Bobby Flay to Help Choose ‘America’s Next Great Restaurant’

Chef is first celebrity judge set for NBC reality competition show

Last Updated: March 12, 2010 @ 5:29 PM

Bobby Flay has been cast as the first of five key restaurant/business leaders and judges for NBC’s reality/competition series "America’s Next Great Restaurant.," premiering next season.

Originally called "United Plates of America," the show will feature contestants vying for the opportunity to open a new restaurant chain in three U.S. cities.

Bobby FlayChef/restaurateur Flay (“Iron Chef America: The Series”) will kick off the first in a series of open casting calls on March 19-20 in New York City. From there,casting teams set out on a cross-country bus tour in search potential contestants.

Participants do not need to have any cooking or restaurant experience — just a great idea for a unique restaurant concept.

Other casting calls will be held in Raleigh, N.C. (March 22), Nashville, Tenn. (March 24), Columbus, Ohio (March 26), Chicago (March 28), Kansas City, Kansas (March 30), Denver (April 1) and Los Angeles (April 5). (More information below)

Thousands of ideas will be narrowed down and then each week the investors will put the chosen few through rigorous challenges to discover which contestant’s concept has the greatest potential for success. Flay and the other judges will select the winner and invest their own money in the final restaurant chain.

The series is from executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves (“Project Runway,” “Top Chef”).

Interested applicants for the series should log onto nbc.com/casting to pre-register for an open casting call at one of the eight stops on the nationwide casting bus tour. Along with a completed and signed application and a photo ID, casting teams want applicants to bring anything they feel would help pitch their restaurant concept. Elements could be visual, edible or even wearable and applicants will have a limited time to pitch their idea.

Visitors also can follow the bus tour on Twitter @magicalelves with photos and video, and also at NBC.com/americas-next-great-restaurant.

The audition dates and locations follow:

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Friday, March 19 & Saturday, March 20
NBC Experience Store
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Monday, March 22
Chipotle
6102 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, North Carolina 27609
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
Wednesday, March 24
Nashville Film Institute
The Factory at Franklin
230 Franklin Road
Franklin, Tennessee 37065
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

COLUMBUS, OHIO
Friday, March 26
Chipotle
4750 Morse Rd
Columbus, Ohio 43230
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Sunday, March 28
Chipotle
28251 Diehl Road
Warrenville, Illinois 60555
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS
Tuesday, March 30
Chipotle
6864 Johnson Drive
Mission, Kansas 66202
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

DENVER, COLORADO
Thursday, April 1
Chipotle
2760 South Colorado Blvd
Denver, Colorado 80222
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Monday, April 5
Chipotle
135 E. Palm Avenue
Burbank, California 91502
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.