SALEM — When Tuscan Kitchen owner Joe Faro hires a chef for his restaurant, it usually doesn’t receive much fanfare.
But when he makes his newest hire, thousands of people across the country will be watching.
The Italian restaurant, which opened in November 2010, will be featured in an upcoming episode of the Food Network’s “Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell.” Faro will choose his new chef from among four finalists in the premiere episode of the show’s second season. It airs a week from today at 10 p.m.
A 50-member TV crew took over the restaurant for four days in October to film the episode, “Italian Empire.” But the Main Street eatery remained open, serving customers upstairs while the filming occurred downstairs, Faro said.
Burrell, a renowned New York City executive chef, introduces Faro to the four candidates, who are tested in their ability to present authentic artisan Italian dishes. The two final candidates are each handed the keys to the restaurant and battle for the honor of top chef.
The winner, now one of Faro’s dozen chefs, began work at the restaurant in December, he said. Neither Faro nor the network is revealing the chef’s name before the episode appears.
The four finalists were Jonny Giordani of New York, N.Y., Anthony de Palma of Plainville, Mass., Scott Brandolini of Boston and Valarie Carlone of Highland, Calif.
For Faro, who said he was contacted by the network in September, the filming was an exciting experience.
“It was really incredible,” he said yesterday. “It was a lot of fun for us and we would do it again.”
The four finalists were selected by the network from dozens of candidates. Faro said once the competition began, he knew he would be choosing a chef from among the best in the business.