Chef Wanted: Zengo Update

by in Shows, February 28th, 2013


Chef WantedZengo is a high-volume restaurant located in New York City that’s famous for blending Latin and Asian cuisines. Restaurateur Richard Sandoval is looking for a new executive chef who can meet three criteria: understand Latin and Asian cuisines, command respect from a demanding kitchen and keep consistency in every dish. 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 David Sears.

David Sears lives in Orlando, Fla., with his Peruvian-Chinese wife, two sons and is expecting a baby on the way. Growing up in the Bahamas as the son of a parliament member, David was expected to behave a certain way but ended up rebelling and turned to a life of crime. His turning point came when he found a passion for food and cooking. He recently was going to be the executive chef of a restaurant venture, but the project fell through. Chef Sears sees the opportunity at Zengo as a way to rebound his career and be able to provide again for his family.

On his first test, Chef Sears had it easy, creating a fusion dish that combined influences from both Peruvian and Chinese cuisines. Richard and Anne loved the dish. Unfortunately David couldn’t keep the momentum going for his second test. The challenge was to use two fermented ingredients to create a dish, but Chef Sears’ use of black garlic and Shaoxing wine were found to be almost unnoticeable. When it came to service, Chef Sears took on too much and lost track of time during prep. During pre-shift with the wait staff, he broke down emotionally when Richard and Anne found fault with all of his dishes. During service, the expeditor got into a fight with the general manager, which slowed down service even more. But in the end, the flavors that Chef Sears was able to convey in his dishes received nothing but praise from the diners and Richard. Chef Sears was offered the job of executive chef of Zengo because he was able to meet all of Richard’s conditions.

FN Dish caught up with Chef Sears since the show taped. Watch the video above to find out what he’s currently doing. Chef Sears didn’t end up taking the job at Zengo because the move would have been too much stress on his family. He instead took a job at a resort closer to home. He’s thankful for the experience of being on the show and all the confidence he gained from competing.

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Comments (35)

  1. Carolyn says:

    I feel emotionally cheated by this episode. Certainly Chef David should do what's right for his family, but it's unfair of your network not to give the viewers the whole story. If Chef David didn't take the job, who got it? Did Chef Gregory get it?
    Also, if Chef David didn't know his wife was expecting another child until he came home from the interview, why does he say he's expecting another child when he introduces himself on the show? If that's true, then his introduction must have been taped after the interview. Which means the viewers were duped into believing one reason he especially wanted this job was that a baby was on the way, when in fact it was the reason he didn't accept the job! I feel manipulated and deceived.

  2. carol says:

    Finally I see Ann being more supportive to the finalists instead of screaming at them. It seems it's the same in every show (but getting better) As soon as there ar two finalists it's an unbelievable race to see who can put on the best show for T.V. I can't believe that some of those customers can't hear all that yelling from the some of those kitchens. I'd be getting up and leaving thinking the worst. I get nerveous enough just watching it!! Just can't believe some of it's not put on for the show!!!! I like the 1st 2 challenges, but will fast forward through the two finalists to see who gets the job (I record it just for that mostly). It's crazy!! Sorry Ann. I think you'rea really sincere person in some of your other shows but if this is for real they must get paid big to do this. I agree with Kim on your hair though. I know you can stand behind your cooking because it got you where you are right now. Let your food be your signature not your hair.

  3. browniebear says:

    What I can never understand about this show is how these "line cooks" (no matter which show you're watching during the dinner service) can never get the plating right or anything right. Did they just hire them that day or what? Most of them look like they don't even know how to work in the kitchen. Aren't these people the usual staff? It gets kind of old. Something fishy going on here…or is this just a gimmick for the show? Because then all of a sudden everything starts working right at the end.

    • steve says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with you. Same premise, same problem, same resolution each week. And everyone is right. Way too much yelling and humiliation on Chef Anne's part. She reminds me of my boss!

  4. aupinktoes says:

    With all the talented chefs who have a proven track record why do the restaurant owners need someone to bring in 4 to compete for the job? If the restaurants are as popular and prestigious as they say they are they would have chefs coming to them to apply for the job as executive chef. Has anyone else noticed the number of candidates who are "unemployed executive chefs"? As for Anne's hair, she needs to have it covered while in a kitchen where food is being prepared.

  5. Elle says:

    Is shouting a count down at the top of your lungs really necessary? Cannot watch the show when she starts screaming!!!!!!! A real turn-off, literally.

  6. LPC says:

    This show should have a consolation prize or something. If you dont take the job you get 5k or something. I think one chef took the job and he worked at the restaurant already. It's kind of a joke. Plus Anne's over the top screaming. I usd to like her. but she is becoming very unlikable. You would think FN would have done something about this situation after the Todd English fiasco.

  7. Dawnskye says:

    I agree that while the chef that won had the superior skills, where is his brain? Did the Almighty short him on common sense? SHIT?? What part of relocation did he not understand when he was granted the opportunity to compete for a dream job of a lifetime? Did he not discuss this with his wife when he got the offer to compete? I think he wasted everyone's time. While I do wish that talented young man well, I still think his lack of consideration and thoughtlessness is appalling! What a joke!

    • LPC says:

      None of the chefs seem to take the job. The one guy who wanted the job got the big FU from Todd English. The concept is a joke. And Anne is getting annoying.

  8. Chris says:

    The only way to get this crap off the air is for us all to stop watching! 'Chef' Anne will never stop yelling, or treating people disrespectfully if we all continue to watch. She needs to go back to the line herself, and leave the professionals alone. I for one, am done.

  9. Tim says:

    This show has become unwatchable. The yelling is like nails on a chalk board! Seriously cut that out!
    I echo the comments as well about wearing a hair net, and looking a tad more professional, if this show is to be believed.
    Otherwise it's like a horrible version of Survivor in a kitchen

    • All the TV cooking shows and I mean ALL of them truly appall me in that NONE of the people cooking or in the kitchen are wearing hair nets. And I MEAN the old fashioned hair nets! I am totally surprised that there are not more dishes thrown on the floor and people walking out when they get hair in their food! Forget hair styles you are sweating over a hot stove for hours on end WEAR A HAIR NET! I know I've cooked for my family for almost 40 yrs. and still cook for my husband and myself fresh home cooked meals every night without fail! Every night my husband thanks me for an excellent dinner. Lucky wife me.

    • LBB says:

      I'm with you – can't stand the show because of all the yelling from Chef Anne Burrell. I refuse to put it on. My husband watches it occasionally, but if I hear her yapping I stay in the other room.

      Seriously – Life is too short to listen to her screeching.

  10. Ally says:

    Really dislike the fact that they throw away so much food on this show!!! The last episode I watched was in Hawaii and the first Chef trying for the job was throwing away steak after steak just because his apps. weren't out yet and so the steaks were cold, what?????? There are so many people in this world starving, not just the world, but right here in America and we have shows like this to watch! Why have we put ourselves on such a pedastle to think that we "deserve" this food and it has to be so perfect? I just don't get it, very upsetting to me!

    • Lynn says:

      OMG do not have one iota of logic in your brain? you want to gripe about "world hunger" on this
      post…unbelievable–bet thats all you do too-gripe…if you went to dinner and your food was cold you'd send it back just like everyone else, so quit acting like a spoiled idiot. if you seriously feel that way, I'll say 2 things Find a way to help without griping; and don't infringe on my rights to watch what i want.

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