Wow, being asked to join a major network like NBC must be quite an honor. Imagine being in the same category with respected show hosts like Jay Leno and Regis and Kelly. Looks like the Food Network's own cutting-board jumping/Mortimoro offending chef, Bobby Flay, is going to take the leap next fall as the host of NBC's new show, America's Next Great Restaurant. Yay, Bobby! Say "hi" to your third wife, Stephanie March, on the set of Law and Order: Put Crime-Speak Here, OK?
Formerly named The United Plates of America (yeah, that sucked), America's Next Great Restaurant will be the network's first foray into a chef-based reality show since 2003's no-one-remembers The Restaurant. From a concept standpoint, the show sounds like a let's-try-everything committee stroke-fest of whatever has worked on other food shows: Pick me! Pick me! Look, I'm cooking something! This is so stressful! Hey, check out my neat-o business proposal! Wah, my life is ruined! Wee, this is a dream come true!
The lucky team is chosen by Bobby Flay who will be their investor, consultant, and you'll-do-everything-I-say-'cause-my-reputation's-on-the-line pain-in-the-ass. Other investors/judges and general ass-pains are rumored to include Martha Stewart, Emeril, and Donald Trump.
What are you gonna watch next week? Check out the must-see food show listings after the jump.
Monday (March 22)
Unwrapped: "Feel-Good Foods." A look at comfort foods, including Sister Schubert's Homemade Rolls, Popeyes fried chicken, Hershey's chocolate, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime herbal tea. 9 p.m. Food Network
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Provence." Tony tours the Provence region of France and becomes enamored of the local culture and cuisine. 10 p.m., Travel Channel
Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives: "Twists and Traditions." Guy Fieri visits a bait-shop-turned-restaurant that serves homemade Italian favorites in Santa Cruz, California, a Mexican eatery in Cleveland where house-smoked trout is topped with homemade guacamole, and a 42-year-old restaurant in Chaffee, New York, where chicken a la king is made from scratch. 10 p.m., Food Network
Tuesday (March 23)
Food Wars: "Lockhart, Texas BBQ War." Sibling rivals own Kreuz Market and Smitty's Market in Lockhart, Texas, and both claim to have the area's best barbeque. 10 p.m., Travel Channel
Tastiest Places to Chowdown: "Messiest Meals." The country's tastiest messy meals are counted down. 11:30 p.m., Travel Channel
Wednesday (March 24)
Dinner: Impossible: "Destroyer Disaster." Robert Irvine must complete two missions in one day when he boards the USS Wayne E. Meyer, a U.S. Navy destroyer. 10 p.m., Food Network
Thursday (March 25)
Modern Marvels: "Mega Meals." Preparing meals for large groups is examined. Included: a meal at a U.S. Naval base in Bangor, Washington, aboard a nuclear submarine; for crowds at a Philadelphia Eagles game; and the after party of the American Music Awards. Also: airline meals in New York City. 8 p.m., History Channel
Food Tech: "Pizza." Pizza is the subject. Included: the science behind the making of crust, mozzarella, the spices in pepperoni, and olives. Also: a visit to a mushroom farm, and a brick-oven factory in New York. 9 p.m., History Channel (*Season 8 Opener!) Ace of Cakes: "Man Caves." The crew from DIY's "Man Caves" comes to the bakery to give Duff a manly basement makeover. Later, Duff, Geof and Elena travel to Chicago to deliver a cake. 10:30 p.m., Food Network
Friday (March 26)
Kitchen Nightmares: "Anna Vincenzo's." Chef Ramsay visits Anna Vincenzo's, a family-run eatery in Boca Raton, Florida. He learns that the stubborn owner (who's also the chef) doesn't welcome change. After his ideas are ignored, Ramsay walks out. 8 p.m., Channel 10, FOX
(Series Premiere!) Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: In the series premiere, British chef Jamie Oliver arrives in Huntington, West Virginia, which has been called the unhealthiest city in America, to kick-start his new cooking initiative. His goal is to help Americans tackle obesity, heart disease and diabetes, by teaching people to eat more balanced meals and cook with fresh ingredients. 8 p.m., Channel 15, ABC
The Best Thing I Ever Ate: "Chilled Perfection." Cold treats, from fresh chilled lobster to lemon ice-box pie, are discussed by Food Network stars, including Giada De Laurentiis, Cat Cora and Duff Goldman. 10 p.m., Food Network
Saturday (March 27)
30-Minute Meals: "Sicilian Slam Dunk." Sicilian dishes, including pecorino bites with green onion, spaghetti with tapenade sauce and roasted tomatoes, and tuna with citrus gremolata. 10 a.m., Food Network
Down Home With the Neelys: "Piggin' Out." Ribs with peach barbecue sauce, stuffed baked potatoes with sautéed Swiss chard, five-bean salad with champagne vinaigrette, and brown-sugar mojitos. 11 a.m., Food Network
Paula's Best Dishes: "House Special." Grilled tilapia po' boys with homemade tartar sauce, corn-and-carrot salad with golden raisins, sausage-potato salad, and oatmeal-raisin cookies. 11:30 a.m., Food Network
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Sunday (March 28)
Sandra's Money Saving Meals: "Bake Sale." Baked good are made, including lemon sugar cookies, apple-walnut sticky buns, hot-chocolate jars, and ham-and-cheese pinwheels. 12 p.m., Food Network
Ten Dollar Dinners: "European Party." Spanish tortilla, escarole salad with anchovy dressing and spicy butterscotch pudding. 12:30 p.m., Food Network What Would Brian Boitano Make?: "Hawaiian Honeymoon." Prepared: braised Hawaiian pork shoulder, scallops with mango and avocado, faux poi made of celery root and mashed parsnips, and banana-coconut cake. 1 p.m., Food Network
Ultimate Recipe Showdown: "Hot & Spicy." Spicy dishes are prepared by home cooks in a $25,000 cooking contest. Included: Buffalo bites, Thai-curry chicken noodle soup. 9 p.m., Food Network