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 They believe everything is outdated but Peter is too stubborn to change.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


http://www.yannis-greek-restaurant.com/

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 


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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.


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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 


www.oldehitchingpost.com 

Olde Hitching Post Yelp Reviews 

Olde Hitching Post Trip Advisor Reviews 


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