Sunday, 19 May 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Amy's Baking Company - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Amy's Baking Company

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Scottsdale, Arizona, to help turn around Amy's Baking Company. Opened in 2006 by Samy and wife Amy, Samy runs front of house and Amy runs the kitchen. Samy spent over $1 million opening the restaurant for wife Amy with her passion for cooking. Things have not gone smoothly with scathing blog reviews to which Amy says they lied by saying her food was disgusting and as a result of these reviews she has lost business. Samy is defensive of criticism of his wife's cooking and if a customer makes a complaint Samy asks them to leave and tells them not to come back. Amy's attitude to the customers is that are not always right. The server describes Amy as nuts, she makes pizzas over spicy so it hurts them, she says she will hurt someone if they send back her cake and has regular tantrums. She also says Gordon is wasting his time, they will never change.

Before Gordon arrives Amy and Samy prepare for his visit by doing a big clean up. We discover that Miranda, the only server in the restaurant isn't allowed to input the orders, serve wine or handle the cash, Samy does these. Amy only cooks one ticket at a time so the diners are waiting a very long time to get their food. A pizza is sent back as undercooked and Amy says she will send it back burnt. One customer has enough of waiting for his pizza, goes to counter to ask about pizza, is given a tirade of abuse from Samy and Amy with so many bleeps and tries to leave. Amy threatens to call the cops and Samy tries to stand in their way to stop them leaving! The customers start leaving and Amy has some kind of teary rant as she storms back into the kitchen.

Gordon arrives the next day unaware of the previous evenings disasters. He praises the décor and how great Amy's pastries on display look. He is taken on a tour of the kitchen and sees a clean kitchen and a walk-in so clean it is like a sterile doctors surgery. Gordon sits down with the couple and samples a slice of Amy's cake while they talk about the restaurant, they tell Gordon that they have gone though hundreds of employees, as they can't find staff that aren't dirty and lazy and want to work hard. They say their problems are from scathing reviews from internet bullies. Amy tells Gordon that she replies to them and are the only restaurant owners to stand up to them calling them morons and more. Gordon asks if they have children and they say no they have cats, Amy reveals she speaks cat and Gordon tells them both that they are nuts.

Gordon sits down to sample Amy's dishes and is told by the server that she is on a regular hourly wage and doesn't receive tips, Gordon is astounded. Gordon orders the pear and fig prosciutto pizza, blue ribbon burger, salmon burger and red pepper ravioli. There is a doorbell for the potwasher to come collect dirty plates. The pizza is very sweet with raw dough, it's send back and Samy tells Amy that there was nothing wrong with it and after an hour wait he is still waiting for the rest of the food. The blue ribbon burger has a soggy greasy bun and is not cooked medium rare, it is overcomplicated and is dripping in liquid. The ravioli smells weird and is the most confusing dish he has ever tried as it is both sweet and spicy. It is also not homemade as he was told, it is store bought. The salmon burger is overcooked and is like eating dried cat food. Gordon talks to Amy about the food and tells her that it was longer than expected and that after an evening service he will sit down with her and raise all his issues.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, he is in the kitchen and Amy tells him Christine does the salads and she does the pizzas. Amy is in denial that her pizza was undercooked, the combination of flavours on the burger doesn't work and that the burger is not good dry as she claims the customers love it dry. Real customers love the taste of the frozen ravioli so Gordon takes them into the restaurant and the customers say they are okay for them to be removed from the menu. Amy can't take the criticism and says to 86 the burgers too and people can only order cake. The chaos continues, Samy has left a pasta dish off when he input the order from the written ticket and Amy wants to send Katy home for simply asking a question. Amy tells the staff to ignore everything Gordon is criticising. A full plate of food untouched goes back to the pot washer and is not taken back to Amy. Amy ignores it and continues on working. A customer leaves a $10 tip and Gordon asks if it is going to go to the server and he says no. Gordon asks the customer if they would leave tips knowing it's not going to the server and only going to the owner. Samy starts arguing with Gordon and Amy closes the kitchen. Amy sacks Katy for no reason at all other than asking a question and Samy tries to stop Amy from firing her, she says she is quitting as she has had enough, Amy calls her a poisonous viper and is totally unfair to her! Gordon sits down with the owners and is astounded by their responses to him and they remain to be in denial about the quality of their food. Amy tells Gordon that she is going to do things her way when he tells her to keep an open mind for change.

