Last night's Food Network episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell” was titled, "Bono on Broadway." Anne Burrell is a master chef and knows what she is looking for in an executive chef. She came to Christy’s on Broadway in Long Beach, Calif. to help owner Christy Bono, daughter of the late Sonny Bono and Cori Cauble, the general manager, find a suitable replacement for their executive chef who is retiring after fifteen years.
Anne has found four well-qualified chefs to try out for the job; Adryana Washock from Troy, N.Y., Daniel Rivera from Newark, N.J., Ronnie Esposito from Queens, N.Y. and LaJuan Ramsey from Venice Beach, Calif.
For their first challenge, they had to create a signature dish that was good enough to compete with their famous Rigatoni Con Carne. Adryana made gnocchi bolognese with pancetta and sausage; Anne discouraged her from making gnocchi with only an hour to spend. Daniel made baked ziti with eggplant. LaJuan made bucatini with broccoli rabe, cream and eggs. Ronnie made mussels rigatoni with pancetta and truffle oil. Anne told him never to use truffle oil, and he agreed. The chef whose interview ended was Adryana, who did not listen to Anne about the gnocchi.
For their next challenge, the chefs had to make a lighter and healthier version of one of their most popular menu items. Ronnie made a healthier version of the sea bass with vegetable hash. LaJuan made Pacific rock fish with forbidden rice. Daniel made roasted pork loin with quinoa. The chef whose interview ended was Ronnie.
The two chefs remaining were LaJuan, who will cook tomorrow night and Daniel, who will cook the following night.
LaJuan’s menu included an appetizer of Caesar Salad with entrees of Ricotta Gnocchi with Seared Scallops, Chicken Vesuvio with Cornish Hens and for dessert, Grilled Polenta Cakes with Strawberries. As LaJuan told his story, it was very emotional and Anne felt that he has been down several times and continues to bounce back.
The next night, Daniel presented his pre-shift. His appetizer as Arugula Salad with Pears. The entrees were Roasted Patty Pan Squash Risotto and Pan Roasted Halibut and for dessert a Lavender Ricotta Budino. Daniel explained how important the job was and told them about his autistic daughter. Salads were coming back for lack of dressing, and Daniel was not happy with his help. When Cori came into the kitchen, she appealed to Daniel, but she felt that he was ignoring her. He yelled at everyone in the kitchen like a dictator and even called them incompetent. When Anne gave him a pep talk, he apologized to the line cooks and was much easier to deal with.
The next day, the choice was made and LaJuan was chosen as the new executive chef thanks to this episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.”
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