Kitchen Nightmares - Hot Potato Cafe - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Hot Potato Cafe

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Hot Potato Cafe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to help two sisters Claire and Kathryn Keller and their sister in law Erin Keller.

The restaurant has been open since 2007 and after the head chef left their young niece Danielle stepped in to help them in the kitchen.

The owners believe the problems arose as they focused more on the decor of the restaurant and less on the food they served.

There was a bad review by a local newspaper, in which the restaurant was dubbed as "Spuddy Hell".

The owners believe that this has ruined the reputation of the restaurant with the locals.

Chef Danielle doesn't really want to be a chef and is only there to help out the family and she feels out of her depth.

Gordon meets the owners but they don't seem to know what is wrong with the restaurant but they all agree it isn't the food that is the problem.

Upon seeing the menu Gordon asks the sisters to recommend a dish each and no one recommends a potato dish, despite it being a potato themed restaurant.

Gordon meets server Brian and orders a variety of potato dishes - the Hot Potato Soup, Spud Skins and a Shepherds Pie.

The Hot Potato Soup was "a mess" and "like lumps of glue", the 3 week old frozen Spud Skins taste dreadful and the Shepherds Pie was "2/3 mash, 1/3 greasy minced lamb".

Gordon meets Danielle and is surprised to learn that she isn't a trained chef and is following recipes she has been given.

Gordon arrives to observe a dinner service, the staff aren't used to being so busy and the service is completely unorganised.

The food is poor quality and the diners are not happy at all with the food they have been served.

Gordon asks the sisters how they feel the service went and no one says anything or steps up to admit mistakes have been made.

He feels like everyone has given up on the restaurant and no one has the drive to turn it around.

Gordon dramatically walks out and the owners follow him, a tear filled heart to heart where they admit that they have lost hope brings Gordon back in to continue helping the restaurant.

As Gordon is not happy with the current potato dishes he challenges the owners to make the best Potato dish, with the winner going on the menu and Gordon is most impressed with Danielle's dish.

Gordon also teaches Danielle how to make a Shepherds pie and Potato Florentine and both dishes are a vast improvement of their previous dishes.

At the evening dinner service, Gordon notices the portions they are serving were HUGE! Customers took lots of food away in takeaway boxes and taking with them the restaurants profits.

Gordon revamped the decor of the restaurant, revamped the menu with smaller portions and they smashed the old massive plates.

Gordon revealed he has bought in chef Richard to mentor Danielle for a month and to give her professional training. He also got them free potatoes for 3 months from a local supplier to help with food costs.

Gordon invites Brian McManus from the "Spuddy Hell" review back for the relaunch night, he enjoys the new food branding them "potato-riffic" and they pulled off a successful relaunch with no dishes returned.


What Happened Next at Hot Potato Cafe?

After Kitchen Nightmares, Danielle left the restaurant and the quality started to slip back to the old ways.

Yelp reviews after filming are mixed, the service is praised but the food quality appears to have been hit and miss.

Claire said in an article that the experience had been difficult but that it was fun and rewarding and their attitudes had changed.

Hot Potato Cafe closed in August 2010 as their lease was due to expire, the phone was disconnected and a closed sign was put up on the door.

The restaurant had been previously put up for sale on Craiglist in June 2010.

Danielle trained to be a nurse and is currently working part time as both a nurse and a bartender.

Lloyd Whiskey Bar opened in October 2012, the menu looks great and Yelp reviews are good.

Hot Potato Cafe aired on January 29 2010, the episode was filmed in May 2009 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 3 episode 1.



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Next episode - Flamangos

This post was last updated in September 2019.


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15 comments:

  1. Id like to know what happened to Danielle as well. The search continues.

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  2. What a shame it closed. Chef Ramsay certainly gave them all the tools for this cafe's success. With all his help I wonder what went wrong. Even after Danielle's departure, they certainly could have hired a cook, not necessarily a chef. The owners seemed so happy, I wish them well.

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    1. As is often said around here, these places are by and large knocking on death's door by the time Gordon gets there. I'm of the opinion that most of the time when Gordon does a US restaurant, the money he pumps into it turns out to just be a boost to the business's assets so as to let the owners sell without necessarily going bankrupt.

      Honestly, with some of these places, what would you do if you got $30K in free equipment and remodeling work? I'd immediately start showing the place while it was still working well, get someone on the hook, and sell it as a working business rather than a fixer-upper.

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  3. One of the most novice run businesses in this series.

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  4. According to Danielle's FB, she is a nursing student now.

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    1. Good for her, she seemed like a really sweet level headed girl, sometimes people on this show are so obnoxious and rude you can't wish them any well, yet she had a sincerity and drive that wasn't being utilised. I hope she succeeds in her new career. :-)

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    2. That's good. She certainly seemed like she could handle stressful situations and also like someone who would grow and develop into a very responsible adult.

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  5. You Go Danielle! I was respiratory for 30 yrs. Medical profession NEEDS people who care, I believe you will be one hell of a caring and devoted nurse.
    GOOD LUCK Sweet heart

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  6. Danielle was amazing. so composed, so refreshing. and yeah, one of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen at some random café. no makeup, and she can look....she is just very pretty, very nice smile. I had to see what happened to her after just seeing the show for the first time some 4 years after the fact. not surprised she moved on to nursing, and she will do well in whatever she does

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  7. With Danielle being so composed amid that stress and chaos means she will nail anything she puts her mind to.

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  8. Danielle is working as a nurse now and is also a bartender, managing two jobs. Go girl! Also she is very pretty.

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    1. I hope Danielle does well in life lovely lady. Good luck

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  9. I think the fate of the restaurant was summed up when Claire said the 3 months of free potatoes would save them so much money. I feel like the assistance was used more as a temporary crutch than a springboard to bigger things.

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