Gordon arrives the next morning to start to help them change but when he arrives Samy and Amy aren't at the restaurant. Instead, he goes off to meet former staff members Jessica and Henry. Jessica worked there for a year and a half and was hired as a runner, despite going to culinary school as those who had been to culinary school didn't know anything. She was only allowed to pour glasses of water and begged to go into the kitchen. Henry was a busser and said Samy was always in a bad mood, isn't professional and made him wash his car for him! Despite Henry's obvious poor experience at the restaurant he hopes that Gordon can help them. Gordon returns to the restaurant where Amy wants to clarify a few things. Amy is defensive of her ravioli after Gordon was told it was home made. She is manically defensive over the burger denying that Gordon had told her anything was wrong with the burger, he told her many times it was soggy. She says he told her the salmon burger was dry but wet, it is unbelievable and he tells her that he is never confused about food. He also tells her the way he screamed at Katy, or the "kid" as Amy refers to her, did was out of order for firing her for asking if she was sure about something. Amy tells Gordon to prove that over 50 people have been fired, Samy says actually it is over 100. Amy has an explosion about drinking a glass over water and threatens to go home. Amy is insulted and tells Gordon that he disrupted her service and blames everyone else for the problems. Amy tells her she is delusional and that in "Amy's world" everything she sends out and touches is perfect. Amy doesn't want to hear any more but Samy tells her to listen to Gordon and let him finish.

Gordon tells her she is too far gone and says lets end the show. Gordon tells her that he can't help people that can't help themselves and cannot ever take one ounce of criticism and if they aren't willing to change he isn't going to argue, scream and butt heads. The restaurant is not normal to go through that amount of staff, run such a huge menu from such a small kitchen, the level of animosity in the restaurant and outside. They have the right to run their restaurant how they want but he is going to do what is right and what is right is to walk away. He wishes them good luck and leaves. Amy says she doesn't need his help and things will continue without him. He says for the first time in over 100 Nightmares it is his first to walk away as he cannot help and any changes he would have made they would have undone so there is no point continuing.


The episode goes through the social media outbursts and interviews with Buzzfeed and Huffington Post writers talking through the media surrounding the show. Gordon introduces new footage including more meow footage and Amy explaining that she only has female kitchen staff as the kitchen is too small so the staff bump into each other and men are rubbish at cleaning. An argument is shown with Gordon criticising the dinner service and the frozen ravioli. There is also footage of an argument over pre packed gnocchi and the tips, Amy tells Gordon that the servers don't deserve the tips as the staff don't work as hard as her husband. Gordon shows their submission video which features Amy criticising Samys customer service skills, the walk in being "a mess", Amy explaining there has been a few incidents with customers and that she has been retaliating to Yelp reviews.

The staff talk about what happened since the episode, they fired everyone and then begged the staff to return. One waitress was caught taking a $5 tip from a customer and this started an argument. The waitress left as she was not happy. The restaurant has since become a tourist site with people coming to see if the restaurant is really as bad as it was on the show. A couple is interviewed and their dining companion had 3 fruit flies in their drink, they were accused of putting them in themselves and then asked to leave the restaurant. They have tried to cash in on the notoriety of the restaurant by selling t shirts with slogans from the episode.

The couple is interviewed by Ana Garcia, Amy initially says that she has no time for an interview and Sam wants money. They believe they were set up and the episode was not fair. Amy says they were look psychotic and look crazy. She believes the restaurant was filled with Yelpers, she claims to have proof of this. She says they were just defending themselves and have tried to improve on the negative. She claims that since she has been plagued by rogue customers just browsing or placing fake rubber cockroaches in the restaurant and that she has to stand up to these people. She says that the initial Facebook comments were not them but because of the trolls they are now reacting with insulting comments. Samy says that they are now giving the waitresses tips and as they are taking this approach that the waitresses are being paid less as the restaurant is empty. The ravioli is still frozen, there is more abuse at Gordon and Samy still believes Amys food is excellent. Amy ends with saying that if you come to attack them they will throw them out. 

