Thursday, 22 May 2014

Kitchen Nightmares - La Granada Divino - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares La Granada Divino

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits  La Granada Divino in Gaucin, Spain, he arrives to the town on his bicycle to a restaurant that has only been open 8 weeks and is owned by Milan and wife Gina. They invested their entire retirement fund in creating their dream restaurant. They recruited head chef Neil based on some pate on a stick at a Christmas fayre and expect him to manage the restaurant as well as cook in the kitchen. The restaurant has no customers, is losing £4,000 a week and they are blaming Neil. Gordon arrives and find that the restaurant is empty, he finally finds the owners on a rooftop terrace where Gina tells him they serve pizza as people get fed up of Spanish food. The restaurant is on multiple levels but their lift is broken. Gordon sits down to order food, the waitress suggests a fish cake and kebab, he also orders a terrine, risotto, lentil salad and steak. The pate looks like something out of the 80's and tastes of nothing, the risotto arrives 40 minutes later, looks like a Barbies doll house and is undercooked, the salad is terrible and the steak is tough. Gordon meets Chef Neil who likes fiddling with knives and seems to take Gordon's criticism quite well, which is a nice change. 

Gordon arrives for a dinner service, he has invited 50 guest to dine for the evening. Neil has two cooks to help in the kitchen but they seem to be only preparing salads. As Neil is doing everything he begins to cut corners to be able to send food out whilst the two chefs stand there watching. Gina is drinking wine on the terrace and admits she has never seen him in the kitchen for a service. Two hours in to the service and only half of the customers have had their food. Neil has lost control of the kitchen and fish has been left to over cook, Neil decides to throw it away and recook it. The customers aren't impressed, they can cook better at home and say they won't return. Gordon meets with the owners who admit that they never even did a background check on Neil. 

Gordon calls some contacts to check Neil's credentials who reveals he was a seafood chef and seemed to be distracted. He was never Head Chef as Scott's or Harvey Nicks. Neil tells Gordon that he has never said he was running restaurants or put it on his CV, the owners have come up with that themselves. Gordon tells Neil that he needs to delegate and communicate with the rest of the staff, Neil reflects that things need to change. Gordon challenges Milan to run front of house and Gina to cook in the kitchen with Neil. Neil struggles to communicate and Milan struggles in the front of house, failing to find ice and sweating. Gordon is forced to apologise to customers on behalf of the owners and the food takes two hours to reach the customers. Gina and Milan finally see Neil's struggles, Gordon tells them they have expected too much of him and asks them to promise to fix the lift. Instead they chat outside the front of the restaurant and discuss replacing Neil. 

Gordon suggests a roast chicken special to be served at the table to take some pressure off of the kitchen using fresh, local ingredients. Gordon tries to lighten Neil up and make him more approachable to customers. For the evening service, Gordon asks Neil to delegate tasks to the chefs to help take pressure off and the waitresses are pushing the chicken special creating less work for all. Neil leaves the kitchen to speak to diners in the restaurant and the customers enjoy the food. Milan, Gina and Gordon take to the streets with samples to promote the restaurant and gain new customers. A new menu is devised featuring Spanish inspired food and sharing plates, the kebab is gone and Gordon has fixed the lift to improve the service and take some pressure off of the wait staff. Gordon suggests that Emily is made the manager of the restaurant which is supported by the owners. 

For relaunch night, Gordon tells the staff to try and sell 3 courses to the customers, starters, sharing plates and desert. Gordon reveals that he has invited the top, local food critic to dine with them this evening and the restaurant is fully booked with 60 customers in the restaurant. Communication is good and the sharing plates are taking the pressure off of Neil in the kitchen and are going down well with the customers. Neil starts to slip, Gordon tries to pull  him back but disaster strikes when they sell out of sharing platters and Neil has to serve individual dishes. Neil slips into bad habits, the communication slips into nothing and the cook tries to send out food before it is ready. Gordon gives them a pep talk and the communication recovers with great food leaving the kitchen. The food critic brands it the best restaurant in Gaucin with great prices and he is particularly impressed with the lamb chops. 

What Happened Next? 

Since Gordon left they are taking £5,000 a week and Gina and Milan have taken a step back from the restaurant allowing the staff to run the restaurant. Reviews since Gordon's visit appear to be very positive, with compliments on the service, food and presentation of the food and they appear to have kept the concept of sharing platters that Gordon introduced. 

The restaurant closed in September 2015, as owners Milan and Gina retired from the restaurant trade, they posted the below on their website. 

Extra Reading

Review: La Granada Divino, Gaucin

Gordon Ramsay visits Gaucin and Restaurant La Granada Divino

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares


  1. I cannot express enough to any "Baby Boomers" on either side of the pond that if they harbor any restaurant dreams to watch the entire KM library. You have worked hard for many years to save for your retirement and that is not an easy thing. Do you really want to take all of your life's hard work and throw it in the bin? I will be more than happy to take your money as I am a single dad with a teenage son. Seriously, take your portfolio and your pension and go travelling. In the best of scenarios, 7 out of 10 restaurants close within a year. You don't want or need that kind of stress at this time of your life.

  2. I dont understand why anyone would want to open a restaurant in retirement. It looks like very hard work and long hours

    1. After working for The Man their whole life, it can be enticing to get to be the boss, and if they can afford to hire good management the hope is their staff runs the restaurant and they get the profits, like investing in a mutual funds.

      Of course the retired looking to become restaurateurs aren't looking to work hard and long hours, but they expect that as owner of a popular restaurant they will be popular themselves and can hook their friends up with reservations, chef's table, a place to host events (Art Exhibits, Porsche Club meetings), etc.


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