On his show “Restaurant: Impossible,” chef Robert Irvine dishes out tough love to struggling restaurateurs.
But in real life, he says, he gets involved in their private problems and family issues.
“It’s the most real reality show on TV,” he said. “Nobody is telling me what to do.”
When he started two years ago, he says, he had no idea he would get so entangled in the lives of the people he is trying to help.
“But I don’t think my approach has changed. I am still the tough guy with the tough love,” he said.
The audience age range is from 4 years old to 96, he said.
“It’s the life lessons that people take away from it, from watching it,” Irvine said. “I want people to take something away from it.”
He also has advice for new restaurant owners.
“Keep it clean. Modernize it, china, glassware, parking, simple basic stuff,” he said. “We don’t want fine dining anymore. There is a percent that do, but for the most part, the way I eat, I want to taste everybody’s food.”
Irvine will be in town this week, hosting events at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Click here to see events Irvine will be hosting.
"We have a lot of things actually. I have a dinner that is sponsored by Barilla. I also have main stage demos, kids and fun," he said.
He has been participating in the festival the past five years and he says it has changed a lot, drawing in people, who would normally not go to such events.
"People enjoy food more, enjoy wine. It's a good weekend." he said.
Irvine said not every chef can be an entertainer. Some take their food so seriously they cannot relax enough to entertain, he said. But during the festival there are both personalities.