Chef Wanted: Abel’s on the Lake Update

by in Shows, February 21st, 2013


Chef WantedAbel’s on the Lake is a popular open-air restaurant in Austin, Texas. Owner Ellis Winstanley was looking for an executive chef who shares his vision for the restaurant and can keep up with the demands of the busy establishment. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help with the search. After two tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Jon Gaboric.

Chef Gaboric was born in Seoul, South Korea, was left on the doorstep of a police station and ended up in an orphanage. At 5 years old he was adopted by an American family and grew up in New England. As a kid he fell in love with food. He’s been cooking professionally for 20 years but was looking for a new job with the potential to grow so that he can give his son the life his adoptive family gave him.

Chef Gaboric was successful at creating a dish for the first test, which challenged the chefs to work with blue crab. Unfortunately, for the second test, Chef Gaboric didn’t create a dish that Ellis was happy with — the grilled swordfish with fennel salad was not the right style for Abel’s and the fish was sliced and cooked inconsistently. When it came to dinner service things looked promising during prep, but once service began, everything started to go downhill fast. Ticket times were extremely long and Chef Gaboric found himself out of his element in cooking for a large volume. He tried to take shortcuts but Ellis reprimanded him. In the end, Chef Gaboric was able to turn out a successful dinner service with food that everyone loved. Ellis offered Chef Gaboric the job of executive chef, believing he embodied the future of Abel’s on the Lake.

FN Dish caught up with Chef Gaboric since the show taped. After accepting the executive chef position at Abel’s on the Lake, the job didn’t turn out to be the right fit, but Chef Gaboric is thankful for what he’s learned from the experience. Watch the video above to find out what Chef Gaboric is currently doing.

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Comments (26)

  1. FNGossip says:

    No shock that he didnt stick around. I think Jon was overqualified for this job.

  2. Penelope says:

    Well, I was wondering during the 2nd test – what if none of the chefs is a good fit – guess the owner keeps on looking. I didn't see the first half hour, but from what the woman served – I was surprised that she was cut.

    I hope Jon finds another position.

  3. Deanie says:

    I (for the most part) enjoy the program; but I don't understand all the yelling. I watched the other day and Anne was standing in the pick-up window (that opens to the seating area) yelling at chef. I don't think that is good for anyone. I do not know how these chefs work with someone yelling all the time.

  4. Connie says:

    I didn't think anyone of them would be a fit . . . the boss seemed to be a micromanager.

    • The Boss is a 1% and acts like it. I knew who ever got the job he would not keep them on. Can read the "type". They also said he had gone through SEVERAL exec. chefs already! That is the owner I am sure not the chefs. He must be very very difficult to get along with and please.

  5. EZ Bake Oven says:

    I'm sorry that Chef Gaboric is no longer with Abel's on the Lake. I hope he is able to open his own restaurant. I, too, was surprised about the lady chef being cut. The quail for Texas was a great selection. Too bad it was raw and she didn't get the sauce to top it off. As always, I love Chef Anne! Move to Texas Chef Anne. . . you would fit right in. You can yell at me any time Chef Anne!

  6. Joanna says:

    Yeah, if you go to restaurant's website and read the menu you can see that the food isn't exactly "fine" dining. Any monkey can put together the food that is on that menu….it just has to be a fast monkey.

  7. Katie says:

    Wonder if Jon decided to leave on his own (sounds like it on video) That restaurant is too big and perhaps they need 2 executive chefs and more staff, looked kind of thin but the viewing audience does not see everything. Also I glanced at the menu and needs to be pared down, way too much on that menu. Maybe the owner needs to re-think

  8. AramarkFrank says:

    Who was the guy handling the tickets in the kitchen? Does he work for the restaurant or the show?

  9. JustSaying says:

    I really enjoyed this show last season but can hardly stand watching it now because of Anne Burrell's loud mouth. What's up with all the yelling? She really needs to tone it down a bit. I quit watching a couple of FN's other shows because of that. It's completely unnecessary…

    • dissatisfied says:

      I agree! That's why I don't watch Restaurant Impossible.. and I stopped watching Iron Chef America when they selected Alex Guarnaschelli… She is too arrogant!

      • T.cook says:

        I agree with you too about Chef Alex. She started out with a cooking program on the FN, where she taught regular people about cooking, I liked her then. What happens to these people.. By the way answering Joanna, I took your advise and looked up the Menu of Abel's on the Water – what? Is he for real? Specially the part where Chef Anne B critiqued Chef Jon's plate that this plate could be ordered anywhere ( nothing so special). Unbelievable !!!

    • frances says:

      diagree her yelling isnt mean its a means of motivation, if yu watched the whole show it works, as it does for her and bobby flay on the worst cooks in america, she also gave encouragement. Maybe yu have cuchionie job where everyone is so soft spoken and polite, this is a competion for goodness sake like a sport competion, do yu say they shouldnt yell or cuss during football, basketball etc. yu get my drift. just saying

      • T.cook says:

        Perhaps You need to watch all the episodes! Yelling, screaming,name calling, is not a means of motivation nor encouragement. Chef Jon listened when Chef Anne calmed down and spoke with him in a reasonable manner, he got his act together and pulled off the service. I understand some yelling in the real life kitchen sometimes happens and may be necessary, but there is a difference, when the executive chef is totally responsible and under pressure they sometimes yell as a means of communication, but when he/she looses control and yells and use cuss words I personally loose respect and any motivation and/ or self esteem is lost. A football game, and working in a kitchen are not the same.

    • a old fan says:

      I agree. Ann'
      Is over the top not becmingat all

    • Lisa says:

      I agree. I was coming here to say the same thing. I love the show but can't stand the yelling. OMG It makes me not want to watch.

  10. Chrissy says:

    They don't need an executive chef. What they need, is a mess cook that can lead an army of food preparers. And that's what they eventually got.

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