Kitchen Nightmares - Fleming - CLOSED

Fleming Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Fleming in Miami, Florida.

Fleming is owned by Andy Hall and wife Suzanne.

During the 1980's Fleming was the busiest family restaurant in town and it was difficult to get a table.

The restaurant remains stuck in the 80s and the trade has dwindled to nothing except for a few loyal customers.

The owners know nothing of Scandinavian cuisine and hired a classically trained Cuban chef Orlando to cook the Scandinavian food.

They have made no changes to the menu or the decor since they purchased the restaurant.

Orlando is keen to make changes to the menu but Andy is reluctant to alienate the few loyal customers that they have.

The clientele that come to the restaurant are mostly older people.

The servers read obituaries frequently to see if any of the customers are listed on there.

Suzanne says that her husband is afraid to change anything.

She believes that the restaurant shouldn’t worry about what the old customers think.

Suzanne thinks that they should also work to draw in younger and middle-aged people as they’ll be long term customers.

Gordon arrives at the restaurant expecting to meet Danish owners only to discover that the Danish have left and the chef is Cuban.

Gordon sees a queue of deserts arranged on a table which the couple said was what the previous owner of Fleming used.

Gordon is served crudites before his meal and remarks that it is very old fashioned.

His server Julie who has worked there for 15 years tells him that the only thing that has changed in that time is the staff.

Gordon orders a mix of Danish dishes from the menu.

The Cured Salmon Gravlax is hideous and tastes off, with a dead fly served on the plate along with it.

The Frikadelle is hot, bland and mushy and the duck dish looks like it was roasted a couple of days ago and is not even moist.

Gordon notices that a customer has a foil swan tiramisu and he is impressed.

Cindee, one of the servers, teaches Gordon how to make it.

Gordon meets with the chef, Orlando, and the owners to give them a feedback on the dishes he tasted.

Andy states that he hasn’t changed the menu since he bought the restaurant.

Gordon decides to observe the restaurant’s dinner service.

Word of Chef Ramsay’s arrival has filled the restaurant with customers for the first time in five years.

The food makes its way out of the kitchen at a good speed but every dish is sent back to the kitchen for being bland and poorly cooked.

Gordon ventures into the storage unit where he discovers rotting meat and raw, defrosting and cooked duck stored together.

Gordon orders them to remove the duck from the menu and the duck dishes from customers tables.

Andy doesn't seem to think this a problem and believes they can carry on serving food.

Gordon tells him that either he shuts down the kitchen or he is leaving.

Gordon, frustrated by Andy’s laid-back attitude, decides to talk with Suzanne to get some answers.

The next day, Gordon talks to the locals, who all seem to know of the restaurant’s previous fame.

They say no one will go to the restaurant now until it changes as the food is dated and poor.

Gordon’s research clearly points out how damaged the restaurant reputation really is.

Many of the people who work at Fleming realize they are in desperate need of change but Andy does not seem to agree with that.

Gordon meets with the staff them and pleas with them to start by forgetting about Danish food and challenges them to cook some dishes.

The front of house staff tries the food including the fresh seared tuna dish and they love it.

Gordon revamps the restaurant with a modern makeover and the dated pink walls are gone.

At the reveal the staff and owners were so happy that they shed tears at the new restaurant.

Cindee says that the revamp had brought hope and changed the atmosphere from that of despair to happiness, which is what the restaurant needed.

Now that the changes in decor are complete, the next step Chef Ramsay took was organize a swimsuit fashion show to market the restaurant to younger clienteles.

He also gives Andy a makeover which made the restaurant owner look 10 years younger and most importantly to Suzanne he was also happy.

The menu is revamped with new modern dishes and he introduces a dessert trolley.

Relaunch night kicks off with Andy taking charge in the restaurant and they have the Miami Heat basketball players as the special guests.

Customers get a choice of salads with their meals, however the chefs are putting the wrong ingredients in the salads.

The customers are getting impatient as the kitchen is backed up by salads and they are left waiting for food.

