Chef Wanted: Salvatore’s Update

by in Shows, August 29th, 2013

Chef Wanted Tavern 1757Chef WantedOn tonight’s episode of Chef Wanted, Salvatore Lupoli, owner of Salvatore’s in Boston, was looking for a new executive chef for the sixth location of his Italian restaurant chain. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team brought in four candidates for the job: Chefs Gustavo Romero, Robert Lia, Michael Ceraldi and Jonathan Lemon. 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 the chef who showed the most leadership and control of his staff was offered the job of executive chef at the new Salvatore’s restaurant.

The first test required the chefs to utilize fresh seafood right outside of the restaurant, chosen from a fishing vessel docked on the pier. Chef Robert created a seafood pizza with mussels, clams and hot peppers, which proved to be too hot to eat, so he was sent home. For the second challenge, the chefs had to reimagine a classic Italian dish. Chef Jonathan created a pork saltimbocca with mushroom ragu. Anne and Salvatore found the pork too dry, so Jonathan was sent home. It would be Chefs Gustavo and Michael who would make it dinner service.

Gustavo had a pretty smooth dinner service until the pasta started running out. He went back to make more, but in doing so, orders got backed up. Eventually dinner service got back on track and ended well. Michael’s dinner service also started out well, but his gnocchi, which had previously failed him in the first test, failed him again during dinner service. Anne had to step in to show him how to correct its issues and only then was Michael able to recover. In the end, Salvatore was most impressed with Gustavo’s leadership abilities and decided to offer him the job of executive chef.

Chef Wanted Tavern 1757

FN Dish caught up with Chef Gustavo since the show taped to find out what he’s been doing.

Dinner service started well for you — until the pasta ran out and a few dishes came back. What was the hardest part of dinner service for you?
Service was never easy; from start to finish it was stressful. The hardest part was adjusting to the changes that Salvatore and Chef Anne asked me to do. Having to increase the size of all the dishes put me in a very hard situation, since I already had everything portioned. It was like I had to make double the food in no time.

What was your mentality going into the show?
My mentality was always to win. I know I was going against some amazing chefs, and I wanted to show what I could do, but I never expected it to be that hard.

How was it working with Anne Burrell?
Working with Chef Anne was great. She is very knowledgeable and she helped me a lot. She was a great support when I needed it the most.

What has the experience of doing the show taught you?
This was the hardest thing I have done in my career, but at the same time, I learned that I can do anything I want to do when it comes to cooking, that I can go anywhere I want and be good because I love what I do.

You didn’t end up taking the job at Salvatore’s. What are you doing now?
I am helping my mentor in a restaurant in Chicago for now, and looking to work with a restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis so I can stay close to him and the people I love.

Have you been able to bring your family to the States?
No, I am still working on it; it’s hard, but I will get it done.

What advice would you give to other chefs competing on Chef Wanted?
Go for it. The experience is amazing. Nothing that you do can compare to this. If you think working in a kitchen is hard, imagine doing that with all the stress that’s involved with making a TV show. It’s hard! But I would do it over and over again.

Watch Chef Wanted on Thursdays at 10pm/9c and keep coming back to FN Dish for updates with the chefs.

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Comments (20)

  1. Tutti says:

    Why do chefs insist on competing if they end up not choosing to work there after winning? Doesn't that make Food Network and Anne Burrell look bad?

  2. Russ says:

    Well the trend goes on- didnt want to bring his family to the States that bad!!!!

  3. Kristi says:

    I hope they hired the other guy who really wanted the job…..

    • fan says:

      I really liked Jonathan, I wish him luck.

      • Bonnie R. says:

        I liked Jonathan also, as well as, Gustavo. Sorry that Gustavo didn't take the job. It's ridiculous that so many on Chef Wanted end up NOT taking the job. If that's the case, as it often is, why don't they then offer the job to the runner-up? Yes, talk about money up-front, and screen the contestants better. In one show, possibly this one, a contestant never made fresh pasta, yet he was competing to be the Executive Chef in an Italian restaurant!! I like the concept of this show, but it seems to me that the 4 contenders for the Executive Chef position should be given a more in-depth pre-interview.

  4. gabe says:

    loved the show and i also liked how chef gustavo worked under pressure.

  5. tracy says:

    Ok, so it begins. The chef didn't take the job. I love it where the chefs really need and want the job but then when they get it they end up not taking it. It was starting to surprise me that, so far, the chefs actually took the jobs. Last season hardly anyone took the position and it was starting to be a running joke. But now here we go again.

  6. larry says:

    Again we start win then leave. If ann woukd shut her mouth and leave the chefs alone maybe things would go better

  7. Carole says:

    It seems the contestants should sign a contract that, if selected, they will work for a minimum period of time. It makes no sense that they compete so hard only to refuse a job that one of the other competitors wanted and needed.

    • sandra says:

      Hi Carole,
      I agree with you I think the winning Chef should sign a contract to work a year at the restaurants, because some of the Chefs that are going on the show really needs jobs, and the ones who already have jobs and win are taking this opportunity to work again away from them, especially ones with a family.

    • FNGossip says:

      I think the restaurants signing a contract guaranteeing a certain salary would probably work better. No one is going to relocate to work at a restaurant if the salary is not worth it.

    • cubeshaker says:

      unfortunaltely such a cntract could not be made. When they win, they get a job offer… Like any offer for a ":major" postion it is up for discussion.. What is the pay, who will pay for the move… Time off… LIke in any business just because the offer is made does not mean it is accepted.

  8. LPC says:

    This show is kind of a joke. A bunch of the contestants have been on other food network and food shows. So I don't think any of them care about the job. I think the owner of the restaurants want publicity for their restaurant. So they go on the show. They Kiss Anne's butt in the beginning. It is laughable. We needed a new chef. So instead of looking for one. We decided to contact anne burrell for one. Give me a break here. They should change the name to PR for chefs and restaurants. Oh and Anne's face with the pizza – could she exaggerate anymore? The show is a joke. I used to like Anne before this show. She is so unlikeable now.

  9. Edwardo says:

    I heard the only reason Gustavo turned down the job is because his mentor was very sick and he had to make the hard decision whether or not to take a job that could help his family get to the states or if he was going to try to help his mentor and find another way to get them to the states. All of this happened after Salvatore's offered him the job. Gustavo is a good person that really wanted the job and was definitely not doing this just to be on TV. His mentor really needed his help and that is why he made the decision he made.

    • Antoinette says:

      Edwardo I am so sorry for Gustavo not being able to take the job. He was excellent and you can tell he is a wonderful person; his great spirit comes through. God Bless him and his family. I pray they WILL make it to America if that is what he wants. I wonder if he has not looked into restaurants in Panama or places where there is also HOPE and a future with out the racism that exists towards Mexicans and Blacks like in America. We are movin to Panama in 2 months ourselves. There are lots and lots of high end restaurants in Panama City.

  10. Betty Craig says:

    This show is amazing! I imagine it would be such an uplifting and encouraging experience for all the chefs involved!

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