Consumed: The Real Restaurant Business is a reality television show/docu-series that premiered in 2015 which details the ups and downs of the fast paced, highly competitive culinary scene in New York City. This documentary style series takes you behind the doors of some of NYC’s most coveted restaurants to give you an insider glimpse of the daily struggles and successes of the industries.
Why New York City?
New York City has long been considered one of the top culinary centers of the world. You can find every type of food available in the world’s largest culinary hub from expensive gourmet to fine dining to hole in the wall eateries to food trucks. The restaurant competition is extremely heated, the stakes are high here, and the margin of error is very low. The series “follows the money as hot and not-so-hot spot fight to survive and thrive, and chefs, restaurateurs, investors, and everyone in between works tirelessly to make a place for themselves in the culinary landscape”.
Who is on the cast of the show?
Members of the cast are split up by the restaurant that they own or work in.
One of the restaurants featured on the show is called “Ann and Tony’s”. The Napolitano Family owns this Italian American Restaurant (specializing in Neapolitan fare). The brothers Anthony and Ralph Napolitano own the institution along with their mother Vera.
The next restaurant featured on the show is “Melba’s”. Melba’s is owned by (you guessed it!) Melba Wilson. She has some help running the restaurant from her managers Matt Hecht and Thai Crandall.
The next restaurant featured on the show is “The Meatball Shop”. This restaurant is owned by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow. Holzman is also the executive chef of the Meatball Shop.
The final restaurant featured on the show is “Vermillion” which is an Indian and Latin fusion restaurant owned by Rohini Dey. The Chicago location of her restaurant is an absolute success, but the New York location has fallen far below expectations. On the show, we will see the insider’s perspective as Rohini sponsors two new up and coming chefs from India, Aseema Mamaji and Himanshu Saini as she prepares a re-launch of the NYC location in order to try to boost the location’s success.
Can you tell me a little more about the restaurants you mentioned that are featured on the show?
Vermillion is an Indian and Latin fusion restaurant. Dey’s Chicago version of the restaurant was an instant success. Chicago Magazine named Vermillion “Best New Restaurant” when it was launched and it earned three stars in the Chicago Tribune. The NYC version of the restaurant has not been nearly as successful.
The New York Times gave the restaurant a terrible review two months after opening, and Dey has struggled to break even with the restaurant ever since. She planned a re-launch of the restaurant with two new young Indian chefs and she’s hoping she can turn things around. If not, she may have to consider closing down the NYC location and opening in a different city.
The Meatball Shop featured in the program is located in NYC’s Lower East Side. There are four more locations of the restaurant- in Wiliamsburg, the West Village, Chelsea, and the Upper East Side. The shop offers a variety of meatballs cooked in different ways. The shop became an instant hit in NYC.
Melba’s restaurant offers upscale American comfort food in two locations in New York City. One of the locations is on 114th Street and the second location is on 125th Street. The 114th St. location has been super successful with lines out the door, but the newer location on 125th street has not been nearly as successful. Melba has planned to expand the 114th location in order to increase profits for the entire business.
Ann and Tony’s offers Italian-American and Neapolitan cuisine. This is a family owned business with two brothers and their mother running the joint. The family is feisty and they often speak what is on their mind. Anthony is feisty with a temper, and isn’t afraid to throw a plate at the wall if he feels the situation warrants it. The
Reviews have labeled #ConsumedRealRestaurantBusiness as a “terrific” documentary, which gives viewers an authentic inside glimpse in to the restaurant industry. It also gives a realistic glimpse in to how hard the behind the scenes work of the food business really is. What do you think? Will you tune in for another season? Weigh in and let us know your thoughts!