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. Allen says:

    $18 tacos? What type of authentic Mexican food is he serving? This owner is a pendejo. Find me a place where real Mexican food is made. And he let the chef who made chile rellenos go? She could have spiced them up.

  2. renee says:

    Bryon is unequivocally the most humble,talented, and generous person i have met. I know he will relish and rise from this experience!!!!

    • Bryon says:

      You're awesome Renee. Thank you for the compliments. I hope all is well for you in Newport Beach. Please come and visit us at the restaurant someday soon!

  3. Betsy says:

    Good show. I think the right chef got the job, but misspellings in on-screen dish titles are a turnoff. Vinegarette? Really? Did you mean vinaigrette? This wasn't the only error.

  4. Jason says:

    Love this show it's great keep it up

  5. Amy says:

    Loved watching the show and so glad Bryon won! I was a little worried he’d get cut with his “rustic” tortillas :). He has heart and a great attitude and with his talent it makes him an awesome chef. Great job!

  6. Andrew Zuckerburg says:

    The food @ mucho is great chef Bryan charred octopus is great good texture and great taste.

  7. shawn says:

    Watching Bryon struggle through making the corn tortillas showed his passion. I was thrilled when Scott said we can fix the tortilla and let him move on to win.

  8. lisa Ciufo says:

    I saw your new show Ann, Love it!
    Bryon was the right choice, and I
    wish him all the best.

  9. Shawn Lawrence says:

    just watched the show, pretty stoked about Bryon winning. I have done my share of tasting interviews and service tryouts. Bringing a good attitude is the better than a knife bag. You show drive, organization, diligence, perseverance and great attitude (positivity, cooperation and humility) all the other skills will fall into place.

  10. Angela L. says:

    I loved Bryon (hair and all) and was SO thrilled to see him win! He had guts, great attitude and much gusto and really deserved the job……. also really happy to read the the update that he's doing well on the job!

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