Ok this is no sort of advance notice, but nobody watches TV at the time of broadcast anymore do they?

If you do though, you might like to watch Peyton and Polizzi’s Restaurant Rescue tonight at 9pm on Channel 5. Assuming  we made the final cut you can see me, my girlfriend Gill and fellow Leicester foodblogger Emily join Oliver Peyton at Indian fine dining venue Lilu on Highcross St.

Oliver P

Oliver Peyton. Not me.

The concept of the programme is to help struggling independent restaurants get back on track. The initial stage sees Oliver (restaurateur and judge from the Great British Menu) turn up with a couple of local food people to do an initial assessment and we went last November. Theoretically we were secret diners, but we were not exactly incognito and indeed we were rumbled the moment we entered. Nonetheless we had a range of clandestine filming and recording devices to capture our impressions. I myself sported some Joe 90 spex complete with tiny camera. Oliver’s job was then to work with Alex Polizzi to diagnose how the restaurant needed to change.

I went to Lilu a couple of years back and, while admiring its ambition, had been a little underwhelmed. More recently though I’ve been a fan of the lovely stuff that is portrayed on their Instagram account (@lilu_fine_dining) – but that of course is pictures, what about the actual food?

Without giving too much away, the verdict of the table was while some of the food was excellent there were issues with menu structure, pricing, and service.  I wasn’t able to go to a “post-diagnosis” meal to see what might have changed, so will be watching with interest tonight.

 

 

 

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Street chefs

November 8, 2010

After last week’s Guardian focus on bargain places to eat in Leicester, there’s further media recognition for our restaurant scene this week.  Channel 5’s series Street Chefs – which  gets chefs to do live cooking in their  local market – features Leicester tomorrow, Tuesday 9 November at 7.30pm.  The format will see Tom Cockerill of Entropy and Simon Nurse of The Village in Newton Linford in a competitive cook-off with produce bought from the stalls around them.

Now I know you will be excited about what they choose to cook so if you don’t wish know, please look away now. Tom goes for Rutland trout bonne femme followed by fillet of  Longhorn beef and red Leicester rarebit, Simon for ballotine of chicken followed by local trout also with Red Leicester rarebit.  Not sure I like the sound of all this cheese  but it seems they were obliged to use it.  The show is presented by Amanda Lamb (pictured below with some, well, cheese) and judges include Aaron Patterson of Hambleton Hall, whom I can only assume Channel 5 think to be less photogenic. Shame.

I hope the market comes out of it well – let me know you think.

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