Monday, 17 July 2017

Kitchen Nightmares - Mill Street Bistro - CLOSED

Mill Street Bistro Kitchen Nightmares
In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mill Street Bistro in Norwalk, Ohio ran by Joe Nagy, who opened the business with no restaurant experience after losing his job in food sales. His staff aren't happy about the way he treats them or the food they are serving. Joe claims it is fresh, farm to table but it is actually frozen, freezer to table. He believes he is a kitchen nightmare as he has no bums in seats. Gordon invites Joe to his farm to show off his ranch where the produce from the restaurant allegedly comes from. Skinny the goat tries to butt Gordon. 

At the restaurant, Gordon isn't impressed with the staff name badges and asks his server to take hers off. Gordon order the elk feature, the fish trio, scallops en croute, vegetarian ravioli primavera, onion soup, oyster rockefeller and the elk quesadilla. The french onion soup is greasy and watery, the oyster rockefeller is bitter, the scallop en croute is dated, the scallops are like bullets and the pastry is raw. The quesadilla is chewy and tough, the vegetable ravioli is ice cold, the fish trio is dry and rubbery and the elk feature is tough. Gordon describes the food as farm to garbage can and is shocked to hear the elk feature costs $35. 

Gordon returns for dinner service and to give his opinion of the food, he wasn't impressed  and did not take more than 2 bites of anything. Joe reveals that the fresh catch of the day is actually frozen, is defensive of his food and Gordon tells him he is in denial. Gordon notices the huge Quiet sign in the kitchen and Joe tells Gordon there is no talking in the kitchen. The food leaves the kitchen at a reasonable pace without Joe telling them where it is going and plenty is retuned. A diner finds a stone in her ravioli and Joe tells Gordon he is over critical. 

Gordon had reached out to an ex employee and she calls to say she is outside. She quit a month ago after being constantly criticised and has a catalogue of photos on her phone of old food and the packages of bought in meat. Gordon decides to investigate the food storage and finds frozen out of date food, half frozen food and the frozen oysters served to him at lunch. Gordon and Joe descend into a massive yelling match and Joe throws Gordon out the kitchen.


Mill Street Bistro Part 2


After the argument, they agree to draw a line in the sand and make things better in the restaurant. The next morning, Gordon calls a staff meeting, they let out their frustrations about Joe, who is secretly watching. The staff are fed up and all admit to being on the edge of quitting the restaurant. Afterwards Gordon reveals that Joe has been listening to them and brings Joe out to face his staff. He realises he needs to soften up with the staff and tells them he is 100% committed to change. Gordon tells Joe that he thinks the prices at the restaurant are too high. 

Gordon meets with Joe and Tom to show them some new affordable dishes including a burger. Gordon arrives for a dinner service to see how the locals react to the new food. The kitchen cannot cope and falls apart as the communication breaks down. Gordon encourages Joe to bounce back but instead they break out into another heated argument. Gordon shouts at Joe to get out of the kitchen so that he can help Tom to recover and finish the service.  After the service Gordon tells Joe that he can no longer be in the kitchen. 

The next day, the revamped menu is revealed to the staff and he brings in consultant chef Brian Goodman to help in the kitchen. The new menu features seasonal fish dishes, an elk sausage burger and an elk chilli. On relaunch night, the kitchen runs smoothly with Chef Brian expediting and the customers love  the quality of the new food. Joe serves a fish dish to the wrong table causing confusion but this is resolved and the relaunch is a great success.


What Happened Next? 


In the months that followed, the menu has been slightly changed, keeping most of Gordons menu and there has been some staffing changes. Servers Jen, Kayleigh and Rebecca are gone as is Chef Tommy and Joe is back as Head Chef. In December 2013, Joe renamed the restaurant and relaunched as Maple City Tavern, a family friendly restaurant and the reviews are mostly negative. In January 2014, Gordon's production team paid £900 compensation to Joe in respect of items found to be missing after filming

Mill Street Bistro closed in June 2015, unsurprising with most recent Yelp reviews being 1 star reviews.


Mill Street Bistro was aired on March 1st and 8th 2013, the episode was filmed in July 2012 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 6 episode 10 and 11.


33 comments:

  1. No way this place stays open beyond this year. As the epilogue already stated, nearly half the staff has already left... and, even worse, Joe has managed to worm his way back into the kitchen after swearing he wouldn't. Alongside Sebastian and David from the Black Pearl, Joe's gotta be the most arrogant, delusional, clueless d-bag/blowhard of an owner in US KN history. : P

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    1. I think Amy's Bakery completes the trifecta of worst owners of US KN history ever!!! Sad because there are more deserving, appreciative struggling restaurants out there that would truly benefit from Chef Ramsey's expertise and business makeover.

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  2. Joe the arrogant owner reminds me of Joe Biden the VP for some reasons.

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    1. Nah..he reminds me of John Mcain ... looks like him too.. lol

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    2. Or Joe Craven - Double
      LoL

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    3. No way! He's Elmer Fudd to a T! There is an outtake on the Blu Ray which shows Joe point a shotgun at Gordon but Gordon simply puts his finger the barrel so that when Joe pulls the trigger it explodes in his face.

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  3. Joe the owner is a like cross between Joe Biden and John McCain!

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    1. Don't insult Joe Biden. He's a lovely and good man and everyone loves him.
      Joe's more like Trump and Pence's lovechild!!!

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  4. When I hear that this place is closed I'll smile. And Joe reminds me of a crazy lunatic, he makes Sebastian look normal.

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    1. Along with Alan Saffron from Burger Kitchen. They can all complain about the online bullies together.

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  5. Sad, sad, sad... what a guy that Joe is. Sad

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    1. Pretty confident Joe has a a psychological disorder. No expert beyond my "studies" in college and other such "readings".
      Very socially awkward. Entire episode was cringeworthy.

