Chef Wanted: Coquette Update

by in Shows, April 4th, 2013

Chef WantedCoquette, a French brasserie in Raleigh, N.C., run by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Stacey Jennings, needed a new chef with French flair. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help with the search. After testing four candidates, an offer was extended to Chef Michael Bryant.

Chef Bryant has been waiting for the right opportunity to move to the East Coast from Los Angeles so he can be closer to his daughter. Classically trained in French cuisine, Chef Bryant knows this opportunity is perfect for him.

For the first test, the chefs were instructed to make one sweet crepe and one savory crepe, incorporating the same ingredient in the filling of each. Chef Bryant ambitiously chose to use pink peppercorns and kumquats in both. For his savory dish, he made a crepe au fromage with salmon and pink peppercorn and kumquat salsa. His sweet crepe suzette featured a kumquat curd filling and a blueberry and peppercorn reduction. Anne and the owners appreciated his ambition and felt his dish was very creative.

For the second test, the chefs had to create a rabbit dish that utilized all the parts. Chef Bryant made a crepinette out of the rabbit legs, which he wrapped in caul fat, and he also seared the loins but didn’t get a chance to plate the offal. The owners felt he was on the right track but was a bit too ambitious.

Chef Bryant’s dinner service went fairly smooth, but some of his simplest dishes, like the salad and the soup appetizers, were overcomplicated. Some of the dishes were sent back with inconsistency issues, but once he fixed them, the food went over very well with the guests. He finished dinner strong with adoration from the staff. His competitor, however, was let go during her dinner service. Chef Bryant was surprised with the good news in the dining room full of the restaurant staff, who congratulated him as the new chef of Coquette.

FN Dish caught up with the owners, Kevin and Stacey. Watch the video above to get an update from them about what’s taken place at Coquette since the show taped. Chef Bryant hasn’t yet been able to move to Raleigh, but he’s been in conversation with the owners about next steps with the restaurant once he’s ready to relocate.

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Comments (30)

  1. putzruss says:

    Yet anothe chef(chef) , chef is one who holds to their word, who wants the job, whoshows up and peforms to his promise- her we go another no show!! I am not achef but I cook, been in the food service for 40 years give me cal I will at least show up!

  2. lindzanator says:

    Even if Chef Pippa was screwing up royally (which she kind of was, I have no idea why you would make a snap decision like changing a dish after pre-shift) Stacey was acting like an animal. She should be ashamed. What adult behaves that way under stress?

    • Tali says:

      I agree completely. The behavior by the owner and permanent employees were enough to dissuade me from patronizing their restaurant.

  3. Donna says:

    so what happened to Chef Pippa after her meltdown?

  4. Donna says:

    Is Chef Pippa the first chef to be cut before they even finished the service? Seemed like a major failure to me.

    • ChefAnneWatcher says:

      Her "menu" was atrocious…Rabbit this, Rabbit that…she had MORE than a day to plan out several different dishes! I saw her meltdown coming at the pre-service. YIKES!

  5. zeeksmama says:

    Ok after watching this show from the onset, I am lead to believe that its all for promotion of both the businesses and the chefs. It really hard to believe that this many chefs have "turned down" the position for a myriad of reasons. It is what it's call "A SHOW". I thought this was an awesome idea to pair up needy eateries with chefs needing a job but now I'm thinking its self serving to have the viewers come to the website……I just deleted this out of my "favorites" list of shows to record.

  6. MLH says:

    She was also on Chef Race.

    • MoHub says:

      I was trying to remember where I'd seen her. I kept thinking Chopped, but I knew that wasn't right.

      • Robin says:

        She was also on Chopped. She won. So that makes 3 shows. I have seen several Chefs do multiple shows, I am not sure if it's to promote themselves for positions if doing TV is their career path.

        • MoHub says:

          Several Chopped contestants have been called in to Chef Wanted, as were some former Top Chef competitors, such as Frank Terzolli. The candidates seem to be drawn from a limited, already familiar pool.

          I'm surprised Josie Smith-Malave hasn't found her way here.

  7. Paula says:

    The show gets a lot less interesting when the candidates who claim they are desperate for a job don't take it when offered. The hook that kept you coming back was that it was a real interview for a real open job.

    And what about those skinned rabbits all in a row last night? Yikes

    I posted on it at !

  8. EZ Bake Oven says:

    Wow! A lot of the chefs I recognized on "The Taste" as former Chopped contestants. Small world I guess.

    • cubeshaker says:

      Pippa was on chopped, also a BBC Show pitting brit. chefs against american chefs…. seems to me Pippa wants to be a celeberity more than a working chef…

  9. Rosemary says:

    Want to bet whether or not Chef Bryant actually takes the job? My guess about this show is that maybe the chefs are not offered enough salary. They may or may not know in advance what the salary is and they may or may not care as long as they get to be on the show. Don't think I'll watch it anymore inless it happens to be a restaurant in my area.. Anne's screeching is hard to take and there's something fishy about so many chefs not taking the job.

  10. jspoke says:

    No mention of her appearance on her own website.

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