Positive you could cook your way into a job at a top restaurant if you just had the chance? Want to prove it on national TV? Then the Food Network’s new Chef Hunter is for you. The show debuts in August 2011, and the casting process is in full swing now.
It’s hard to think of a more relevant TV cooking show for the RH audience than the one Chef Hunter promises to be. It will feature rising star-type sous chefs who are ready to step up to the executive chef level. Here’s how Piper Goldberg, casting director for the Los Angeles segments, describes the show:
“Food Network is seeking talented, experienced chefs for a new TV competition series. This is the ultimate chance to showcase your culinary chops and prove that you are the best chef for the job. Chefs will be tested in a series of challenges in a 2-3 day intensive cook-off to find out who earns the prestigious title of executive chef at a high-end Southern California restaurant. If you are ready for a life-changing opportunity and a chance to show the entire nation your master skills, we want to hear your story.”
You don’t even have to come up with a demo tape to be considered. Potential candidates merely have to send a standard resume, your contact information, a couple of photos and a brief statement about why you want to be on the show to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know what you’re thinking. That “prestigious title of executive chef” prize sounds like the same thing they hand out on Gordon Ramsay vehicle Hell’s Kitchen, which turns out to be a second-stringer gig in somebody else’s kitchen, often a short-term assignment at that. Chef Hunter appears to be offering real-deal jobs, because the show also advertised for restaurants that were looking to hire a new executive chef. Here’s how the pitch to restaurant owners read when it went out in early January 2011:
“New Show! National Exposure for your Business!
“Major Cable Network is searching for restaurants/fine dining establishments that need to hire an executive chef. If you or someone you know has a restaurant and needs to replace a chef or is opening a business establishment serving food and drink and you need to hire an amazing chef, please email me. We are looking in the Southern California area but will consider out-of-state, too!”
They must have found some takers, because the Food Network announced last week that Chef Hunter is on the schedule starting in August.
Who’s the host? That aspect of the show’s casting began last January. This was the description:
“A major cable network is searching for amazing chef recruiters for a new TV docu-series. Casting directors are looking for experienced ‘chef hunters,’ chef recruiters who specialize in placing executive chefs in restaurants around the U.S. We are looking for men and women ages 21+ with lots of personality, vast knowledge of the food world and who have a well-respected reputation in their field—U.S. residents only. It’s hard to imagine there were very many people in the country who fit this description, and fewer still who’d be interested in hosting a TV show. But the Food Network found one: Carrie McCully.
She’s a new name to us as a king- or queen-maker in the restaurant world. Here’s how McCully describes herself on her website:
“Carrie's career niche found her 15 years ago in New York City. Friends who owned restaurants and clubs began asking for advice about server uniforms, FOH design, menu design, marketing and help with finding new talented chefs from her vast network of friends.
“Soon she realized that her passion for fine food, design and thinking outside the box, along with her innate skill of balancing tradition with foreseeable trends would be her career calling.
“Over the years Carrie has had the privilege of working with some stellar forces including Alain Ducasse, Terrance Brennan, Martha Stewart, Alison Price Becker, CNN, MTV, The Museum of Modern Art, Kathryn Bigelow and The Tony award Broadway musical MEMPHIS.
“If you have a need for chef recruitment or if you are a chef looking for a new position please contact: Force of Nature Media. We are a boutique firm that practices complete discretion during your job search.”
McCully sounds like a bona fide chef recruiter indeed, so Chef Hunter is ready to roll. All it needs now is some talented culinarians to wow the judges. So get going if you want a new job and think you could prevail in a multiday cook-off. It’s going to be good TV, we think, and a must-watch for up-and-comers in the restaurant industry.