Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell - Nikki Beach

Chef Wanted Nikki Beach
Photo - Food Network
Tonight is the season two finale of Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell, and Anne is hoping to find an executive chef at Nikki Beach in Miami, Florida.  They are looking for an executive chef for their new Ibiza, Spain location of Nikki Beach.  So, this is the last time this season you will hear Anne screaming a countdown from 10 to 1 and the same fake ticket printing noise played throughout the dinner services.  But despite the show not having much success with actually finding chefs to stay at the restaurant, it WILL be coming back for a third season in August (link).  I guess ratings are more important than anything.

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.

Jouvens Jean Chef Wanted


  1. I love Food Network, but this show is an embarrassment.

  2. I'd like to know what happened to the chef who was runner-up and who really needed the job Because he had been out of work for quite a while.

  3. Sadly, I think all that matter to them are eyeballs (ratings) nowadays, no matter how they have to lure them in.

  4. Please do create a page like the Restaurant Impossible page. I'm disappointed at the phoniness of the show but at the same time am entertained. I love reading your reviews of the shows.

  5. Looks like the actual filming was February 13: (the Miami New Times link says this truck did the catering).

  6. (Make that "some of" the filming -- since this at least appears to take 3 or more days to shoot.)

  7. Crazy backstory. Unsurprising result.

  8. According to his LinkdIn profile, at least, he's still looking :(

  9. Check out chef Jouvens... Very talented young cheff

  10. I think the show is misleading but not all lies.I don't blame the show Entirely. I think some of these restaurant use it for publicity. I don't like that the chef who wins if the position actually is there they win and don't take the job. I think it unfair to the Chef who lost because maybe they would have taking it. So you take a spot away from a chef who may have taking the job.