From coast to coast, there are plenty of amazing restaurants for America’s foodies to salivate over; a more amusing pastime, however, may be marveling at the truly bad ones on The Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible (is that a smelly petting zoo in the back of your Italian restaurant? Why yes, it is.)
Each episode features a restaurant on the skids and the tough task of setting things right before total catastrophe strikes–all in just two days. But more than food or restaurants, the show is about diagnosing an ailing business, building functional relationships, and leading people in a crisis scenario. That’s a tall order. And it’s good fun to watch it unfold.
At the center of this whirlwind is the stoic, tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold chef Robert Irvine. In each episode, Irvine quickly sizes up the magnitude of the disaster and outlines a plan of attack. In no time he’s barking orders like a drill sergeant–which isn’t surprising since Irvine was once a chef in the British Royal Navy.