Friday, 30 November 2012

Kitchen Nightmares - Mill Street Bistro - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Mill Street Bistro

Episode Recap


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, haha. At the restaurant, Gordon isn't impressed with the name badges that the staff are wearing and asks his server to take hers off. He asks for the "specials" and is told that they are referred to as "features".  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 with too much oil, the scallop en croute has dated micro carrots, the scallops are like bullets and the pastry is raw. The quesadilla is chewy and tough, the vegetable ravioli is covered in oil and is ice cold, the fish trio is dry, rubbery and greasy and finally 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 leaves the restaurant to grab a bite elsewhere and Joe is not impressed.

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 but without Joe telling them where it is going. The food does not go down well with the customers and many dishes are returned to the kitchen. 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.



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. The restaurant closed in June 2015, unsurprising with most recent reviews being 1 star on Yelp.


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70 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. Horrible,nasty person.He's trying to have a family place when he's not qualified to run McDonalds.

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    3. Couldn't agree more Joe deserves to loss all he's money if he's real that stupid! Like they say a fool and his money are easily parted!

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    4. Joe = Knob

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  2. I really like Gordon but you know why I hate this show? There are too many douche bag restaurant owners out there. Why is this? Joe from Mill Street Bistro is a perfect example. I just don't understand why people are so f*cking arrogant and think they are the answer to anything. It's pathetic. Either man up for real and get a clue to your limitations (every man/woman has them) OR step aside and let the world continue without your warped perspective of yourself.

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    1. I totally agree. Idiots like Joe don't deserve help, when so many good people are struggling to survive. Something is wrong with the world, when good people have a hard time, and dumbasses have it easy.

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    2. Actually... the producer or precisely the KN's team IS looking for douchebag owner or something they can use for the drama to comes out, i only pity Gordon who have to go through this.

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    3. It makes good television, like how the American show does a lot of Family owned restaurants because they are going to have a lot of drama.

      Seriously count how many Italian family restaurants are in the show, it's a decent chunk.

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  3. 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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  4. 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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    2. 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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  5. 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. No I disagree Sebastian was the worst one ever in all the kitchen nightmares shows, he is one that if I were Gordon I would have walked out on and took all the improvments back that I put into the place. A lot of these idiots end up just selling the place after the show, they only get Gordon there to put a ton of money into the place so they can sell at a higer price. It's a shame this can't be seen before hand so Gordon backs away from these money grubbing a-holes.

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    2. Joe = Knob

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    3. It is completely impossible to make Sabastian to look normal. Want a good place to send your enemies, a place where Joe, Amy and her gangster husband, and Sebastian are running the joint, and they can never, ever, leave. That's the true definition of a living hell.

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    4. Oh yeah, add the whackjob from the BlackBerry dive, loaded with old records, and dead mice. The moron that ran that place into the ground should be added to the whackjob crew. She was one miserable broad, literally and figuratively.

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

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  6. 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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  7. Omg wat a idiot I couldn't stand watching Gordon help this pompous ass

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    1. I think this was a rare instance in which Ramsay may have misread the owner's intention to change his ways. Like Sebastian before him, Joe was merely putting his head down and paying Ramsay lip service until he and his crew left, all the while planning to immediately go back to his old ways and sack all those who were "disloyal" to him during Ramsay's visit. : P

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    2. How do you know the staff got fired? I think it's more likely that they quit as soon as Joe went back on his word and went back into the kitchen.

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    3. totally agree

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    4. yeah i cant agree with that move. wish we knew more about it. the shows formula doesnt really allow much follow up with the staff that inevitably leave (although the business is a high turnover business inherently)

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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. I don't understand these deekhos who called for help and when help comes, they get arrogant and shit. If I were Gordon, I would just walk out as there are many other restaurants that really need help.

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    1. i think the show producers deliberately pick people they know will cause conflict.

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  12. 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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  13. Kayleigh is hot! Very pretty.

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  14. Er...he is supposed to have worked with top European chefs and he puts raw onion in the French onion soup? Really? That is just so ignorant!

    I don't like the way Ramsay tells the staff to take off their badges though - not really his place to do so at that point, or at any point actually. And I certainly wouldn't want to eat that slice of chocolate cake after Ramsay has been dicking about with it! Ew!

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    1. I had no problem with them taking off their badges, chef Ramsey was right, they are not a franchise, so why do you have on a badge, plus he was being silly, and it was kind of funny.

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    2. I'd want anything that Ramsey has been "dicking about" with :)

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    3. Who is Sebastian that everyone keeps mentioning. I'm a die-hard fan of this show (anything with Ramsey actually) but that bame isn't ringing any bells with me. Is he the dickwad that Ramsey told "I've never met anyone I believe in as little as you"? That guy was the worst I can think of because he never even thanked Ramsey for everything he did.

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    4. Yeah, Sebastian had the pizza joint in Hollywood who thought he was going to make a franchise with bought in everything.

      Him, Joe, Chappy, Amy, Darryl and Ellen Cortello, and Alan Saffron, are some of the worst owners I ever seen for various reasons. Unsurprisingly, none of them have their restaurants any more.

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  15. I felt really bad for the staff in this place, particularly during the second episode when Gordon asked them to speak openly about the problems then he turned around and said 'Oh by the way, Joe has been listening!'. I thought that was a pretty shitty thing to do and it was so clear that Joe was just saying what he knew Gordon wanted to hear.

    Gordon should have walked out of this place without helping as it was obvious that Joe just wanted the menu overhaul and airtime. I hope the server's he fired managed to find other jobs pretty quickly. Like I said before, was really disappointed in how Gordon handled this and he did not have the staff's back at all.

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    1. I felt for the staff as well, but how do we know they got fired? Maybe they got fed up with all the bull, and left!

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    2. First Gordon has had the staff talk about the owners at other restaurants with the owners watching before and its worked great. I think Gordon just didn't realize how truly bad it was, about how truly bad he treated his staff. You could see the look of shock and horror on Gordon's face as they continued to tell him about it.
      Secondly you don't know they were fired. It sounded like a lot of them were really considering quitting to begin with and with the owner obviously going back to how he was after Gordon left I think that would be a great reason to leave. Even if the owner did fire them unless he told them it was because of the show Gordon wouldn't really be able to help.The staff said several times the owner uses them as scapegoats always nitpicking and blaming them for everything.
      So unless you know for sure what happened don't be disappointed in Ramsey it more then likely is not his fault.Though i completely agree that Ramsey shouldn't have helped him at all should have just walked right out.

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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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    1. I wouldn't be worried. He will be selling his "natural beef" out a van at your local gas station. Then he will puff his chest out and say he was not kicked out of his OWN kitchen! lol

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    2. Ramsay should've bought Joe's home and business, spread lies to keep him from getting another job somewhere else, and then tell him he's lucky Ramsay considers him good enough to clean the toilets.

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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Do the restaurants that ask for Ramsey to help, do they not watch this show?!? Have a clean restaurant, serve quality food, make sure your staff is polite, and make sure YOU are polite. If you can do this, you're gonna be OK. Gordon will help you polish up the dullness. If you have a dirty kitchen, with nasty, rotten food and you are an a**h**e, he's gonna ream you out.

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    1. If the owners were capable of this, they likely wouldn't be in trouble in the first place. At best, they out right lie.

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  23. Weird. Just watched the repeat on BBC America and the references to the cancer charity walk GR participated in have all been edited out.

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

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  25. 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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  26. Replies
    1. I agree she is absolutely beautiful.

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

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  29. 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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  30. 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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  31. 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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