Chef Wanted: Abigaile Update

by in Shows, August 15th, 2013

Chef Wanted AbigaileChef WantedJed Sanford, the owner of Abigaile, a gastrobrewery in Hermosa Beach, Calif., needed a chef de cuisine for the restaurant while he and his executive chef Tin Vuong open a sister restaurant. They were looking for someone who could keep pushing the restaurant’s edge. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team had four candidates: Chefs Juan Pedrosa, Ben Diaz, Chris Mack and Jamil Peden. Two initial tests would narrow down the chefs to two finalists, who would each get to run the restaurant’s dinner service on separate nights. In the end, both Jed and Tin were clear in their decision, which was a surprise for both chefs.

The first challenge would test the chefs’ ability to show who they are as a chef, however there was one very particular requirement: the dish had to be vegetarian. Everyone adhered to the requirements except for Chef Chris who used chicken stock to glaze his tofu. Even so, it was Ben who was sent home for his dish of crusted potatoes, which he called faux scallops. His accompaniment of sliced pears fell flat for Tin and Jed was not a fan of the idea of faux scallops. For the second test, the chefs were asked to create a favorite fast food and turn it into an upscale dish. Juan’s decision to make his take on the fish sandwich without a bread component did not impress Tin, so he was sent home. Chefs Jamil and Chris would move onto the dinner service.

Jamil

When it came to prepping for dinner service, Tin advised Jamil to change his approach to something more like fast food, but Jamil wasn’t comfortable with the idea. His duck rillettes were sent back and customers didn’t like the color of his eggplant puree. A special request for a vegetarian dish threw him off when he had to make it twice because the customer found the first one too spicy. Anne felt that Jamil wasn’t listening to his customers or the advice.

Jamil

Before Chef Chris’ dinner service, Tin came in and reworked his menu and gave him soft-shell crab to serve as a special that evening. Chris’ crab sandwich sold out immediately, which left him with a predicament when a VIP requested the dish. Chris decided to make the customer his specialty “Elvis on Acid,” a banana, bacon jam and Thai peanut sauce dish he originally made in the second challenge, which was well received.

Jed and Tin had two very different chefs to choose from. Jamil showed he wasn’t very flexible, even though he put out a smooth service. Chris didn’t have the best service, but at least none of his dishes were sent back. In an unprecedented ending, Jed and Tin decided not to hire Jamil or Chris because they didn’t feel either was a good fit for Abigaile.

Watch Chef Wanted on Thursdays at 10pm/9c and keep coming back to FN Dish for updates and behind-the-scenes content.

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Comments (69)

  1. Kelly says:

    Did Chef Chris take the job or not?

  2. One Goofy Dog says:

    I agree, the supposed updates are nothing more than questions and answers. I like to know what is actully happening, I know what happened, I watched the show. So how about if FN, give us updates, not Q&A's???>

  3. Olive Oil says:

    Really liked Chef Chris. Too bad he did not take the position offered. I believe he would have grown tremendously under Ting Vuong's tutelage.

  4. GERALDINE says:

    OBVIOUSLY ANNE DOESN'T KNOW HER NEW CHEFS WELL ENOUGH IN THAT SHE DOESN'T SEEM TO KNOW HOW GOOD THEY ARE, WHAT THEY EXCEL IN,, ETC…OR SHE'D KNOW HOW GOOD THEIR FOOD IS AND THEIR AREA OF EXPERTISE…1 OUT OF 4 IS A BAD CHOICE (ON HER PART) & DOESN'T SEEM TO HELP THE RESTAURANT OWNERS ANY….HER SCREAMING & YELLING DOESN'T HELP EITHER—ONLY MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT & STRESSFUL FOR THE HOPEFULS….SO ANNE, BACK OFF & CONCENTRATE ON GETTING RID OF 50+ LBS OR WE'LL BE SEEING YOU ON THE "FAT CHEF LOSER" SHOW….(GERALDINE)

  5. You mean I can save my saved work on a SERVER? Is this supposed to be a selling point?; because a lot of people nowadays buy Cloud Storage Services anyway to back up their personal picture?

  6. Penni says:

    Three thoughts. First, add me to the others who came here looking for an update, not a recap. I wanted to know whether Chris took the job, and who the restaurant ended up with.
    I'm not a vegetarian, but I thought vegetarians eat poultry, fish, and dairy and only vegans avoid all animal products. Perhaps I'm wrong, but given my understanding, I would have thought chicken stock to be fine.
    Finally, if you can't respond to instructions and criticism from your boss, you don't deserve the job.

    • Guest says:

      You are misinformed! Vegetarians DO NOT eat poultry or fish. They usually eat dairy,most who eat dairy,eat eggs.There are always exception due to allergies or personal taste. Pesca
      sterian (sp) eat fish. Chicken Stock is inappropriate in any vegetarian dish. You are correct that vegans don't eat any animal products. The chicken stock was either a really stupid mistake, or an attitude of who cares! If this restaurant makes dishes for vegetarians/vegans,there had to have been vegetable stock available!

    • @CMLaw says:

      vegans don't eat any animal products including diary, vegetarians vary in whether they eat dairy or eggs, but they do not eat meat or fish

    • peggy says:

      i have been trying to find out myself. But there isn't any way to find out, what happens. Not happy about this, after they tell you to go to the web.

  7. Chef Monique says:

    We watched the show…Did Chris take the job or not? That's all we care about and yet, there's no mention of it. Surely you can't be that clueless. .

  8. @CMLaw says:

    he did not take the job, it looks like a lot of the winners don't either

  9. Betty Craig says:

    This show is so wonderful and unlike other chef shows on TV these days! It's so positive and encourages real growth in the lives of the chefs who participate! Fantastic. Two thumbs up!

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