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 and things have not gone smoothly with scathing blog reviews.  Samy is defensive of criticism of his wife's cooking and if a customer makes a complaint Samy asks them to leave, Amy's attitude is that the customers are not always right.

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 cash, Samy does this. Amy only cooks one ticket at a time so the diners are waiting a very long time to get their food. 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 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 it is as clean as a sterile doctors surgery. Gordon sits down with the couple and samples a slice of Amy's cake, they tell Gordon that they have gone though hundreds of employees, as they can't find staff that aren't dirty and lazy. They say their problems are from internet bullies and Amy tells Gordon that she replies to them. 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 doesn't receive tips, Gordon is astounded. Gordon orders the pear and fig prosciutto pizza, blue ribbon burger, salmon burger and red pepper ravioli. The pizza is sweet with raw dough and after an hour wait he is still waiting for the rest of the food. The blue ribbon burger has a soggy greasy bun, is not cooked medium rare and is dripping in liquid. The store bought ravioli smells weird and it is both sweet and spicy and the salmon burger is overcooked like eating dried cat food. Gordon talks to Amy about the food and tells her that it took longer than expected and after 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 about the food and customers love the taste of the frozen ravioli so Gordon takes them into the restaurant and they are 86ed. Amy can't take the criticism and says to 86 the burgers too so people can only order cake. The chaos continues, Samy has left a pasta dish off when he input the order and Amy wants to send Katy home for simply asking a question. Amy ignores the returned food and continues on working. A customer leaves a $10 tip and Gordon asks the customer if they would leave tips knowing it's not going to the server. Samy starts arguing with Gordon and Amy closes the kitchen. Amy sacks Katy for no reason at all but Samy tries to stop Amy from firing her. She says she is quitting as she has had enough, Amy calls her a poisonous viper. Gordon sits down with the owners and is astounded by their responses and they remain in denial about 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 but when he arrives Samy and Amy aren't at the restaurant. Instead, he meets former staff members Jessica and Henry. Jessica worked there for a year and a half and was hired as a runner. She was only allowed to pour glasses of water and begged to go into the kitchen. Henry was a busser and said Samy wasn't professional and made him wash his car for him! Gordon returns to the restaurant where Amy wants to clarify a few things. Gordon tells her the way he screamed at Katy, or the "kid" as Amy refers to her, and she was out of order for firing her. Amy has an explosion about drinking a glass over water and threatens to go home. She is insulted and tells Gordon that he disrupted her service and blames everyone else for the problems. He 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 to end the show. Gordon tells her that he can't help people that can't help themselves and take criticism and if they aren't willing to change he isn't going to continue. The restaurant is not normal to go through that amount of staff and run such a huge menu from such a small kitchen. 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. 


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 has female kitchen staff as the kitchen is too small and men are rubbish at cleaning. There is footage of an argument over pre packed gnocchi and the tips where Amy tells Gordon that the servers don't deserve the tips as they 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 restaurant has since become a tourist site with people coming to see if the restaurant is as shown on the show. A couple is interviewed and their dining companion had flies in their drink, they were accused of putting them in themselves and 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 Samy wants money. They believe they were set up and the episode was not fair. She believes the restaurant was filled with Yelpers and says they were just defending themselves. She claims that since she has been plagued by rogue customers browsing or placing fake cockroaches in the restaurant and she has to stand up to these people. She says that the initial Facebook comments were not them but because of  trolls they are now reacting. Samy says that they are now giving the waitresses tips 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 cutsomers 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. Details of Amy's past including a criminal conviction for social security fraud 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 but 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 for Amy 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 but it was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. Chappy believes the problem is that the customers don’t like New Orleans Cuisine. Gordon arrives and finds the New Orleans themed décor terrible and meets Chappy who 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. Starr joins Gordon and tells him that she doesn’t listen to her and is set in his ways. Gordon sits down to sample the huge menu; he orders the fried green tomatoes, chicken and sausage gumbo and steak and lobster rocket. The fried green tomatoes are bland, the gumbo looks like “Chappy took a crappy in my gumbo” as it is watery and bland and the steak and lobster rocket has grisly, chewy steak that has the crap beaten out of it and chewy lobster. 

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 fish for a pescatarian. Next he inspects the walk-in and finds yellow mayonnaise that expired 3 years ago, amongst mouldy and rotten food. Gordon brings in Chappy and Starr to explain and Chappy can’t answer 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, Chappy promises to change. 

Gordon is not convinced so he invites the locals to give their opinion with Chappy and Starr listening. The locals have many criticisms - the food tasted burnt, it was not authentic Cajun, the quality was low, food overpriced and there was bad atmosphere in the restaurant. Overnight, Gordon's team work on the restaurant changing the décor to a more modern dining room but Chappy is not a fan of the makeover. The menu has reduced from over 100 menu items down to 22 modern recipes. Gordon also reveals Chris Fox to help implement the menu change and brings in a rail of casual shirts and pants for staff. The staff sample the menu and love the new items.

