For people who care about their food

New TV show for credit-crunch dining

Virgin1 turns up the heat with Restaurant In Our Living Room

Premieres 24 September, 9pm

Virgin1 unveils hot new series Restaurant In Our Living Room this September, a programme truly designed to tickle your tastebuds. This new concept in competitive dining sees culinary couples going head-to-head to create the ultimate dining experience in their own homes.

However, this is no intimate dinner party – this is dining out credit-crunch style. Couples will be opening their homes to complete strangers… but will they decide to cater for 60 diners, or just a table for two? All contestants know is that they have a strict budget and just three days to transform their homes into a fully-functioning restaurant, and it’s really not as easy as it looks! This is dining out with a difference – guests only have to pay what they think the meal is worth and the winning couple is the one which takes the most on the night.

In each episode two pairs of food fanatics are pitted against each other to create the best Restaurant In Our Living Room. The series is inspired by real underground restaurants, or supper clubs, where disillusioned foodies, fed up with over-priced, over-hyped restaurants, are fighting the recession by opening their kitchens to paying customers. Even celebrities are tucking in, with Jo Wood creating her own home restaurant this summer serving customers organic fare straight from her Richmond garden.

It’s up to each couple what they serve, and the pressure of catering in their own home leads contestants to draw upon a range of innovative tactics to win. Viewers will see everything from outrageous themed nights and seven-course gastronomy to the ruthlessly practical. From pet hairs in the wine and tongue-reading at an organic health-themed night to a drive-thru diner with a chuck-wagon, a Bollywood evening and an Italian feast complete with opera singers… whatever is on the menu, these couples will go to almost any lengths to get diners opening their wallets.

Everything is at stake as guests take everything from service, entertainment and restaurant design into account when paying their bill. Was the food more greasy spoon than Michelin star? Or the service closer to Fawlty Towers than Oxo Tower? It’s up to the diners to decide.

When service closes, the two couples meet to share their experiences from the heat of the kitchen. Once takings have been counted the winning restaurant and ultimate foodie prize are revealed – a meal anywhere in the world at one of the globe’s finest restaurants.

Virgin1 is available on Freeview, Virgin Media and digital satellite. We’ll also be running regular video clips and stories about the programme, and you can see the first of them – a trailer for the first show – below:

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