16 brilliant restaurants are selected for the challenge but only one can be the shining culinary star that takes the title. In order to assess which restaurant can deliver gastronomic perfection, Gordon puts each one through a gruelling series of tests which include secret diners and undercover filming, a load of hungry diners that arrive all at once, and a final nerve-wracking test at Gordon's eponymous flagship restaurant.

While the restaurateurs perfect their finest menus and wrestle with the pressure of taking over Gordon's kitchen, Gordon shows them how it's done, presenting some of his own favorite recipes from all over the world. At the end of every round, after testing the restaurants' food and service to a breaking point, Gordon will choose a winner. The victors will compete in the semi-finals, against tougher, more demanding challenges. Finally, the best two restaurants go head to head in the grand finale, competing to be crowned "Ramsay's Best Restaurant." Tune in to find out who can stand the heat or who needs to get out of the kitchen.

This holiday season, BBC AMERICA will also premiere, Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas. The two recipe-packed episodes feature Gordon at home with his family while he teaches viewers how to prepare his favorite festive recipes. Gordon will share a lifetime of chef's secrets and explain how they translate to the home so you can cook the perfect food over the holidays, without breaking the bank or getting so stressed you can't enjoy it. Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Christmas premieres Tuesday, December 14, 10:00p.m. ET/PT.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 68 million homes.

RAMSAY'S BEST RESTAURANT

MEET THE FINALISTS

Round 1 (Italian): Casamia vs. Mennula

Casamia: An innovative, Michelin-starred restaurant in Bristol. Head chefs and brothers Jon Ray and Peter are the youngest chefs in Britain currently holding a Michelin star. The food they create is highly experimental, creative and top class. It is their dream to obtain three Michelin stars.

Mennula: A traditional Sicilian restaurant in London. Sicilian-born head chef Santino opened his thriving restaurant less than a year ago, and specializes in authentic simple Sicilian dishes. He previously worked at the Michelin starred restaurant Zafferano.

Round 2 (Indian): Prashad vs. Brilliant Restaurant

Prashad: With two generations of family behind the food, Prashad specializes in vegetarian dishes and the chefs use their hands to prepare the food, believing that love will be passed through each dish.

Brilliant Restaurant: Award winning, Brilliant Restaurant has been open for 37 years, serving traditional Punjabi dishes. Fans of Brilliant include Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and numerous Bollywood stars.

Round 3 (Chinese): Yu & You vs. Kai

Yu: A family affair, with a father and son team in the kitchen and siblings running the front of house, Yu & You, focuses on contemporary Chinese cuisine.

Kai: One of only three Chinese restaurants in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star, Kai has an annual turnover of 2 million dollars and a celebrity fan base that includes the likes of Mick Jagger.

Round 4 (British): West House vs. The Milestone

West House: A former rock musician, owner and head chef, Graham, became a chef at the age of 31, winning a Michelin star in 2003, only 18 months after opening the restaurant. He once toured with Queen, and now he's cooked for the Queen.

The Milestone: Located in a former red-light district, The Milestone, also runs a local farm and cooking school. Their signature dish is rabbit loin with carrot puree, saut´┐Żed lettuce, zucchini, pig's tail and rabbit jus.

Round 5 (Thai): Mango Tree vs. Nahm Jim

Mango Tree: Awarded the Thai Chef of the Year Award 2003, in the 'fusion' category, Mango Tree, is just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace. The restaurant prides itself on being an authentic Thai experience. They import ingredients from Thailand, including holy basil, turmeric and special Thai chilies.

Nahm Jim: Nahm Jim sources its fresh herbs, spices and vegetables from the markets of Bangkok. The restaurant's celebrity fan base includes Hugh Grant, Sean Connery and Samuel L Jackson.

Round 6 (French): La Garrigue vs. Winteringham Fields

La Garrigue: Most of La Garrigue's staff is French, and the chef even has his herbs flown over from France. He is a keen believer in local meat, however, and is even a founder member of the Scottish Beef Association.

Winteringham Fields: Located in a 16th century manor house, Winteringham Fields has been open for 20 years. Head chef Colin McGurran took over the restaurant five years ago, and has made it his goal to regain its two former Michelin stars.

Round 7 (North African): Momo vs. Azou

Momo: Algerian-born owner Mourad Mazouz has achieved phenomenal success in his career - this Moroccan haven has a staggering annual profit of over 4 million. Authenticity is so ingrained in the restaurant's ethos that the head chef travelled around Morocco for six incredible months to source local ingredients and research traditional North African dishes first-hand.

