Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - D-Place - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares D-Place

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's D-Place in Chelmsford, Essex.

D-Place is a cafe Bar that opened five years ago and is owned by Israel Pons but the bar is supporting the restaurant as sales have dropped more than 50%.

He once owned a string of successful businesses but this is the last business that he has left. He has invested £150k of his own money and has a £250k loan from the brewery.

Philippe Blaise is the Head Chef in the kitchen. He is a well trained, travelled and experienced French chef who decided to give up a high flying career to cook in the countryside.

Gordon arrives on Valentines day and the restaurant has few bookings. He sits at a table with a photo of wife Tana whilst he orders from the Valentines menu.

He is not impressed with his rubbery and overcooked scallops and shrimp cocktail served with microwave rice and a runny creme brulee.

Gordon speaks to a customer who was not happy after being served raw salmon.

Philippe and manager Dave Bone hate each other and argue constantly, with arguments being heard in the dining room.

Gordon observes a service and isn't impressed with the huge menu. He sees the young assistant chefs being taught bad habits including cooking expensive pre-prepared food.

The service is a disaster, customers are left waiting for up to 45 minutes for food and many dishes are sent back.

Gordon sits down with Israel to discuss the food quality issues and he thinks there is a loss of pride.

Philippe and Dave talk out their issues with each other and commit to fixing the relationship.

The menu is changed, despite Isreal's reluctance due to four recent menu changes and some classic french dishes including a croque-monsieur are added.

They do a team building guacamole making exercise judged by Gordon and Israel.

The next morning there are trays of roast potatoes that Philippe insists were cooked in oven and not the fryer but it is discovered he is lying.

Gordon insists on closing the restaurant for 48 hours to get the place back on track and Israel reluctantly agrees.

They redecorate the dining room, clean the kitchen, fix the oven and bring in new kitchen equipment.

They change the menu and practice the dishes to ensure consistency.

The exterior is improved and they rename the cafe to Saracens Cafe Bar.

For relaunch they have a fully booked lunch but the service goes terribly, the tickets get mixed up and the customers are left waiting and Philippe threatens to walk out.

Israel steps in and says to Gordon that it is also Dave's fault due to disorganisation of front of house and he asks him to leave and shuts down the service.

What Happened Next at D-Place?

Gordon returns and Israel and Tara and D-Place has closed, it went into receivership and the lease was put up for sale.

Gordon speaks to Philippe who is still there and Gordon visits Israel and Tara at home.

Speaking about the business things appeared to pick up but it was too late for them, the brewery took back the business losing them lots of money.

D-Place was bought by new owners and reopened as Saracens.

Philip Blaise said that they had people complaining about the new menu but it was obvious in the episode they were going to struggle to turn it around.

Since then it has remained open and is highly successful.

D-Place aired on May 31 2005, the episode was filmed in 2004 and is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares UK season 2 episode 2.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - La Lanterna

Next episode - Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack

This post was last updated in January 2020.


  1. My god, that cook's voice! The most horrible accent I have ever heard! No wonder he was hated by the rest of the crew. And I am not even British myself.

  2. chef was like a French frank spencer

  3. This was one was never going to succeed under that particular owner with his track record of successive failure.

  4. "As long as there's a hole in my butt, Big Boy, those potatoes were in the fryer...." What a line! That and the egg holding therapy session were the highlights of this season.

  5. One thing that is not clear from the article is if Philippe Blaise is still the chef there at Saracens. OMG! He was lazy, and an amazingly awful chef (& that's not counting his ghastly voice). From looking around on the web, it doesn't appear the place is doing all that great now, so maybe he IS still there.

  6. Honest question about this episode: When Ramsay leaves in the end Philip says buy, does Gorden reply "putain" or did I mishear?

  7. Yup, he definitely says putain

  8. I have been to Saracens few times and the cafe is clumsy and mostly empty. Gordon was sincere and intelligent to understand the changes the cafe needed as still High Street Chelmsford hardly has a simple British diner.So Sad bad business knowledge took that away.


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