Thursday night's Food Network episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell” was titled, "Mile High Melee." Anne Burrell is a master chef and knows what she is looking for in an executive chef. She came to Second Home Kitchen and Bar in Cherry Creek, Colo. to help owner Peter Karpinski and VP, Michael Carr-Turnbough to find an executive chef to revamp their menu.
Anne has found four well-qualified chefs to try out for the job; Matthew Wool from Long Island, N.Y., Jason Brumm from Boulder, Colo., Charles, D’Ablaing from Atlanta, Ga. and Jose Ballester from San Juan, P.R.
For their first challenge, they had to come up with a theme night and present one appetizer and one entrée to represent that theme. Jason’s theme was flat irons and cast irons with flat iron tacos and BBQ flat iron steak. Jose made breakfast for dinner presenting crab cake Benedict and steak & eggs. Matt made Rocky Mountain Mondays them using elk tenderloin and pan-seared trout. Charles’ theme was state fair and he presented rabbit tacos and blackberry pie. Chef Jose did not make it to the next round.
For their next challenge, the chefs were presented with three cuts of lamb; the rack, the leg and the saddle. They had to butcher the lamb and create a dish that the guests will love. They got to pick the cut that they loved the best and had the opportunity to show their butchering and culinary skills. Chef Matt made a lamb porterhouse with fresh vegetables and a portabella port mushroom gravy. Chef Charles made a roasted lamb loin with merlot jus. Chef Jason made a caul fat wrapped lamb roast with cauliflower puree, fingerling potatoes, date-lemon chutney and a green olive vinaigrette. The chef who did not make it to the next round was Matt.
The two chefs remaining were Jason, who will cook tomorrow night and Charles, who will cook the following night.
Jason’s menu included appetizers of tri-colored beet salad, balsamic grilled radicchio pizza and seared scallops. The entrees were pan roasted chicken with gnocchi mac & cheese, and Colorado Lamb 2 ways. Jason told the kitchen crew that he wanted to return to his home state and asked them to please give it their all. The tickets started coming in and all started going well until too many orders came in at once. Something happened to the equipment and all of his lamb sauce was ruined during the preparation. To add to the mess, several plates were dropped by servers and crashed to the floor. Chef Anne gave Jason a pep talk and he was a true leader in the kitchen.
The next night, Charles presented his pre-shift. His appetizers were smoked salmon pizza and crispy polenta. The entrees were Colorado trout saltimbocca and braised veal cheek. Nothing presented was taken well by the owners or Anne. Charles was told to work on the items he presented, but had a blasé attitude and never changed them. As the plates were ready to be delivered, both Michael and Anne questioned the changes and he replied that he did not change them. When they insisted on a change, he told them to get over it.
As more and more orders were returned to the kitchen, Anne was shocked that he would not change a thing. He said that he stood behind his dishes and did not give a flying f**k what they think. It seemed that he had an attitude with Anne, who asked Peter and Michael to speak with him. He was more agreeable when they spoke to him and the rest of the service went well.
The next day, the choice was made and Jason was chosen as the new executive chef thanks to this episode of “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.”
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