Kitchen Nightmares - Bazzini - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Bazzini

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's Bazzini in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Bazzini is owned by Paul and Leslie Bazzini and has been open for five years.

Paul had worked up in the restaurant to becoming an Executive chef.

Since becoming a restaurant owner he has become overwhelmed with running the business.

According to Leslie, Paul has been recognized many times throughout his career.

He has featured in several magazines with very positive reviews.

When they opened she really believed the restaurant was going to be a success.

The pressure of owning a restaurant has definitely beaten Paul down.

His passion for food is not burning as brightly as it once was.

The staff say that Paul isn’t good at dealing with criticism.

He gets frustrated a lot and yells at the chefs and waiters.

They also say that Paul believes what he is doing is right and doesn’t need to be changed.

The restaurant is supported financially by Paul's wife Leslie and it is only open for limited hours in the evening.

Leslie says that there are no college funds for their children and she is scared daily that they won’t be able to pay their bills.

Gordon arrives and walks around the area, noting there are many other restaurants close to the restaurant.

He arrives and finds that the doors are locked and the restaurant is closed.

Gordon sees a sign at the side of the door stating that the restaurant only opens at evening.

Paul arrives at the restaurant and invited Gordon in.

Gordon tells Paul to cook him something special instead of him ordering from the menu.

The restaurant is cramped, very narrow and Gordon thinks the decor in the small dining room is depressing.

The food is brought to him by head waiter Alex and Gordon is not impressed with the food.

The fettuccini is cold and bland and the chicken is hard and dry.

Alex tells Gordon that Paul doesn’t like when his food is criticized.

He reacted the same way he reacts to a lot of the guests criticisms, like they’re not necessarily important as he is right.

Gordon meets with Leslie, who came in and gave him a hug for the help he came to do.

Gordon is served the mushroom Risotto, which was stuck onto the plate.

Gordon actually twirls the plate and the rice was still stuck to the plate.

He comments that it is disgusting and tasted mushy.

Finally, Gordon is served an almond crusted Tilapia dish with rice and this is bland, greasy and is a mush.

Gordon asks if there is dessert and is served a slice of cheesecake and carrot cake, which he loved.

He comments that the cake is delicious and was made with passion by Sharyn, the pastry chef.

Gordon meets with Paul and Leslie after the meal and praises the desert but was not impressed with the rest of the food.

Paul claims the mushiness and blandness is due to most customers being of old age.

After the disappointing lunch he was served, Gordon decides to observe the evening’s dinner service, where Sharyn flirts with Gordon.

Gordon finds out the Crab Cakes are precooked after being prepared the day before and a customer sends one back as burnt.

Gordon reports the crab cake situation to Leslie, who claims she wasn’t aware of it as she thought everything was fresh and homemade.

The food is slow, taking over an hour to reach the customers.

Gordon times the amount of time that foods sit on the pass.

Paul orders the food to be taken out after 11 minutes of it sitting on the pass, getting cold.

After the long wait, the frustrated customers aren’t satisfied as the dishes were either cold or overcooked.

During the service, an argument breaks out between Paul and Sharyn over a chicken dish and the staff are frustrated.

With the intense frustration in the dining room, Gordon is forced to stop the service to avoid further damage to the restaurant’s reputation.

Leslie breaks into tears as she has never experienced a worse dinner service than that.

Paul continues making excuses as to why the service was a disaster.

Gordon meets with Paul after service and Leslie is frustrated that Paul can't see the problems in the restaurant.

Gordon realizes he has no fire and tries to reignite his passion.

He tells Paul that he has noticed Paul’s passion for food has gone and that he has given up.

Paul confesses that he isn’t happy with the way things are and is ashamed of the restaurant.

The next morning, in a bid to reignite Paul’s passion, Gordon gives Paul a challenge of cooking a pasta dish with homemade pasta in 15 minutes.

Gordon likes it and the positive comment he gave lifted Paul as he passionately talked about pasta.

Gordon decides to try a small experiment.

He takes advantage of the foot traffic in the neighborhood to test Paul’s speed in the kitchen.

He then reveals that they will open the restaurant for a simple 2 course lunch.

Sharyn and Leslie will work the front and Gordon and Paul will cook in the kitchen.

Sharyn and Leslie have no experience in the dining room.

They make a lot of mistakes including forgetting to give a customer a spoon for soup.

With Gordon and Paul working together, beautiful fresh pasta was flying out of the kitchen.

The lunch is a success and the customers are pleased with the food.

With many saying that the pasta was the best they had ever tasted and Paul is beaming.

Gordon and his team worked overnight to renovate the restaurant to a modern contemporary theme.

The makeover is dramatic and when it is revealed Paul beams with joy and Leslie cries tears of joy.

The menu has been significantly reduced and features fresh pasta dishes and desserts by Sharon.

For relaunch night, Paul falls apart again and does not communicate leading to long waits for food.

Sous Chef Al does a runner and everyone steps up to help in the kitchen with Sharyn stepping up as his sous chef.

Although the food is delayed, the customers are happy with the dishes when they receive them and the relaunch is success.

Gordon tells Paul he hasn't convinced him that he can turn the restaurant around but he wants him to prove him wrong.



What Happened Next at Bazinni?

Paul hired another Sous chef to replace Al.

There was a boost in business and Sharyn left to focus on her dessert business, