Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Bonapartes - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Bonapartes

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Bonapartes in Silsden, England.

Bonapartes is a wine Bar come bar come restaurant owned by Sue Ray with TV chef wannabe Tim Gray as Executive Chef.

Silsden is a little working-class town yet to make its mark on the culinary map of Britain.

Sue Ray has in her lifetime sold everything, from donkey rides to cavity wall insulation but the restaurant business is totally new to her.

She bought the bar and restaurant just over a year ago and it is now struggling to stay open.

The locals weren’t impressed with the restaurant’s service or the fine dining food on offer.

The business has now declined to almost nothing.

The restaurant is only taking £200 a week with just two customers booked in for lunch and they had the same for the previous evening’s dinner service.

Tim Gray was a dish washer in the restaurant who became head chef after convincing Sue to give him a chance after they struggled to fill the role.

He says that he can see himself cooking in big restaurants in London in no time and he has ambition to move to bigger restaurants.

Tim says that his ultimate dream is to become a famous TV chef.

They talk about the lack of bookings and that walk ins are slim.

To see how Tim works when under pressure, Gordon sends out Tim and Lee to get customers in.

The reputation of the restaurant is so poor that they only manage to bring in 11 guests, even though they will be getting a free meal.

Gordon watches the disorganized service, where they put tickets on the fridge as they never have that many.

He sees that Tim has no respect for the kitchen as he is messy and throws food together.

The pigeon breast with mushroom ravioli starters take too long to come out.

They should receive their starters within 10 minutes but they are left waiting for more than 30 minutes.

The ravioli that was served to customers is burnt inside and it wasn’t noticed by Tim before it left the kitchen.

The main course is served without vegetables and they only notice after the microwave sounds.

Sue spends her evening running the bar upstairs, unaware of what is taking place in the basement kitchen and in the restaurant.

Gordon says Sue lacks focus and has clearly lost control of the restaurant.

The kitchen is a health hazard and worst of all, the head chef and his assistant aren’t up to scratch.

The next day, Gordon sets Tim the challenge of cooking a signature dish for Gordon and he cooks a scallop dish.

The scallops are rancid and Tim says he didn’t know not to serve them as he wasn’t able to tell that they had gone off.

Gordon retches and vomits after tasting the dish and later gets food poisoning.

This leads Gordon to inspect their fridge, where he finds old lentils, furry potatoes and something unknown that looked like sheep’s turd.

Tim says that he had no idea that the food in the fridge was off and Gordon is concerned that Tim doesn’t even know the basics.

The whole kitchen was filthy and unhealthy and allowing things to fester is putting Sue’s business at risk.

Gordon orders the chefs to clean out the fridge and throw out the old food.

It is clear that there is no communication and he encourages Sue and Tim to talk more about the restaurant.

Gordon thinks that the problems aren't limited to the kitchen as there is no concept.

There is a weird mix of different fine dining menus, specials and live music acts that are booked in the bar.

Gordon wants to find out what the locals think of the restaurant and bar and an ex customer gives an interview.

Carolina says that the restaurant has tried a bit of everything with live music, cabaret acts and even an internet cafe.

She tells about a new wine bar that has just opened and has been fully booked ever since opening.

Gordon meets Sue at her house and tells her that she has got the basics of running the restaurant wrong and things have to change.

He thinks that the basics are wrong and they should go back to rustic comfort food.

Sue is convinced Gordon can help and promises to make changes he recommends.

Gordon takes Tim onto the streets to find out what the customers want.

They go armed with Tim’s overpriced scallop and black pudding dish and a Beef and Ale Pie cooked by Gordon.

The public aren’t impressed with the expensive scallop dish and vote in favor of the pie.

They are impressed with the pie especially as it would cost less than £8 and they think Bonapartes is expensive.

Gordon tells the chefs that they need to go back to basics and stop being so cocky.

He gives the chefs the challenge of cooking omelettes, one of the first dishes that you learn at catering college, to taste their basic cooking skills.

They both fail the challenge as both of them are overcooked and rubbery.

Gordon takes Tim to the local market to get fresh ingredients that are cheaper than the produce he buys in.