The kitchen soon recovers from the salad dilemma.

An hour into service, entrees began making their way into the dining room, bringing the relaunch back on track.

While Gordon was away from the kitchen, the old cooker stops working so they tinker with the equipment to get it to work again.

They end up causing a fire across the whole hob.

Gordon comes in and saves the day, putting out the fire.

The kitchen pulls together and the food makes its way out to the customers.

The customers were extremely responsive to the new menu as they loved the new food.

They were able to socialize and enjoy the new atmosphere at the restaurant.

The dessert trolley was popular and everyone loved the dessert, leaving nothing behind on the plates.

Gordon tells them that the only thing standing in the way of success was their equipment.

Gordon makes an emergency call and gets them a state of the art tailor made oven and hob.



What Happened Next at Fleming?


In the days that followed, they embraced the changes Gordon had made and Andy believes they are on the right track.

However two months after filming, they returned some customer favourites to the menu that were popular with patrons, whilst also keeping Gordon's original menu in place.

They also returned to serving crudites, offering soup of the day and Caesar salad with every meal.

They brought back the dessert bar.

They were inspired to make new changes including introducing theme nights and new early bird special, the Economic Recovery Menu.

Fleming closed in October 2010, 5 months after airing of the episode.

Yelp reviews after the filming are mixed.

Many of the regular customers didn't like Gordon's changes.

There have been some claims that the show is fake after the filming of this episode and Andy claimed he spent very little time with Gordon.


Fleming aired on May 07 2010, the episode was filmed in July 2009 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 3 episode 10.


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This post was last updated in April 2021.

27 comments:

  1. Was my favorite restaurant and sadly it closed quite quickly. The changes were not positive in my opinion. I liked the original menu. Contrary to the way it appeared, I never heard a single guest complain. It was exactly the opposite: everyone loved the multi course meals! I miss Fleming!!!

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  2. Why there is always people saying restaurants in program were better before, and they liked it. Obviously not enough customers thought the same otherwise they would had problems filling up tables and keeping their businesses open.

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  3. it just amazes me how people return to their old ways and shockingly fail. You can lead a horse to water.. smh

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  4. Another restaurant closes because they go back to their horrible ways. Serves them right.

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  5. The UK version of this show is so much better. Less staged, less overdramatic, and a bit more honest.

    In the British show, Ramsay actually spends a whole week at the restaurant as opposed to the two an a half days he does in the US version and works with the owners and chefs to teach them how to operate the place. He really does not spend that much time working to fix the place in the American show, certainly not enough to really impart his knowledge onto struggling owners and chefs..

    As an American, I say that the US ruins nearly every foreign show we try to remake. In my opinion, the TV channels should just show the original shows rather than screw them up in a remake. That would save money on production costs, too.

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    1. UK version, UK version, UK version, UK version, UK version, UK version, UK version.

      That never gets old.

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    2. Well, he is right, the US ruins every show they "Americanize".......look at Torchwood!

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  6. Easy to guess why Flemings failed. The old patrons returned and demanded "How things use to be". Slowly they brought back the old items and the old way of doing things and now the restaurant is gone.

    I bet the final months were Hellish. Owner probably bent over for the "consistent" old patrons not willing to sacrifice for more benefits down the line. I'm guessing his marriage is also now on the ropes

    Sidenote: How incompetent were those helpers. The guy making the salad barely spoke English.

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  7. Since when has English been precondition for preparing a salad or cooking?

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    1. When they can't tell the difference between a carrot and a crouton. They need at least basic English or an owner that posts pictures as a visual aid. There has to be communication.

