New York, NY, April 02, 2014 – World-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 vet competing restaurants and decide which is worthy of a significant investment in Spike TV’s new series “Hungry Investors,” produced by Eyeworks USA. Premiering Sunday, May 4 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT, the esteemed “Hungry Investors” trio will take their search for “diamond in the rough” restaurants – establishments that are struggling, despite having amazing potential to succeed – across the country to Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA and Las Vegas, NV, among others.
The new original series will track these business savvy experts as they make life-altering investments into restaurants that demonstrate the most promise for success. The owners will seek to prove to Taffer, Besh and Derry that the only thing keeping them from financial fortune and success is finding an investor who believes in them.
In each episode, two local restaurants that serve the same type of cuisine (i.e. Mexican, sushi, barbeque, etc.) are pitted against each other as they make every effort to demonstrate to the “Hungry Investors” that their business is willing to make the necessary adjustments to maximize the return on an investment. After the expert team utilizes rigorous “Invest Tests” to get to the core of the operation and the business owners’ abilities, one establishment may earn a substantial investment. These highly skilled entrepreneurs are not afraid to tell it like it is, and offer their combined decades of expertise in the food and hospitality industry to these equally strong-willed business owners. Which restaurants will heed the experts’ advice, beat out the competition, and earn this once in a lifetime opportunity to save their business?
“Hungry Investors” will premiere at 10:00 PM after a new episode of “Bar Rescue” on Sunday, May 4, and then move to 9:00 PM on Sunday nights for the remainder of the season. The “Hungry Investors” team is a venerable all-star squad of restaurateurs, featuring three experts from different parts of the country who possess sharp business acumen and impeccable knowledge of the food industry.
A longtime fixture in the bar and nightclub business, Jon Taffer, star of Spike TV’s highly rated series “Bar Rescue,” is also an internationally recognized, award-winning restaurant operator, owner and concept developer. He’s a respected industry “voice” with 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 ten 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, Pizza Domenica and Borgne. He has been recognized with several of the highest honors awarded to a chef, including the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who” in 2014, 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,” was 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. Derry is also the recipient of The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) 2013 Hall of Fame Award.
Fans of “Hungry Investors” can join in the conversation about the show by following @SPIKETV on Twitter and using #HungryInvestors. Sneak peeks of upcoming episodes, blog posts, full episodes, biographies and more can be found on Spike.com’s dedicated “Hungry Investors” destination, spike.com/shows/hungry-investors, where content will be updated throughout the season. For additional series updates, follow Spike on Facebook and on Instagram.