Chef Wanted: Tavern 1757 Update

by in Shows, August 22nd, 2013

Chef Wanted Tavern 1757Chef WantedOn tonight’s episode of Chef Wanted, Tavern 1757 in Seymour, Conn., needed a new executive chef after losing its former chef. The restaurant features country-style Italian cuisine anchored by a brick oven. The owners, Tony Mavuli and his son Tonino, were looking for a chef who could showcase the vision of the restaurant. Anne Burrell brought in four candidates: chefs Brian Reilly, Kelli Daniels, Tommy Valdes and Ryan Escude. 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 decision for the Mavulis would be difficult since both chefs offered great flavors.

The first test required the chefs to create a flatbread inspired by Sardinia. Chef Tommy tried making deep-fried stuffed bread, but his fillings leaked out, so he ended up baking one, but it had too many flavors going on and wasn’t well executed; he was sent home. For the second challenge, the chefs had to create a rustic dish using either squab, rabbit, lamb or wild boar. Chef Kelli’s roasted lamb leg dish was found to be slightly overcooked and lacking in finesse, so she was sent home. It would be Chefs Brian and Ryan who would make it to dinner service.

During Ryan’s dinner service, the biggest issue was that his quail dish kept coming back undercooked. Overwhelmed, Ryan left the kitchen to gather himself, and he came back ready to finish service. Brian’s service was plagued by inconsistencies in his dishes, most noticeably his pizza. But once he stepped in to better oversee the baking of the pizzas, he corrected the issues and finished dinner on a high note. In the end, the Mavulis had a tough decision on their hands because both chefs put out great food, but they were most impressed with Chef Brian and offered him the position of executive chef at Tavern 1757.

FN Dish caught up with Chef Brian to chat about his experience on the show and what he’s been doing since winning the executive chef position at Tavern 1757. Read his interview below.

Brian Reilly

In the second challenge, you used miso in your rabbit dish, which the owners loved. What was your thinking, creating a dish that was so far outside the Italian country-style food of the restaurant?
My thoughts on this dish were to bring all of my skills and what I like as my background to the table. Honestly, if I had not done the show, I would not have been pushed to create or even think of this dish.

Dinner service was a little bumpy for you, with dishes coming back due to inconsistencies. But once you got control, things turned around. What was the hardest part for you?
There were minor hiccups, like the computer going down, handwritten tickets. I’m used to a very functional expo line that is in tune with the kitchen. However, that was not the case that evening.

What was your mentality going into the show? You seemed really confident from the beginning.
I had nothing to lose and wanted to give it my all. I seek adventure in this industry, and this was one of my greatest!

How was it working with Anne Burrell?
I have a lot of respect for Anne and all she knows and has done. I was not intimidated by her, but loved her two cents with what I was doing.

What has the experience of doing the show taught you?
Calmness! There is no need to go all Ramsay on anyone (most of the time) — just handle things as they happen. It was a great experience. If I had to do it again? Maybe.

How are you settling into life in Connecticut? What do you find most different coming from Cleveland?
The scenery is pretty much the same; the guest base is not used to anything that is not dinner-style Italian food. And NO metal scene, but the restaurant is great. There is a new following of foodies that are coming in.

What was one of the first things you did at Tavern 1757? What kind of menu have you created?
ORGANIZE EVERYTHING! The kitchen is in three parts, and it’s huge. I am bringing some new American and local ideas to the table with a strong country-rustic Italian mindset.

What advice would you give to other chefs competing on Chef Wanted?
If you make it to dinner service? Just roll with the punches. Say “yes, chef,” and bring your A-game. It’s no joke!

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 (15)

  1. Joe says:

    What was the date this was filmed?

  2. steve says:

    I would have hired Ryan but goo luck to Brian. he was good too.

  3. LPC says:

    Something is fishy here. Either they didnt update their website. Or they have a new chef.

    • Rich says:

      Tony Mavuli is the owner of the restaurant who judged the competition not a new chef. Nothing fishy about the owner being named on the web page.

