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Food on Television

Famous Food: The Dolce Group Puts Restaurant in the Capable Hands of Heidi Montag, et al.

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Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 3:24 PM
click to enlarge Ketchup before. What will be the after?
  • Ketchup before. What will be the after?

What are reality stars qualified to do? Hmm. Let's think. Have meltdowns on camera, for sure. Gang up on the weak link, certainly. And they're definitely extremely good at identifying who is, and who is not, here to make friends.

What about opening a restaurant? Are they any good at that? The Dolce Group certainly thinks it's possible, otherwise why would they tear down one of their restaurants and ask the most useless, brain dead semi-famous jokesters to put it back together again?

Well, we take that back. Vincent Pastore, a.k.a. Big Pussy from The Sopranos and rappers Three 6 Mafia were at least once known as talented performers. So why are they on a reality show with Heidi "10 plastic surgeries in one day" Montag, Jake "The Bachelor with rage issues" Pavelka, Ashley "former escort" Dupre and Danielle "I piss people off to the point of flipping tables" Staub of New Jersey's Real Housewives?

On VH1's new show, Famous Food, that is the motley crew tasked with rebuilding Sunset Strip restaurant Ketchup from the ground up.

click to enlarge Heidi's rebuilt herself, why not a restaurant?
  • Heidi's rebuilt herself, why not a restaurant?

Lonnie Moore and Mike Malin of The Dolce Group are no strangers to involving celebrities in their restaurant ventures. The count about half the cast of That 70s Show as investors. But in the case of Famous Food, things are working in the opposite direction. $150,000 is ponied up by the restaurateurs, along with just 28 days for the seven contestants to turn a vacant space into a new Hollywood hotspot.

The group must collectively decide on the restaurant's concept and menu, hire a contractor and supervise construction. They must also hire a chef and a full kitchen staff. They must create a budget, design uniforms and train everyone. They have to come up with a lighting concept, for goodness sake. And they'd better keep track of who does what, because in the end, only one of them gets ownership stake.

We checked out the supertrailer for the show, and here's what we know: the team fails the fire inspection, three of their refrigerators turn out not to work, Mike Malin hates turkey meatballs and Heidi Montag thinks she's "not Hollywood." Oh, and a whole lot of decor samples get thrown in fits of rage. This restaurant's never going to open if they keep breaking all their high bar tables.

Famous Food premieres on Sunday, July 10th at 10:00 p.m. on VH1. Frankly, we'll be watching.

Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife.

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