They buy a large oxtail for £12 that they can make their money back on by using the leftovers to sell a bowl of soup for £2.95.

His second challenge is for Tim to cook a 3 course meal for four people in their home that unknown to him is his family for just £20.

The food is preprepared and all Tim has to do is cook it and reheat it so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Tim’s mother tells Gordon about Tim’s journey to becoming a chef and he was motivated by meeting TV chef Gary Rhodes.

Tim has prepared a French onion soup but he burns the croutons and sets off the fire alarm.

His chicken Kiev is burnt on the outside and pink in the middle.

The lemon meringue for dessert fails to rescue the poor meal.

The dinner was a disaster but his family are polite about the poor meal that they received.

For the relaunch Gordon asks the Chefs to pick a 3 course menu with three of their favorite dishes for each course.

Gordon plans for extensive prep so that 90% of the food can be prepared in advance of the service.

He notices that the Chefs never season or taste their food and sets them a tasting challenge.

Gordon tells them they are to taste different cuts of beef.

Instead he feeds them pork and lamb and neither notices that it isn't beef.

For the Valentines night relaunch the restaurant is fully booked with 48 diners for the service.

During the relaunch Gordon has to push Tim to call out the orders and there are communication issues.

There are issues with the food not getting out quickly as they struggle to time the dishes leading to a backlog of dishes.

They retake control and pulled the relaunch off by the skin of their teeth.

Tim’s grandma and granddad were there for the relaunch, celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary and enjoyed their meal.

Gordon talks to Tim after the service and tells him to keep at Gordon’s changes.



What Happened Next at Bonapartes?


When Gordon revisited the first time, he found out Tim had been given 2 written warnings.

He tells Gordon he is chilling on what should have been a busy night for the restaurant.

Lee had been moved out of the kitchen and onto the bar .

Tim was back to his old ways with a fridge full of rotten food and mussels sitting open in the sink.

By the end of the programme he was sacked and admitted he wasn't as good of a chef as he thought he was.

After the show aired Sue was very public about the show stating she felt bitter about the experience.

She ended up on anti depressants and wanted to sue Gordon.

Gordon returns to Silsden again for the second revisit but Sue refuses to do an interview on camera.

She speaks to Gordon off camera and tells him she is looking for a buyer for the restaurant.

Gordon also meets with Tim who tells him that Sue had not hired another chef.

He says that she was just running it as a bar with no food on offer.

Bonaprates closed in 2005 and was put up for sale for £450,000.

After closing, Bonapartes became Reflectionz Bar in 2006.

Reflectionz closed and was put up for sale at £350,000 in 2009.

The restaurant was sold and reopened as Dineros Wine Bar but this closed in 2011.

Sue became homeless, jobless and was left with with £400,000 debt after declaring bankruptcy.

Sue was banned from driving after being caught drink driving in 2006 and was relying on state benefits.

Tim quit cooking and went into Television after turning down a job offer from Gordon.

Tim returned to working in the kitchen in a restaurant near Bonapartes.

He was asked to leave this and a few other kitchen positions when they found out about his role at Bonapartes and on Kitchen Nightmares.

In 2007, Tim was caught drink driving and was banned from driving for two years.

He told the court that he drove his car to escape a repeat attack by three men who had beat him up earlier in the evening.

He still has hopes to be on television.

Tim got through to the final lineup of Big Brother 5, until they found out who he was and decided against having him on the show.

In 2006 Gordon won a court case against a newspaper for publishing that the scenes in this episode were faked and he won £75,000 in damages.

Bonapartes aired on April 27 2004, the episode was filmed in 2003 and is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares UK season 1 episode 1.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Next episode - The Glass House

This post was last updated in April 2021.

34 comments:

  1. Sue had other problems that contributed to her failure. denying personal responsiblity and blaming someone else for your mistakes is just plain sad.

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    1. Not sad. Stupid. Sometimes the two things come together. Espcially if its with people you like. But I reckon you dont like her. Thank you for time in poiting it out though.

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  2. Yeah, Gordon Ramsay poured booze into Sue and forced her to drive her car around. Seems like a long pattern of refusing to take responsibility for any of her own shortcomings :( That's not a good way to run a business.

