Restaurant winners 'over the moon'

By Press Association

Dec 18, 2009

JJ Goodman and James Hopkins have been crowned winners of The Restaurant, describing their achievement as a "dream come true".

The BBC Two series began with nine couples competing for the chance to run their own restaurant, facing challenges from working in high street chains to organising a tea dance and holding a cookery master class.

The final, which aired on Thursday night, saw the winning pair, whose vision is food paired with cocktails, pitted against Christopher Hackett and Nathan Gooding, whose concept is fine dining at affordable prices.

JJ and James secured their dream prize of joining Raymond Blanc and his partners Sarah Willingham and David Moore to open a new restaurant.

JJ and James were announced as the winners as Blanc said: "One of you has got something, something which kept you consistently in the competition.

"It is the idea which truly excites you. And even in the final, concept saved you. JJ, James I'm opening a restaurant with you."

JJ and James said in a statement: "We're over the moon to be beginning one of the greatest journeys of our lives.

"To be opening a restaurant with Raymond Blanc is a dream come true and we hope we can live up to his expectations and those of industry experts Sarah and David. We hope it will be an incredible partnership that will stand the test of time."

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