17 Summer in Lodi Goes Far on Restaurant Startup

After impressing Joe Bastianich and Tim Love on with Chef Joseph’s cooking skills on Restaurant Startup, the brother sister team — Joseph and Jenna Cuccia — moved on to the second part of the show where they had 36 hours and $7500 to put together a version of their restaurant to showcase.

Bastianich and Love were concerned the siblings didn’t have the “killer instinct” since they weren’t charging enough for their dishes — something they worked on by adding truffles to raise their potential check averages. There were some fireworks in the kitchen with Antonia Lofaso — the consultant tasked with helping — they weren’t ready with the tasting. In the end they impressed Lofaso with Cuccia’s cooking, though there was a difference in opinion for the use of a flat iron steak.

The big night had its share of mistakes with Tim jumping on the line to help Joseph, issues with slow service and some concerns with choices for the menu. Then came the negotiations — Love had fairly large concerns, but Bastianich offered them a “gift of nothing”, promising that their will and hustle would bring them big things in the future.


The show may be over for the Cuccias, but the dream lives on — they opened 17 Summer on their own last month — the hyper-seasonal BYO restaurant is open Tuesday thru Saturday in Lodi.

17 Summer
17 Summer Street
Lodi, NJ


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