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  6. I guess it wouldn't make for good TV... but I have learned so much about cooking well from Ramsay's various series... if I were to meet that man (Gordon) in person, I would absorb every bit of his advice and ask for more. If he stayed up all night to prepare a new menu for my restaurant, I would be right beside him, taking pictures, making notes and asking questions. To kick Gordon as Joe did is the stupidest thing he could do... but stupid does as stupid is... Gordon wasted his time trying to educate Joe. I doubt that overpriced restaurant will last a year.

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  7. Did he fire the staff, or we're they smart enough to get the hell out of there on their own!

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    1. He probably either fired them or made their lives so miserable they were forced to quit. He seems that petty.

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  8. the owner seems to think that he is the first restaurateur to use the direct from Ranch/farm to table. It has been very common in Vermont, and the Northeast in general.

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  9. So, GR didn't back any of the employees and Joe fired everyone that was disloyal? Ummm, well, unless Joe has an entirely new staff down to the last person, I doubt the validity of those statements. The episode I watched, well, "everyone" criticized Joe's character, leadership, cooking and management skills.

    I am shocked that this place is still listed as "OPEN". Truth be told, a manager as slippery and deluded as this one would have fired his employees with or without someone's support. Having worked for pathetic bosses before, I can tell you this... where there is a will, there is a way. The bad bosses will build such a case.

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    1. Agreed; I thought for sure this place's doors would've been shut for good before 2013 was out. : / I can only hope Joe is sinking every last cent he owns into it as a means of putting on airs to Ramsay and the rest of us until he has to file for bankruptcy. ; )

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  10. Chef Ramsay has used the same approach of "staff has a gripe session while the owner secretly observes via monitor from another room" in many of these episodes; it ALWAYS makes me very uncomfortable. I know it probably doesn't make for "good TV" to the same extent, but I prefer when he has the staff write comments on cards to be read to the owner anonymously.

    Even much less vindictive individuals than Joe may have a tough time not taking criticism personally; for an unabashed-jerk such as Joe, knowing the source of each comment is just giving him *way* too much fodder to use to retaliate. Although his former employees are likely well rid of him from a mental health vantage point, in today's job market some might have preferred to hold on to their job, even one that required them to work under less-than-optimal conditions.

    In a just world, guys like Joe would go down in flames - there's just no excuse for treating anyone as poorly as he treats his staff, not to mention the fact that he is a miserly liar who was willing to compromise the health of his customers for a few extra dollars in his pocket. I guess we'll have to see what happens.

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  11. This place is a joke. I believe Joe has mental issues. This episode made my blood boil. I could'nt stand watchin GR help this idiot, but I cant stop watching it lol...

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  12. Still can't believe he filed a police report just after filming, alleging that the KN crew stole a container of elk steaks and vandalized the premises, damages he estimated to be about $1,500... The disrespect he showed for Norwalk's residents throughout the first episode pretty much doomed the bistro (as indicated by some of the locals' posts on UrbanSpoon). And heaven forbid that a world renowned chef and wildly successful restauranteur might have a few useful tips to help save his floundering business!... It's hard to comprehend the level of unmitigated ignorance it must have required to so defiantly challenge Chef Ramsay, every step of the way...

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  13. Can't believe this place is possibly still open. I love the comments he made on Yelp to one of the customers who complained about the wait. Don't restaurant owners know that you can't say sorry, and then lay blame on the customer and pile on a dozen excuses? Arrogant non-apologies are just going to drive away business. A successful service business has to lose all ego.

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  14. This guy suffered from short bully syndrome. Throughout his life people stepped down to his arrogant attitude and believed his BS lies. Then Gordon brought his little world crashing down.

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    1. Did you say "his little world" on purpose as an added dig toward this man regarding his stature?

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  15. Gordon is one of the Executive Producers. He helps pick the restaurants and how the show looks.

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  16. Could someone who lives in the area confirm what happened to the staff that left? Were they fired or did they leave because they were sick of the owner? If they were fired, did Chef Ramsey get them a job in one of his restaurants? He said he had their back, and they trusted him with their honesty. I love Gordon and agree with his methods, I love the way he deflates arrogant owners by exposing them publicly. I agree with others that Sebastian is King of the Delusional! lol Joe is a close second.

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  17. My favorite line, as he throws a tortilla at Joe... "and take this with you! Elk quesadilla! Breaking news in Mexico!" LOLOL! hilarious!

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  18. English Chefs, don't you just love em 👍

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  19. Do people even need permission to do what they want in the U.S
    It seems that anyone can do anything they want in the U.S. even if they are completely clueless as to what they are doing.

    There is a reason potential business owners have to jump through hoops in the U.K to run a food business. Not just buy one.

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    1. It varies from state by state, but this guy was in the food sales industry before opening his restaurant (after he had lost his job), so it's not like he was completely ignorant. Most of the owners in the series had previous food experience (from being chefs of various degrees of skill, to catering, to waitressing), a few don't (Amy and Sabastian come to mind), and a few inherited the business from their parents. As far as buying a business, what's wrong with that? As long as you know what you're getting into and make sure you have staff to cover your lack of knowledge in areas (a skilled chef and experienced kitchen crew, wait staff, managers, etc.)

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  20. Did the staff quit or were they systematically fired? Men like Joe don't learn to be civilized, they only double down and become more tyrannical.

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  21. Men like Joe Nagy don't become civilized overnight. They just double down and punish everyone else for what goes wrong. Men like this are to be avoided at all costs.

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  22. No wonder this place closed. Joe is a guy who would never work for me and one I would never work for. Nothing genuine about him and his only consistency is his bs. Another ungrateful know it all who thought he was better than a Michelin star chef. I hope all of the staff moved on to something better.

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