The Ticker has confirmed that Food Court Wars - a reality television competition produced by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay on the Food Network - is set to tape an episode featuring regional contestants in Traverse City this weekend. The program pits two two-person teams of aspiring restaurant owners against each other for a chance to win their own food court restaurant rent-free for one year, a prize valued at $100,000. Teams test, market and run their concept for one day, with the team earning the most profit declared the winner.
While a representative for the Food Network declined to discuss contestant names or exact filming locations and schedules, Sheila Conlin, CEO/President of casting company The Conlin Company, tells The Ticker "we are very excited about coming to Traverse City." The company posted notices in September that it was seeking Traverse City contestants, who must be within one hour's driving distance of the prize location. (Traverse City Clerk Benjamin Marentette said that while producers have not filed for any specific permits to film in the city, "we understand that they were looking to film at the Grand Traverse Mall - and possibly other locations outside of the city.")
Meanwhile, 7 Monks Taproom hinted filming might take place at its business on Sunday afternoon, tweeting Monday: "We're excited to host some interesting guests over the weekend...particularly Sunday. Hint: You've seen them on TV, food related." A Food Network representative said the company would release more information on participating contestants closer to the episode's air date.