Bobby Flay’s Looking for ‘America’s Next Great Restaurant’

by | March 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM | TV News

Chef Bobby Flay Is in Search of 'America's Next Great Restaurant' (Photo: Food Network)

Chef Bobby Flay Is in Search of 'America's Next Great Restaurant' (Photo: Food Network)

Watch your back, Olive Garden.

TV chef Bobby Flay is on the hunt for ‘America’s Next Great Restaurant,’ joining the crowded kitchen of celebrity chefs with their own prime-time network show.

The grill master is ready to ‘Throwdown‘ and have contestants–chefs and entrepreneurs–compete to win a restaurant. The prize: Opening a new restaurant chain in three American cities.

According to Variety: “Flay will serve as one of five restaurant and business leaders who will search for a winning chef and/or entrepreneur to help open a new eatery. Flay will serve not only as an investor in the restaurant, but also as a judge on the show and mentor to the contestants.”

The NBC series comes from ‘Magical Elves’ Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, the producing team behind Bravo’s hit ‘Top Chef’ and spinoff ‘Top Chef Masters.’

Formerly called ‘United Plates of America,’ the NBC series is expected to launch next season.

*Those interested in competing in Flay’s show can make their own reservation by signing up via nbc.com. You can follow the preliminary competition rounds via Twitter @magicalelves. Producers are holding open casting calls in New York City on March 19 and 20. Casting calls in other cities–including Nashville, Chicago and Los Angeles–will follow.

The prime-time TV kitchen is stocked with cooking-themed shows, some of which have flopped like a souffle–such as Chef Marco Pierre White’s ‘The Chopping Block’ and Rocco DiSpirito’s disastrous ‘Restaurant.’ Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’ is still the creme de la creme of cooking competitions, while Gordon Ramsay’s cooking conglomerate on Fox is a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure.

Two more to watch this spring: Jamie Oliver’s not-to-miss ‘Food Revolution’ and the second season of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef Masters.’

British TV chef Jamie Oliver’s new reality show has him traveling to the unhealthiest cities in America to make over their menus and eating habits. From Jamie’s Web site: “I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It’s time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!”

Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ begins Friday, March 26th, at 9 p.m. on ABC.

‘Top Chef Masters’ return on Wednesday, April 7th, at 11 p.m. on Bravo.

Watch Bobby Flay Throwdown with Paula Deen Below: