Big Restaurant Bet: Release Date, Host, And More - Everything We Know So Far

Food Network knows audiences have a big appetite for cooking show competitions. All you have to do is look at the laundry list of successful series that have populated the channel's lineup to see the smorgasbord they've offered up over the years: From "Chopped" to "Beat Bobby Flay" and "Cupcake Wars" to "Guy's Grocery Games," not to mention "Holiday Baking Championship" — the list goes on and on. 

These shows are culinary catnip for foodies of all skill levels. And if you wonder why we love to watch people cook, bake, and be judged for their capabilities so much — according to Well and Good, there's something "satisfying" about these shows. As professor of social and health psychology at the University of Minnesota, Traci Mann, Ph.D. explains, "When watching a food show, you get to see a project come together from start to finish, which can be very satisfying." 

Food Network is continuing to bank on viewers feeling satiated by these food competitions by serving up an all-new series to get taste buds churning. The channel is betting on something great with the launch of their "Big Restaurant Bet," set to star celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, according to Hollywood Reporter, who broke the news about the new show on February 24. Here is everything we know about this upcoming cooking competition series so far.

When will 'Big Restaurant Bet' be released?

If you count yourself among those who can't get enough of food competition shows, you'll probably want to mark your calendar for the April launch of the new Food Network series, "Big Restaurant Bet." Per a press release, the big day is Tuesday, April 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT when the first episode will premiere. In total, there will be six episodes, each one-hour long. Additionally, viewers will be able to stream the weekly series on Discovery+. 

The release goes on to explain that the show will be almost like handing off a baton from one generation of successful chefs to the next as "Big Restaurant Bet" will take eight established kitchen stars and have them battle it out for the opportunity to run their own restaurant. And who better to serve as guide, mentor, and judge than Geoffrey Zakarian? "Ask any chef to name one of the greatest professionals they have ever seen in a kitchen and Geoffrey Zakarian is on everyone's list," said Courtney White, president, Food Network and Streaming Food Content, Discovery Inc. 

Why is Zakarian the best to host 'Big Restaurant Bet'?

Geoffrey Zakarian is clearly excited to host this new show, so much so that he will be investing $250,000 into the winner's new dining establishment. As he said in the press release, "Opening a restaurant takes unwavering determination, razor sharp skill, and unique culinary talent. In 'Big Restaurant Bet,' viewers will follow the journey and dreams of eight talented chefs that are passionate about launching their own restaurant. It's not just a once-in-a-lifetime competition — it's real life." He then added, "In the end, I'm going to select one chef to get behind and help bring their concept to fruition. The stakes are high, and my own reputation is on the line as we find America's next great restaurateur." 

It not only sounds like riveting television, but also a show that will be turning up the heat on those who are competing while getting advice and guidance from an O.G. in the world of restaurants and cooking. Zakarian shared a post on his Instagram account announcing his role in the show and his fans are also really excited. As one wrote, "Love it. Mentoring meets opportunity!" And another offered, "This is wonderful GZ! Can't wait to watch!!" But the celebrity chef is not the only Zakarian who will be making an appearance on "Big Restaurant Bet."

What can we expect in each episode of 'Big Restaurant Bet'?

We don't know anything yet about the eight chefs who will be battling it out for the chance to brag about having an "Iron Chef" investor, according to the Food Network press release. But we do know Zakarian's wife, business partner, and hospitality consultant Margaret Zakarian will make an appearance, along with executive chef Eric Haugen, both of whom will serve as judges. Food Network also gave some intel on the first episode, which was filmed in the Zakarians' home base of Florida, and consists of two elimination rounds. First, contestants are tasked with creating "a simple, one-bite dish that best showcases who they are and what their restaurant concept is," while the second challenge is focused on cooking basics "as defined by" Zakarian. 

There is also an upcoming showdown to create a full menu for their restaurant concept, as well as a competition round that gives Zakarian and his advisors a glimpse into how the contestants would run their eatery, especially when things don't go their way. It makes sense that the "Iron Chef" would want to see how these competitors will react under pressure, and so he to do so, he fills up the staged restaurant with actors who are meant to create a little chaos. The press release goes on to explain that each challenge is designed to prove that the winning contestant will be able to develop a profitable establishment with a well-run front and back of house experience. By the finale, the last two chefs standing will have the opportunity to take their "dream culinary concept" for a test drive with a "restaurant takeover" to see how they fare and determine who will get the $250,000 investment.