Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

It is always a difficult decision to voice one’s opinion publicly when negative - especially in a small town, but I was so disappointed by the meal created by Chef Jake Gandolfi at Center Street Grill this past Sunday I feel compelled to share - and what better place to that than my best foodie friends' blog.....don't worry - she can take the heat!

Jake’s previous experience as a caterer came out on Sunday night. Most items appeared to have been prepped several hours prior to service and ultimately came out cold. There were several, complicated elements to most of the dishes which, I believe, contributed to the failure. Last, many items were not in season currently - Soup: Saffron Split Pea Puree topped w/ Melted Leeks and Pacific Prawn and a Prickly Pear Sorbet that had been enhanced with food coloring.

The ultimate low was the 3rd course – or Salad: Pickled Purple Cabbage and Golden Beets over Fried Corn Tortilla topped w/ Braised Pork Belly and Pomegranate Seeds. The tortilla was cold, greasy and could not be cut with a knife and fork. The Pork Belly had apparently not been braised long enough, and due to being served room temperature, it was gelatinous and lacked that ooey, gooey, spreadable quality the belly attains when carmelized in a sautee pan just moments before reaching the table.

In the end, he had that gregarious charm that wins you over, but I would suggest that Master Chef Jake spend a few nights behind the line and learn the artistry of serving food to order. We were only 40 people after all. Next dinner is scheduled for March 20th and they are shooting for 100 people....beware if you are one of them. 


Anonymous said...

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit

Anonymous said...

That sounds terrible!!!!!! Not only is his food mediocre at best, he is a very arrogant and rude person to be around. I was at a church festival and I was near the kitchen and I could hear him going off on some poor guy for basically no reason?! He would ask the guy a question and then flip out when he answered that question, like that makes any sense? I believe that his little stunt on top chef has gone straight to his head, and not in a good way! Overall I believe that the secret to creating amazing dishes that leave people wanting more is being able to accept constructive criticism, treat the people who are preparing those dishes for you with respect, and to know that you aren't the best their is and that someone will always be better than you..... He should of learned the last one from top chef seeing that he got 3rd not 1st!

Anonymous said...

Not only is his food half bad but that dudes a complete jerk, he is one of the those people who is Mad at everyone, and finds a reason to be pissed if he isn't already, yet I would be upset too if people always complained about my presentation and the food being prepared hours before being served (ewwww). Ya think the whole reality food show went to his head? Come on he wears a cowboy hat as a trade mark in Santa cruz ,ca.. Yet the city is rather loopy but he isn't loopy just a complete D bag. I would say a couple more tribal tattoos and he could be a WWE contestant. One thing is obvious its only a matter of time until he has no customers, and no one remembers the 3rd place contestant on master chef! Just to top it off he is always very nice and respectable to his clients but he treats his crew of workers terribly and it's remarkably noticeable when he does so. Yes every job has that one person who hates their boss but to have a whole staff of people with the same conclusion, and having to constantly be finding new workers because anyone who works for him or even overhears him more than a few times has to realize that it isn't right to treat people bad just because he is flat out arrogant, or maybe just plain rude! I will definitely not recommend him to anyone just so they don't have to hear him bashing people for no reason, kind of seems like they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.