Friday, 16 May 2014

Kitchen Nightmares - Mangia Mangia - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Mangia Mangia

Episode Recap


Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mangia Mangia in Woodland Park, Colorado, bought by owner Julie Watson, who just wanted to own a restaurant. There was previously a fast food restaurant in the building, she chose to make the restaurant an Italian restaurant because her daughter told her there was only Mexican and Chinese restaurants in the town. Cook Kevin admits that everyone hates the head chef Trevor. Arriving at the restaurant Gordon notices that there is a drive thru and decides to pull in, he is handed a laminated menu and is confused that a restaurant offers a drive through service, usually reserved for fast food joints. Gordon orders the soup of the day which turns out to be a chicken soup, Janelle forgets to give him a spoon but as the soup is a solid sludge the fork works well. Gordon compares the soup to gruel and is not impressed. Gordon decides to enter the restaurant and sits down with Julie, telling her that the restaurant still looks like a fast food restaurant. She thinks that the decorations she has added makes the restaurant look like a restaurant. Ramsay questions her on her knowledge of Italy and she claims she has never been. Julie takes Gordon into the kitchen so that he can meet the staff and meets the young Head Chef Trevor, who used to date Janelle.

Gordon sits down to taste the menu and orders mushroom ravioli, veal piccata, salmon, lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs. The ravioli is clearly bought in with terrible glowing white sauce so Gordon sends the waitress into the kitchen to see if Trevor knows how to make fresh ravioli, he replies that he has no idea how to make it. Gordon writes down a simple recipe and sends it into the kitchen, Julie reacts by questioning what 550 grams is, it appears no one is familiar with the metric system or conversions. The lasagna is next, Gordon sends it straight back as there is a thumb print on the plate. The plate is cleaned and sent back out and Gordon discovers that the lasagna is still frozen in the middle. Julie's reaction is that Trevor must have used the wrong microwave as they have a good and bad microwave in the kitchen. The meatballs are cooked through but taste like "warm foam". The veal is not any better, as it is still raw in the middle and finally the balsamic drenched salmon tastes frozen. Gordon confronts the staff in the kitchen and discovers that none of the staff have any formal training, including the head chef. Julie is defensive about the food, telling Gordon the food is good repeatedly but admits that the veal is old. Gordon can see he is not getting anywhere and walks out, Julie bursts into tears.

Gordon returns for a dinner service and it is a disaster, every dish bar a few is returned to the kitchen and Gordon asks Trevor if he tasted any that were returned and his answer is merely "F*** it". With his attitude, Gordon decides it is time to inspect the walk in and finds a never ending supply of pre-cooked pasta, around 400 servings. Julie's response is that she has the pre-cooked pasta so that people don't have to wait, one dish takes a mere 90 seconds to cook. She blames Trevor for trying to make her look for every dish on the menu being frozen. The staff reveal that Julie shouts at them for any reason and the cooks change the breadcrumbs every other day to save money, coating both egg plant and chicken and causing cross contamination. Ramsay goes on the attack of everything being frozen and Julie's defence is that the food isn't frozen as it is defrosted. Frustrated, Gordon walks into the dining room and asks the customers how much of the menu they expect to be fresh and they expect 90%+ so Gordon explains that only 5% of the food they were served is fresh. Julie walks out, the service stops and the staff go out the back to smoke and moan. The dirty laundry begins to air, Janelle tells Gordon that Trevor tried to punch her at work, the staff don't always turn up for shifts and Kevin has come to work high on several occasions, whereas Trevor comes in high quite a lot of the time. Janelle leaves in tears and they shut the restaurant and everyone is told to go home.

Gordon gathers the staff to talk though some issues and the problems the staff have with each other. When it comes out that Trevor has a meth problem, Julie has little option but to fire Trevor. Gordon steps in to help the staff to learn some basic but classic Italian dishes without using microwaves. He recruits Chef Don from Denver to run the kitchen and hosts a family fun day to advertise the restaurant. The restaurant decor is given a makeover and no longer looks like a fast food branch. The menu is also given a makeover with real fresh food on the menu.

For relaunch night, things get off to a bad start when Julie fires orders at the kitchen with great speed, like in the old reheating days and is told to slow down as the fresh food takes longer to cook. The customers are impressed with the new d├ęcor and are impressed with the food, the staff are also much happier in the restaurant. As a final prank, Gordon pulls into the drive through to pick up the microwave from the kitchen.

What Happened Next? 

