All In The Family Battle A team of brothers battles it out against a mother/daughter duo in this family feud of comforting meals versus posh plates. Brothers Mookie Hicks, the chef and owner of a Jessup, Md. catering company, and Saoul Vanderpool, a Bronx, N.Y. graphic designer, hope to combine their soulful style and creative experiences into a restaurant. Rachel Goldman Nason, the chef and owner of a catering company from Brookline, Mass., and Jane Pofcher Goldman, a Waltham, Mass. nurse and event planner, form a fiery team. Blood bonds are tested as Rachel and Jane bicker over plans for small plates in a modern setting while Mookie and Saoul go for a progressive soul vibe. Judges include: Jason Denton, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Italiano Battle This battle pits two teams of three against each other in a clash of Italian cuisine. Rossella and Angela Rago, along with "Nonna" Romana Sciddurlo are three generations of Italian women from Brooklyn, N.Y., who keep their cooking authentic with recipes passed down through their family. Best friends from Connecticut, Anthony Longobardi and Chris Gentile, together with Anthony's sister, Debra Jean, use their culinary educations to put a twist on the traditional Italian fare they grew up with. The patrons have a difficult time choosing between the time-honored and innovative dishes, but a critical mistake from the kitchen ends up on the judges' table. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Marcus Samuelsson.
High Skills Battle Two teams with restaurant experience face-off in a heated battle. Erik Ruminski, a personal chef from Oak Park, Ill., and Ces Lopez, a food service manager from Chicago, are goofy and inseparable best friends. Sisters Barbara Apt, a food services sales account manager from Lantana, Texas, and Lisa Sheehan, an Argyle, Texas restaurant equipment sales representative, hope to combine their culinary backgrounds into a venture dedicated to their dad. When the battle begins, Erik and Ces develop ambitious plans for a European bistro with mystique while Barbara and Lisa take a more homey approach with a modern tavern piano bar featuring regional American cuisine. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Ben Leventhal, and Marcus Samuelsson.
Best Friends Battle Two teams of best friends battle it out with very different restaurants: a bustling Italian joint and a quiet, homey bistro. Charlie LoGrasso, a barbershop owner from South Boston, Mass., and Mark Conde, a Dorchester, Mass. concessions chef, are best friends who bonded over their Italian heritage and love for boxing. The striking duo Danushka Lysek, a New York model and private chef, and Angela Bartys, a private chef in Los Angeles, put their culinary degrees together to whip up organic and rustic dishes that evoke childhood memories. Mark and Charlie plan to pack their menu full of authentic central Sicilian fare with New England charm for a unique Italian restaurant experience. Danushka and Angela decide on a smaller menu in a chic bistro to highlight their execution abilities. Judges include: Alison Brod, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Couples Battle Things heat up in this battle as two couples put their love on the line to chase their dreams of opening restaurants. Justin Warner and J.J. Pyle are who met while working in a New York City restaurant and have been inseparable ever since. Zach Gaynor and Lisa Fernandez, from Philadelphia, have been dating for five years (and are now engaged) after meeting at the restaurant where they worked together. Justin and J.J. cook-up a brunch restaurant serving sweet and savory jellies on a variety of waffles and pancakes while Zach and Lisa specialize in retro comfort food inspired by the 1950s. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Home Cooks Battle A father/son team faces-off against two best friends in this restaurant battle. Glahad Dizon is willing to give up his career as a postman in Teaneck, N.J., to make his son Andrew's dream of opening his own restaurant come true. Neeka Dockeny, a stay-at-home mom from Philadelphia, and Dorinda Hampton, a New Castle, Del. bakery business owner, have been inseparable since age one. Some unexpected twists to their menus arise: The Dizons go back to their roots with a Filipino-American concept in a modern setting featuring exotic fare while Neeka and Dorinda focus on a contemporary, atypical vegetarian menu. Judges include: Karine Bakhoum, Gabriella Gershenson, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Texas vs. Ex's Battle This battle pits two couples with failed business experience against each other for a second stab at a venture together. Washington D.C.'s Chris Alvear and Francisco Pliego have had a rollercoaster relationship in both love in business, and though neither endeavor worked out, they remain ambitious friends with plans to open a restaurant. Sara and Mitchell Matzek are a husband-and-wife team from Harpers Ferry, W. Va., whose roadside Texas BBQ stand was hit by a car and destroyed. Chris and Francisco focus on Latin fusion with Mexican influence while the Matzeks stick to their specialty, authentic Texas barbeque. Judges include: Alison Brod, Drew Nieporent, and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Theme Restaurants Battle It's Caveman Cuisine vs. Trailer Park Chic in this battle featuring two teams putting their own radical spins on Southern fare with uniquely themed restaurants. Gary "Skip" Klavans, a writer from North Hollywood, Calif., and Alan "Buzz" Klavans, a paramedic and musician from Winter Garden, Fla., are two brothers pursuing a dream they had since they were kids - a raucous and over-the-top caveman restaurant. Best friends from Denver, Aaron Seelbinder and Baylor Ferrier, hope to introduce some "new blood" and life to the restaurant industry with an upscale redneck chic concept. Judges include: Alison Brod, Steven Schussler, and Geoffrey Zakarian.