On relaunch night, Chris is in the kitchen assisting the kitchen by expediting. Chappy is not communicating and is struggling with 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 Chappy s 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, who is lazy, has constant breaks and talks on his phone. Rishi stands by him even though the customers say the food is bland and disgusting. Gordon arrives at the restaurant and sees a belly dancing flyer but is more surprised that the belly dancer that greets him is the owner. Gordon orders the Jalapeno Corn Chowder, Filet Mignon Medium Rare, Collared Greens, Balsamic Glazed Salmon and Pan Fried Oysters. Rishi thinks Soup of the Day is the soup they are serving that day but it is slop and gnarly, the oysters are tasteless, the filet has a horrible greyness, the greens are mush and the salmon 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 and is surprised to see Rishi performing a belly dance and hides in the freezer to avoid it and the customers are confused. Steaks are coming back raw instead of medium but Rishi 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 raw and cooked food next to each other is discovered. Gordon tells the customers to stop eating the food and shuts down the restaurant. The next day  the staff reveal that Rocky is the problem. He goes outside during a busy service and  he takes 3% of the tips as he told her this was 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 that evening, Rishi lets him go and he admits he had got complacent. Gordon gives Rishi a cooking lesson so she feels more comfortable in the kitchen. The restaurant is given a makeover, changing the restaurant to Prohibition 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 a new chef. Gordon reveals the new simple menu and the staff are impressed with the new menu items. Rishi is also given a makeover and she is dressed in a smart suit. For relaunch night, Gordon has invited local influential bloggers to help spread the word and 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 changes have been met with a mixed response, reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor show both regulars preferring the old menu and new customers loving the new look and new menu. 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 passed to Peter in 2007. Initially the business was a success but the customers are dwindling, they are in debt and the bills aren’t being paid. Before arriving at the restaurant, Peter asks to meet him and tells him he is losing $8-10,000 a month. He tells Gordon that his family work there but have no dedication. 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 orders the pumpkin hummus, moussaka and the house gyro. The hummus has 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. Customers send back food, the meat has gristle and the orzo is overcooked. Gordon inspects the walk in and discovers the food is mouldy and rotten and 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 it is his responsibility.

The next day Gordon sits the family down and tells them to take responsibility or he is leaving and Peter needs to stop being negative and respect his family. The first challenge he gives the family is to cut the dishes that aren’t selling. At first Peter refuses but in the end cuts the menu down to 21 items. Gordon works on revamping the menu and his team give the dining room a makeover with all new china. They also have a new POS system and Gordon spends time in the kitchen 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. 

What Happened Next?

In the weeks that follow, Peter adapts to the changes made by Gordon, Peter and Alyse continue to work well together in the kitchen and Tariya is smiling rather than crying. The menu changes didn't down well with some of their loyal customers so they 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 is his family but they argue in front of the customers and resent being in 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 but none of them want to work there anymore. Gordon arrives and is greeted by Sam and discovers that he doesn't pay his children as he can't afford to but they all live at home for free. Sam rates his food as a 9/10 and recommends a lamb shank to Gordon. Gordon orders the Vegetable Combo, Lamb Shank, Gyro and the Top Sirloin Steak and Shrimp cooked medium rare. The Vegetable Combo has dreadful canned eggplant and the falafel is bland with no seasoning. The Gyro is bought in, frozen and dry. The lamb shank looks anemic and tastes like bland boiled lamb. The steak is overcooked, solid and dry. The shrimp scampi is swimming in butter, rubbery and overcooked. 

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service and meets Sams wife. They take it in turns to cook and the food is returned as under or over cooked. Gordon discovers mouldy food in the kitchen and in the walk in huge buckets of chopped parsley, bendy celery, soft cucumbers and rotten lettuce. They try to serve raw chicken to a customer, the Chef says it is cooked on the outside so he thought it was cooked inside. They argue yet again after service and the argument spills 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. 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 and there will only be one person cooking on the grill. Overnight, his team give the restaurant one of the biggest and most expensive transformations they have done. The menu gets a makeover, the staff sample the food and love it. On relaunch night, the customers are raving about the decor 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 the family. 

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. Although he bought the restaurant for his daughter, he runs the restaurant and does not let Andrea have her say. 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.  Tom says she is not ready, she isn't hungry for it and isn't hard working. Tom tells him that he buys quality food but he is losing $7-8,000 a week. Gordon finds out that Andrea's husband has been bought in to help in the kitchen.  Gordon sits down to order some food and meets server Carla, she recommends the Cranberry Haddock, he also orders the meatloaf and lobster ravioli. The ravioli are cold in the middle, the cranberry haddock is watery, bland and under cooked. The grilled meatloaf is disgusting, dry and the Chef doesn't know when it was made. 

Gordon witnesses a dinner service and he sees a lot of frozen food being used. Gordon dares Tom to take the frozen food into the restaurant but he would be humiliated to make a scene.  Gordon tells the servers to tell the customers what food is fresh and frozen and the customers aren't happy. The next day Gordon visits the local radio station unconvinced that the locals love 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, Tom promises to change and visits two local customers to demonstrate that you can make  fresh meatloaf. Gordon's team redecorate the restaurant and the dated cranberry decor and booths are gone. 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 with Andrea running the kitchen and Tom is hovering around in the background. Gordon inspects a salmon dish, it is raw in the middle and he reminds Andrea to insect the food carefully and for the chefs to slow down. 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 »