Giles Coren, the Million Dollar Critic, reviews food hotspots across North America, and meets with Mayor Rob Ford in the first episode to discuss Toronto’s Best Hot Dog.
This Fall on W Network, Canada will be introduced to one of the world’s most charming and most outspoken restaurant critics – Giles Coren – as he travels across North America critiquing the most enticing and interesting restaurants, in Million Dollar Critic. World Broadcast premiere is Tuesday, October 7, at 10 p.m. ET.
Million Dollar Critic takes U.K. based London Times restaurant critic Giles Coren to 3 cities in Canada (Toronto, Quebec City, St. John’s) and 3 cities in USA (Philadelphia, Providence, Charleston) where he explores up-and-coming, authentic, and established restaurants, diners and food trucks, to determine which will receive his million-dollar review. In each city, Giles visits five restaurants, and grants one a million dollar review that could change the owner’s life forever.
The bitingly funny and controversial critic can make or break a restaurant by his review. His good opinion can bring as much as a million dollars to those restaurants graced with his words of approval. He cannot be bought. He cannot be invited. If your place is good, then you hope he shows up. And if it is bad, then you better hope he doesn’t.
Now he’s coming to North America, with his trusty researcher by his side, Julia Pileggi, to help navigate this strange and tasty new world.
Giles doesn’t care about reputations. He isn’t interested in fancy or flashy or famous. He’ll take everything the restaurants throw at him and could easily throw it right back.
Episode 1 – Toronto
Tuesday October 7, 2014 – 10pm ET/PT
Restaurant critic and man of the world Giles Coren will admit he knows very little about Toronto, and its rapidly growing food scene. So, he’s made it the first stop on the Million Dollar Critic discovery tour of North America. Here to taste for himself, will he be surprised at the skill and attitudes of Toronto chefs? Will an encounter with controversial mayor, Rob Ford put Giles off his food (and the city) for good?
Giles kicks off his visit to Toronto in the tony Yorkville neighbourhood, with an inaugural Canadian dinner at one of the last bastions of 1990s culinary hype, Opus. The fancy room and 3000 wine list may dazzle, but, pricy old-school refinement needs to stand up to Giles modern standards. Next, it’s an urban culture shock as Giles lunches at hugely popular Indo-Pakistani buffet, Mr. Butt’s King Place. Here, he launches a spontaneous taste test that risks the wrath of Mr. Butt, and puts his own knowledge to the test. Later, the rural-boys-turned hipsters of Small Town Food Co., fancy their chances with Giles. Open only 2 months, will their eclectic ‘comfort’ menu and warm hospitality be enough to win the million dollar review? The grass roots discovery of Toronto continues in historic Kensington Market at famous Mexican food stall turned resto, Agave y Aguacate. Here, the chef bets the review on his famous tongue stew, and Giles quickly determines if they’ve made the leap from street level heroes to proper chefs and restauranteurs. Later, in need of an infusion of energy, Giles heads to The Atlantic for his farewell dinner. Will the unconventional no menu, pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth philosophy of the eccentric, multi-tasking owner/host/ bartender/chef/server inspire, or totally infuriate Giles?
Local Dining Guest:
Robyn Dolittle – News Reporter; Author; Unfussy Vegetarian.
Special Appearances by:
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Also, some crickets.