What Happened Next? 

They temporarily closed the restaurant and reopened on 21st May 2013. Miranda was fired for taking a tip that a customer had hidden for her and is now working for Cracker Barrell. Negative comments were responded to with a tirade of abusive and insulting posts but the owners claimed that their Facebook, Yelp and other accounts were hacked and they never posted the messages. Details of Amy's past including a criminal conviction for using someone elses social security to obtain credit have surfaced. 

The owners claim they have received death threats and hired PR guru Jason Rose to help them with the media backlash. They cancelled a press conference and were dropped by the PR company, after legal threats from Fox. They reopened the restaurant and customers had good and bad to say. They began selling merchandise with phrases from the tv show episode and appeared on Dr Phil. 

They closed the restaurant in September 2015 to focus on an online cookery school.

Extra Reading

Amy's Baking Company Yelp Reviews

Amy's Baking Company Is Selling Catch-Phrase T-Shirts

EXCLUSIVE: Amy's Bakery owners recount their 'Kitchen Nightmare'; say they weren't behind Facebook attacks

Customer: Amy’s Baking Company 'more intense' than shown

Amy's Baking Company co-owner faces deportation

Katy Answers Questions

Amy's Baking Company Cancels Press Conference After Legal Threats From Fox

Kitchen Nightmares: Amy's Baking Company plans grand re-opening to address social media meltdown

Amy's Baking Company Freaks Out Online After Epic Meltdown On Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares'

Kitchen Nightmares Restaurant Freaks Out on Facebook

Arizona restaurateurs who were DITCHED by Gordon Ramsay in disastrous show face ridicule for their 'social media meltdown'

Amy’s Baking Company hiring up to 30 workers
Read More »

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Chappy's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Chappy's

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Chappy’s, in Nashville, Tennessee, owned by John “Chappy” Chapman and his wife Starr. The couple ran a successful restaurant in Long Beach, Mississippi from 1984-2005 but it was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina and the couple moved to Nashville. Chappy believes the problem is that the customers don’t like New Orleans Cuisine as dish after dish is sent back to the kitchen but the staff and his wife believe Chappy is the problem and that he needs to change. Gordon arrives and finds the New Orleans/Chappy themed décor terrible and meets Chappy who keeps him waiting and then confidently rates his food as 10/10. TJ tells him the servers have 15 specials to recite each evening and that the lunch menu and dinner menu have the same items but the price triples on one dish from lunch to dinner yet the dish remains exactly the same. Starr joins Gordon and tells him that she doesn’t listen to her and is set in his ways. She believes the menu needs to be downsized.

Gordon sits down to taste the huge menu; he orders the fried green tomatoes, chicken and sausage gumbo and steak and lobster rocket. The fried green tomatoes are bland as is the hollandaise sauce, the gumbo looks like “Chappy took a crappy in my gumbo” and it is watery, bland and disgusting and the steak and lobster rocket (at $36.95 a pop) has grissley, chewy steak that has the crap beaten out of it and chewy lobster. When Gordon criticises Chappy, both he and Starr are defensive and make excuses.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service and is not pleased with what he witnesses including a pot full of oysters kept at room temperature. He is shocked to see that they fry a beef steak in the same pan as they fried a fish dish which is destined for a pescatarian. Gordon decides to bring her into the kitchen to hammer his point home. Next he inspects the walk-in and finds yellow(!) mayonnaise that expired 3 years ago, amongst other old, mouldy and rotten foods. Gordon brings in Chappy and Starr to explain the mess, Chappy can’t answer any of Gordon’s questions as to how old the food is.

