Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Oscars - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Oscars

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Oscars in Nantwich, Cheshire.

Oscars is a family run restaurant named after Oscar Wilde and owned by Maura Dooris.

She bought the restaurant for £65,000 of her life savings to set up the restaurant.

Maura is now losing £2000 a week and her son Lenin cooks for free as she can’t afford to pay a head chef.

Gordon arrives and notices the restaurant is on top of a butcher’s shop.

He is taken into the kitchen to see Lenin cook and he is soaking ribs in Coca Cola, a recipe from Lenin’s days as a pub chef.

The food is described as a bit of everything from Buffalo wings to Paella.

Gordon sits down to try the food in the restaurant and starts with a Paella made with crab sticks that takes 20 mins to arrive.

Then it is a waiting game for Gordon and other customers for more food and Maura is forced to give out complimentary wine.

Gordon gets his second dish an hour and a half later, a bland Carbonara that tastes of vinegar, complete with rubbery chicken.

Other guests have been waiting for 2 hours for their food.

Gordon goes into the kitchen to help and finds that the kitchen is in chaos.

There is burnt food, food orders without destinations, Maura and Lenin argue, blame each other and Lenin walks out of the kitchen.

Maura had to give out over £100 or food and wine in one night.

The next morning, Gordon talks to Lenin and Maura about the disrespect of the night before.

He admits to having a few alcoholic drinks during the service because of nerves.

Cooking together Gordon talks with Lenin and discovers he lives on vindaloo, cigarettes, wine and sugar sandwiches.

Gordon gives Lenin a challenge to cook some new dishes for the menu with the stock of lamb they have.

The first chicken dish tastes awful, the lamb is not too bad but is more like a stew.

Lenin admits he has fallen out of love with food.

Gordon recommends they add an Irish Stew to the menu as the family are Irish and Maura is impressed with the stew.

They need about £3500 a week to break even and they are close to shutting down.

Gordon brokers a partnership between the Butcher and Oscars for advert space on the windows of the butcher’s shop.

He also helps Lenin negotiate a discount on local meat from the Butcher.

Next, they go to the farmers market to get fresh produce on a budget.

Lenin is set a challenge to cook lunch for several guests, unknown to him, the meal is for his family.

Gordon gets Lenin to speak more passionately about his meals.

He spends 3 and a half minutes on 15 main courses and Gordon is impressed.

Lenin meets his surprise guests; his family and they tell him they love the food.

That evening they are fully booked, and Gordon goes over the ticketing, so the process is better.

The evening service starts well but goes downhill with cold, tasteless food and delays.

It is discovered that Lenin has had a drink again during service.

Lenin admits he felt the nerves again and he recognises his mom’s business is on the line.

Gordon tells Maura to stop serving Lenin drinks during food service.

On the third day, Gordon sits with Maura and Lenin to go over the menu and it is reduced to include Irish dishes.

Gordon helps create a new recipe for homemade fishcakes.

They have a trial for the new dishes for 15 people and Maura is asked to be more present managing the front area and Lenin is to be denied any form of alcohol.

Lenin goes out to convince a customer to switch their order to a fishcake and they are happy with their new choice.

The evening service is successful.

Gordon revamps the outside of the restaurant with a sign in the Butcher’s front window and plants on the restaurant windows above.

They introduce a midweek-bargain two-course dinner to turn over customers and improve their reputation.

On the relaunch night things took a bad turn as Lenin collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

Maura tells Gordon that she wasn’t aware of the extent of Lenin’s drink related problems.

Gordon visits him at his flat after being released from hospital and tells him he needs to get better before returning to the kitchen.

Gordon meets with well-known Chef Michael Quinn, who has battled with alcohol abuse and now has a foundation to help people with the same problem.

Les, the assistant cook is asked to step up and is put in charge of the kitchen on relaunch night.

Gordon assists Les, following his lead and Maura takes a while to get the front of the house together.

