“Bar Rescue” star and renowned bar and nightlife expert Jon Taffer teams up with acclaimed celebrity chef and author John Besh and “Top Chef All-Star” Tiffany Derry to seek out and help “diamond in the rough” failing restaurants meet their potential in the new Spike TV series, “Hungry Investors.”
Spike TV has ordered 10 one-hour episodes. The series, produced by Eyeworks USA, goes into production this fall and will premiere in spring 2014.
Each week, the ‘Hungry Investors’ team puts two struggling restaurants to the test to prove they deserve a second chance at success. The enterprise that shows the most promise of turning things around earns a significant cash investment. Both establishments seek to prove to the expert team that the only thing keeping them from financial fortune and success is finding an investor who believes in them.
The three-member ‘Hungry Investors’ team is a venerable all-star squad of restaurateurs, featuring three experts from different parts of the country who possess business acumen and impeccable knowledge of the food industry.
A longtime fixture in the restaurant, bar and nightclub business, Jon Taffer is an internationally recognized, award-winning restaurant operator, owner and concept developer. He's a respected industry "voice" with nearly 30 years of hands-on experience in over 800 establishments worldwide, with expertise in the creation, development and management of casual restaurants, entertainment venues, nightclubs, bars, stadium and arena food service, resort facilities and large theme restaurants. In January 2010, Taffer was appointed President of Questex Media Group LLC’s Nightclub & Bar Media Group, which includes the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, Nightclub & Bar magazine and related digital media products.
John Besh is the executive chef and co-owner of Besh Restaurant Group, based in New Orleans, in addition to his work as an author and philanthropist. His collection of nine highly acclaimed restaurants includes August (twice nominated for the James Beard “Outstanding Restaurant” Award) La Provence, Lüke, Lüke San Antonio, Besh Steak, American Sector, Soda Shop, Domenica and Borgne. He has been recognized with several of the highest honors awarded to a chef, including Food & Wine's “Ten Best New Chefs in America” in 1999 and “Best Chef in the Southeast” by the James Beard Foundation in 2006. In 2007, The Sundance Iconoclasts series featured him as a creative visionary whose passion helped transform a culture. Besh's two cookbooks, “My New Orleans” (October 2009) and “My Family Table” (November 2011) were each recognized with an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Award, and his third cookbook, “Cooking From The Heart,” is set to be published in fall 2013. The John Besh Foundation oversees the Chefs Move! scholarship program, in addition to a microloan program for local Louisiana and Mississippi farmers.
Beaumont, Texas native Tiffany Derry began her career in hospitality when she was 15 years old at International House of Pancakes (IHOP). By age 17, she was the youngest person ever to earn a management position in the company. After attending The Art Institute of Houston, Derry worked her way up to executive sous chef at Grotto Cucina Napolitano. Later, she moved to Dallas to become an instructor at the Art Institute of Dallas Culinary School, and also served as executive chef at the acclaimed Go Fish Ocean Club. Derry gained national fame as a contestant on the seventh season of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Derry’s overall talent and strong demeanor led her far into the competition, and made her a natural choice for “Top Chef All-Stars,” where she made it to the final four. Most recently Derry was brought on to help Patrick Halbert and Andy Austin build the Private | Social restaurant in Dallas from the ground up.
“Hungry Investors” is produced by Eyeworks USA (“Extreme Weight Loss,” “Bar Rescue”) and Executive Producers JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Brant Pinvidic and DJ Nurre. Jon Taffer also serves as Executive Producer.