Chef Wanted: Dos Caminos Update

by in Shows, September 19th, 2013

Chef WantedOn tonight’s Chef Wanted, corporate Chef Ivy Stark and vice president of marketing Donna Rodriguez were looking for a chef de cuisine for the Las Vegas location of Dos Caminos, a Mexican restaurant with six locations on the East Coast. They needed someone with a strong culinary side who could also be the face of the brand on the West Coast. Anne Burrell brought in four candidates for the job opportunity, but only one was offered the position. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winning chef.

In the end, Chef Venoy Rogers from Oceanside, Calif., was offered the position of chef de cuisine. Even though his first two tests didn’t go as well as he hoped, including when he forgot to take avocados to a guacamole demonstration, Chef Venoy proved through his dinner service that he was the best chef for the job. He created flavorful food that the diners loved, and he presented himself in a manner that showed Chef Ivy and Donna that he could represent the brand well. FN Dish caught up with Chef Venoy to chat about his time on the show and to get some news about the restaurant’s closing.

Your first two tests didn’t show you at your best, especially the guacamole presentation. When you found out you would be going on to the dinner service, what was going through your mind?
When I found out I made it through to the final test, I couldn’t believe it. I just knew that I was done. I figured that I had gotten my chance and I blew it. After the initial shock I just began to thank God and my mother in heaven. I then was thinking that I have to crush dinner service for myself and everyone who believes in me. I also had to prove to Chef Anne, Chef Ivy and Donna that they made the right decision putting me through.

During dinner, a few dishes came back, and Chef Anne pointed out a lack of detail in plating. Other than that, it seemed you had a successful service. What was the hardest part for you?
The hardest part was not knowing exactly what to expect. As chefs we are always having to adapt and think on the fly, so I just relied on that experience and got to work.

Chef VenoyHow was it working with Anne Burrell?
Chef Anne was amazing to work with! I am a huge fan of hers and I have the utmost respect for her. I have worked for some great chefs in the past, but to work with Chef Anne and have her giving me advice and talking with her off camera was priceless.

What has the experience of doing the show taught you?
It taught me that everyone in my life, from parents, teachers, coaches, chefs, friends and family, who says “hard work pays off” is right!

Unfortunately Dos Caminos in Las Vegas has closed since the episode taped. Is there any news you can tell us about your future with Dos Caminos?
Unfortunately at this point I have no future with Dos Caminos. I spoke with Chef Ivy about maybe taking the position at the Florida location or maybe New York, but it’s not going to happen. I wish them all the best and am very happy that they selected me after the competition. I am now getting settled into my new job as executive sous chef at the W in San Diego.

What advice would you give to other chefs coming into Chef Wanted?
Do WORK! Don’t think you are too cool. Manage your time like you’ve never managed it before. Listen to Chef Anne and the people you are interviewing for. Remember that you are on an interview. Most of all, DON’T FORGET THE AVOCADOS!

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 (52)

  1. Kim says:

    LOL….what poetic justice to hear that the restaurant closed. I am happy for Chef Venoy that he obtained another position, but I think given the attitude of "corporate" Chef Ivy that the restaurant closure is hardly surprising. I was shocked by the disdain she displayed towards Chef Julian who was clearly the most qualified candidate given his expertise, knowledge, and authentic background in Mexican cuisine. I felt I learned some interesting info from the brief snippet they showed of his guacamole demonstration, and found it too funny when they chopped the other chef for being too "manic" while Chef Venoy left out AVOCADO for demonstrating making guacamole. At that point, I felt the competition just became ridiculous. Also, the attitude of Chef Ivy and VP Donna towards Chef Julian's informative and well-presented demo, saying they felt they were being "talked down to" was also ludicrous. I hope Chef Julian has found a position that appreciates his skill and knowledge.

    • wry1 says:

      Too bad chef Julian couldn't actually run a service, which in fact is the chef de cuisines job. It's clear Chef Venoy was the better chef, he led his brigade. I'm disappointed not only in the place closing after hiring him, but how to often the winner doesn't actually take, get or keep the job from the show. Chef Wanted is the food equivalent of The Bachelor.

    • Cristina says:

      Totally! He completely dropped the ball on that guacamole demonstration. But he's cooking and leadership skills brought him through to the end.

  2. LPC says:

    This show is so pathetic. Anne's mind was made up before the third round. The look on her face during the preview said it all. Julian didnt have a chance even if he got everything right. I felt bad for Julian. he had Chef Ivy and Anne yelling at him. I feel bad that Ive given them money at their NYC location.

  3. LPC says:

    I just noticed that Dos Caminos in Vegas closed a few months later. Thank you to 27 episodes have aired – 13. Two of the 27 restaurants closed before their episodes aired. So much for Ched Wanted having the best of the best restaurants.

    • John Miller says:

      It is insane! My understanding is that 90% of restaurants close in their first year. Definitely a business for those who have strong constitutions!

    • islandantoinett says:

      I don' think that it is FAIR to equate Chef Wanted with the closing of restaurants that have aired on it.
      No one has control over the books and past finances of a restaurant from the show Chef Wanted.
      This is an ignorant poorly thought of thing to say!

