Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell, another winner still not employed

Paula Duffy's picture

Anne Burrell saw one chef candidate get dismissed during a dinner service and the eventual winner has yet to fill the position he won.

What is happening to the Food Network's Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell?

While it is a first for the show to can one of the final two candidates before completion of the task at hand, there is another troubling trend.

This is the third time this season that a candidate chosen for the job featured on Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell has either turned it down or failed to start.

The TV show's website does a morning after story including video of how the chef is faring and if the restaurant owners are happy. See that posted below.

Part of the allure of Chef Wanted is that a real job is at stake and the applicants tell their stories of why they are desperate to win it.

Without feeling like we are watching something real, the show just becomes an exercise in watching people succeed or fall on their faces. It's just sad.

As for last night's episode, staged at a brasserie known as Coquette, we watched as whole rabbits were cut up and cooked. Not sure anyone was thrilled watching that, but maybe it's just me.

After two of the four candidates went down hard trying to fashion tasty and novel dishes, the remaining two, including eventual winner Chef Bryant from Los Angeles, went into the combat zone of the Coquette kitchen for a full dinner service.

The candidates not only run the kitchen, they select dishes for a limited menu covering appetizers, main courses and desserts.

The ambitiousness of the choices is a double-edged sword.

The restaurant owners are not fans of people sitting around waiting for food, just so the menu items can be complicated and detailed. Yet, lack of imagination can sink a chef's chances.

Chef Pippa Calland, out of Mechanisburg, Pennsylvania had the unenviable task of following Chef Bryant, who wowed the owners and diners with his menu and his execution.

When she changed one of the dishes after getting her menu approved and it bombed with customers, she was relieved of her duties on the spot.

It didn't help that she had proposed a main course of rabbit, with a rabbit appetizer already on her menu. That was a no-no for Coquette's proprietors. Trying to replace it with another meat dish took time and led her on the path to disaster.

It was brutal to watch.

What's notable is that she kept her composure, took ownership of her faults and looked at it as a good lesson. She's a much bigger person about it than one could have expected.

While Chef Bryant seemingly got the job by default, that couldn't be further from the truth.

From the very first cooking challenge he demonstrated he had what it took.

The challenge was to prepare both a savory and a sweet crepe dish, using the same main ingredient in both.

Chef Bryant chose crepe au fromage with salmon and pink peppercorn and kumquat salsa. His sweet crepe suzette featured a kumquat curd filling and a blueberry and peppercorn reduction.

See how he wowed them?

We learned from the video that Chef Bryant is having difficult getting to Raleigh, NC where Coquette is located to take the job. His pitch for why he needed the position was to be closer to his daughter on the east coast. He lives in Los Angeles.

In two of this season's episodes, the chef chosen decided not to accept the job for one reason or another.

Here's a thought: either don't follow up on how the chef is doing after the show airs or screen these candidates to be certain the restaurant isn't left in the lurch.

Just a suggestion.

Image: Food Network Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Saw on Food Network Gossip that Michael was actually from a restaurant that was on Chef Wanted earlier this season

Submitted by C Andrews (not verified) on
Regarding the Chef Wanted episode at Coquette - Paula you were not the only one not thrilled that "whole rabbits were cut up and cooked." Two to 4 million rabbits are kept as pets in the USA alone. House rabbits are kept just like a cat or dog inside a home. They are the third most popular pet in the UK and Canada and the USA is not far behind – thousands are available for adoption as pets from shelters, rescue groups and breeders. Rabbits can be litter box trained, clicker trained, learn their names (and many other words), and bond for life with people. But humans will eat anything. Rabbits are butchered at 6 to 12 weeks old before they reach reproductive age similar to veal. According to the USDA less than 85% of the meat rabbit operations are inspected in the USA and it is all voluntary. Rabbits are prone to many diseases and parasites. However, in a few countries they are still consumed. Fortunately, as pet ownership is on the rise in these countries so is the opposition to eating them. Why would we objectifying rabbits as food any more than poaching puppies or boiling kittens. The so-called meat rabbits like New Zealands, Californians, Dutch, Rex, and Satin make the best pets. There is absolutely no difference except one ends up on a plate. It amazes me these animals were cooked on this TV show especially one we all know is beloved by children especially at Easter. Certainly these TV shows, chefs and restaurants can forego this grisly business of cooking animals also treasured as pets.

truthfully, i looked away for most of the time the skinned bodies were being cut up.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i agree with the other commenters who were uncomfortable with rabbits being prepared on the show :( ...unfortunately it seems like just par for the course if u watch other food network shows - i have been horrified at them not only using rabbits on other occasions, but also other (unusual?) animals (not that it's okay to use any animals... and, even for animals commonly accepted as livestock, there is so much disrespect to the poor creatures that are used - from iron chef, chopped, and worst cooks showing live lobsters and crawfish being killed, to the "sandwich king" visiting a factory where pig hides are hanging and, slapping one on its hide - so disrespectful and sad!) ...i understand the food network is build on which is going to almost always involve meat, but it takes it to another level for me when disrespect is shown to the animals whose lives are given to produce this food/entertainment... i also wanted to say a few words in support of chef pippa ...i understand she changed the dish by adding fat after "pre-shift," but there was just much excess fat used and if i remember correctly it was one of her staff members filling them and, yes she should have checked up on her staff, but - i've seen other chefs on this show mess up much worse than this, and then _turn things around_ and i believe pippa would have, for sure. and the cold-hearted female owner, had a full-on temper tantrum like an angry child(!), disgraceful, and didn't even give the chef a chance to complete service - then the other staff members completed service withOUT her...couldn't they have kept her? she wasnt making mistakes, the mistake was already made, and i'm sure she would have turned things around! i hope that chef pippa has been hired by now and that she is also now married and happy :)

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