My Million Pound Menu
Episode 2: New Asian
Amongst those pitching in this episode is couple Alec Owen, 37, and Liz Selway, 43, who run Indian burger concept Baba G's. Their signature dish is a curry burger which, along with other novel combinations of Indian fusion flavours and fast food, has seen them grow to three market sites. Now Alec and Liz are seeking £300,000 from the investors to open their first two sites.
Going up against them are two friends who left their respective careers in advertising and finance to pursue a new take on Thai food. KraPow is the brainchild of Essex born Paul Ambrose, 34, and Richard Oakes, 36. Paul decided to set up KraPow after a year in which he got married, bought a house and lost his job in finance. He envisioned a restaurant inspired by his travels in northern Thailand, with Krapow Moo, a Thai comfort dish of spiced minced pork and Thai basil, topped with a fried egg, on the menu. Seeking £300,000, and with Paul's second child on the way, the financial stakes are higher than ever before.
Also aiming for the chance of big-money backing are two 25-year-old best friends and chefs, Joe Allen and Aaron Thomas, taking their culinary cues from India and Nepal. Their joint venture is titled XXVI, with a signature dish of charred cauliflower, spiced ricotta, curried emulsion (based on a family recipe) and fresh peas. Although they are young, Aaron and Joe are ambitious and confident that their brand of high-end Asian fusion cookery can be a success, and they're seeking a half million-pound investment.
Each of the three ideas pitches to a panel of four investors, all keen to back the next hit idea in Asian cuisine. First on the panel is Charlie McVeigh, who has been shaping London's bar, club and restaurant scene for two decades, having started out with legendary nightclub Woody's. Atul Kochhar, chef and entrepreneur, was the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star in the UK, and now oversees a portfolio of five restaurants, with a combined value of between £8m - £10m. He is actively seeking to grow his group, and still plans to open Epoch from series one, when the right site is found, which he committed £1million to. Also on the panel is Chris Miller, a former commercial director of Soho House Group, founded White Rabbit Investment in 2016 and has backed 11 restaurants, across four different brands since. And lastly is Jamie Barber, who is behind a number of hugely successful restaurants including Hush, Cabana Brasilian BBQ and Hache Burger Connoisseurs.
In each episode the winning idea has two days in a brand new 50-seater restaurant, in the heart of Manchester's bustling bar and restaurant district, to prove that their food, menus, pricing, service, team-management and business plans are worth the big money investment they're asking for. Show less