  4. KarenInDallas says:

    I don't understand why a restaurant that's in the middle of lawsuits would hire someone, uproot him from his life, give him a job and then abruptly close. That is crappy business.

  5. Cristina Rogers says:

    Chef Venoy is my brother and although he was disappointed to find out that the restaurant had closed down, things always work out how they are supposed to. He is currently doing great things at the W Hotel in Downtown San Diego. So proud to see my brother win. I've always known he was an amazing chef, and now the rest of the country got a chance to see it for themselves. I mean, much respect to Chef Julian, but pre-made quac?.. Really. Anyway, not here to trash anybody, but the better chef won tonight.

  6. Get Real says:

    What a crock. How many orders of "prepare on demand" guacamole did Chef Venoy have to make? ONE. Julian? Almost every table!!! Huge handicap there. How can you not hire a Mexican to run a Mexican restaurant? Like this woman from NEW YORK is going to teach a man who grew up in a Mexican family how to cook authentic Mexican cuisine. She should go work at Taco Bell, that is where her taste lies. This is why a Mexican restaurant in the west failed, because us locals know Taco Bell food from real Mexican food….you can keep that garbage in New York where people do not know the difference.

    • wry1 says:

      Yeah.. it's not like Bobby Flay made a name cooking Mexican cuisine, oh wait… or it isn't like The best Mexican cuisine chef in America is a guy named Rick Bayless… oh double wait again.

      • Get Real says:

        Bobby Flay is Tex-Mex/Southwestern….HUGE difference compared to authentic Mexican. And he got his start on TV with BBQ shows….do some research before you speak.

    • Kim says:

      I'm from New York and I totally agree with your comment. However, don't judge all Mexican restaurants in or from New York by the joke they portrayed on the episode tonight. That Chef Ivy was incredibly pretentious which more than hints at a deep-rooted insecurity in the face of Chef Julian's expertise and background in cooking authentic Mexican cuisine. I do think you hit the nail on the head when you said she should go work at Taco Bell. I'm sure they need "corporate chefs" there who can cook paint-by-numbers.

    • MizFit says:

      While I completely understand Chef Ivy's point about having Guac sitting around, (Yes, I've had Guac that tasted off because the onions and what not had marinated in it too long.), her arrogance with "who does he think he's talking to" or "you're going to teach me something" was ASTONISHING! The idea that she couldn't be taught anything was ridiculous.

      With that ego and passive aggressive nastiness, I wouldn't want to work for her. The PR flack wasn't much better.

      • Leslie says:

        I thought the same thing! They accused Julian of being "arrogant" and thought he was "Talking down to me", but that Chef Ivy was far more arrogant. I think Julian is lucky he didn't get the job. Especially since, according to the update, the restaurant has closed.

    • Chef says:

      Seriously… He handicapped his own self. We have all seen the show and know that they are going to slam the kitchen with tickets all at once. So what idiot is going to make a menu that is not built for speed. I give it up to Chef Venoy for designing a menu that was able to be executed quickly. He also was a much better leader then Chef Julian. Get Real

    • David says:

      Thank yo for your comment. I thought I was the only one that noticed the irony and arrogance of a white woman telling a Mexican about HIS culture. These food shows love to put whites as the face of expertise for minority cultures cuisine. I guess they figure white audiences want to see white people as the experts of everything, even things they know little or nothing about. That's how Paula Deen became so popular selling something she knew little about.

      • islandantoinett says:

        You know that is their excuse ALL the time here in Hawai'i from having white people for everything HAWAI'IAN after they came over threw our monarchy and stole the land! White people only want to see white people. So now they have whites doing all our Hula our Luaus and selling all our Hawai'ian products. Haolies!

        • ritgar says:

          Oh good grief, after just laughing my arse off watching the Gabriel Iglesias special from Hawaii for about the 5th time, I agree. When he spoofs the valley-girl tour guide on the bus to a luau saying she had only been there 3 weeks, but you only need one to be a native, I see exactly what you mean!

    • islandantoinett says:

      There are many many different versions of "Mexican Food even IN Mexico! If the owner wants to make her chefs prepare each guacamole fresh that is her choice. However from her poor decision making she now has no restaurants lots of lawsuits it seems and they appear to be NOT good people! Shame on them for messing with this mans life like this. They deserve what they got! I will NEVER eat at any of their restaurants ever!

  7. Tim says:

    What's next? Chef Wanted at Chili's? When did we start interviewing for chain restaurants? This show has clearly jumped the shark. All the chefs are better off not having a job at a "Mexican" restaurant run by a bunch of clueless east coasters.

  8. John Miller says:

    On a side note, I think Chef Anne looked especially nice during Chef Venoy's service!

  9. Tim says:

    Lame. What's next? Chef Hunter Chilis? This show jumped the shark with this episode. All these chefs are better off not having a job working for a bunch of clueless east coasters at this chain restaurant.

    • David says:

      This show jumped the shark when Todd English refuse to hire the chef he selected in season one. He stated he never had nay intention of hiring the guy and Anne Burrell never commented about it publicly.

    • islandantoinett says:

      True I am shocked about this! I will NEVER eat at any of their restaurants!

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