Fred Sirieix: New food show allows me to dig deeper than First Dates

The First Dates maitre d' hosts a new show that looks at the business aspect of running a restaurant.

First Dates star Fred Sirieix has said his new series provides a more rounded view of how restaurants are run than “boring” programmes which only focus on cooking.

The maitre d’ has also said his new BBC Two show Million Pound Menu has allowed him to dig “much deeper” in terms of presenting, compared to the Channel 4 dating series.

Million Pound Menu allows aspiring restaurant owners to pitch their culinary and business ideas to industry investors.

Sirieix said he was pleased to be presenting a food-based show that shows all aspects of being a restaurateur, adding that it is a “much more rounded restaurant business programme” than others.

He said: “The hospitality industry is not just one facet; all the food programmes that you have, the programmes about restaurants are about food.

“Cooking an egg, cooking an omelette. To be honest with you, I find it very boring.

“It’s so easy to cook an egg and to do a set piece, but to actually run a restaurant and have all the components working together to create that experience for a customer… The components you don’t see at the back, that’s not filmed.”

Sirieix is best known to viewers for his starring role on First Dates. As the front of house at the show’s restaurant he welcomes singletons as they arrive for their dinner dates.

Million Pound Menu
Million Pound Menu, starring Fred Sirieix (Andrew Hayes-Watkins/BBC)

He said that while he had to dig “much deeper” in the presenting role for Million Pound Menu, audiences can expect to see more of what he actually does for a living.

“This is what I do. It’s more what I do on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

“First Dates, at the end of the day, it’s a restaurant and people come to that restaurant for one reason and one reason only: to find love.

“And what the programme is there to do is to capture that moment where love is born. That’s what it is, right?

“Then basically it’s a day-to-day job that you do when you’re a maître d’.”

Away from his television work, the French star is a general manger at Michelin star restaurant Galvin at Windows in London, and he also runs a consultancy firm that has many clients outside of the hospitality industry.

Before he arrived in the UK, Sirieix trained at a renowned catering college in France.

Million Pound Menu starts on BBC Two on May 17.

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