The next day Gordon gets the staff together for a meeting to discuss the issues in the restaurant. They air a lot of frustrations about being yelled at, Chappy acting condescending and him taking the criticism of the food badly. They air the frustrations to Chappy and he promises to change. Gordon is not convinced still, he invites the locals to give their opinion with Chappy and Starr listening. The locals have many criticisms saying that the food tasted burnt when they visited, it was not authentic Cajun, the food quality was low, overpriced and there was bad atmosphere in the restaurant. Overnight, Gordons team work on the restaurant changing the décor from 80s New Orleans to a more modern dining room. Chappy is not a fan of the makeover. The menu has also had a huge revamp, reducing over 100 menu items down to 22 and modernising the recipes. Chappy is not happy with the fried chicken addition to the menu. Gordon also reveals Chris Fox to help implement the menu change and brings in a rail of casual shirts and pants to help make the restaurant more casual. The staff sample the menu and love the new items.

Relaunch night appears and Chris is in the kitchen assisting the kitchen staff by expediting. Chappy is not communicating with Chris and is struggling with the new menu, mainly as he does not like the new menu. Gordon asks Chris to step in as Head Chef after Chappy “butterflies” the meat to serve quicker, lowering the standards. After the change the food makes its way out to the kitchen and the customers are happy with the food. After the service, the servers and customers are happy with the changes and the evening service but Chappy is clearly is not happy. Starr promises not to let Chappy go back to his old ways….

What Happened Next?

In the weeks that followed, despite positive feedback about the changes, Chappy went back to his old ways including the hat and temper. He has also reverted back to his old menu. Chappy has since given many high profile interviews including the National Enquirer saying that Gordon has wrecked his business.

He has since changed the menu back to the old menu as he said it chased away his loyal customers. He says the customers weren't too happy with the new decor either. Reviews on Yelp are mixed as to old vs new. The success of Chappys now rests with the people of Nashville.

The restaurant was seized by the State of Tennessee due to non payment of taxes on Tuesday 18th June 2013. Chappy blames the appearance on Kitchen Nightmares.

He opened Chappys Bistro in the Almanett Hotel in November 2013 but this closed in October 2014 before opening Chappy's at 6106 in New Orleans which closed after less than a year. His most recent venture is Rum Kitchen, which opened in April 2016.

Extra Reading

Chappy's Yelp Reviews

Gordon Ramsay Wrecked My Business Interview (US Only)

Ramsay 'Destroyed My Business,' Nashville Chef Claims

Rum Kitchen Yelp Reviews

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Kitchen Nightmares - Prohibition Grille - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Prohibition Grille

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits the Prohibition Grille in Everett, Washington run by belly dancer Rishi Brown, who has no restaurant experience and is losing $100,000 a year. She opened the restaurant in 2008 and hired Chef Rocky, with 30 years experience. He is lazy, has constant cigarette breaks and talks on his phone. Rishi is naive and stands by him even though the customers say the food is bland and disgusting. The servers believe that the belly dancing entertainment makes no sense and the customers don’t like it. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and is confused by a belly dancing flyer. He is even more surprised that the belly dancer that greets him is the owner. Rishi tells him that she decided to open the restaurant over a cocktail and her only experience is 6 months as a server in college.

Gordon sits down to sample the food, Rishi rates the food as 10/10 and Gordon describes Rishi’s outfit as a Britney Spears party. He orders the Jalapeno Corn Chowder (Soup of the Week and last week), Filet Mignon Medium Rare, Collared Greens, Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Pan Fried Oysters. The owner’s lack of knowledge shows when she does not know what Soup of the Day means, she thinks it is the soup they are serving that day. The soup is slop and gnarly, the oysters are tasteless, the filet has a horrible greyness as if it’s boiled, the greens were mush and the salmon served in a pinwheel is f*ing disgusting with no seasoning. He rates the food as a 0/10 but Rishi refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem with the food.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service after taping over the word grille on the window. Gordon is surprised to see Rishi performing a belly dance and hides in the freezer to avoid it but the customers are confused and mortified. Food is sent back as under cooked as the steaks are coming back raw instead of medium. Rishi is in denial and does not know what to do when a customer complains and Gordon has to assist her. Upon tasting the pot of gravy they discover it has gone sour. Gordon inspects the fridge and the sin of raw and cooked food next to each other is discovered. Gordon tells the customers to stop eating the food and shuts down the restaurant. Rishi makes more excuses for Rocky and Gordon tells her that Rocky has her hostage. The next day they have a staff meeting and the staff reveal that Rocky is the problem. He goes outside during a busy service and has to be text to come back to do his job. The staff also reveal that he takes 3% of the tips as Rocky had told her this was an industry standard. Rishi breaks down and admits she is scared to make changes especially with regards to Rocky. 