Reviews were mostly excellent after Gordon's makeover and the filming of the episode with compliments on the food and service. It appears they kept most if not all of Gordon's changes and followed his advice. However, the restaurant closed in November 2014.

Extra Reading


Mangia Mangia Yelp Reviews

Mangia Mangia Trip Advisor Reviews

On Walkabout Review - Mangia Mangia

Gordon Ramsay and "Kitchen Nightmares" are talk of Woodland Park - The Denver Post



Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

42 comments:

  1. I went to this place several months after Ramsey came and this restaurant was just par. Pretty much forgettable after eating there. I've tried the other Colorado Kitchen Nightmare place and it's excellent. I would recommend Pantaleones to anybody who wants to try one of Ramsey's successes.

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  2. I have only ever watched Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America and they have never aired any of the episodes from Season 7. A clueless owner? A cook that's a tweaker? A FREAKING DRIVE-THRU? I want to see this episode!!! I can't say that I'm surprised that they closed, but I bet that the show made for good drama.

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    1. You watched the UK series, the US one was on Fox.

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    2. Watch on youtube season 7 episode 6 2 parts for this one good one got rid of tweaker in u.s.a.

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  3. ... and BBC America ... I'm watching it on BBCA now!

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    1. Today is July 9, 2015 and they just finished airing part 2 of the episode. I'm trying to find out why they closed, other than the fact that the owner was on the other side of crazy and her daughter had more than her share of issues as well. If they were the only Italian restaurant in the area, one would think that with Ramsay's help and the positive reviews afterwords, they could have made it. Personally, I would have changed the name to something more recognizable in an Italian theme because not many people are probably aware of what "Mangia, Mangia" even means, let alone know that it's Italian for Eat, Eat. Something simple like "Mario's" or "Luigi's" to convey the Italian theme to the locals who had been there and had a negative experience might have helped. I know how trivial that sounds, but a name, good or bad, can affect a business for a long time. I feel bad for the people who lost their jobs, but the owner's attitude and possible mental health were not conducive to a successful business.

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  4. The daugher is so obnoxious. Ugh.

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    1. yeah she is

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    2. Yeah. Whilst she certainly had her reasons (Who wouldn't be enraged at working with a disrespectful drug-addicted incompetent who tried to assault you), she's hardly any more competent, constantly whines and seems to defend her mother more than she should.

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    3. It was struggle for her and the staff. She couldnt hold up the ship. Its not easy, feel bad for her. I hope them well. The rest of the drama is the norm of all work places. So shut your arses while your criticizing the staff.

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    4. Obnoxious but kind of a hottie... I would not mind giving her a taste of my pesto.. :O no, seriously, she is very pretty and seemed like she was causing some emotional damage to Trevor, plus nobody could say a thing to her since she was the owner's daughter.

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    5. I actually rather liked the daughter, Janelle - considering the stock that she came from. That mother/owner Julie was clueless and in full denial. I'm guessing they both suffer from bad taste in men, as well as poor taste in food. Dating Trevor was clearly a poor decision, and one that she will hopefully learn from. Janelle's overflowing emotions were perfectly understandale, considering the stress of running a failing restaurant and being abused by the nutjob ex-BF chef on a daily basis.

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    6. Trevor atleast had the balls to admit his mistakes. The mom and daughter never admitted to anything. It was never the mom or daughters fault according to them.

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    7. YES, Trevor was REAL :) the rest were useless crap.

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    8. Janelle is gorgeous. she gets a pass.

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  5. She "extended the consultant's stay," meaning she couldn't get herself a lead chef, like she had explained to Ramsey. Low amount of people to choose from or she doesn't know where to look for chefs.

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    1. or no none wants to work for her because she has gotten a bad reputation for being abusive to her chefs

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  6. Janelle is probably one of those half crazy chicks who is a firecracker in bed

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  7. They should have called that place Minging , Minging !!!

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  8. Seriously? This was written in May 2014 and the last sentence on this article says Mangia Mangia closed November 2014. Lol! How could no one have noticed that.

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    1. I am thinking that sentence was probably added on. You know after the restaurant closed. I am not surprised it closed. Even with the fresh delicious food. It costs more to have the amazing chef and fresh yummy ingredients. It happens all the time to people if they know how to run a restaurant or not.

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  9. Think it was a follow up addition to the article.

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    1. Indeed it was. I edit the What Happened Next? bits as and when things happen and in this case the closure

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    2. What happened to Trevor? Did he get treatment? I hope so. With everyone telling him no one cared about him, he needs to learn that's not true.

