Chef Wanted season finale pulls same stunt

Paula Duffy's picture

Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell couldn't find a taker for a coveted spot on the island of Ibiza. The season finale concluded a sorry mess of episodes on Food Network.

When Chef Wanted traveled to Miami Beach to choose an executive chef who would land in Ibiza, fans of the show had every right to wonder why this week would be different than others.

It wasn't, as the Anne Burrell hosted TV "reality" competition program once again presented chef candidates that passed the grueling cooking tests but failed the ultimate one.

That would be the test of accepting a job offer in an exotic location, working for wealthy restaurant owners who love your skills.

Sounds like an easy decision to make, right?

Not for Chef Jouvens Jean, who claimed he needed a new job to pay for better health care for an ailing father.

"For the past seven years I have been executive chef here in Miami, however the job is not enough. I sent every penny I can to my ill father in the Bahamas. This job here at Nikki Beach would give me the opportunity to make sure he gets the best medical attention that he can. For my career, my family, I have to get this job."

The job offer would have put Chef Jouvens in the enviable position of working for a wildly successful couple (Jack and Lucia Penrod),who began with one top notch restaurant in Miami's South Beach and expanded to ten eateries located in eight other countries.

For their Ibiza location, the Nikki Beach owners wanted someone who could wow their jet set clientele for whom money is no object.

Chef Jouvens fit the bill, starting with an appetizer dish that was "over-the-top", just as the Penrods asked.

He made it to the final round, which allowed him to run a dinner service at the South Beach location and he was lauded for his innovative menu and the execution of the dishes.

Then came the moment of truth as it does on all episodes of Chef Wanted.

Anne Burrell said that both Chef Jouvens and his competitor "...seemed like they REALLY wanted this job."

What a joke.

The winner's name was announced and he was handed an executive chef kitchen jacket as joyous celebration erupted.

Then came the winner's closing comments which seen in retrospect are just as false as the initial claim of needing money to help an ailing father.

"This job means so much to me. It was so hard. It was a lot of struggles, but I am so happy to be here. I'm so happy to be moving to Ibiza. I can see the plane right now. I'm going to be able to move my dad to get the medical attention that he needs. I am the executive chef at Nikki Beach Ibiza."

These "job candidates" must be paid a pretty penny to play the parts they do.

The Food Network doesn't seem the least bit embarrassed to do a follow-up interview after the episode airs and post it on their site. It is there that viewers learn if the winner didn't take the position offered.

In six shows this season the happy job winners changed their decision when the cameras were no longer rolling. Last night's season finale tops the list for being disingenuous.

I hope Food Network appreciates the ill will generated by this show that began with such promise and ended with false statements.

Read my recaps and comments about the other Chef Wanted episodes this season here at HULiQ. Just type in "Chef Wanted" in the search box and you'll pull them up.

Image: Food Network --- Anne Burrell


Submitted by delintfan (not verified) on
Too Bad they didn't offer the position to the second place chef, he might have actually needed the job.

I've thought about that with each episode that ends up that way. But then again, if they are all as good at acting as the winner who then doesn't take the job, who knows? Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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