D-Place - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Kitchen Nightmares DPlace

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

D-Place is a cafe bar that was opened by Israel Pons five years ago.

D-place was doing well shortly after they opened.

In the space of two years they had built a mini empire of 5 businesses.

Unfortunately, the success of their empire didn’t last long.

They have lost all of the other businesses except for D-place.

Israel has invested £150,000 of his own money in the business.

He took out a loan worth £250,000 from the national brewery.

Gordon speaks with Israel and his wife Ra in their home.

He finds out that sales have dropped more that 50 percent compared to 2 years ago.

At the moment the bar is what is financially supporting the restaurant.

In an attempt to win back customers, Israel employed one time wannabe fighter pilot Philippe Blaise as the executive chef.

Philippe is a chef with 25 years of experience in the kitchen.

He decided to give the countryside of England a chance.

It's big change to his life at Planet Hollywood, where he had 150 people working for him.

He has only three chefs working for him here and there are no customers.

It is Valentines night and out of 84 seats available in the restaurant only 24 were booked.

He sits at a table with a photo of wife Tana whilst he orders from the Valentines menu.

Gordon orders a scallop and shrimp cocktail and monsieur crème brulee for dessert from the valentines menu.

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

The crème brulee is runny.

The runny crème brulee causes an argument between Philippe and Dave.

Dave says serving Philippe’s bad dishes make him look stupid in front of the customers.

Their argument is very loud and overheard by the few customers that they have.

Gordon meets with Israel, Philippe and Dave in the kitchen.

He critiques the food and tells them they have got a lot of work to do.

The next day, Gordon observes the lunch service.

He notices that 70% of the food on their huge menu is bought in.

The food arrives already prepared and they cook or reheat it, which is expensive.

The service is slow and it is not helped by the poor relationship between Philippe and Dave.

The orders that manage to get out to the customers are being returned for various reasons.

The service is a disaster as customers are left waiting for up to 45 minutes for food.

Many of the dishes are sent back to the kitchen.

Gordon finds out that they cook the burgers in advance and reheat them.

They do this because the oven is very slow.

He also notices a few issues with how Philippe cooks his food.

Gordon asks Philippe if that was how he cooked his dishes in France and he said no.

Gordon sits down with Israel to discuss the situation and the low standards in the kitchen.

Israel says it’s because he has lost his sense of pride in the business.

Gordon tells him he needs to stay strong and turn the place around.

He recognises that without him the restaurant is doomed.

Gordon meets with Philippe and Dave.

He asks them to tell each other what they feel about each other.

After some heavy words were said to each other, they resolve their personal issues.

Gordon advices them to keep communicating and understand each other. They shake hands and leave.

Gordon notices that the inexperienced chefs are picking one bad habit after the other from Philippe.

Gordon has a personal meeting with Philippe to know why an experienced chef like him cooks the way he does.

Philippe confesses he gave up when he saw that there is no hope for the restaurant.

Gordon tells him he wants to help him get things back online and get back his pride.

Gordon has a meeting between Israel and Philippe.

He tells Israel that he needs to give the head chef the right tools in the kitchen.

The menu will changed and some classic French dishes including a croque-monsieur will be added.

Philippe likes the new sandwich that they made together as it is the kind of food that he likes cooking.

They taste the food and it was delicious.

Israel is skeptical about the menu changes.

Philippe has changed the menu four times in the past year to no effect.

Gordon organizes a team building exercise to promote communication between the staff.

Each team of two are to make a guacamole.

The one making the dish is blindfolded and the other is telling him what to do.

Team Dave and Philippe’s guacamole was the best of all.

Gordon advices them to work together.

He tells them that if the chef and the manager work together then everybody follows through.

The next morning there are trays of roast potatoes on the pass.

Phillipe insists that they were roasted in the over but Gordon knows otherwise and tells him he is lying.

He continues to protests that they were cooked in the oven.

Gordon reminds him that the oven is faulty so he must have cooked them in the fryer.

Gordon asks the assistant chef who confirms that he put them in the fryer as he was asked to by Phillipe.

Phillipe eventually confesses he did fry them as the oven isn’t able to roast the potatoes.

Israel tells him all he needs from him is honesty as he loses his self-respect every time he lies.

Gordon meets with Israel and the chefs and tells them he can’t continue.

He needs the restaurant closed for two days to get it back on track.

Israel agrees with him and the restaurant is shut down.

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

Philippe was happy with the arrival of the new equipment.

Gordon teaches the chefs cheaper dishes and the chefs sample the new menu and like the new dishes.

The exterior is improved and D-place is renamed to Saracen’s Cafe Bar.

Gordon works with the chefs to make sure everything is perfect and that there is consistency with the menu.

They take photos of the food so that they can be reminded how each dish should be presented.

It's relaunch day and they are fully booked for lunch.

Everything goes bad in the kitchen even though they only have three orders on.

The one dish they practiced time and time again was being made wrong each time.

There is a lack of communication as tickets are being lost and customers are left waiting for their food.

The customers that get their foods love it but the ticket confusion issue still hasn’t been resolved.

Philippe gets annoyed when a dish was brought back as it has been served already and attempts to walk out.

Gordon calls him back and has a talk with him. He then continued to finish the service.

Israel says the problem is with the manager.

He talks to Dave about it and an argument breaks out.

Dave is in denial and won’t take the blame.

He shouts at Israel so he is fired on the spot and asked to leave.

Israel had to give over £100 of complimentary food and drinks and to avoid further embarrassment.

He shuts down the service, after just one sitting.

The service lasted for just an hour and 20 minutes.

Gordon advices them that they should take only the customers they can do and build it daily.

It’s time for Gordon to leave.

He tells the staff that the most important thing is to get the restaurant back on track.

Gordon also tells Israel to keep breathing down their necks.

What Happened Next at D-Place?

Gordon returns six weeks later and D-Place has closed.

It had gone into receivership two weeks before he arrived. The brewery had taken it back and the lease was put up for sale.

Gordon speaks to Philippe, who is still there.

He tells him that the club sandwiches are popular.

Gordon visits Israel and Tara at home.

He tells him that unfortunately Gordon's help came too late.

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.

He admits that he didn't know too much about that side of the business.

He only knows how to run a restaurant.

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

The new owners gave Dave back his job.

Philip Blaise said that they had people complaining about the new menu.

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.

Israel briefly opened another bar/restaurant, which closed after 6 months.

After this, he has been employed at a corporate level in a number of fintech and investment companies.

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


  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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