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  3. That's exactly right. Ramsay had shown her how to run the business, focus on the basics to make it work. The rest was up to her.

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  4. I cannot understand why these restaurant owners, blame The Emperor Chef Ramsay (that's what he has been named in the USA), when they clearly lack management skills, experience and above all dismiss The Chefs advice once he's pointed them in the right direction. This particular restaurant had many problems before The Emperor arrived. According to the past comment it appears alcohol migt have played a part on the restaurant's demise.

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    1. That is why alcohol is not to be messed with. But its an aquired risk I guess. And the culture doesnt help.

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  5. Why in the world would Gordon Ramsay offer Tim a job? Tim, who couldn't even cook a damn omelette! I think that so-called job offer was all in his head.

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    1. Well Gordon saw that when he cooked for Valentine's Day that he had the ability to do the job, just needed some mentoring to become a cook and later a chef. Sadly when Gordon revisited (the first time at the end of the original episode), he had slid back to his old ways showing he did not have the passion or determination to succeed.

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    2. A lot of people have the ability to do the job. Doesn't change the fact that Tim seemed to have had a lower than average ability to do the job. He was completely gormless and frankly, seemed a little slow. He couldn't even cook dinner for his family without it catching fire.

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    3. I think Gordon could see that as a junior or trainee chef Tim had potential. He could learn the right habits and with constant supervision couldn't mess up the kitchen.

      Trying to run a kitchen, do menus and be in charge of another chef when you have zero training? Of course it's going to be a disaster.

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  6. This was the first episode I ever saw, and it was almost my last because I can't stand watching people throw up. Glad that doesn't happen every time! Tim is one of the 'characters' in the kitchens that really stand out for me in this series; I can watch this episode (except for Gordon retching) over and over and I don't get tired of it. What a twit. 'Signature dish', indeed... every time I have scallops I'm going to think of Tim (and thank God he didn't prepare them!).

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  7. Tim is one of the most gormless, clueless, self-agrandising morons I have ever seen! Everything about him - his accent, the way his bottom jaw just hangs listlessly instead of connecting with the top, even when he's talking. It's both sad as well as funny: he wants a couple, or maybe three restaurants. Fine dining - oh man, that is so funny in the context of what we see in the programme. He can't cook! Bottom line.

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  8. I enjoy television programs from the early two thousands.

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  9. I know Sue had problems and she shouldn't have got into the business, but I still feel sorry for her. Everyone makes mistakes in life.

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    1. I don't. She's the type who does nothing but wallow in self-pity but never takes charge of her own situation. She just sits there on her duff and blames everyone else.

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    2. I agree, I don't feel sorry for her either. After all, she stated on the show that she was less than three months from closing/bankruptcy. So how in the hell does she have the audacity to then turn around and blame the failure on Gordon and threaten to sue him?? In her own words she was heading down that road before she met him, she can't blame him for her following through with her prediction.

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  10. Still amazes me how people will sink endless amounts of money, sell their car, mortgage their house, etc...all to finance a "dream" and an unstable one at that. Restaurant business is so uncertain. Why the hell would you take such a risk? Better off yanking on a slot machine.

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  11. Just watched this ep, God my heart breaks for the two of them, bad decision be damned.

    Tim really seemed to get screwed by the program. I mean, for christ sakes, he's 21 no shock he didn't know how to be a head chef let alone A chef. No kitchen should be kicking him out for that reason and that reason alone.

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    1. He was kicked out for lying on his resume, hiding the fact he was from Bonaparte's. Employers have the right to make an educated decision to hire a person and they felt manipulated.

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    2. Age has nothing to do with it. Look up "India Innes", a teenager at the time she was featured on the show. She was driven, intelligent, and unlike that idiot Tim she wasn't in it for the money or fame.

      Tim has the intellect and manners of an ape. It's clear he has no respect for anyone, and doesn't care for anything but himself.

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    3. That's an insult to apes!

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    4. India Innes was 23 and no teenager

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    5. Tim didn't know what braised meant. He had no training, talent, and doesn't seem to have read a cookbook.

