About The Show

Take one award winning chef, give him $4 million and 100 days to create a world class restaurant from scratch.

A series about a real kitchen nightmare; racing against the clock to design, build, staff and open one of three premier venues, in Federal St ‐ in time for the kick‐off of the Rugby World Cup. This compelling, observational series takes you behind the scenes, alongside the creative & the construction, of what promises to be the new ‘place to be’ in just three months time!


Australian celebrity chef Sean Connolly has just 100 days to open an award‐winning and profitable restaurant in Auckland ‐ a city he has barely visited. It needs to open in time to capitalise on the rush of 80,000 tourists to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.

He has $4 million dollars and an area on the ground floor of the Sky City Grand Hotel. That’s it. The area is currently the Hotel lobby, there’s no kitchen and no dining room.

He has to design & source everything, from the gas cookers to the cutlery and head chef to the dishwasher, everything has to be designed/bought/hired.

Sean, Australia’s Chef of the Year and host of the Family Feast TV series in Australia is staking his name on making the venture successful. The restaurant will be called “The Grill by Sean Connolly” and while he calls it a “steak and seafood” restaurant, this is one where the chips are cooked in duck fat and if you want eat $1000 caviar, you can. Produce, menu and pricing will be key along with design, fit out and promotion.

And to make it even more interesting; The Grill isn’t the only new attraction in the neighbourhood – it’s just one of three new hotspots being constructed to bring the best of New Zealand’s dining and bar venues together into a brand new entertainment precinct in Federal Street. Some of the biggest personalities in the hospitality scene will come together in this area ‐ TV Chef Al Brown will be opening a new bistro called The Depot, and Luke Dallow is creating a bar called The Red Hummingbird – both just down the road from “The Grill”.

There are a few issues along the way, like constructing a restaurant – and this isn’t a a small venture – within a busy five‐star hotel. Construction is noisy, dusty and did we mention NOISY. This alone adds an unavoidable layer of complexity to the “Grand Designs” elements of this series.

This is true behind the scenes access to what goes into creating a successful multi‐million dollar restaurant on a super tight deadline.

This fly on the wall documentary mainly focuses on Sean, with Al Brown and Luke Dallow’s venues also featured.