Gordon promises to help her find a new chef. When Rocky arrives for work that evening, Rishi lets him go, he admits  he understands as he has gotten complacent. Gordon gives Rishi a cooking lesson so she feels more comfortable in the kitchen. The restaurant is given a makeover, changing the restaurant from a Grille to a Gastropub. The decor is modern and the bar brightens up the room. He also brings in a new chef Tyler to relaunch the menu and to help recruit and train a new chef to replace Rocky. Gordon reveals the new simple menu and the staff are impressed with the new menu items. Rishi is also given a makeover, gone are the skimpy outfits and she is dressed in a smart suit.

For relaunch night, Gordon has invited local influential bloggers to help spread the word about the new and improved Prohibition Gastropub. The customers love the food and he makes Rishi promise to put on no more dinner belly dance shows!

What Happened Next? 

In the weeks that followed, the new improvements are a big hit and Rishi feels in control of her restaurant again. The new changes have been met with a mixed response, reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor show both regulars preferring the old menu as well as customers loving the new look and new menu items.  The restaurant was renamed as Prohibition Gastropub during filming. The restaurant was sold and is no longer owned by Rishi, it has however kept the same name and decor.

Rocky opened his own restaurant called Ole Soul Southern Creole, reviews are good.

Extra Reading

Prohibition Grille Yelp Reviews

Prohibition Grille Trip Advisor Reviews

Gordon Ramsay Transforms Prohibition Grille into an Everett Gastropub

Ole Soul Southern Creole Yelp Reviews

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Yanni's Greek Restaurant - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Yanni's Greek Restaurant

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Yanni’s in Phinney Ridge, Washington run by Peter Augustio and his family. The restaurant was opened by his father in 1984 and was passed to Peter in 2007. Initially the business was a success but now the customers are dwindling due to changes in the neighbourhood. They have no medical insurance,  are in debt and the bills aren’t being paid. Before arriving at the restaurant, Peter asks to meet him and tells him that the customers aren’t willing to give the place a try. He also admits he is losing $8-10,000 a month. He tells Gordon that all his family work there but have no dedication to the restaurant. Gordon is greeted by Karen and daughters Alyse and Tariya, Tariya bursts into tears hearing of her parents struggle. They believe everything is outdated but Peter is too stubborn to change. Gordon sees Peter disrespecting his family and the way he talks to/about them is rather disgusting.

Gordon sits down to sample the food, the menu is like an encyclopaedia with 9 specials. Gordon orders the pumpkin hummus, moussaka and the house gyro. He says the decor is hideous and it feels like you are back in the eighties. The hummus is hideous with too much garlic, the moussaka has sweet meat, bitter under cooked eggplant and is greasy and the house gyro looks like a plateful of puke. Gordon confronts Peter and Alyse about their food and they are very defensive.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service. The kitchen is in chaos with Peter barking orders at Alyse and they are arguing constantly. Customers send back a lot of food, the meat has gristle and the orzo is overcooked. Gordon inspects the walk in and discovers that nothing is dated. The food is mouldy and rotten and the cardinal sin, there is cooked meat next to raw meat. There are tubs full of disgusting meat that they “aren’t using”  stored in the fridge. Gordon shuts down the kitchen and reduces Alyse to tears. Peter goes off in a shouting tirade refusing to see that ultimately the problem is his responsibility.

The next day Gordon sits the family down and Peter says that the refrigerator wasn’t as bad as Gordon made out and the food he served was fresh. Gordon tells them to take responsibility or he is outta there and that he needs to stop being so negative and to respect his family. The first challenge to the family is to cut out the dishes that aren’t selling. At first Peter refuses to remove anything but in the end realises the menu is too big, they cut down to 21 menu items. Gordon works on revamping the menu items and his team give the dining room a makeover with all new china. Tariya is crying again but this time tears of joy. They also have a new POS system so they can monitor what is selling. Gordon spends time in the kitchen with Peter and Alyse teaching them how to cook the new menu.

