Robert Earl knows business, hospitality, and food. Even if you happen to not recognize his name, you most likely visited, stayed, or eaten in one of his many establishments. Earl is the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood International and the chairman of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. He is also the owner of the popular restaurants Earl of Sandwich and Buca di Beppo.
Earl's new venture puts him in front of the camera with his show on the Cooking Channel called Be My Guest. Each week Earl takes his passion for food on the road visiting restaurants and other food venues all over the world. During his travels he visited a variety of places from four-star restaurants to food trucks. He also searches for the "hidden gems," the restaurants that might not be as popular, but that does not mean the quality of food or service is lacking.
So why would someone (who already has thriving businesses) want to take time out of his business schedule to run around the world? "I got tricked into doing it!" Earl exclaims. "I thought I was planning the show and when we didn't have a host, I ended up doing it and quite enjoyed it."
While on his travels, he doesn't just take the viewer to great places to eat, but they also venture into the kitchen where he learns some of their award-winning dishes. Famous chefs like Robb Lucas (Koi), Yi Jia Qjan (Mr. Chow), and Hung Huynh (Catch) are among the many that viewers will see and learn from. He also doesn't typically dine alone with a variety of guests joining him on his journey including the likes of Holly Madison and Lisa Vanderpump as well as the Knick City Dancers.
With all the travel and cooking shows out there (or a combination of the two), what separates this show from the competition? "It is a combination of all of those great things the other shows offer." Earl says. "It truly is a travel show, a restaurant guide and a cooking show, presented with a bit of humor and some interesting guests."
Besides watching the show, does Robert Earl have any tips for all the traveling foodies out there who may want to venture out on their own? "To find good restaurants while traveling, I would advise that you search local publications online for prior reviews from the past two months and cross-reference them to see if there is any consistency." Earl exclaims. "Try and find out if there is a similar message and you will see which places regularly garner positive feedback."
With all his accomplishments, this advice is something that traveling food lovers should take. However, Robert Earl also has a likeability factor that clearly comes off on-screen. The show is more laid-back and light-hearted, while still teaching the viewer about new places and dishes. "It is different than the others out there right now and provides a fun experience for viewers," Earl states.
He doesn't like what he does, he loves what he does. With the show Be My Guest this is shown clearly on-screen. Plus, when I asked him what went into an exceptional dish, I expected something fancy or expensive. Robert Earl's answer? "Butter." Exactly.
"Be My Guest" airs Monday at 12 P.M. EST on the Cooking Channel. To learn more about the show, you can visit the official site here.