Blaue Gans, German for “blue goose,” is a Wirtshaus-style restaurant in New York City serving modern Austro-German cuisine. It is one of five establishments owned by esteemed chef and published cookbook author Kurt Gutenbrunner. After promoting the restaurant’s current chef to oversee all operations, Kurt needed a new chef for Blaue Gans, so he turned to Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team for help. Four candidates were brought in, and after two rigorous cooking tests and two dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Carsten Vollrath.
Originally from Germany, Chef Vollrath has been living and working in the United States for the past 10 years. He has wanted to become a chef since the age of 17, and he’s always dreamed of coming to New York City. He thinks Blaue Gans will become his new home away from home.
For the first test, the chefs had to make a high-end goulash. Chef Vollrath made a goulash with pork instead of beef. Kurt and Anne thought it was prepared well. For the second test, the chefs had to create a dish using organ meat. Chef Vollrath made bacon-wrapped veal kidneys with candied Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes. Time issues got the best of the chef, and the dish didn’t turn out as he had hoped. Kurt and Anne weren’t happy with the execution, but they appreciated his effort and thought he deserved to make it to dinner service.
Pre-shift started out fine for Chef Vollrath, but he had to fix an issue with the carrot-ginger soup, which Kurt thought lacked flavor. Last-minute alterations put the chef behind, and the soup ended up becoming too overpowering. Kurt eliminated the soup from the menu and asked the chef to come up with a new appetizer on the fly. At one point Kurt even stepped in to help Chef Vollrath with expediting the dishes. Halfway through service, Chef Vollrath got a handle on things and was able to finish strong without the extra help. In the end, Kurt offered him the position of executive chef at Blaue Gans.
FN Dish caught up with Carsten since the show taped. Watch the video above to find out what he’s currently doing. Carsten didn’t end up taking the job at Blaue Gans. He recently moved his family to Atlanta and hopes to one day open his own cafe. He’s thankful for the opportunity of doing the show, the experience he had and everything he’s learned from Anne.