Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Black Pearl, New York, NY, a seafood restaurant specialising in lobster, where he finds three owners, Brian, David and Greg, who don't get on and are unable to be in the restaurant at the same time. Gordon arrives and is greeted by David who is pretty frosting to Gordon. Gordon sits down to order food and orders clam chowder, lobster mac and cheese and all three of the lobster rolls. The chowder is watery, the mac and cheese is too rich and he's not impressed with the lobster rolls either comparing them to a diaper. Gordon meets the three owners and discovers that the restaurant was originally David and Greg's but Brian was bought in when they didn't want to spend any more money but they are $250,000 in debt.
Gordon returns to witness a dinner service and the staff are surprised when David is for the evening and even more surprised that he is expediting in the kitchen. He doesn't do a very good job and plenty of food is sent back to the kitchen. David is upset when a table sends back a dish for there being sand/grit in the mussels and enters the restaurant to argue with the customer. After the disastrous service, Gordon raises with David that they are advertising Maine Lobster but actually serving Canadian lobster which David tries to argue is acceptable as they are the same animal.
The next morning, Gordon calls a staff meeting as they haven't had one in months. He asks the staff to ask the owners questions but David is defensive and answers everyone with a question. With no owners willing to step up, Gordon asks the staff to vote for one of the three to be the general manager and they choose Greg who promises to step up to the role. For the dinner service, Brian is sent home as it seems like he doesn't do anything and Gordon alternates David and Greg between front and back to make his ultimate decision on who will manage the place. David is rude to the staff when he's in the back and rude to customers when he's out the front. Greg struggles in the kitchen but ultimately pulls it off. Overnight the restaurant is given a makeover but David hates the paint job. There is a new lobster claw game and Gordon has hired a man in a lobster suit to go into Times Square and hand out flyers with the staff. David stays behind as he doesn't believe it will bring in any business.
On relaunch night, Greg is in charge and Gordon asks Brian and David to come for dinner, they sit at the table constantly moaning about all of the new changes. Things aren't faring better in the kitchen as Greg has lost control in the kitchen and it has fallen apart. There are some delays in the food but when it reaches customers they are pleased with the new food despite the wait. After the service, Gordon tells Brian that he is lazy, Greg has a good heart and David doesn't care and that's he's only in it for his ego. David calls him "Gordy" and is really snarky. He tells them he isn't sure it can succeed with David a part of it and he challenges him to come back...
What Happened Next?
The restaurant closed just 4 days after airing. David had a massive rant about Gordon on the internet blaming him for the 50% drop in sales. Gordon revisits in the next series but Black Pearl is closed and Hog Pit is open in it's place. Gordon tries the food and loves it. Below is the full text of David's rant:
"Hello Everyone... Well, after three years, we have fried our last clam and shucked our last oyster. On October First, we sold our lease and fixtures to someone who may be better equipped to handle the exceedingly high cost of doing business in New York City.
As you may know, in February, we filmed an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, at our restaurant, hoping for the best. We were naive, believing that the show was at least somewhat honest; we truly felt we could learn something from that jerk, and we anticipated a solid boost in sales from the publicity. The sad fact is, from the beginning, it was clear that the show was a joke. From the very first day they were initiated, the changes Gordy Ramsay made were ridiculed by the press, hated by our regular customers and were the direct cause of a 50% drop in revenues. And, we were never able to recover financially.
Our hope was that we would benefit from the publicity of participating in that horrid "reality tv" series, but the promised air-date of May 2008 turned out to be a lie, and we were not able to sustain ourselves until the end of September, when it was finally broadcast, especially with the damage inflicted upon us by the producers and star of KN. While the partners certainly weren't on the best of terms, I do admit that we exaggerated the issues we displayed on the show in order to convince the producers to feature our restaurant, but during the week of filming in February, it became clear that the show was a complete sham. KN is simply a series of set-ups staged to illustrate situations that fit their script, and, as you would expect, their expert editors tell only half the story--the part that makes their star shine brightest. All of my brilliant and pointed comebacks were left on the cutting-room floor! Darn the luck! In fact, Gordo's menu changes were horrible, and mirrored the buffet offerings of a cruise ship in the 1950s--lobster bearnaise? Shrimp Louis with green goddess dressing? His ideas were laughable, and proved to be utter failures; his "innovations" had nothing to do with our concept of a New England Lobster Shack--something he clearly knows nothing about. For God's sake, he thinks the Canadian and Maine lobster are two different species! Maybe he thinks Canadian lobsters have an accent--"butter, eh?"
Finally, his big design change, the lobster arcade game, was nothing short of asinine. After the filmed "grand re-opening dinner" (attended by actors, we learned, who responded to the producers' Craigslist ad and were instructed to order the new Gordy Ramsay special!), very few ever ordered the lobster bearnaise again. And who can blame them? Greasy potatoes, buckets of oil, egg and butter . . . nice one, Gordo; real good idea.
But what really sealed our fate was his bastardization of our award-winning lobster roll. To "improve" upon our recipe, he cut the amount of lobster in half, added lemon, lettuce, celery, salt and pepper and way too much mayo. Of course, it didn't work. It served us right for allowing a potty-mouthed teabag to mess with our New England cuisine. We should have taken a page out of history, revolted and sent him packing and bleeding back to King George.
Anyway, enough sour grapes. While I hope Gordo meets an untimely death so that I can dance on his grave, it is time to move on.
The point is, we would like to thank you all for your support during our brief time operating what we thought was the best seafood shack in New York. My partners and I really did care about everything we offered at Black Pearl. From the inception, we did our best to keep the concept pure. We made every effort to be fair to our customers, our staff and ourselves. We remember fondly those crazy nights with Sherry Vine, Sean Lynch's Rat Pack Revue, the Rasta Christmas parties, and the brilliant musings of pianist Tommy Mandel. We were lucky to have you all aboard. And, of course, we thank our loyal staff for all their hard work, especially Heru, Charles, Lana, Lisa and Steve.
Perhaps we'll do it again (sound of my partner's bullets whizzing by my head), I don't know. If we do, we'll be sure to spread the word. For now, we'll take advantage of the new-found holes in our schedules to relax with our families and friends.
Love and best fishes,
David, Greg and Brian"
David returned to his previous career in the music industry and released an album in 2010.
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