Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Finn McCool's, Westhampton Beach, NY, a family restaurant owned by retired policeman Buddy Mazzio. Son Brian is Head Chef, Son Jason is a manager and his wife Melissa is a waitress. Buddy and Jason disagree with Brian as they see him cutting corners and get irritated by his cockiness. Buddy wants Gordon to come in and take Brian down a peg and see that he isn't always right. Gordon arrives and is not impressed with the boring exterior that he compares to a funeral parlour. He is not impressed with the interior either and says there is no atmosphere. The family breaks down in an argument and Carol, a waitress, tells Gordon that one of the biggest problems is Brian's arrogance.
Gordon sits down to order some food and speaks to Melissa, who confesses as he looks over the menu that the clams are frozen so he decides to order spring rolls, salmon and an Irish classic, shepherd's pie. The spring rolls look strange, the salmon is soaked in a balsamic sauce and tastes disgusting and the shepherd's pie is a big ball of grease that Gordon takes a mouthful of and then runs to the toilet to be sick. When he confronts Brian about his food he acts like he doesn't care. Gordon wants to find out the locals opinion of the restaurant and speaks to the local firemen. They tell him that they only serve fried food and when Gordon invites them to dinner they are not eager. Gordon has a tour around the kitchen and is not pleased with the mouldy food he finds and the below standard storage of food. He questions the commitment of the family to the business and gets the family to help him clean the kitchen, Gordon dons some rubber gloves an they deep clean the restaurant.
Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service but there are no customers for that evening until the firemen arrive. Gordon watches Brian cooking in the kitchen and asks when Brian last cooked with fresh vegetables and he admits it was last summer. Frozen food seems to be in most of the menu with Brian telling Gordon that he chooses to buy frozen over fresh. Nearly an hour into the service and none of the fireman have received their food. Gordon sees that Brian is on his cell phone instead of concentrating on cooking. The firemen receive their food and are not pleased with comments ranging from cold meals, to fish that isn't fresh and dry meatloaf. Gordon takes Brian into the dining room to hear the complaints but he brushes it off as they don't know what they are talking about. Gordon returns to the kitchen and witnesses Sous Chef Francis drop a chicken wing on the floor before throwing it back into the fryer. He tells Gordon that the fryer will sterilise anything it picked up but when Gordon tells Buddy he is shocked and disgusted.
The next day Buddy confesses to Gordon that he can't afford to keep running the restaurant for much longer and he hasn't paid himself in months. He admits that if Brian wasn't his son he would fire him but that closing the place would affect the whole family by putting them all out of work. Gordon enters the kitchen to show Brian how to cook a real shepherd's pie. The staff test both versions and choose Gordon's version which angers Brian who heads to the bar. Buddy tries to talk to Brian but he walks out. Without a chef Buddy is forced to be in charge of the kitchen and Gordon and Jason man the pass. Buddy is a disaster in the kitchen and the service is a total disaster. Brian returns the next day and Jason and Buddy now understand what Brian has to deal with. Gordon can also see why Brian is so unhappy and vows to help turn things around so it is easier for him. Overnight, the restaurant is given a makeover with a warmer, family style atmosphere complete with a sign out the front so that everyone can see that they are a restaurant. The new menu is unveiled with more modern food including a family style shepherds pie and a fireman's chicken dish.
For relaunch night, the restaurant is fully booked with Gordon persuading the fireman to give the restaurant another chance. As the tickets roll in the service falls apart as Brian becomes overwhelmed. Gordon tells him to focus on the quality but with a local food critic who appears annoyed to be kept waiting the pressure is on Brian. The customers are fed up of waiting including the fire chief. Gordon tries to help but Brian is falling apart. The customers who do receive food are enjoying the new menu but Jason is having to deal with irrate customers who are yet to be seated. People start leaving including the fire chief but Brian falls apart even more when Gordon pushes Brian to speed up to be able to seat the waiting customers. The staff watch nervously as the food critic samples the menu but her and her diners enjoy the food. Customers leave happy after receiving their food. The relaunch was a success and Brian hugs Gordon.
What Happened Next?
Gordon revisits, the family relationships are better, business is good but Buddy had a heart attack and was taking a break from the restaurant. He had been able to pay himself a regular wage. Brian won a local competition for Best Chowder in a Chilli and Chowder Competition. In 2009, Buddy sold the restaurant to Michael Mancuso, however Brian was still the chef, Jason was Bar Manager and Melissa was Head Waitress. The restaurant closed in March 2012 and was reported on Yelp to be boarded up in June 2012. Since the restaurant closed, Brian opened Shuckers with a childhood friend in 2011 and has worked at Oakland's Restaurant & Marina, Sundays on the Bay and had expanded into catering. Jason and Melissa have since made another addition to the family. Jason has been working as a courier, at various restaurants and bars including Shuckers, Joe's American Grill and Buoy One.
Finn McCool's Irish Pub Yelp Reviews
Saturday Marks the End of An Era For Finn's
Interesting Background Info on Finn McCools - Worth a read
Dans Paper Response to Negativity Towards Food Critic
Fresh seafood with a laid-back atmosphere at Shuckers Lobster and Clam Bar.
Sundays on the Bay Website
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