Chef Wanted: Mucho Ultima Update

by in Shows, June 28th, 2012

Chef Wanted

At Mucho Ultima in Manhattan Beach, Calif., owner Scott Linquist needed a new executive chef to help turn his business into a dining destination. Anne Burrell arrived with four candidates lined up, confident that one would be the right fit for the modern Mexican restaurant. After two tough cooking tests and an intense dinner service, Scott hired Bryon Freeze. We checked in with Scott to see how Chef Bryon and the restaurant are doing.

Six weeks after Bryon joined the team, Mucho Ultima is back on the right track. “We are ecstatic!” says Scott. “Bryon’s energy and passion are exactly what we saw from him during the show.” Scott and Bryon have both worked many long days since the taping and Bryon “comes in here pumped and ready to attack every day and never once has complained about the workload.”

Sales are up at the restaurant, but “not quite where we want them yet,” Scott says. “It’s still early in the game.” Mucho just opened for weekend brunch and will open for lunch next month, so Scott hopes this will contribute to his goal of ultimately doubling sales.

Bryon created the new brunch menu and has changed the dinner menu to include items like his “famous” charred octopus taco and lamb barbacoa. On the show, these dishes gave him a little trouble, but since then they’ve been a success. “He knows how to make a tortilla perfectly now,” Scott assures.

The good rapport that Bryon established with the staff during his trial run has continued in his new executive chef role. Scott says his new hire fit in right away: “We have a great team here who all love this place, and Bryon was immediately one of the family.”

Scott has been pleased with the feedback from diners since Bryon’s arrival at Mucho: “Guests are always apprehensive about change, but we wowed them with the food and our genuine hospitality. They are loving it!”

Tune in for another new episode of Chef Wanted this Sunday at 10pm/9c after Food Network Star.


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Comments (119)

  1. wineisnotbeer says:

    First time watching. Any chance you can find a caption editor who can spell or use spell check? Especially disconcerting when the errors are in "food" words – chardonnay, vinaigrette.

  2. Angela L. says:

    Saw the post from Bryon that he's working on getting a hair trim…….. to him, don't let these people talk you into anything MORE than a trim! Love the hair and I really don't understand what they're fretting about because you did have it carefully pulled back! Either way, it's your hair and you should be able to wear it anyway that you want to and although, I DO like the longer hair, I'm quite sure that you're just as handsome with it shorter as you are now! Basically, my message is that what counts is your ability to do the job and to do it as professionally as you did on the show ;-)

    • lukebandit says:

      YES I DO TOO! Just trim the dead ends and KEEP IT CLEAN DAILY and THE BANDANA's! DON"T forget the Bandana's! And you will be fine! So happy for you and your team's success Exec. Chef Byron!

    • @curtmaster says:

      Update, this place Closed down like early this year. Too many people didn't like his cooking nor the menu change.

  3. MissingMuchos says:

    He ruined this restaraunt! Muchos used to be our favorite restaraunt, and since the change this guy has change all of the signature meals and ruined everything good about Muchos! Sad to see a "Hollywood Celebrity Chef" come in and ruin a good thing

    • Beau says:

      Lets be honest, good solid mexican food wasnt here to begin with.

      mucho was never known as some awesome spot for great food. it was overpriced, had a good happy hour, great margaritas, and a great staff, and dj on weekends with some room to dance(one of maybe 3 spots to dance in MB.
      Any change is a good change, it needed more attention from the old owners than it got, and the old manager needed to go.
      Its still new, anything you dont like now may be due to a dislike of change itself more than a disappointment that is here to stay.
      Anyone with knowledge of restaurants knows to give it some time, or talk to the staff. The staff seem to be thrilled to have active, positive hands on people running the place. Even Eddie the doorman is still there. Guys who wanted a shot at management are finally getting it. and morale is way up.

      I dont work there, work across the street and know this crew and they seem to be very very pleased with the changes.
      This can only be an improvement.

    • M. Hummingbird, Az says:

      Its a shame you cant allow yourself change with the Muchos..Looks like neither Chef Scott or Bryon find fault in any new changes and/or updates. Reading both of their posts, sounds like others are finding the change to be positive…Give it another try.

  4. Bryon says:

    Quick update for everyone. Lot's of people are asking if I still work at Mucho Ultima. Absolutely! We have recently rolled out a very fun brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. We are also working on a new Happy Hour menu for this week.

    Friday and Saturday evenings we are also doing a late night Street Taco Cart from 11pm-2am. Please stop in and ask for Scott and I. We'd love the opportunity to cook for everyone. There has been so many positive comments the past few weeks. All of the support is greatly appreciated. If you want to learn more, and see some delicious food photos, please follow me on Twitter (@bfreeze) and Facebook (Bryon Freeze).

    • M. Hummingbird, Az says:

      I just finished watching the Chef Wanted Show and I am impressed with the way you managed to create Mexican Dishes without prior work in a kitchen that specializes with that cuisine. I cheered for you anf said your name at the same time Chef Scott said it. I even got teary eyed! Im very happy to read about the updates y'all are bringing to the table and I wiah you and Scott the very best of luck!

    • Aida Valentin says:

      Dear Bryon,
      I just watched the episode of Chef Wanted when you were hired for Mucho and was truly inspired. I too have been doing odd jobs after cooking most of my life, finishing culinary school, and moving to Puerto Rico. I have had a very difficult time finding a job that not only allows me to strech my culinary muscle, but that pays! I have questioned my choice of career, but still have the passion to make delicious and fresh food. Watching you motivates and gives me hope. I wish you the absolute best of success at Mucho. I LOVE Mexican food, especially Yucatecan which is the one I'm most familiar with.

    • Carol Skerrett says:

      I received some mexicanchocolate for Christmas and just have to learn how to make the Mexican chocolate bread pudding dessert. Can you help?

    • Regina says:

      Bryon-Congratulations! I just saw the show and wanted to check to see how you are doing. I knew you were going to get the job! So happy things are working out. Keep up the good work.

    • gloria says:

      So happy for you Bryon. Scott chose the right person and we have been rooting for you ever since. Hang in there and continue with your successful cooking.

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  7. Sharon Gramling says:

    God bless you, Bryon!

    • lukebandit says:

      Amen! I love his attitude! Humble, not arrogant! Some of the chefs that go on CHOPPED are so arrogant, But Not Byron! So happy for you young man! God bless you ALWAYS!

  8. candce says:

    i just saw the show i thought that byron was awesome keep the good work up

  9. tyler kennedy says:

    i just saw the episode and i wil, have to say wow briyon your great, but how do you do it?

    • Bryon says:

      Lots of hard work and determination. Unfortunately Mucho Ultima is no mas. Do not worry though as we have re branded the building into an exciting new concept called Circa.

  10. @curtmaster says:

    Place has closed and if you go on YELP, you'll see why.

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