ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ – CNBC today announced the 20 culinary entrepreneurs who will compete for an investment on Season Two of “Restaurant Startup,” premiering Tuesday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT. Produced by Shine America, the ten one-hour episodes feature restaurateur and TV personality Joe Bastianich and chef and restaurateur Tim Love who vie to invest their own money in restaurant concepts they believe could make them millions. Joining them this season is chef, restaurateur and TV personality, Antonia Lofaso, who will help guide the hungry entrepreneurs as they are put to the ultimate test: opening a restaurant!

This season features exciting new concepts, inventive cooking techniques, and, for the first time, specially themed episodes – including chefs striving to overcome personal setbacks, struggling businesses desperate to change locations, and established restaurants looking to launch a second location, among others.

The hungry entrepreneurs competing in Season Two:

  • 17 Summer – Lodi, NJ
  • Crave Culinaire – Naples, FL
  • Hiatus Urban BBQ – Los Angeles, CA
  • La Cocinita – Chicago & New Orleans
  • Lloyd Taco Truck – Buffalo, NY
  • Lone Wolf Banh Mi – Tulsa, OK
  • Ms. P’s Electric Cock – Austin, TX
  • Nosh & Swig – Las Vegas, NV
  • Over Easy Omaha – Omaha, NE
  • Peculiar Culinary – Pittston, PA
  • Roast – Santa Monica, CA
  • Rice Paper Scissors – San Francisco, CA
  • Rock City Pies – Detroit, MI
  • Rock The Kasbah – Brooklyn, NY
  • Sixpence Pie Company – Southington, CT
  • Smoke Kitchen – Philadelphia, PA
  • The Inventing Room – Edgewater, CO
  • The Rarest – Philadelphia, PA
  • WOW! Food Truck – Atlanta, GA
  • Yeah Dawg! – New York, NY

In the season premiere, Bastianich and Love look to the East for delicious flavors and high profits. First up is Rice Paper Scissors, two young women who impress the high-tech denizens of San Francisco with their low-tech pop-up events featuring traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Next up is Lone Wolf, whose food truck has taken Tulsa by storm with a new American spin on the classic Vietnamese banh mi. Will it be out with the old and in with the new? Or will Joe and Tim stick to the tried and true?

Each week, two teams are invited to pitch their food ideas to our investors. Under high-pressure questioning, each team tries to convince Bastianich and Love that theirs is a concept worth backing. The chosen team is given the keys to a working restaurant on trendy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. They get 36 hours and $7,500 to put their dream to the test and create a business plan; come up with a branding campaign; and, finally, launch their pop-up restaurant. Under the watchful eye of Bastianich and Love’s culinary consultant Antonia Lofaso, the aspiring food moguls open their doors, serve their food, and test their concept on the public.

Based on the reaction from the diners, the quality of the branding, and the viability of the business plan, Bastianich and Love decide whether or not they will put their own money on the line to make someone’s dreams come true – and, hopefully, make big money for themselves.