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'Restaurant: Impossible' welcomes fans to ‘Meet the Impossible’

Restaurant Impossible celebrated 100 episodes
Restaurant Impossible celebrated 100 episodes
Photo by Aaron Davidson

On last night’s episode of “Restaurant Impossible,” fans got a glimpse into the goings on behind the show. This is how they do the impossible with just two days and $10,000; this crew creates miracles, under the supervision of Robert Irvine. Is his bark really bigger than his bite?

Marc Summers, the executive producer of the series, hosts this episode, to give faithful fans a chance to celebrate the major milestone; their 100th episode. Viewers will be able to take a look back at some episodes that made them laugh, cry, cringe and never want to own a restaurant. Now Marc gets to ask Robert the tough questions and put him in the passenger seat for a change.

On the set where this was portrayed, Marc made sure he included all the things Robert hates the most about restaurants. He equipped the place with lots of dirt on the ceiling fan, ripped wallpaper, Christmas lights, dirty vents, plastic plants, lots of clutter and even an old cash register. Marc related how he and Robert met. Robert wanted him to come see him work, in New Jersey where he opened for Paula Deen and wanted Marc to watch the show. He hoped Marc would see something in him; if good or bad, he needed to know. If bad, he would not waste any more of his time. Marc was not particularly thrilled, but Robert had the audience in the palm of his hand. Marc told him that if they started working, it may take a year or two before something started happening. Robert was in, and started sending show ideas to Marc. Rejection after rejection did not dissuade Robert, and finally he shot a show in Tarrytown, N.Y., and the rest is history. His show became “Dinner Impossible,” and after nearly 100 episodes, it became “Restaurant Impossible.”

Next, Marc showed a mini-montage of the beginning of the shows, where the sign features the city and glimpses of the towns as Robert is driving there. They give him the name of the owner, and the address and send Robert to the place of business. He knows that they need his help, but do not know why. Most of the time, he figures it out as soon as he walks into the place. As the production staff is set up already, he walks in as they film his arrival.

Robert is tireless and does not sit down, will not eat, and will not stop until he knows he has made a difference. Marc feels that 80% of the restaurants they visit, should never have opened. Robert knows that by changing the lives of the restaurant owners, it is also changing their lives too. Robert stated that this was not a scripted show. When he threw up at the filth and smell in some places, he truly was not faking it. The line that makes Marc crack up, is when Robert states to the owners, “You’re gonna kill somebody!”

Robert met with his three designers, and strangely enough, he has never been in the same place with them at the same time. Cheryl, Taniya and Lynn were all together, and Marc revealed that Lynn designed the set they were on, such an antithesis of what he always does. Each designer told viewers the best part of working with Robert. Cheryl stated that Robert somehow wrangled all the chaos and gets the job done. Taniya has learned so much from him; how to be a better business person, a designer, and how to delegate. He has her undying gratitude. Lynn has grown so much on the show, thanks to Robert’s direction. As he helps the restaurant owners in their business, he also has helped him in his business and designs. His first meeting with Robert was frightening, because Robert did not know him, and as he auditioned, Robert stopped him and asked him who he was and what he was doing on the set? Shaking in his shoes, he meekly introduced himself.

Next was Tom Bury, and Robert called him to the set in his own inimitable way, as he screamed his name, as viewers have heard at least 50% of the time. Tom has done every episode with Robert, and people comment that Robert is always mean to Tom. Tom describing the idiosyncrasies of each designer, he loves them all, but they have distinct ways of doing things. They all fear Robert when he comes in with the sledgehammer.

To surprise Robert, Marc had a few restaurant owners on hand; the family from Joe Willy’s, and husband and wife from Sapor iD'Italia. Marc walked Robert into the room and made him close his eyes for a change. When he opened them, he saw the two families and howled. These families put him through the wringer, but two families that are grateful for his arrival. He has changed their lives in so many ways, and changed their restaurants at the same time.

When Robert and Marc met one-on-one, Robert spoke about how it was all about him when he started Dinner Impossible, now this has changed, and it is all about the people he helps. They asked Robert’s beautiful wife, Gail Kim, how he was at home? She told everyone that Robert was, just as he is on television, he speaks from his heart, and maybe you will not like what he says at first, but you will most certainly see the results. She has never met anyone like him when it comes to motivation, ambition and inspiration. His huge heart comes through. They showed several instances of Robert’s happy dance, when the food he makes tastes so good, he cannot help himself.

The reveal, which is the best part of the show, after all the soul searching is over, and the food is now better than ever; the owners get to see the finished restaurant. The favorite of all those who participated in the show was Mama Lee’s Soul Food Restaurant. When the two owners and Mama Lee got to see the restaurant, it was the most emotional reveal ever.

Congratulations to Robert, Marc, the designers, Tom Bury and his crew, the restaurants and owners featured on the show. Here is to the next 100 shows; your faithful fans will be watching and waiting to see how you outdo yourself every single week on "Restaurant: Impossible."

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