Tonight's Food Network episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell” was titled, "Small Plates, Big Stakes." Anne Burrell is a master chef and knows what she is looking for in an executive chef. She came to Café Sevilla in Long Beach to find a new executive chef who will oversee all three locations, Long Beach, Riverside and San Diego. Anne met with CEO Eric Van Den Haute and manager, Miguel Baeza to help find the person who is most suited for the job of making the best Spanish cuisine in Southern California.
Ann has found four chefs to try out for the job: Jesse Moreno from Las Vegas, Nev. who was born in Mexico, Jaysen Elrod from Aspen, Colo., Mathew Woolf from Essex, England and Errol LeBlanc from Pasadena, Calif.
For their first challenge, they had to design a three item Tapa sample platter using the finest of ingredients in the pantry. Errol made Kumamoto Oysters, Deep Fried Squid and Cured Tuna. Jesse made Grilled Octopus, Piquillo Peppers and Stuffed Endives. Mathew made Sardines on Toast, Mussels Escabeche and Halibut Ceviche. Jaysen made Seared Quail, Seared Scallops and Grilled Lamb Chop. The chef eliminated was Jaysen.
For their next challenge, the three chefs had to create a contemporary version of a classic Spanish dish. Jesse made Patatas Bravas Two Ways. Mathew made Stuffed Squid with Chorizo Popcorn, and Errol made Gazpacho Sorbet. Jesse took too long to put his potatoes on the stove and was eliminated.
The two chefs remaining were Mathew, who will cook tomorrow night and Errol, who will cook the following night.
Mathew’s service included: Tapas of Green Grape and Almond Gazpacho, Braised Pork Cheek and Salted Cod with Potato and Garlic. Entrees of Paella Negra, and for Dessert, Chocolate Mousse.
The orders started coming in at a rapid pace. Several orders came back because they were too salty. Mathew rectified the situation, and everything was better thereafter.
The next day Errol made Tapas of: Stuffed Dates, Spanish Anchovies on Crostini, Spanish Meatballs, Grilled Spanish Octopus, Jumbo Prawns with Garlic and Fresh Herbs, Chili Crusted Lamb Rack, Patatas Bravas. He was not supposed to make more than six tapas and made seven, which they felt was over reaching. For the entrée, Paella Verde and for dessert, Churros with Spiced Crema and Habanero Ganache. Again, dishes came back, and Anne gave him direction to get the job done right. Still more dishes came back, because they were undercooked. Errol had no control of the kitchen. As paellas came back, the expensive dishes continued to go in the trash. Finally, Errol took control to give his line cooks confidence. Errol brought the food to the tables and apologized to the customers.
The next day, the choice was made and Errol was chosen as the new executive chef thanks to this episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.”
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