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  12. I wonder what ever happened to Tim and Lee. Lee didn't seem like a complete idiot, it wouldn't surprise me if he continued cooking for a while. Tim, meanwhile, is probably working at Tesco or McDonald's.

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    1. Lee didn't seem anything like the complete pillock Tim was, but Tim was 'head chef' so... I wouldn't want a McDs made by Tim frankly. He could make even their meager offerings look foul.

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    2. Lee is now a headchef in a really good Pub.

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  13. Tim probably would've benefited from proper, structured training at a bigger establishment. It looked like he was trying to run before he could walk.

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    1. I believe Ramsay, much maligned by Tim and Sue after the programme, offered Tim a job in one of his own restaurants or training establishment or something or other, didn't he? Tim refused. Tim was (and probably still is) an idiot who has no idea whatsoever how to cook even the simplest of dishes. His cooking was abominable when he did it for his family, and that was very simple, run of the mill, food - not the (laughable) 'fine dining' that this brainless,, gormless oaf thought he could master. I wouldn't think that Gorden, after doing all these episodes would make such a fool an offer again, after seeing so many of them.

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  14. wayneco33@verizon,net17 July 2014 at 02:36

    What I can`t understand is why is the owner of Bonaparte is suing Ramsay? If anything, she should be suing that incompetent , idiot moron who had the nerve to call himself a "chef"!!! This guy had the privilege of being directed by Chef Ramsay , and what does he do?, he goes right back to his immature, lazy ways!!! Jesus!, what a waste of effort for Chef Ramsay

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    1. Nah, as useless as Tim was, he couldn't be sued by Sue. In the end she's the owner and it's her responsibility to keep her staff in check. She could have fired him at any time, but was too spineless to do it.

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  15. I feel bad for Sue. I think she tried. However I have to say that I would not eat Tim 'S cooking. I got food poisoning from some chix probably 'prepared' by someone like Tim. It was an unforgettable experience and one I hoped not to experience again but did unfortunately at a very well known and popular fast food place. The kitchen there was filthy as well as the staffs clothes. I should have been more insistent about going somewhere else cuz that time i knew better. My fault. Now I check everything especially the bathrooms for cleanliness! There are more than a few Tim out there.

    No telling what kinda of bacteria is on these cooks unwashed hands and fingernails as well that can make one sick. You don't hear about and many other things on KN.

    I'm convinced that before anyone goes into any type of place that caters food to the public they need basic food handling training!

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  16. It still amazes me that over a decade after this debacle sue and tim can't admit that they are to blame for every bad thing that happened to them.

    Sue was so spectacularly incompetent that I wouldn't have trusted her to run a chip wagon at Yankee Stadium during the world series let alone a proper restaurant, and Tim quite simply didn't belong anywhere near a kitchen in any capacity higher than dishwasher.

    Tim's complete and utter lack of skill and basic inability to tell when food was off and needed to be thrown away would have shut them down for good anyways

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    1. They are both bumbling idiots who try to cheat their way through life but aren't competent enough to fool anyone for very long. And will blame anyone but themselves when they are found out.
      I do however feel that Tim deserves some leniency for having been 'just a kid' when this thing aired. F.e. i don't doubt that at least part of his hilariously clueless 'owning several fine-dining restaurants' dream was the result of being baited by the kitchen-nightmare crew (that's just how those shows work, most candidates are smart enough to understand the attemps at manipulation and that they need to give modest answers in order to not look like a fool)

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  17. Wow. Ramsay gave Tim a job offer, the single biggest stroke of fortune the idiot will ever see in his life, and turned it down?! What an ego! I just can't stand him...his dead eyes, slack jaw and slow responses give away his dreadfully low IQ. Between that, his pride and nasty entitled attitude, I'm thrilled that he's blacklisted from the food industry.

    Same goes for Sue. Even after all these years, she is still histrionically bitter towards Ramsey. SHE hired Tim. SHE chose to let her standards go. SHE is the only one responsible for her financial problems. You, woman, are a real piece of work, and as long as you keep biting the hand that feeds you, you will have a bad life. Tim and Sue...now those two deserve each other!

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