Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Downcity, Providence, RI, bought by Abby Cabral and best friend Rico Conforti in 2005. Rico has a full-time job in finance and, Abby has been working in restaurants for over 30 years, Abby works in the restaurant while Rico injects the funds. Chef Ramsay arrives and is greeted by Abby, who rates the food 10 out of 10. He says he's starving because the room service at the hotel next door was awful, Abby reveals that they do the room service for the hotel. Gordon tells her the soup and crab cakes were cold and disgusting. Abby responds by telling him that is impossible. Gordon orders some lunch, ordering the crispy calamari, "3-way" nachos, and Meatloaf. The calamari arrives, Chef Ramsay hates the fact that it is covered in sauce and calls it soggy and chewy, the nachos are “more like a funeral in his mouth than a party in your mouth" and the meatloaf is lukewarm.
Gordon gets the staff together and discovers there isn’t a head chef. Gordon discovers Abby is responsible for the menu and after some arguing Gordon leaves. Meanwhile she tells the staff Gordon is wrong and the food is great. The staff admit that they don’t like the food and Abby says that she feels like she's been stabbed in the back. Rico arrives for dinner service and Gordon sits down for a chat with him, Rico admitting he has $1million invested in the restaurant and if it fails and he goes bankrupt he could lose his job as a mortgage adviser.
Gordon goes into the kitchen to investigate and finds a mess. He calls Rico and Abby down to take a look and Abby insists that the refrigerator wasn't like that before and starts screaming at Gordon. They get into a huge argument and Abby orders Gordon to leave so he leaves. Rico chases after him and Gordon explains that there is nothing he can do with Abby so deep in denial. Rico asks him to stay and Gordon agrees with Rico’s help. Chef Ramsay goes back inside and explains to Abby that he has made mistakes and had failures in business and it can be turned around. Gordon sits all the staff down for a meeting and Chef Jimmy admits that he struggles to keep up with standards with so many menu items. Abby admits she is defensive but promises to change.
Gordon witnesses a dinner service and Gordon removes half of the menu items to relieve pressure on Jimmy and the kitchen. He also introduces a roast chicken special. The food is improved, going out quickly and Abby is relaxed. However, before long the kitchen gets behind, customers are left waiting for food and Abby gets stressed. Abby says she is not sure Jimmy can run the kitchen despite the new menu. Gordon reveals he has called in a consultant chef, who is in the next morning. Chef Ramsay introduces a new comfort food menu featuring a goats cheese truffle dip, meatball sliders, lobster mac and cheese and a new improved meatloaf.
For relaunch night Gordon invites a local food blogger, Stacy Place, who had written a brutal review of Down City previously. As the night gets underway, the food is being sent out quickly, the customers love the new menu and the new food. After a communication break down the food slows down and customers are left waiting, including the blogger who tweets that she is waiting for her food. Gordon shows her the tweet and she goes on the line to regain control of the kitchen. The bloggers truffle dip arrives and she gives it a great review on twitter and after this the food continues to go out hastily and the customers are happy with their food. After Chef Ramsay left, Chef James stayed at the restaurant to train Jimmy and the other kitchen staff and Abby promoted Jimmy to head chef.
What Happened Next?
Gordon revisits and is greeted by Rico and Abby, the reveal business is up 30% and Abby rates the food a 10 again. Chef Jimmy is still there and impressing Abby. Gordon goes into the fridge and it is organised, he sits down to lunch and thinks the food is delicious. Gordon notices that there is some tension between them and Rico tells Gordon that Abby lets the volcano erupt on him instead of the staff. Food blogger Stacy Place has answered questions on her appearance on the show,
Question - Why did they say you have 10,000 followers?
Answer - People assumed since Gordon was reading my Twitter feed that the show was referring to me having 10,000 Twitter followers. I don't. The producers had asked me how many people had read my blog and I replied about 250 per week. Multiplying that by 52 weeks, they rounded down to 10,000. Of course, 3,000 people have read it just since the episode aired!
and other revelations from behind the cameras.
Downcity Yelp Reviews
Downcity Urban Spoon Reviews
Stacy Place (the Food Blogger from Episode) - Relaunch Night Review
Stacy Place - Returns to Downcity
Stacy Place - Answering questions about her appearance on Kitchen Nightmares
The Providence Phoenix - Review
Downcity Restaurant closes
New Restaurant Taking Over DownCity’s Location
Read About More Kitchen Nightmares