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  10. Trevor needed help, but no one on the staff could see it. They all bullied and blamed him for the restaurant's failure, their personal scapegoat. They (owner specifically) expected him to do the impossible and the failure was inevitable. The second the owner kicked him to the curb everything was 'solved.'

    It's disgusting that the staff will just remember him as a druggy that ruined the restaurant. If his story ended in tragedy they'd just say "well he was an asshole, it was bound to happen," not acknowledging that they were the cause of it.

    They all thought he was good for nothing. They were the ones that treated him like nothing.

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    1. I agree! They probably drove him to the drugs. I pray he got help. Every life matters!

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    2. I don't think anyone turns to meth as a result of work stresses. It's a lot more complicated than that. Alcohol, perhaps, but not likely meth. Unless he'd had a meth problem previously.

      Besides, we don't KNOW that he was high on meth when he messed up food, refused to cook, had repeated arguments with Janelle and other employees, and tried to punch her. Drugs will make people do stupid things, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions. The guy had no business being a head chef, drugs or no drugs, and should've been fired or demoted anyway, purely for that. The drugs admission just hastened his way out the door. Besides, they didn't ALWAYS treat him like crap - he was hired there once upon a time, Janelle went out with him, and they kept him on for a while despite his disrespectful behavior. So they must've treated him decently at some point - until he went crazy on them.

      That said, I was also disappointed the show didn't follow up on him. However, I got the distinct impression he wasn't really going to get help, just go home and do more drugs - or worse. I wonder if he's even still alive ...

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    3. wow you know nothing of addiction. just wow. Is it possible that after his experience with Janelle, he tried to find comfort from other means.
      also saying to a person no one likes you is about the worst thing you can say to a person. while he wasn't physically isolated, he was mentally isolated from the entire group. at one point he was called the cancer.
      Negative attitudes will drive negative actions until its a never ending cycle.
      Drugs never were the issue, its the negative thoughts that drive the addiction.
      and isolating the person, him becoming the scapegoat is the most counter productive way to deal with it. Its why we throw people in jail, isolation is a form of punishment.
      The meth became his release from reality. and its so easy to point the finger and call him a druggy, but its not so different from a person, inflivting self harm. just using a different medium to deal with it

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    4. The sadist part is when Trevor was working with Ramsay you could see some real fire to learn, and then every time that mad women started yelling at him you saw that same fire go out. She took some kid her little girl was dating and most likely doing drugs with (if that girl hasten tweaked i will eat my hat) and put him in charge of a professional kitchen with no formal training. Them she made him her personal scape goat when he inevitably couldn't handle it. She set him up to fail then stands back and plays the victim when he falls into depression and more steady drug use.

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  11. I agree! I felt like the owner was using him as a scapegoat because it was an easy out. Blame the junkie, can him, then turn things around and no one will realize the problem with the owner!
    I was honestly surprised that they didn't give a follow up on what happened to Trevor, and also surprised that Gordon Ramsey didn't take more time in a double episode to address the issue.

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  12. Trevor may have acted the same regardless of the drugs,...but no one ever considers that, do they.

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  13. Wait so they have actually closed?? Why? It seems like they got the hang of it!

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  14. I love the confusion over 550 grams of flour.

    Is it just me or does Julie remind you of a female version of Alan Love from the Loves Fish UK episode in both her mannerisms and way of speaking?

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    1. OMG, now that you mention it, they would be the perfect couple!

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    2. She reminds me of Roseanne Barr.

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  15. Rule #2 : Dont eat at an italian restaurant that used to be a McDonalds. What are you going to call it McDonatellas?

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  16. I was really worried for Trevor as well. I would love to hear from a local that he found a better place to work and didn't turn to drugs after getting fired in such a humiliating way!!!!

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  17. Trevor went to rehab and got clean and also went to culinary school to get better if anybody is wondering,his dad gave the update on Facebook and let it be known that it wasn't an easy journey but he is glad Trevor overcame it all.

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  18. For those, like me, asking about how Trevor is doing, I found this FB link where supposedly his dad left a comment on the post. It is from 2014 tho. According to the comment, Trevor went to rehab, followed by drug-free maintenance outside, and then at the time is looking into going to culinary school.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10152339435757159&id=263055712158

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  19. The owner and her daughter definitely had mental health issues, which came to the fore during Ramsey's visit.
    And how many times per episode does the latter have to utter "wow?"

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