Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Morgan's, Woolton, UK, "Dotty" owner Sandy runs the restaurant with her two daughters with Head Chef Phil and Assistant Chef Emma in the kitchen. Gordon arrives and meets Sandy, Helen and Laura, Gordon is impressed with the décor of the restaurant but disappointed to learn that 2 people are booked for dinner. They reveal that all three are managers.
Gordon sits down to try the food and is confused by the menu, he orders two starters and two mains, the pan fried prawns are solid, the sausage dish is big enough for a dinosaur and is dismal, Gordon skips the mains and goes straight to dessert. He has ordered the sticky toffee pudding, Emma's creation that Phil really hates. Gordon however really likes it, it is light and not too sticky. Gordon enters the kitchen to talk about the food and everyone is defensive of the food, Phil reveals that he got the apricot in the mashed potato recipe from the Good Food Magazine. Phil just laughs at Gordon's criticisms and Gordon tells him that his attitude stinks. Gordon tells them that the toffee pudding was delicious and Phil walks out in frustration. Gordon visit's Sandy at home and discovers that her financial records are a mess and she has no clear record of the restaurant's income.
Gordon discovers that Phil isn't paid for prep time and that she orders all of the food. Sandy disappears to Tesco to buy the food for the evening's service, an hour before the service is due to start. The shopping comes to £54, £30 more than they made the previous evening. Gordon witnesses a dinner service and in the kitchen Phil is careless and sends burnt food to customers. A customer sends back a Creme Brulee and Phil falls apart as he struggles to concentrate and Sandy is in the kitchen doing the washing up, instead of getting the customers gravy. Sandy is under the illusion that he is happy to wait but his food has gone cold and the other diners in his company had already finished their meals. Sandy is in denial and believes that everyone enjoyed their meals as she has had no complaints. Helen believes it is diabolical and Gordon tells her that she is the most honest person in the restaurant.
Gordon can see a clear case of sibling rivalry between Helen and Laura as both want to run the restaurant. Gordon takes the sisters and Sandy to a playground to discuss their roles, he tells Sandy that she will never be General Manager, she just can't do it. Gordon assigns her as a role of the host, he assigns Laura as the Assistant Manager and she reacts badly and Helen is made the General Manager. Gordon talks to the locals and discovers the type of foods that they would like to eat and it's miles away from what they are serving at Morgan's. He also takes Sandy to meet the local butcher to build a good working relationship. They buy local sourced beef for a Sunday Lunch, the prices are much lower than the supermarket.
Gordon arrives at the restaurant early but Laura is nowhere to be seen. Gordon tries to find Sandy, who won't answer her door and Laura eventually turns up at the restaurant. The reservations list and table plan for the service has gone missing and Gordon is blamed for this. Gordon is forced to call Helen in on her day off as Laura refuses to talk to him. Phil loses his concentration and starts burning food in the kitchen again. Emma however shines and steps up, Phil can't function without her help. Gordon plans to focus on local ladies who lunch and comes up with a menu to appeal to them. He also suggests an antiques auction between courses.
For relaunch evening, they are fully booked but Gordon is concerned about Phil and tells him to slow down and to not get distracted. There are some local celebrities including some wags and actresses. A mistake is made by Laura on an order that hasn't been taking and she has been sent back to correct her mistake. The auction between courses is popular with the guests and it gives the kitchen some breathing space to prepare the courses, they have made £500 in 15 minutes. Overall, the relaunch is a success.
What Happened Next?
Gordon returns to the restaurant and the biggest change is in the kitchen. Phil has left, a positive step and is gaining experience as a Sous Chef and Emma has been promoted to Head Chef. She has a new dish on the menu, which impresses Gordon. Helen has stepped in and computerised the books, a big change from Sandy's chaotic approach. In February 2007, Sandy put Morgans up for sale for £99,000. Morgans was sold and became Oddfellows Restaurant in December 2007 but closed in 2010/11. Head Chef Phil went on to work at Blue Bar but was jailed for theft for stealing cheques from his new employerss. After Oddfellows was closed, Caveau, a french restaurant opened in it's place. The restaurant has excellent reviews. Laura is seeking work as a model/actress and has had a bit part in Hollyoaks as a beautician. She came 4th in the Miss Merseyside beauty pageant.
Gordon really liked us - in the end.
Morgan's Kitchen Nightmare
‘Kitchen nightmare’ chef jailed
Laura Morgan - Starnow Profile