The pair will put teams of youngsters aged 10 to 14 through their paces as they set out to find a maître d’ and head chef who have the potential to be future stars.
Fred – a French Maître d’hôtel of 30 years’ experience best known for appearing on Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’ – said: “I’ve always wanted to showcase the hospitality industry in all its glory. This show is a unique opportunity to do that and to teach kids the art of service and the art of running a restaurant. It’s about inspiring and educating the next generation of professionals into the world of catering and hospitality – because it is a wonderful industry and there are great career prospects there.”
Allegra – who has worked as head chef at some of the top restaurants in the US and the UK – added: “It’s really important that we keep attracting new talent. You want to get them in young, get them excited, and get them realising that being a chef and being front of house are viable, exciting, professional careers – not something to be fallen into, but something to be chosen.”
Throughout the heats, viewers follow the progress of the teams over two episodes. On an initial practice day, the restaurant crew come up with themes to dress a restaurant and the kitchen crew set out to cook a complementary menu. The themes vary from a classic ‘diner’ themed restaurant to tropical, magical, medieval and even a zombie theme.
The teams learn new skills from their mentors but then have to cope with ‘difficult diners’ – including comedians Shappi Khorsandi, Johnny Cochrane and Inel Tomlinson from ‘The Johnny and Inel Show’, Ken Cheng and Rosie Jones, along with actresses Danielle Vitalis and Stacy Liu, who pose as demanding customers with unexpected requests and tricky questions.
Celebrity guests and restaurant critics on the show include Liam Charles, Grace Dent, Angellica Bell, Tom Parker Bowles, AJ Pritchard from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, TV presenter Dr Xand Van Tulleken, CBBC actress Millie Innes, vlogger Nikki Lilly, former ‘EastEnders’ actress Jacqueline Jossa, ‘Blue Peter’ presenter Lindsey Russell, CBBC’s Sam and Mark, Christian Stevenson aka DJ BBQ, Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh, You Tuber Olivia Grace, Perri Keily and Jordan Banjo from dance troupe Diversity and a host of stars from CBBC drama series ‘The Dumping Ground’.
Hosts Allegra McEvedy and Fred Sirieix