Famous Food – Episode 1 – This Ain’t No Picnic

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It’s wine o’clock for Danielle and Heidi on Famous Food. By my watch, that means it’s almost time to make the Italian/soul food donuts.

Welcome to the first episode of Famous Food! This show is going to be a doozy, right? From the look of it, every piece of furniture in L.A. appears to get thrown at some point this season.

First of all, let’s meet all of the famous foodies who have been picked to compete for a partnership with the Dolce Group in L.A. Btw, here’s the Dolce Group:

Lonnie and Mike will be overseeing this entire train wreck/operation and choosing one of the following people to be their partner in a new restaurant. Who will it be?

DJ Paul and Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia:

These two call themselves foodies, tried to have their own cooking show once called Cookin’ Ain’t Easy, and according to DJ Paul, they “live life to the fullest. Put one foot at the edge of the mountain and put the other foot on a banana peel and just see where life takes you,” he explains. Sounds dangerous, but also food-related, so it makes sense. Sort of.

Then there’s Ashley Dupre:

Ashley wants people to know she’s a goofy, fun person, not just an escort famous for her exploits with the then-governor of New York. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with her reputation for now when we see her sit down to dinner with the rest of the group and Vincent Pastore says “We’ve got the Bachelor, two hot chicks, the mafia and…”

That’s not very nice, Three 6.

Next up is former Bachelor Jake Pavelka, who wants to learn the ins and outs of being a “restaurantier,” which is a job he might want to learn how to pronounce correctly if he actually wants to be one. But what does Jake care about pronouncing things when he looks like a soft-core porn actor/Hair Club for Men testimonial ad?

Danielle Staub, of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey, says she’s familiar with being “portrayed as a villain,” but she’s not going to take s— from anyone and she is in this thing to win it. She also counts her job working in a champagne room as hospitality experience which…I guess.

Danielle’s winning attitude also means she shoots down ideas that aren’t hers and holds grudges against others when their ideas are used. Danielle finds an ally in Heidi Montag, however.

Sweet Heidi takes time to smell the roses as she explains “I’m Heidi Montag. You know me as a pop culture phenomenon.” Do we ever. But I have a good feeling about this, Heidi without Spencer is a whole different thing that the world is used to, so it will be good to see her on her own.

Heidi and Danielle bond when they bail on the rest of the group and use the group’s money to buy wine. Sorry, to engage in product testing and research.

While Danielle has a friend in Heidi, she’s definitely got issues with Vincent Pastore. Pastore is an actor, a former nightclub proprieter, and a friend of extremely orange guy, Richie Parma. Of the Hawaii Parmas.

Vincent:

Richie:

The fact that Vincent brings in a guy named Richie Parma to help with their restaurant set-up is Soprano-y enough, but then when he offers his first impression of Jake (a heterosexual whose claim to fame is making women fight over him) saying “I’m looking across the table at this clean cut guy who could probably be…swishy, to use the right term,” it just keeps getting weirder. And “swishy”? Really? Is that the rightest term available?

Once the group is assembled, they have one day to come up with a concept and theme for their restaurant. Vincent says “All we gotta do today is come up with a name and what we’re gonna serve. A monkey could do that. A MONKEY.” Unfortunately, this group is not a monkey.

Some of their ideas:

Suggestion #1: Heidi says “Fine dining Mexican.”

Vincent says “There’s a Taco Bell on every corner.”

Suggestion #2: Danielle says “I want a celebrity chef to fuse Tuscany Asian.”

Heidi says “Like a Benihana?”

Suggestion #3: Three 6 Mafia says “Let’s put a stripper pole in the restaurant.”

Heidi says “Yes!”

Suggestion #4: “Fame!” says Heidi. Also “Bling!” Elaborate, Heidi. “Like, bling bikinis that can dance in the windows.” As terrible as this sounds, they latch on to the “fame” concept, especially Danielle, who sees herself as the most famous, well-connected one in the group.

Suggestion #5: Danielle and others suggest “Italian soul food,” a totally new type of food that’s never been done before. Danielle takes the idea (and the group’s checkbook) and claims it all for her own.

Suggestion #6: Ashley says “What if we use picnic tables?”

Danielle says “You are the dumbest person I’ve ever met” with her eyes, but out loud she simply says “This is why we’re looked down upon in the workplace. Thanks, Ashley…Picnic tables is a really, really bad idea.” Really? Having ideas like “people can eat at picnic tables” is the root of all male-female workplace tension? I’m learning things this week on Famous Food. Irrational things, but still, things.

When the group meets with Lonnie and Mike to present their ideas, they tell Danielle that idea of Italian Soul Food “sucks.” And when Ashley mentions her concept of an indoor picnic area, they love it.

If silent, pouty, wine-breathy huffing could kill, Ashley would be dead.

“Today, it’s pretty clear to us that Ashley has the MVP,” Mike or Lonnie says, relieved that one of these people has a concept that isn’t fusion- or bling-inspired.

But will picnic tables be the right hook for this place? Will Danielle’s inability to praise or get along with others taint the restaurant’s success? Will someone get thrown out of the huge sliding window onto Sunset? Tune in every Sunday night to find out.