Chef Wanted: Nikki Beach Update

by in Shows, April 25th, 2013

Chef WantedNikki Beach is a high-profile restaurant and resort concept with 10 international locations that cater to the wealthy. Jack and Lucia Penrod, who opened their first location in Miami Beach in 1998, were looking for an executive chef for their new location in Ibiza, Spain. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team were called in to help with the search. After two grueling tests and dinner services, an offer was extended to Chef Jouvens Jean.

Jouvens Jean is a chef from the Bahamas who has worked as an executive chef in Miami for the past 10 years. He’s counting on the opportunity at Nikki Beach because he wants to get better medical attention for his ailing father.

The first test the chefs were tasked with was to create an extravagant platter for the restaurant’s high-end clientele with no expenses spared. Chef Jean made a “fire and ice” seafood platter with lobster, osetra caviar, oysters, scallop ceviche, foie gras and langoustines. Jack and Lucia were impressed with his plating and execution. For the second test, the chefs had to use a local fish to create a dish that captured the restaurant’s transition from day to night. Chef Jean made poached black grouper with a Florida lobster tempura roll, shaved white asparagus and truffled osetra caviar. His biggest difficulty was cooking the fish using a makeshift sous-vide method, which ultimately wasn’t successful even on the second try. Jack and Lucia thought the presentation was beautiful but found the flavors disagreeable, as the truffle oil overwhelmed the dish.

Except for some nervousness, dinner prep went well for Chef Jean. His pre-shift was very successful, and he received high praises from Anne and the owners on his flavors. But once dinner started, he found himself in trouble when the tuna appetizer ran out. Chef Jean ended up taking all of his chefs off the line so they could prepare more of the appetizer. This resulted in very long wait times for main courses, but once the chef regained control over the kitchen, things went smoothly until the end of service. Jack and Lucia were impressed with Chef Jean’s control of the staff, good attitude and exceptional flavors, and they offered him the job of executive chef at Nikki Beach Ibiza.

FN Dish caught up with Chef Jean after the show taped. Watch the video above to find out what he’s been doing. Chef Jean didn’t end up taking the job at Nikki Beach because he didn’t want to leave his current chef position. But he says he learned a lot about himself from competing on the show.

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Comments (66)

  1. Jeanette says:

    Why don't the winners take the job? What happens to the restaurants?

  2. Jahosacat says:

    The show is entertainment just like at least 1 other FN reality show is. I'm disappointed winners don't take the job for some unknown real reason, but, who knows how many restaurants do the show just for the publicity. I can't believe anyone who applies to have their business be on a show like this – or anyone who applies to be a contestant on a show like this – doesn't watch the show(s) before and knows what they're getting into.

  3. Antoinette Jackson says:

    Aloha Chef Jean: Greetings to you this day and all the very BEST in your life. I wanted you to know I thoroughly enjoyed you on the Chef Wanted show. I was clapping and cheering for you all the way through the competition. I came in here to see your ultimate decision. I can gain the full knowledge of why you made the decision you did to stay at Pierre's Restaurant. Having lived in Ja. WI to know you love WI food and want to bring that to your job, I will pray you will have your OWN restaurant one day! You deserve the best. Yours most sincerely, I thoroughly loved and enjoyed this episode! Antoinette Jackson Big Island of Hawai'i

  4. Marsha says:

    I really hope they offered the job to the runner-up!!! He looked so defeated when he lost and I really thought he did the better job in the kitchen. I'm wondering about watching this show next season!

  5. Debbie Pratt says:

    Well for goodness sakes! Don't take a job if you're not serious! Too many folks are just as talented and need the job. I'm amazed.

  6. patsy says:

    I guess what bothers me the most is that at the beginning of the show they all talk about how getting this job is so important to them and how their lives depend on it. Their families and their personal career depends so much on getting THIS job and then they dont take it for whatever reason. Ive been in the food business all my life and I just dont understand this. For me this is just another reality show and I really dont think I will be watching it next season . Sorry Anne.

  7. south47th says:

    I LOVE Chef Anne and I hope she doesn't sign on for another season of this. She is far too esteemed to be linked to such a terrible show.

  8. SIC says:

    I'm wondering if his current employer offered him more money to stay, or at least offered him improved health benefits so he could take care of his dad?

  9. silkolay says:

    Here's the deal: I think this is more a competition show and a chance to get exposure than anything else. Yes, a chef may actually be looking for something better at the time, but with the huge numbers of chefs who get offered a job and then say no, that's a huge RED FLAG to me.

    A little bit too coincidental, don't you think? There's got to be something that keeps them from taking that job, other than that they just didn't want it.

    Plus, even if there's nothing going on, there's nothing to stop the restaurant from calling the runner-up and saying "Well, he passed. Do you want the job?". So it's not like Chef Jean took food out of the guy's mouth.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I am wondering myself, why so many chefs don't take the job?! I was VERY surprised when I started reading the 'after interviews'. When the Chefs are interviewed, they all seem so desperate for the job, financially for the most part. If you NEED money so badly, why in Gods Good Green Earth would they NOT take the job?? (other than an emergency that might come up after) I like the show, but, like most Reality Shows, I watch with skeptisism. I DO like Chef Ann.

  10. Scurvy says:

    What a shock. Another chef doesn't take the job on this fake show.

    I stopped watching several weeks ago but I wanted to check the blog to see if they would try to add some legitimacy to this show.

    The restaurants don't really need new chefs, the 'competitors' aren't actually looking for a new job (for the most part). It's just a way for the restaurant and the chefs to get their names out there…


    • Mike M says:

      Yes I agree, I took it off the DVR. Either it is fake or if the top two are that close when an offer is made it should be on the program and if it is refused then the runner up should be offered that job.

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