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She’s not to everyone’s ‘Taste,’ but Chicago chef lands job anyway

Renee Everett 'The Taste' ABC.

Renee Everett on "The Taste" on ABC.

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Updated: April 13, 2013 6:26AM

Chicago chef Renee Everett is enjoying the sweet taste of victory after losing on ABC’s cooking competition.

She’s been hired by “The Taste” judge and celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre to work in his soon-to-open L.A. eatery Trois Mec.

“I don’t think I could have dreamed of a better outcome,” said Everett, who left her Hyde Park home earlier this month and is crashing on her sister’s couch in Los Angeles for the time being.

The outcome was shaping up to be more a nightmare than a dream for Everett during the premiere of “The Taste.”

Her pistachio-crusted halibut wasn’t “fancy” enough to get her a place on the team of Lefebvre or that of the show’s other judges, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Brian Malarkey. Everett had quit her teaching gig at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Chicago to audition for “The Taste” in Los Angeles.

Lefebvre clearly saw potential, so he offered Everett a spot on another team: in the kitchen of his new restaurant.

“I’m gonna hold you to that,” an overjoyed, teary-eyed Everett said before leaving the stage.

The French-born restaurateur, chef and cookbook author recently invited Everett to spend a few days in the kitchen with him, cooking private preview dinners in advance of Trois Mec’s debut.

“It was probably the most amazing three days I ever had,” said Everett, whose previous kitchen experience includes stints at Chicago’s Gibsons, Luxbar, Quartino and the now-shuttered Park 52, where she served as executive chef.

“I love Chicago so much,” she said. “For three years I tried to open my own restaurant and just never got any traction.”

Over the past decade, most of Everett’s family left Chicago for the West Coast. They’ve always urged her to follow them, and now she has the perfect reason to do just that.

The finale of “The Taste” airs on WLS-Channel 7 at 9 p.m. Tuesday, when a winner will be crowned.

“Everything works out the way it’s supposed to,” Everett said. “I felt like I won ‘The Taste’ that first day.”

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