Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Rococo / Maggie's - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Rococo / Maggie's

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Rococo in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Rococo is one of the most expensive restaurants in King’s Lynn and is owned by former Michelin star winner, Nick Anderson.

The restaurant used to be packed and well known in the town but now it is struggling.

They are losing £2000 a week, are in debt, close to bankruptcy and shutting down the restaurant for good.

Nick also lives above the restaurant with his wife and young children who will be homeless if Rococo’s doors are shut.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and finds the decor quaint.

He meets Nick in the kitchen and finds out the restaurant only has eight bookings for a Saturday night.

Nick describes the cuisine as modern British and says they are about to change to their spring menu to summer in late July.

Gordon decides to have lunch and sits in the little entrance area to read the menu and have a glass of orange juice.

Gordon quickly notices one of his dishes is on the menu with London prices and is hopeful that Nick would deliver on quality.

First to arrive is a fish soup, it arrives in a teacup and it smells off.

Next is overcomplicated mushroom and duck egg on toast but the mushrooms are dirty and the bread is soggy.

The scallop dish that Gordon created is next and he asks his server to enquire about the origins of the dish from Nick.

The scallops are not good as they taste frozen, milky and rubbery.

Gordon chases away the server who is hovering over him, waiting to hear his feedback on the last dish.

The duck is cooked well but the sauce on the duck is like Benolyn and he isn't a fan of the baby veg.

Gordon goes to the kitchen to speak with Nick and tells him that the food has not moved with the times and is too complicated.

Nick tells Gordon that he used to run the restaurant at The Crown Hotel in Wales four years prior and got a Michelin star whilst cooking there.

The restaurant closed in 2004 when he parted ways with his backers and he was forced to file for bankruptcy.

It was at this his wife got pregnant with their first child so he opened Rococo to be able to provide for the family but now he is losing money.

Gordon decided to meet the locals to find out what they think about the restaurant.

They believe the restaurant is expensive, with small portions and question the value for money.

Gordon meets with sous chef Tim and Nick before service to see how they run their kitchen.

Tim tells him that he picks up ideas and inspiration from Ready Steady Cook.

No one came in the night before and Gordon is shown their freezer which has the best ingredients, but no one is coming to eat it.

They are forced to eat it all themselves before it goes bad but Gordon wonders why Nick isn’t buying cheaper produce.

Nick tells Gordon that he struggles to find fresh shrimp and relies on the frozen.

Gordon wants to see a dinner service but with no customers, they ask friends and family to come for dinner.

Nick takes too long preparing meal, keeping the customers waiting.

He caves under the pressure and falls apart in the kitchen.

As the night ends Gordon gives his feedback, that Nick is spending too much time on overcomplicating the meals.

Gordon comes in the next day and wants to get Nick to let go of his old food guides, trying to get him to let go of his past so he can embrace change.

Gordon challenges Nick and Tim to a Ready Steak Cook challenge to cook something new with a bag of local ingredients.

They are to compete against each other with the same ingredients and make completely different dishes that taste great and could be served in the restaurant.

Gordon says they both failed because the ingredients were meant for two dishes, a soup starter and a fish main course.

Gordon wonders how Nick has managed to keep the business afloat for 18 months if it hasn’t been profitable.

He meets with the wife Susanna and she says they don’t do anything or go out anywhere.

She says he is miserable and panics constantly.

They are £100,000 in debt and have only been able to stay open as some friends invested some money in the restaurant.

After Nick had said that he can’t get fresh shrimp, Gordon takes Nick to meet some fishermen on the dock who had caught fresh shrimp that day.

That evening Nick is cooking his menu for the last time and Gordon is critical and Nick doesn’t react.

The next morning, Gordon comes in early but the door to the restaurant is locked and Nick isn’t answering the door.

After some time, Nick opens the door and he says he is fed up and he took the previous night hard.

Gordon then suggests they change the name of the restaurant to something more inviting and less pretentious.

He suggests Maggie’s named after the church close by called St Margaret’s.

Nick doesn’t like the name but to give him time to think about it.

Gordon prepares a new menu with simpler dishes using cheaper local fresh ingredients to cut costs and maximise profit.

Nick still hasn’t settled on a name and he thinks Maggie’s sounds cheap.

