Tune in to an all-new episode of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup every Wednesday at 10pm EST.
CNBC’s Restaurant Startup launches its third season on January 6th at 10pm EST. The show features hungry entrepreneurs and chefs competing for a chance to open their dream restaurant. Each week, two teams pitch their food ideas to investors Joe Bastianich, Tim Love, and Elizabeth Blau. One of those two teams will receive 36 hours and $7,500 to launch a “pop-up” of their restaurant and prove that they have what it takes to run a successful startup. If impressed, Joe, Tim, and Elizabeth will vie against each other to invest their own money in the restaurant concept.
In anticipation of the new season, CNBC asked me what I would do if I had 36 hours and $7,500 to pitch my dream restaurant concept to Joe, Tim, and Elizabeth. The result: Butcher & Baker.
Truth be told, this is actually an idea I’ve had for quite some time. As some of you may know, I am a baker and co-owner of a small café here in Southern California. What most of you don’t know is that my mother-in-law is a butcher. Knowing these two things, a friend of mine jokingly suggested that I open a restaurant called The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker. The idea was originally too playful for me, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew this was the beginning of a great idea. Imagine with me, if you will, a world-class restaurant with a small butcher shop and bakery attached. Each business is unique in its own right but under the umbrella of one brand.
When I think of Butcher & Baker, I imagine Italian bistro meets fine dining. The interior is rustic and natural, but contrasted by clean lines and pops of bright white. Huge wooden beams tower from the ceiling to the floor and are met by white bistro tiles. Thick, handcrafted tables are covered with crisp, white linens and a single candle. The wait staff is dressed to the nines, genuine, and ready to offer guests both unprecedented customer service and an unparalleled knowledge of our menu.
The menu would include items that highlight both butcher and baker, including daily selections of cured meats, Brie en Croûte, sandwiches, pot pies, a variety of premium steaks, and beef wellington. Table wine would flow freely, and a sommelier would be on hand to help guests navigate their way through our expansive wine cellar. Click here to view a sample menu.
Adjacent to Butcher & Baker is the bakery, which provides our restaurant with its breads and pastries while welcoming guests of its own who have stopped in for a sweet treat. Directly next to the bakery is the butcher shop. This old-fashioned, custom cut, neighborhood market provides customers with local, ethically sourced, and pasture-raised stock while simultaneously supplying the restaurant with all of its meat.
With 36 hours and $7,500, I would start with clearly showcasing my vision for Butcher & Baker by using the above mood boards, logos, and mockups as examples for the investors. Creating this feel in the physical “pop-up” would be essential to my pitch. Every detail would matter, from the dinnerware and table linens to the salt and pepper shakers and menus.
As far as what I’d serve the investors: Beef Wellington. Few dishes embody the concept of Butcher & Baker as perfectly as this classic, show-stopping dish. To prepare a Beef Wellington, a center cut beef filet is pan seared, brushed with English Mustard, and then covered in mushroom duxelles and sliced prosciutto. The entire thing is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked until the dough is golden brown and the steak is medium rare. It’s pure perfection!
So, what do you think? Would Joe, Tim, and Elizabeth invest in my restaurant concept? Let me know in the comments below.
Be sure to tune in to the season premiere of CNBC’s #RestaurantStartup on January 6th at 10pm EST. This third season promises “a pinch of a perfect idea, a heap of hard work, a slice of risk, a dash of drama, and a peppering of attitude.”
The value of each prize package is estimated at approximately $195.00 and includes: Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer, Chef Tim Love’s Grilling Set Flavors, Healthy Pasta by Joe Bastianich, The Busy Mom’s Cookbook by Antonia Lofaso, the Table Reservation Book by BookFactory, a Wine Pairing Towel Set, a Premium Popcorn Gift Set, and a Chef Works Chef’s Coat.
Funny thing, “the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker” is actually mentioned in episode one of season three. It’s fate.