Taste & See owner Jason-Paul Febres to appear on Spike’s “Bar Rescue”

Jason-Paul Febres

WICHITA — Taste & See owner and chef Jason-Paul Febres has always wanted to be on TV, but he couldn’t believe it when he got a call from the Spike television network a couple of months ago.

“They called me, which was surprising. I didn’t even have to call them.”

A Spike representative wondered if Febres might like to discuss appearing as a guest expert on “Bar Rescue,” which is similar to shows such as “Restaurant Impossible” and “Kitchen Nightmares” that feature experts trying to help struggling restaurants.

So Febres submitted a video and did an interview but didn’t allow himself to get his hopes up, so he was shocked when Spike called back to inform him he’d been selected.

“I was freaking out. I jumped out of the shower and was screaming.”

The Caracas, Venezuela, native, came to Wichita in 2006 and says he thinks Spike was interested in him because “Bar Rescue” was looking for a chef with Latin flair.

Though the show helps business owners, it’s not always in the nicest ways possible.

“It is pretty explicit, which is fun,” Febres says. “It’s pretty out there. They like to do everything controversial. Pretty dramatic, ‘Jersey Shore’ style.”

Febres flies to Los Angeles Jan. 7 for a week of filming at a yet-to-be-named restaurant.

He admits he won’t be shy about telling others what to do.

“I’m very particular about the way I run my businesses.”

Febres says that’s why it never has worked out for him working for other people at places such as Sabor Latin Bar & Grill.

“I told them what to do, and they didn’t want it.”

Nor will Febres be shy about being on TV.

“I’m not nervous at all. I’m just super, super excited to get on TV,” he says. “This is my dream. This is what I’m meant for.”

Febres says he likes the idea of being on TV “because I like attention, and I love people. I’m a very hyper person, and I’m a very energetic person, and I get bored. It goes against my energy to just be standing around in a restaurant.”

Combining a restaurant and TV is something else, though.

“For me, it’s just a rush. It’s kind of like being addicted to the rush,” he says.

“It’s a personal, huge achievement. Also, I think for Wichita being in the spotlight.”

Febres hopes to take Wichita along on his adventure by having a Skype feed to the televisions in his restaurant so customers can keep up with him while he’s on the road.

“Pretty much it’s just keeping that connection to my customers.”

Febres, whose Taste & See is at Office This on East Harry, has plans to open more restaurants, first in Wichita and then in Kansas City and Chicago.

“And after that, Vegas.”

No matter how successful television may turn out to be for him, Febres says he’d never give up Taste & See.

“It’s my first restaurant that I actually own,” he says. “This is pretty much the one that took me to where I am, so I don’t want to forget about it.”