Thursday night's Food Network episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell” was titled, "Showdown on the 70th Floor." Anne Burrell is a master chef and knows what she is looking for in an executive chef. She came to Cite; a fine-dining restaurant in Chicago because their executive chef is retiring after thirty years. Sami Mikhail, the general manager and Evangeline Gouletas, the owner are looking for a new executive chef who will bring a fresh spin to this awesome restaurant and make it world-class.
Ann has found four chefs to try out for the job; Fred Ramos from Chicago, Ill, Vita Jarrin, also from Chicago, Maxime Michaud from Savoy, France and Loren Rue another Chicago guy.
For their first challenge, was to modernize their famous Duck a l’Orange. As each chef prepared their meal, they had help from Anne, who oversaw the operation giving them tips. Loren makes a lot of noise while he cooks and started getting on the nerves of the other chefs. Then Anne saw Loren double-dip when he tasted the food, and made him do it over. The chef whose interview was over was Fred, who they felt did not think outside the box.
For their next challenge, the chefs had to create their own idea of surf and turf, one of the best sellers at Cite. Each chef had good ideas, but Anne was not sure about Vita using maple syrup on a filet mignon and Loren floured the soft-shell crab too early, and they became like paste. The chef who went home was Vita.
The two chefs remaining were Maxime, who will cook tomorrow night and Loren, who will cook the following night.
Maxime menu included appetizers of coriander and nut encrusted prawns, vegetable raviolis. The entrees were roasted Chilean sea bass, and Asian style braised short ribs. The dessert was hazelnut praline and chocolate delight.
As the service started, the orders came in quickly. He was then challenged to make something vegan, and he was at a loss. Finally, he completed the task, but several shrimp dishes came back because it was too dry. Then as they were doing them over, the shrimps were not clean, further delaying the service. As people were waiting too long for food, the owner was among those waiting. Although the wait was a bit long, Evangeline was pleased with everything.
The next night, Loren presented his pre-shift. His appetizers were brown butter scorched bluefin tuna and hot smoked salmon. The entrees were pan seared diver scallops and prime rib eye. The dessert was a foie gras waffle.
As the dinner service started, tickets started flying. Anne came back to tell him that the salmon looked like cat food and had to be taken from the menu. Loren could not come up with a reasonable substitute and finally saw duck confit, but still wanted to pair it with caviar, which worked with more citrus and the customers loved it.
The next day, the choice was made and Maxime was chosen as the new executive chef thanks to this episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.”
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