The venue for tonight's first programme is La Lanterna in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Twenty-eight-year-old owner and head chef Alex offers modern Italian cuisine, a taste of Little Italy in England's first garden city, and the restaurant is run by his best mate maitre d' Gavin, helped by his ex-air hostess girlfriend Emily. But Alex has no customers, cookers that don't work and an expensive menu that's about as authentically Italian as a spag bol. He re-mortgaged his house to buy the business, it's losing Â£1,000 a week, he hasn't slept for months but still runs round town in a flash car (number plate: A1CHEF) that's worth more than the restaurant. Running out of money, inspiration and energy, Alex is on the verge of losing everything. Gordon rolls up his sleeves and sets to work on the encrusted kitchen cookers and hapless front-of-house staff. Can a strict diet of brutal honesty, radical food surgery and undiluted energy turn things round, or is it only a matter of time before the lights go out at La Lanterna for good?
La Lanterna is closed. Despite an increase in business, they closed in 2006 and the building was put up for sale.