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 »