  4. Spayder says:

    This is a good thime in taver work whit chef Brian

  5. @banjo1953 says:

    Brian is my nephew, I enjoy just watching him slice an onion

  6. Magdalene1958 says:

    I want to know if this is a trend, they have on all the cooking" shows.
    I notice that every one is ether termily ill !!l or they have family member that are" come on can't they win on there own so sick of them crying or mentioning there problem. Come on we all have sickness 'but I watch TV so I forget. my problems. Not get slam in the face with it every damn time.
    this is going on o all your shows Chopped Chef Wanted and so on wow stop already

    • alamo annie says:

      I agree with you!!! I am sick of hearing about dying or dead family members, no job etc, etc. Not that we don't care but none of that is going to help you win the challenge and like you sd we all have problems. So come on stop it.

  7. renojon says:

    Just one more episode of the badly scripted "Chef Wanted" on the Food Ho Hum Game Show Network. As usual, we're offered the arrogant game show host and 4 loser contestants trying to make their dead relatives proud. If these cooks were preparing my food, I'd make them take a shower before touching the food. If the Food Network is going to survive, it needs to make the shows about food. Remember AOL? Remember Radio Shack? Remember The Dumont Television Network? They all stayed with their flawed business models and sailed off into the sunset.

  8. watcher says:

    I don't mind watching this show, since I like seeing the the ideas they come up with. I really wish they would show the entire pre-shift presentation. Last season they did, but this season you keep hearing guests say that "such and such" was great or "this and that" were undercooked, but the show never showed the part of the pre-shift where "such and such" or "this and that" were presented. I feel cheated by that more than by the show's other flaws, since I watch the show for the food, not for the maudlin stories and "dramatic" moments.

    Anne and FoodNetwork: Please show ALL of the pre-shift dishes!

  9. stacey says:

    Went last Friday night 10/11/13. Party of 8 4 adults 4 kids (2 families of 4). Adults sat at one table kids right behind us. We often have this configuration when we go out. Most of the meals tasted great. The Hangar steak was good, the cheese pizza was good and the chicken was good. My friend and I ordered the pappardelle bolognese. The sauce was great!! The pasta was homemade but most of it was stuck together. My 7 year old ordered plain pasta with cheese. Her pasta was also pretty much stuck together. My husband ordered the Beef Short ribs. He received on short rib that was mostly fat. The plate was also not very attractive. We ordered two bottles of wine. The second bottle was a David Bruce Pino Noir. At first we were told that they didn't have any. Then we ordered another bottle, and he came back with the bottle we wanted. Said he found a case in another part of the wine cellar. When he opened the bottle he pretty much mangled the cork so we all had bits of cork in our glasses.

    When it came time to pay the bill that's when the real trouble started. He put both our tables on our separate checks. He put an extra pizza on the bill and an extra bottle of the David Bruce on the bill. After we got that straightened out he brought us our original bill and 3 slips of paper showing the credits. We had to ask him for a new bill so we knew what to pay. He brought us the bill, at which point we asked him to split the bill evenly and we gave him our 2 credit cards. When he came back he told us he was unable to split the bill for the kids table because one of the kids ordered off the Price Fix menu. So, he gave our friends a bill with their credit card for $84 which was 1/2 the bill for the adults. He gave me a bill for $84 the other 1/2 of the adults table and also the whole bill for the kids table of $111. So the total bill including tip was $334.00 which means $41.85 per person. Mind you this means my daughter's plain pasta averaged nearly $42!!! This is waaaaaay too rich for the area.

  10. Adina says:

    My boyfriend took me to Tavern 1757 as a surprise for our Date-iversary last week, and I can't begin to say how wonderful the experience was. Our waitress, Michelle was awesome and fun to chat with, the cocktails were well-made and tasty and OMG THE FOOD. Brian is doing an amazing job as executive chef – every single thing we ate was absolutely delicious from the Crispy Brussels with Dashi & kimchi, to the Broccoli Rabe Pasta my BF had (which was seasoned *perfectly*) to the duck that I had. And the dessert! Chocolate French Toast with chocolate pannacotta! The owner also came out while we waited for our food to chat with us, which was a pleasant surprise.

    Anne, ya did good!

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