Azou: Run by a husband-and-wife duo, Azou, the ardent head chef is so passionate about his craft that if he sees a plate that hasn't been cleared accordingly by the diner, he will leave his kitchen immediately and investigate. Their signature dish is a chicken in pomegranate sauce with caramelized onions.

Round 8 (Spanish): Fino Tapas bar vs. El Pirata de Tapas

Fino Tapas bar: Fino sources many ingredients from Spain such as cold meats, chorizo and olive oil, as well as having an entirely Spanish wine list. Their signature dish is the cuttle fish wrapped in smoked pancetta in a squid ink sauce.

El Pirata de Tapas: The restaurant can serve up to 600 tapas in one service. Most of the produce is sourced from farmers in Spain and the restaurant even has a large open ham cellar downstairs.

EPISODE SYNOPSES * SPOILER ALERT*

Episode 1

Gordon Ramsay kicks off his search for Britain's greatest local eatery, picking his favorite entries from eight culinary categories before pitting them against each other to determine the overall champion. He begins by examining a traditional Sicilian restaurant in London, and an innovative establishment in Bristol run by the nation's youngest Michelin-starred chefs. Episode 1 premieres Tuesday, December 7, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 2

Gordon Ramsay puts two popular Indian restaurants to the test, focusing on the Prashad, which is run by a young couple with boundless enthusiasm for vegetarian cuisine. He also places the spotlight on Brilliant, renowned for providing traditional Punjabi food, and the winner of countless culinary awards. Episode 2 premieres Tuesday, December 14, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 3

Gordon Ramsay turns the spotlight on Chinese restaurants, highlighting the Kai in London, which is one of only three Chinese restaurants in the UK to hold a Michelin star. He also examines Yu & You, a family-run establishment that has started to make a name for itself as an eatery of choice in the north-west of England. Episode 3 premieres Tuesday, December 21, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 4

Gordon Ramsay puts two traditional British restaurants to the test. The contenders are the West House, which is run by a former rock performer who now holds a Michelin star, and the Milestone, an eatery located in the heart of what was once a red light district. Episode 4 premieres Tuesday, December 28, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 5

Gordon Ramsay examines the nation's favorite Thai restaurants, training the spotlight on the Nahm Jim in St Andrews, Scotland, which has ingredients flown in from Bangkok on a weekly basis. He also highlights London's Mango Tree, a stylish establishment that boasts 50 staff who serve up to 500 people a day. Episode 5 premieres Tuesday, January 4, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 6

Gordon Ramsay turns his attention to French restaurants, pitting bistro La Garrigue, which is renowned for its rustic-style menu, against Winteringham Fields. Among the dishes highlighted are rillettes, souffle, foie gras, oyster beignet and lobster bisque. Episode 6 premieres Tuesday, January 11, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 7

Gordon Ramsay turns his attention to North African restaurants, comparing the small-scale restaurant Azou with Moroccan-themed establishment Momo in the heart of London's West End. The dishes featured include wood pigeon pastilla, scallops with eggplant chutney and fresh herb salsa, grilled peppers with merguez sausage and a Tunisian stuffed pastry. Episode 7 premieres Tuesday, January 18, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 8

Gordon Ramsay highlights Spanish restaurants, pitting the Hart brothers' Fino in central London, against El Pirata Detapas, which can serve up to 600 dishes in one service. The fare on offer includes squid wrapped in pancetta, stuffed zucchini flowers and pork cheeks with foie gras. Episode 8 premieres Tuesday, January 25, 9:00p.m. ET/PT.

Synopses for episodes 9, 10 & 11 are forthcoming.

GORDON RAMSAY'S ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS

EPISODE SYNOPSES

Episode 1

Gordon prepares a spectacular set of Christmas dishes that include his recipe for the ultimate turkey, superb stuffing, perfectly cooked vegetables and a stunning Christmas dessert. It's the Ultimate Christmas meal, and if you follow Gordon's advice you can cook it for your friends and family. Episode 1 premieres Tuesday, December 14, 10:00p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 2

Gordon will lead us through a wonderful array of dishes from roast ham to a festive twist on his classic Beef Wellington. Christmas is a very special time when friends and families comes together to celebrate with the very best food, and Christmas with Gordon is guaranteed to make this the tastiest and most memorable festive period ever. Episode 2 premieres Tuesday, December 21, 10:00p.m. ET/PT.





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· RAMSAY'S BEST RESTAURANT (BBC AMERICA)





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