Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Kitchen Nightmares - Mama Maria's - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Mama Maria's

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mama Maria’s, BrooklynNew York, an Italian restaurant attached to a pizzeria, owned by John Esposito. He inherited the restaurant after his parents  passed away. The Pizzeria was  successful during the 90's that they expanded opening Mama Maria’s, named after John's mother. John became overwhelmed running both restaurants and focused on the pizzeria. Gordon arrives and notices the shabby look to the front. Server Lori feels the problem is that John doesn’t want to change anything from his parents era and John feels that the problem is that they don’t have customers.  

Gordon sits down to order lunch and Chef Joe confesses that the quality of the food is bad. Gordon orders the tortellini di patate, spaghetti meatballs and the margarita pizza. Server Fran brings the desserts to the table, one of them is mouldy but this is deemed to be okay as they are just for display. The tortellini is bland and Gordon believes they are frozen. Gordon notices a smell and removes a large plant pot which soaks him in water. The spaghetti and meatballs are also frozen, they look rubbery and taste dry and the pizza was full of grease. Gordon heads into the kitchen to talk about the food, John tells Gordon that it takes too long to make the meatballs fresh but Chef Joe disagrees and tells John he is ashamed of the food.

Gordon observes a dinner service and notices that John stays in the pizzeria and never comes into Mama Maria’s. The kitchen sends out food at a fast pace but the customers are not impressed. A vegetarian customer finds a bone in her pasta as the sauce has meat in and another customer is found being sick in the bathroom. Gordon inspects the lobster and finds it to be bad, he tells John how dangerous it is. An ambulance has to be called for the vomiting customer and Gordon shuts the restaurant service down. Gordon confronts John, John confesses that he is drained and not sure he can continue.

Gordon arrives the next day and inspects the food storage. He is disgusted to find buckets of frozen pasta, meat and sauces, some covered in mould. Gordon informs them that the sick customer is feeling better but lays out the bad food to ensure it does not happen again and shows them that there is enough food for the next year. Gordon tells John that he needs to let go of the past after he discovers that the Specials have not been changed since his parents passed away. Gordon makes John promise that he will step out of the pizzeria and step up as a manager. He gives the restaurant a makeover, removing the awning and putting a new sign out the front. The interior is also changed, there is a tribute to John’s parents and the menu is also updated. 

On  relaunch night, Gordon invites food critics, bloggers and writers from the New York Observer. The kitchen gets off to a good start with the food being pushed out by Joe but John is not managing his staff and is found at the bar. He steps up to the task, mingles with customers and takes control of his staff. After relaunch night, there are positive comments from the critics and the restaurant is on it’s way back to being a successful restaurant. 

What Happened Next?  


Business is reported to be up 10%. Some old favourites have been resurrected as requested by customers and some small changes have been made to menu items but John has kept Gordon's revised menu. Yelp reviews are mostly good after Gordon's visit.






18 comments:

  1. I went to Mama Maria's one afternoon for lunch. I walked into the restaurant and walked around for at least 5 minutes. I picked up a menu. I called out "hello" several times and no one ever came out from the back.

    Maybe the place is cleaner. Maybe the menu is simpler. Maybe they are making money.

    But, I will never walk into this restaurant again.

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    1. wow...u left after waiting 2 minutes before being served...even in McDonalds you have to wait longer...idiot

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    2. I agree with the above, 5 minutes is reasonable and if busy 10 is. The restaurant is not design to cater purely to you.

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    3. Disagree. McDonalds is a junk food joint. This place is supposed to be a restaurant, and if it is actually open and a custimer walked in during opening times, you'd think that there would be some system in place to alert the staff to the fact. You'd think there would be at least one person 'in' the place to say something-anything to a customer. For a restaurant, what happened was bad form. I would probably also have left and gone to an eatery nearby.

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    4. If you have been seated and told that someone will be serving you in a moment, then 5 minutes is not that bad. But if you go into a restaurant and nobody even notices you, then it is an unthinkable. If I walked in a restaurant and didn't find any staff in there, I doubt that I would have stayed even that long.

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    5. what's a "custimer " ??

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    6. you don't know what a custimer is? whats wrong with you? That's so obnoxious, to try to make someone feel stupid like that over a one letter typo. you must be a real asshole.

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    7. I am inclined to agree with you. We live in the computer era. Being a spelling nazi is one thing, but to belittle someone because their finger slipped is just stupid. Although, it may have been a little more excusable had something substantial also been written.

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  2. This is probably the only episode that the owner and most of the restaurant staffs are likable. And I'm glad they're not only still open, but thriving.

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    1. Yeah. No bad guy or assholes here, just some people in genuine need of help to get out of a rut. Everyone wanted to be there. No cocky pricks or know-it-alls.

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    2. I would say it's mostly because the people there actually know what they're doing, like John has been in the business since he was born and yeah, he was a bad leader because he was stuck in the pass but he stepped up once he changed for the better. His chefs at the back weren't assholes and knew what was wrong with the place, they answered straight and truthfully to GR because they were sick and tired of how things were (which was refreshing). A lot of the people who come into this show could possibly learn a thing or two from the people at Mama Maria's.

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    3. I'm guessing because the guy was awkward, they couldn't really try to force him to put on a performance as they likely do with most other episodes. I don't know that I like him that much, but I can sympathize for him to some degree at least. It's one of my favorite episodes so far.

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  3. Hands down the best episode I've seen. I bawled watching it... I love how Ramsey handled the whole situation with keeping his folks incorporated in the new design. I am genuinely happy that they are doing well. If I ever make it to Brooklyn I will definitely be stopping there! And on a side note I hope he finally does get to spend more time with his family :)

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    1. I really felt like Gordon cared a lot about John and his restaurant. For some reason he seemed more determined than usual to help him thrive.

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    2. Honestly I think the reason for that is this episode likely was a very relaxing shoot for Gordon because John's only "problem" was he misses his parents. He took all the negative criticism, didn't fight back with the usual "frozen is fresh" excuse. John gave the vibe that he just listened to all the advice and asked all the relevant questions.

      Going by the UK version, Gordon loves to work with chefs that are sponges and filled with passion.

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  4. Whoa! What's happening in Brooklyn? I try to get an idea about the food in this joint by reading reviews, and all everyone is babbling about is how long does it take for someone to ask "waddaya want? "Gimme a break, argue about spelling and the amount of time it takes to get your hand held somewhere else. I guess that these are the type of numbnutz that have invaded the neighborhood. Sheeche!

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  5. I pitied John. He wasn't like Chappy, Sebastian, or even Amy/Samy: He was a poor guy dealing with the deaths of his parents and unable to move on. It took Gordon to show him that not only can he move on, but still keep the memories of his parents as it is.

    The fact the restaurant became a full fledged tribute to John's parents make it more heartwarming and even more awesome John took the bull by the horns in the end.

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