Edited Reality

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reality business rescue shows, but they can be deceitful. How times have heard the celebrity chef say the food was just dreadful? Or the mixologist say the drink was awful? We take their word because A) we can’t taste it ourselves and B) they’re the expert. They wouldn’t lie for ratings, would they?

A few months ago, a coworker’s wife’s restaurant got a face lift from the show ‘Restaurant Impossible’. I remember seeing the article on it and asked if him if the business was doing that bad it needed help. He said ‘no’ and that someone nominated them. We both looked it as a blessing, a renovation for free and advertisement on cable TV. Multiple reruns means more people seeing the episode so they’ll want to check the restaurant out.

Little backstory first, Dieuseul and Olga came to America from Haiti. They started a family. While Dieuseul works at a factory, while Olga opened a catering business. Her business was doing so well that she was able do what she always dreamed, open a restaurant. Chez Olga is run by Olga and one her daughters, Dodlie.  The people in the area loved her food. I had to try it myself. Not only did I love the food, but the atmosphere. It was like being welcomed into their home.

The day before the premiere, the local paper ran an article where it said that Robert Irvine said the food was ‘mediocre at best’. That did not go over well with the faithful customers of the restaurant. While watching the episode, titled ‘Caribbean Chaos’, I kept what Dieuseul said in mind that heavy editing and prompting is involved for ratings. Especially, when family is involved.

After watching, all I can say is WOW. So much editing. While there was some truth in the episode, there was also a lot of Hollywood magic. Anyone that works with family will tell you it does gets stressful. You have your family role and your work role. Sometimes, it clashes. Also, you’re family, who are going to vent to?

What wasn’t said in the episode was how much of the menu they changed. I was told that most of the food from opening night was sent back and discarded. Chez Olga’s went back to their original menu, but using the fresher ingredients. I know that this renovation took it’s toll on the family. After the camera crew left, the family took some time off. They were exhausted!

Also, the Monday after the episode, the restaurant had a line outside their door. They had to call in some reinforcements to wash dishes. I truly believe this restaurant will be around for a long time. If you’re ever in West Michigan, head over to Eastown and try Chez Olga.