On relaunch night, Alyse is running the line and she begins the clash with Peter but Gordon steps in and helps them to work the new system. The customers love the new food and say they will come back to the restaurant. The family is peaceful.

What Happened Next?

In the weeks that follow, Peter adapts to the changes made by Chef Ramsay, Peter and Alyse continue to work well together in the kitchen and Tariya is smiling rather than crying. The menu changes haven't gone down well with some loyal customers, see Yelp reviews, so they have added some old favourites alongside Gordon's menu.

Extra Reading

Yanni's Yelp Reviews

Yanni's Greek Restaurant - After the 'Nightmare' - The Fledgling's Gourmet's Blog Review with Pictures

How did Yanni’s wind up on Kitchen Nightmares?

‘Kitchen Nightmares’ is a dream for local restaurant 

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Sam's Mediterranean Kabob Room

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits a Mediterranean restaurant in Monrovia, California owned by Sam Najarr and his family. He worked in the restaurant starting as a bus boy and decided to buy the restaurant in 1997. Business was good to begin with but slowed down and now the only staff he has left is made up of Sams wife and his five older children (his other 2 children are under 14) and as families do, they argue and they argue a lot! They also argue in front of the customers and resent being in the restaurant to help out their father as they feel it is holding them back from what they want to do in life. As Gordon leaves his hotel to travel to the restaurant, he is besieged by Sams children wanting to talk to him before he reaches the restaurant. They all have plenty to say about the problems at the restaurant but they mainly blame their father for the arguments. Gordon is shocked to discover that all the children all work seven days a week and are the only staff. They tell him that none of them want to work there anymore.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and is greeted by Sam and discovers that he doesn't pay his children any salary as he can't afford to pay them. They all live at home with him and don't pay to live there. An argument breaks out over a smashed plate. Sam rates his food as a 9/10 and recommends a lamb shank to Gordon. Gordon notices that meat is spelt as meet on the menu and there are many other misspellings on there too. Gordon orders the Vegetable Combo, Lamb Shank, Gyro and the Top Sirloin Steak and Shrimp cooked medium rare. Gordon describes the decor as dreadful and depressing and hears the family fighting in the kitchen. The Vegetable Combo has canned eggplant and is dreadful and the falafel is bland with no seasoning. The Gyro is bought in from a company and is frozen, it tastes dry. The lamb shank looks anemic, is a bad colour and tastes like bland boiled lamb that should be sent back to New Zealand. The kitchen argues throughout and two tables leave. The steak is overcooked, solid and dry. The shrimp scampi is swimming in butter, it is also rubbery, hard and overcooked. His children admit they have given up and no longer care. They continue arguing through to the afternoon all the way through to the dinner service.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service and meets Sams wife. They all take it in turns to cook and the food is returned as undercooked or overcooked. Gordon discovers they have mouldy food in the kitchen so decides to discover the walk in. He discovers huge buckets of chopped parsley, bendy celery, soft cucumbers and rotten lettuce. They try to serve raw chicken to a customer, the Chef shows his cooking inexperience as he says it is cooked on the outside so he thought it was cooked on the inside. They argue yet again after service and the argument overspills into the street outside. The next day Gordon sits down with the children and tells them to be honest with their father and explain that they want their lives and careers to go a different way as they are currently trapped at the restaurant. They are scared to stand up to him as they don't want to hurt him. Sam puts his foot down saying that the family rule is that he makes the decisions for the family. They all speak their mind to their father and there is a lot of tears.

Gordon gives the staff cooking lessons including cooking the kebabs on the skewer to keep them more juicy and to avoid the chaos there will only be one person cooking on the grill. The family are happy with the new food. Overnight, his team give the restaurant a huge makeover, with Gordon describing it as one of the biggest and most expensive transformations ever. The menu gets a makeover and is modern and contemporary. The staff sample the food and love it.