There are a few hiccups with the service but Les does great in the kitchen and the customers enjoy the food and love the new menu.



What Happened Next at Oscars?

Gordon comes back after a month and meets with Lenin to catch up.

Lenin says he is getting help, eating well and only has drinks after service or not at all.

Maura decides that she needs a new head chef, but Lenin is not happy about it as he wants to cook in the kitchen.

Gordon and Maura convince him to take a step back, to focus on himself.

Martin, a local Chef, is interviewed, he is open to working with Lenin on recipes and he is hired.

Ten unhappy customers from the first night are invited back for the relaunch.

Gordon creates new loyalty cards for returning customers who will get their 6th visit free.

It is an Irish night and the customers are happy, with the service going smoothly.

The relaunch was a big success and ended with Irish music and dancing.

A while later it is revealed Maura allowed new management to take over so she can take care of her son.

Oscars closed in October 2005.

Maura sold the restaurant and in various articles is quoted as being glad of Gordon's help as Lenin got the help he needed with his drinking.

Lenin went into Rehab as arranged by Gordon at the Rehab run by Michael Quinn who is featured in the episode talking about alcoholism among Chefs.

He is quoted in the media as being grateful of Gordon's help with his alcohol addiction.

Oscars aired on February 21 2006, the episode was filmed in July 2005 and is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares UK season 3 episode 1.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - La Riviera

Next episode - The Sandgate Hotel

This post was last updated in January 2021.

10 comments:

  1. Glad to hear Lenin got the help he needed. Hopefully, this is true.

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  2. Most underated episode of Kitchen Nightmares UK
    Im glad everything went well for them in the end, Felt sorry for the mother but she just wanted her son to cook everything.

    As Gordon said "Good Resturants do one kind of food amazing" so very true.

    Glad to hear that Lenin got rehab.

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  3. This episode was hard to watch. It was obvious that Lenin was struggling and needed help. Why couldn't his family see that sooner?

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  4. I agree that this episode is one of the most underrated. And deals with a sad reality in the restaurant world that some fall prey to alcohol or other drugs. It was hard to watch but yet it had a good outcome in the end for Lenin getting the help he needed. And it showed a side of Gordon you did not expect either.

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  5. It definitely was the hardest episode I've watched. Like another reviewer said Lenin had an alcohol problem, his family should have seen this coming. Unfortuntely, his mom's continued pressure for him to cook "a little bit of everything" might have been the cause of his problem. I'm glad Lenin got the help he so badly needed. He was not a terrible cook just needed some kind of guidance, which Chef Ramsay provided. This was a very heartfelt episode, and showed that Chef Ramsay, could be harsh, but he is really a nice guy. I wish this family all the best. Perhaps a little bistro be in the future for them.

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  6. I'm not sure I'd chalk Lenin's problem up to his mum's pressure; I think he might have ended up with the bottle no matter what. We don't have any alcoholic chefs in our family, but we have a movie theater manager, a barber, a former health care worker(!) and a former cab driver(!!). He seemed like a nice guy; hope he manages to get and stay sober; it's not easy. (Hope he cuts down on the ciggies, too... his voice was really bad.)

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  7. This restaurant had the potential to be a huge success, especially with authentic Irish dishes made fresh every day being served. Lennon/Lenin did have serious issues with drinking and possibly drugs; and he didn't look too stable during the entire episode. I think his Mum was able to get a much better price for the place after Gordon re-vamped the exterior for marketing; and improved relations with the butcher downstairs & the community, so hopefully her 65,000 pounds was re-couped for her retirement. The UK episodes are far superior to the US versions IMHO. Excellent show nonetheless. Thank you Chef Ramsay for great entertainment and for helping those who need it to survive. After your visit, it's up to them!

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  8. Does anyone know how the son (Lenin) is doing now? I agree with those who have commented that we see a more caring, compassionate in this episode.

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  9. Did she pay off her debt atleast before closing?

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    Replies
    1. Presumably would've been able to with resale value

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