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Network seeks aspiring food stars

Local SBDC says offer appears legit

November 20, 2011
By BARBARA WALLACE HUGHES, Messenger managing editor , Messenger News

Wanted: Food entrepreneurs with little or no prior experience who plan to open their own brick-and-mortar eatery and want to star in a television show.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe not.

Lisa Shimkat, with the North Central Iowa Small Business Development Center, said it appears the offer is legitimate.

Shimkat received an email from a representative for Rock Shrimp Productions, celebrity chef Bobby Flay's television production company. that said a new Food Network series is seeking "people who have left their previous career and have little to no professional food experience, but are taking a risk to pursue their passion of launching their own food business."

A skeptical Shimkat checked in with the state SBDC and found out "it is for real."

"This would be a great opportunity for those individuals out there looking to get into the restaurant business on their own," she wrote in her own email. "Our office provides free counseling for entrepreneurs and would be able to help anyone looking to venture into this project."

Potential television celebrities can contact Shimkat at 576-6242.

The original email, sent by Heather Briggs on behalf of Rock Shrimp Productions, said eligible entrepreneurs must be planning to open a restaurant or shop where there will be walk-in customers, and that the establishment can't be open already.

"Those chosen will receive culinary and business coaching from a major celebrity chef and restaurateur, as well as invaluable national publicity," Briggs promised.

Contact Barbara Wallace Hughes at (151) 573-2141 or



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