Relaunch night, the customers are raving about the decor of the restaurant and they love the food. The family are working well together in the kitchen. As Gordon is leaving he gives them the framed photo he took of them all. 

What Happened Next? 

In the following months, the children have been given time off and Sam is hiring for new staff. Yelp reviews since mixed with criticisms of the food and the service. The restaurant closed in January 2014.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Olde Hitching Post - OPEN

Kitchen Nightmares Olde Hitching Post

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits the historic Olde Hitching Post, in Hanson, Massachusetts, purchased by Greek restaurateur Tom Kessaris for his daughter to carry on the restaurant business. Although he bought the restaurant for his daughter, he runs the restaurant and does not let daughter Andrea have her say. Tom is  hard on the staff and they don't always agree with him. Tom is supporting the restaurant with his own savings, Andrea says that she wouldn't have signed up to it if she knew  7 years later she still would not be in control. 

Gordon discovers that Tom bought the restaurant for his daughter and that he hasn't given up control. Tom says she is not ready, he feels she isn't hungry for it and isn't hard working. Tom tells him that he buys quality food and the portions are generous but he is losing $7-8,000 a week.  Gordon arrives at the restaurant and is greeted by Janice the manager. He also meets Andrea, she says her role is front of house and that her father won't step down. She appears surprised when she hears that her father said she isn't passionate about running the restaurant. Gordon finds out that her husband has been bought in to help, working in the kitchen. 

Gordon sits down to order some food and meets server Carla, who tells him they are always butting heads. She recommends the Cranberry Haddock, he also orders the meatloaf and lobster ravioli. He questions whether it is made on site, she agrees but reveals later that Tom makes them say everything is handmade. The ravioli arrives and he is told it's frozen, they are cold in the middle, he spits it out. The cranberry haddock looks like a bear s**t in the woods. It is watery, bland, under cooked and  disgusting. The grilled meatloaf is disgusting, dry and doesn't feel like a meatloaf that has been made today. Carla discovers that the Chef doesn't  know when it was made. Gordon enters the kitchen, not happy about the dishes and Tom tells him it is impossible to make it everyday. The Chefs reveal they are not happy with the food they are serving.

Gordon witness a dinner service and he sees a lot of frozen food including frozen calamari. Gordon dares Tom to take the frozen food into the restaurant to show them but would be humiliated to  make a scene and Gordon tells him he's happy to take their money.  Gordon tells the servers to tell the customers what food is fresh and frozen and the customers aren't happy. Gordon tries to bring Andrea in to help with the situation but it descends into a heated argument over frozen scallops. 

The next day Gordon visits the local radio station unconvinced that the locals love the restaurant and the food they serve.  Customers complaints range from stomach problems to the dated nature of the restaurant. Gordon returns to the restaurant to pass on the comments and Tom promises to change. Gordon visits two local customers who have made fresh meatloaf to demonstrate that you can make  fresh meatloaf. Gordon's team redecorate the restaurant and the dated cranberry decor is gone, as are the dated booths. Gordon has also revamped the menu, everything is to be made fresh, new dishes include a clam chowder, a New England Lobster roll and an improved fresh meatloaf. The staff sample the menu and love the food.

On relaunch night, the restaurant is packed. Andrea is running the line in the kitchen and Tom is hovering around in the background. Gordon inspects a salmon dish and it is raw in the middle. Gordon reminds Andrea to insect the food carefully and for the chefs to slow down and cook the food properly. The customers love the food and Andrea does a great job. Tom is complimenting his daughter and supporting her. After the relaunch, Tom asks Andrea to sit down for a chat and he finally agrees to pass the restaurant on. In the following weeks, Tom leaves Andrea to run the restaurant as promised and the locals are happy with the new menu and new restaurant.

What Happened Next? 

After Gordons visit,  Yelp and Trip Advisor  reviews are mixed, with a mixture of both positive and negative comments. There are new owners as of  sometime during late 2015/ early 2016.

Extra Reading 

Olde Hitching Post Yelp Reviews 

Olde Hitching Post Trip Advisor Reviews 

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares
Read More »