Cooking shows like My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef have been popular for a while now but Restaurant Revolution and The Hotplate are moving the competition into the restaurant arena and Brisbane’s local talent is leading the way. 

Restaurant Revolution tasks ordinary Australians with designing and running a pop-up restaurant in a repurposed shipping container with hopes of being the most profitable and winning $200,000 to help open their own restaurant.

The Hotplate gives the audience the opportunity to watch established restaurateurs from around Australia compete against each other for exposure and $100,000 to help boost their restaurant.


The Queensland representatives on both shows are Brisbane locals hoping to get ahead in the restaurant industry. Marie and Emi from Bird’s Nest Yakitori & Bar are representing Brisbane on The Hotplate. While Justine, Maggie, and John are cooking for Queensland at their pop-up Restaurant Puerto on Restaurant Revolution. Both teams are doing well on their respective shows with Justine, Maggie, and John currently in second place, and Marie and Emi hoping to hold on to second place going into the renovations round.


The Brisbane teams all love to travel and discovered their favourite foods abroad. Marie and Emi were inspired by their Japanese heritage, and love of yakitori, to travel to Japan and learn the art by shadowing master yakitori chefs. This love of yakitori is what prompted them to open Bird’s Nest in 2013. John and Justine developed their unique style of a Mexican restaurant with an Asian twist after falling in love with fish tacos on a trip to Central and South America. They started experimenting with recipes when they got back leading to them opening their own food truck in 2014.

Show your support for the Brisbane locals by dropping by their restaurants. Bird’s Nest and Puerto are both in the 4101 so go check them out!

Words by Jessica Brown