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The Season Return Of The Chopping Block

Matt Moran was back on TV to try and knock some struggling restaurants into shape in The Chopping Block.

The premise was the same as last year, a secret critic reviews the restaurant, then Matt Moran gives advice about the menu, a $5000 makeover occurs, then 48 hours later the critic comes back to dine again.

The winner of the $20,000 is the place that gets the most stars from the food critic.

The first season never rated as high as channel 9 would have liked, so it is good that they are persisting with it, as it is an entertaining format.

The main change is Catriona Rowntree is not the host anymore. Matt Moran does that role. David Grant who was the critic season one was unable play the role anymore as his identity had been revealed.

Noted food writer Alan Saunders replaces him, and on first viewing he is not as acerbic as David was, but he should improve as he gets his TV legs.

The show was set in Shellharbour tonight with an ‘Italian’ restaurant Angelinas versus Tandoori Place.

Both of these business are struggling, and the problem usually boils down to management/owners not taking enough control. It amazes me that owners who have put thousands of dollars into the their own business that they are not control freaks and let their staff get away with lax practices or kitchens to pump out substandard food.

The action in this places always takes place in the kitchens. Angelina’s had a determined, but over confident chef, and Tandoori Place had an experienced but lazy chef.

Matt Moran has a great knack of being warm whilst criticising the staff, he is no Gordon Ramsey and that is a good thing.

After a Matt Moran touch up Tandoori Place won. Angelina’s lost due to Alan Saunders not receiving his food two hours after he had set down. The owners wife was using the docket machine and she was stuffing up. Why have someone doing something they have never done before on such an important night? Also where was the owner of Angelina’s he was not managing either the floor or the kitchen.

Will the chef was devastated. My advice for him would be buy the business off the owner as with his enthusiasm he would improve place further.


1 Anonymous { 10.16.08 at 12:50 pm }

I live in the local area and few things have been brought to my attention about the show

1/ Matt Moran worked with the chef from the Indian restaurant some years ago (quoted from local radio I98FM)

2/ the hard luck story got the Indian restaurant extra money for redecorating and staff (a rumor from the local cafes in the area)

3/ The footage of the young chef doing the runner down the back of the restaurant was not him the person running was too tall and thin and on camera its basically said the young chef was gone b4 the crew knew (may have been Matt himself)

2 Reality Raver { 10.16.08 at 1:28 pm }

Gosh if that is true then maybe they should have been more open about it on the show. A bit unfair on Angelinas.

I thought both cafe’s after the makeover looked quite good and I would eat there.

I got the feeling that once Matt was not looking over his shoulder the Indian chef might slack off again. Anyone would be burntout after cooking curries for 25 years.

3 injera { 10.16.08 at 2:59 pm }

I enjoyed the first season of The Chopping Block so was glad to see that it was returning – particularly since somebody in charge seemed to hear my desperate screams at the TV each week, took heed, and dispatched Catriona “what am I doing on this show if I can’t wear a context-appropriate bikini” Rowntree.

You’re right about the new critic. Hopefully he’ll hit his stride. The previous guy was great – pity they couldn’t just pop some facial prosthetics on him and keep him. Most of the waiters on the show seem utterly clueless, so probably wouldn’t have recognised him!