Chef Wanted: Fromagerie Update

by in Shows, July 5th, 2012

This week on Chef Wanted, star Chef David Burke called in Anne Burrell to help him find a new executive chef for Fromagerie in Rumson, N.J. Among Anne’s four candidates was Phil Deffina, a six-year veteran of David’s restaurants. This was Phil’s chance to prove himself to his boss and mentor and to finally make the jump from sous chef to executive chef. He did just that, serving an ambitious menu and keeping the kitchen under control during his trial night of service. “I knew coming into this that David has high expectations of me,” Phil said. We checked in three months later to see how he’s doing at Fromagerie.

David says his veteran sous chef (from David Burke Kitchen in Manhattan) has proved to be a great fit for Fromagerie: “Phil has fresh insight into cuisine for this community of affluent and discerning tastes.” He says Anne’s influence really helped Phil shine in his interview: “Anne is one of the most talented female chefs in America. Pushing the chefs motivated them to turn up the burners and perform at new levels of creativity.”

The restaurant is improving every day. Phil is working with David on new menu items and several promotions, including burger night on Tuesday, lobster night on Wednesday and steak night with special wine pairings on Thursday. Phil is also running a seafood special, focusing on local Jersey ingredients this summer. “Sales are slightly up from 2011 and we are working to make it an upward trend,” says David.

Much of what impressed David about Phil’s dinner service was his successful leadership in the kitchen, and this has continued in his new role: “Phil is great with the kitchen staff and a workhorse. He never stops trying to improve.” He educates the staff about dishes every night and has created a menu explanation sheet so that everyone on his team understands the necessary ingredients and mise en place for each dish.

Overall, guests have been “very positive and excited” about the new chef and his menu offerings. David is confident that Anne Burrell found him a great new chef – right in one of his own kitchens.

More from Chef Wanted:

James Beach (July 1)

Mucho Ultima (June 28)

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Comments (181)

  1. Mark C says:

    I am very disappointed with Anne Burrell on Chef Wanted; to see her jumping up and down throwing a tizzy fit and yelling at the contestants. I use to work for someone one time that threw fits and yelled at the employees and I swore I would never work for an employer like that again. It looks to me like she is a chopped host want to be. I have no desire to see any more episodes and hope it does not return for another season.

    • Karen says:

      I agree. It seems that Chef Anne has gone from hanging around in the background, occaisionally making a comment, to yelling and jumping up and down. Very unattractive!

      Also, where are the updates for the last two shows? Maybe the chosen chefs just didn't work out. It would be nice to know.

  2. Bob P says:

    I have to agree with the comments inquiring about how the other chefs have worked out at their new positions, are they still at their new positions or have they moved on? How are the restaurants doing since the new head chefs have come on board? The comments of Anne needing to simmer down are needed except that these shows are already recorded months ago and to have that happening immediately is really not forthcoming soon. Food Network is the best network for all that is food. You can't please everyone all the time, just keep on doing the best you can.

  3. anniemae2 says:

    I was very upset with Todd English. When he threw that dish on the floor it was such a disrespect to his restaurant, the other people working there and to his customers. Todd should be showing the chefs how to act in different circumstances, not act like a two year old not getting his way. Also saying the F word with a full restaurant was not why I wanted to watch the show. I was very disappointed.

  4. Mike says:

    I've noticed most, if not all, don't get hired as "executive chef's". Is the purpose of the show to just find sous chef's? Why would a highly rated restaurant need a TV show to hire an executive chef? This is completely ridiculous. Anne is a grating persona, at best. I believe these are glorified commercials for the restaurants involved. Nothing more..

  5. jww says:

    What makes no sense (besides there not being an update on the recent shows) is Anne states she went through 100's of resumes picking the right talent for a particular restaurant. Then on the show they needed to make pasta from scratch, one chef says "I have never made pasta".

    So much for picking the right talent for a particular place… lol

    ..and do these places really seat everyone all at once? I guess some places do, but that just seems a bit ridiculous. In this weeks episode they cook to order, but you get 60 to 80 orders in 6 minutes? Seems more like fantasy that real life.

    All in all, not liking the show, Anne, or these restaurants. She comes off as a big mean bully and very disrespectful to the contestants. If that is what it is like in the restaurant biz, then we will stay home and cook more. :p

  6. Pat says:

    I've watched this show several times and probably will not watch it again. I like Anne a lot. I love her Secrets of a Restaurant Chef show. She's different, granted. I call her the crazy blond lady, but I love to watch her cook. This show has a stupid premise. Why do big name restauranteurs need Anne to find them a chef? Most weeks I've seen, I wouldn't have hired ANY of them, and I don't know the first thing about running a restaurant. C'mon, FN, stop with this silliness. Anne is great if you will just let her cook the crap out of something!

    • Karen says:

      I totally agree with every thing you've said. Thanks for saying it in a clear, concise manner.

      FN, give Anne something to do that is worthy of her talents and plays to her strong suits – she doesn't need to be a cheerleader or a screaming bully to a bunch of chef wannabes. We love her doing what she does best – cooking.

    • Philip says:

      You Do not see what was oof the camera and all the other that went on to it. There is alot that went on with her helping teaching and grooming so the right person is hired.. She is great at the show is well done.

  7. xwiseguyx says:

    Maybe I'm in the minority but I LOVE this show. Anne is a great host and motivator. I hope this show comes back. Why no updates on the last few shows?

    • mos says:

      I like the show too.

    • Monica says:

      I like the show too – if you've worked in kitchens, you know the pressure and Anne definitely needed to let some of these folks know in no uncertain terms what they needed to do to get the job done. I see it as she's doing them a favor.

      I've been checking periodically for updates, too, wonder why there aren't any…

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, I'm sorry. You are in the minority and so are your other two repliers. HeHe

  8. Cookie Z says:

    Get over it and just accept the fact that all FN shows are either for entertainment or advertising. With the exception of Iron Chef perhaps, which seems to be real cooking. $40 a day is nothing but restaurants paying to get on the show for Rachel to visit., roll her eyes, and say "scrumptious." Triple D also seems to be restaurants paying to be on the show with Guy saying this food is "a fast train straight to flavortown," or some other ridiculous comment.

  9. What'dya'know says:

    Why aren't the FOLLOW-UPS of programs available. At this stage all the shows are repeats so there shouldn't be any delays. Heck they're giving us follow-ups from July and this is October. Other shows such as Restaurant Impossible have follow-ups from every season the show was recorded. Get with it FOOD NETWORK !!! If you can't run this page properly then print it out at the end of a show as you did before.

  10. Cara says:

    I do not understand why Chef Todd English would offer his restaurant Olives as a filming location for Chef Wanted if he had no intentions of hiring the winner as his executive chef. To build up a young man's hopes and then not fulfill his offer of a job – what a dissapointment!

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