Gordon talks to Susanna and Tim on Nick’s indecisiveness and they say he is unwilling to let go of the past.

Gordon takes Nick back to The Crown where Nick shined best and won his awards.

Gordon tells him his own story of how he parted way with his old backers at Aubergine and this led to his success today.

He makes Nick see he needs to move on and start afresh, letting go of the pretentiousness at the restaurant.

Nick settles on Maggie’s as the new name and a big marketing push is made, telling all the locals to come for the relaunch.

The restaurant is given a fresh coat of paint to refresh the decor.

Gordon then spots the Good Food guides Nick is trying to sneak back upstairs and the trash bag is taken outside again.

The restaurant is now more informal with a new fixed price menu that is half the price of Rococo’s.

On relaunch night, they have 44 bookings but there is space for more.

People start arriving for the relaunch and the food is well received and going out in time.

Nick tries to fiddle with the simple dish as he is set in his old ways and they make an error preparing a dish twice.

Nick manages to stay on top of the orders and takes charge of the kitchen.

Customers are enjoying the food and say that they would come back due to the lowered prices.

The relaunch night is a success.



What Happened Next at Rococo / Maggie's?


Gordon revisits seven weeks later and the restaurant is busy on a Wednesday night.

They are averaging £5000 but making up to £8000 a week and Gordon sits down to try the food.

The menu is full of locally sourced items and he tries an onion bhaji that was created by Tim and a local sole dish with cockle butter.

He loves the onion bhaji and the sole is delicious too. Tim refuses to give Gordon his recipe for the bhaji

Nick tells Gordon that he is more motivated and able to be creative with his food again.

Maggie's closed in September 2007 and they filed for bankruptcy.

The restaurant passed to Tony and Karen Lombari who opened Luigi's in June 2008, which then closed.

It is now Market Bistro, serving local produce with food cooked fresh from scratch.

Nick Anderson worked at The Wiveton Bell before moving to The Bell at Kidlington, just outside Oxford.

He and wife Anne appear to have split up as he is currently married to Kate, with whom he works with at The Boxing Hare in Serford.

Maggie's aired on November 28 2006, the episode was filmed in July 2006 and is Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares UK season 4 episode 3.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - The Fenwick Arms

Next episode - Morgans

This post was last updated in February 2021.

8 comments:

  1. Maggie's was doing fine until Nick received some unexpected, and rather large utility bills. I think the utilities were paid instead of the other debts, and I believe the HMRC came in and shut them down. The restaurant opened a few weeks later, and after a brief period, shut down for good. I've always felt bad for Nick. He knew what he was doing in the kitchen, and actually turned his business around, but ultimately became a victim of unfortunate circumstances.

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  2. Gordon Ramsay beast mode engaged!

    -Nathaniel K

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  3. Man, what a rush this episode was! The intensity between Chef Andersson and Gordon was palpable. The way Gordon got him to change the restaurants name was shocking! The little rottweiler sous chef really gave this episode some hilarity. Overall we rank this an 8.3 on the Official Kitchen Nightmare Index Scale Rating System.

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  4. Nick's fall is a warning for anyone thinking they can rise to the top and stay there for the rest of their days. We can sink and really fast.
    Nick forgot that what defines us as successful isn't how fast we can rise, but instead how fast we can get back up again.

    I know he will get himself back up, I just hope his family is well and healthy. And hope he lost the stupid part of his pride and stuck to the smart part.

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  5. According to his facebook, Nick remarried last year, no idea what happened between him and his now ex-wife or when they broke up though

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    Replies
    1. It's not that surprising. If you lose your business, your wife usually follows.

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  6. I think Gordon was harder on Nick than most of the rest because he knew there was talent there. Michelin stars do not come to muppets so he expected a higher standard.

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  7. I have to agree with MikeMan, here Gordon wasn't facing a beginner or some schmuck with little knowledge, he was confronted with a very talented chef who was screwing himself up. I think that's the reason why Gordon was so abrupt, he knew Nick had talent, and watching it go to waste was painful. Nick needed an electrochoc to wake up, not a gentle pat.

    Very sad to see the restaurant had to close for billing issues despite being back on the good way (making money).

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