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  8. Having eaten in restaurants daily for 35 years in many cities and states it is my professional opinion that the show is great. It points out why people should not buy restaurants when they have no proper training as owners or managers. People should stick with what they know. Most of the failing restaurants are that way because of the owners. One of my friends restaurants averages over $24,000.00 in food sales every day of the year. Another restaurant averaged over $103,000,00 every day for the first year after opening. What is basic with great restaurants is cleanliness, fresh food and a great staff. Many failed restaurants kept terrible chefs and had terrible owners and managers. Ramsey is educating the staff and the public. When these restaurants fail,,,,,they deserved to fail. Ramsey actually tries his best to help the owners change. Ramsey also remodels the restaurants and provides many needed kitchen appliances, menus, dishes, computers, education, marketing tips and other great things at no cost to the owners or staff. The restaurants that stay open deserve to stay open and the ones that close, deserve to close. Every restaurant is at the pleasure of the clientele. My friend's restaurant has a cleaning staff that comes in every night to professionally clean his entire restaurant every night of the year. He has the busiest restaurant in the U.S. in that style of dining. Consistency is everything. Has anyone ever noticed how important cigarettes are to chain smokers? Cleanliness should be that important to a restaurateur. Even though Ramsey knows that many of the chefs need to be fired, he leaves that up to the owners. He tries to help them. When they fail, they deserve to fail and go out of business.

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    1. Yes, agree, MOSTLY, but... sometimes the owners do the right thing and still don't make it because it's just too late. Or they decide to sell, or the unexpected happens.

      But a large percentage yes, it must be easier to go back to doing the same thing and expecting different results. Definition of madness. Or delusion.

      (And the show IS great, yeah!)


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  9. They should have kept Ramsey's menu intact, but if one of the older clientel wanted something from the original menu they could just make it for them. I also agree though that the owners were in over their heads and needed training in the restaurant business. Also, those desserts Ramsey had on the trolley looked super yummy! BTW:I am young, but VERY ugly!

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  10. I've seen both versions of KN and I do seem to enjoy the non-US version a bit more. I also really enjoy that other show he does, The F Word, very entertaining. After reading about all the scripting and staging involved in this supposed reality television, I have to say it is a bit of a let down.

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  11. What's with all these people taking over a restaurant and riding on the coattails of someone else's hard work, not changing anything, not putting their own thumbprint on it, not marketing and working on it at all with their own creativity? Capitalism and just about making money at its best.

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  12. Im from Denmark and i just saw it on danish tv and none of the things looked like danish food it looked disgusting and NOT danish, i just need to mention one of the thing on the menu the Frikadeller was to big and they didint even have "brun sovs" and potatos. and it was only one dish i mentioned.

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    1. The original owners were Danish and their cuisine was very good. The new owners hired a Cuban chef who was terrible and the restaurant declined. We stopped going there after the new owners took over and the food became inedible.

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  13. I just saw this episode today and I am not surprised this place did close down. The wife was totally rude. She rolled her eyes every time Chef Ramsay would speak. She spoke of elderly patrons in a very rude manner and demeaning to them. I once had my own place and my partner did the same thing to the elderly patrons which was 50% of the business. Raised prices higher than the area we were located in could afford. Tried to turn a cafe into a 4 star and just not for this location. Profits were very good before he enacted the changes and he closed us down in no time at all. With Flemings they had a procedure that would have taken them all the way with all patrons and they threw it away. Such a shame.

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  14. What a lot of people here may not realize is that South Florida's food is really terrible on the whole. Even the grocery store's vegetables look sad and old. I grew up there and my parents live there, and when I go back I basically starve myself the entire time because I can't eat a single thing. South Florida is all about flash over substance, and most people don't actually know what good food is there.

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    1. So true! We've lived in Miami area over 40 years and fine dining is our preference. Most restaurants here lack the talent and desire to provide a great dining experience.

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  15. Anyone love the bit with the foil swans?

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  17. I too enjoyed the swan bit, I hope the swan lady is doing well, orlando and the owners as well. (Uh did they loose thier home??? )

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  18. Considering the fact that 80% of businesses closed after new menus and renovations, I truly believe that debt caused most to just to sell & take the money and run.

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    1. Are you talking about the debt before Ramsey came to help? These owners do not pay a dime for any of the renovations done to the restaurant

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