Giuseppi's - Kitchen Nightmares Update - Open or Closed?

Kitchen Nightmares Giuseppi's

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay visit's Giuseppi's Trattoria in Macomb Township, Michigan.

Giuseppi's Trattoria is owned by Joe and Kathy Giuseppi with their son Sam in the kitchen.

Joe and Kathy have owned several successful Italian restaurants over the last 25 years.

After retirement, they decide to open Giuseppi’s with the dream of passing it on to Sam, their son.

But unfortunately, things haven’t gone according to plan.

Joe and Sam fight constantly and Kathy is stuck in the middle of the feuding pair.

Sam complains of not being allowed to have any input in the kitchen and that he isn’t just meant to be a shadow.

Joe is getting tired everyday as he is a diabetic and feels like he has no option but to be at the restaurant.

Gordon is picked up from the train station by Kathy and on the way, she tells Gordon of the problems in the restaurant.

The restaurant is struggling after just two years of being open.

Sam isn’t ready to take over the restaurant and they are $150,000 in debt and close to losing their home.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and finds an extremely dated 1970's decor, even though Giuseppi’s is just 2 years old.

Gordon wants to sample the food and orders the Eggplant Rollatini, potato skins and an octopus salad.

The octopus salad is rubbery and Gordon spits it out.

The potato skins are covered in a disgusting cheese and the rollatini is microwaved.

He is confused by the potato skins and think they have no place in an Italian restaurant.

As Gordon eats the food he has ordered he can hear Sam and Joe arguing in the kitchen.

Gordon goes into the kitchen to discuss the food and Joe becomes defensive.

Joe tells Gordon that out of 3000 responses to their questionnaires about the restaurant there was no negative review about the food.

Gordon tells Joe questionnaires don’t matter as people just don’t return if they aren’t happy.

The next day, Gordon arrives to observe a dinner service, the food goes out quickly.

The reason for this is that Sous Chef Brian is using the microwave to reheat pre-cooked food.

The food is disappointing and is constantly being sent back to the kitchen.

Joe doesn't leave Sam to cook in the kitchen and is constantly hovering around him giving him criticism.

Brian has a bad attitude as he feels the pressure from Joe.

Joe continues to hover around Sam before taking over from him and kicking him out the kitchen, leaving him stood there uncomfortable.

Gordon is impressed with the cleanliness of the restaurant and finds no issues, for a change.

Gordon sits down the family to discuss their issues.

He asks Sam how he feels about the frozen foods and Sam says he hates it.

Sam tells Joe that he wants to cook fresh rather than frozen, as he’s embarrassed to say it’s his food.

Gordon asks Joe if Sam is a good chef and after a moment of hesitation, Joe evades the question by saying Sam likes to cook.

Joe doesn't think Sam is committed as he only works 25 hours a week at the restaurant.

Gordon believes the root of the problems in the restaurant is their failing relationship.

Sam says his lack of commitment is because Joe doesn’t talk to him.

This resulted in an argument between them as Joe insists Sam is lazy.

Sam tells him that he has never once complimented him or noticed him.

Gordon has a personal talk with Joe about his diabetes.

Joe tells Gordon he has daily pains in his leg and he hasn’t had medical insurance since he opened Giuseppi’s.

Gordon advises rest and Joe agrees that he needs to be able to step away from the restaurant.

Gordon devises a cooking competition between father and son.

The staff are going to taste the dishes in a blind taste test and the best dish will go on as a special.

Joe's pork dish beats Sam's salmon dish by 4 votes to 2 votes.

Gordon decides that both are good dishes and will be specials for that evening.

Gordon asks Kathy to write a letter about how she feels about Joe and Sam and their relationship.

With the preparation for the evening service going on, Gordon discretely tells Sam to also write him a letter and tell in that letter what he really feels about Joe.

For the evening service, Sam will cook in the kitchen and Joe is to expedite.

Once again, Joe can't give up control of the kitchen and he stays at the stove cooking Sam’s dishes.

Eventually Gordon has to step in and Joe is removed from the kitchen, allowing Sam and Brian to gain back control of the kitchen.

The evening service was a big success and the customers loved the specials.

Gordon meets privately with Joe after the evening service and also asks him to write to Sam on what he means to him and what he wants him to be one day.

Overnight Giuseppi’s is given a makeover to transform the place into a contemporary Italian eatery.

As part of the makeover they add some family photos to personalize the dining room.

The next day, the family enters the newly designed Giuseppi’s and they were excited.

To market the place, they decide to host the first ever Giuseppi’s bowl-a-thon with the American Diabetes Association.

The bowl-a-thon was a great success.

In preparation for the relaunch, Gordon shows them the condensed menu.

On relaunch night, Sam was assigned to run the line and Joe was to expedite, but Joe refuses to let go.

Poor quality food reaches the customers and the dishes were swiftly returned.

Gordon finally gets Joe off the line but he keeps coming back to check on them as he refuses to let go.

Brian starts to goof off in the kitchen, distracting Sam and dishes were being served raw and returned.

Brian begins ranting and blaming Gordon, he gets annoyed and drives off, which forces Joe and Sam to work together in the kitchen.

The customers are impressed with the food and Joe tells Sam he did an excellent job.

The relaunch was successful.

Before Gordon leaves he gets them to read out letters he had asked them to write and it's a tear fest!

Kathy confesses it is the closest they’ve been in a long time.

What Happened Next at Giuseppi's?

Giuseppi's Trattoria closed in July 2009.

They blamed the economy and the lack of a liquor license for the closure.

There is one positive Yelp review prior to closure.

Sam is now Executive Chef at Verona in the Cambria Hotel.

Giuseppi's Trattoria aired on September 18 2008, the episode was filmed in February 2008 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 2 episode 2.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Handlebar

Next episode - Trobiano's

This post was last updated in March 2023.


  1. My God..the son needed to grow up already. Looking for dad's approval for every little thing at 30?
    Just no.

    1. Don't be a jerk. I have a similar father. It takes years to get over it after being browbeaten like that over and over again day in and day out.

    2. I agree, it can take a man all his life to battle the insecurities, and the heartache that come from a father's rejections. I feel for the son

    3. I don't blame the son for acting the way he does after seeing how his own father treats him.

    4. No wonder the son couldn't flourish. His father was bringing him down. Praise goes a long way

  2. Not one restaurant has been able to stay open in that location. I live down the street from there.

    1. few years late to the party here, you're absolutely right. I worked at the (former) BP @ 22 in college 10 years ago & nothing stays around long... but this whole area is difficult for restaurants - especially non-chain restaurants north of Hall Rd. there's SO much restaurant turnover here.

  3. Dude, maybe your diabetes wouldn't be so bad if you actually took care of yourself!

  4. I pray that Joe is ok and that his remaining years are enjoyable. The son (Sam?) is a nice respectful son. This was one of the nicest down to earth families on RI. God Bless you.

  5. Without a liquor license a lot of people don't want to go there if they don't have beer , wine or mixed drinks..Now a days it's hard to make it in the food business and if there is a lot of places in the area it's really hard....
    Gotta give them credit...

  6. I watched the show, and that was actually one of the families and restaurants I was rooting for. Hope they're doing well!

  7. I just saw the episode last night and was really disheartened to find out they were closed now. So Sad. I feel they would have done better in a different location and hope they can regather themselves and re-open somewhere better. We can really use a restaurant with some real family values behind it. Keep the faith and never surrender!!!

  8. I was not shocked to that this resturant closed. The son was not a top level Chief or even a contender to be. They should have hired a professional and that should have saved them.


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