|Photo - Food Network|
Back to the Nikki Beach episode that airs tonight. Let's just say there is some crazy stuff going on right now involving this restaurant.
One of the contestants on tonight's episode is Lauren Brown of Cincinnati, who was actually recommended to be on the show by Britney Ruby Miller of the Precinct episode (link). Maybe she should have been on the Precinct episode if she was thought of so highly by Britney, instead of making her travel to Miami and potentially Spain.
Onto the crazy stuff now... At the end of January, Karlie Tomica, who was a 20 year-old bartender at Nikki Beach in Miami, left her shift and on the way home struck and killed a well known Miami chef named Stefano Riccioleti. She fled the scene, but a witness who saw this happen followed her to her apartment and called 911. When officers arrived, they said Karlie Tomica had 'slurred speech and smelled of alcohol' and that she had 'brain or flesh particulate' in her hair (Link with details) Karlie was released after posting $10,000 bail and is awaiting trial. Both Karlie Tomica and Nikki Beach are being sued by Stefano's family, Karlie for the accident, and Nikki Beach as she had the alcohol there (while also being underage).
In an ironic and pretty awful twist, the owners of Nikki Beach actually named Nikki Beach after their daughter Nicole who was killed by a drunk driver as an 18 year-old in 1997, just 2 weeks before her graduation (link).
The Nikki Beach website used to have a link for their Ibiza location, but now that says "Sorry we could not find what you're looking for!" So it looks like they have taken everything down regarding their Ibiza location and it either is not opening or the opening has been pushed back further. I am not sure if it has anything to do with the above issue or not.
This Chef Wanted episode was actually filmed around February 18th according to this interview, so it filmed shortly after the incident. I am surprised the owners went along with the filming. It will be interesting to see the update from the Food Network after the episode airs. I will update this post with any details and the winner after it airs.
Also, as Chef Wanted is coming back for another season, I may create a page similar to the Restaurant Impossible page that will keep track of the Chef Wanted winners and which ones are still at their restaurants.
UPDATE - Chef Jouvens Jean was the winning chef of this episode, and SHOCKINGLY decided to stay at his current restaurant and not take the job he was competing for. Although, I am not sure that job actually existed as it doesn't look like the Ibiza location of Nikki Beach is open.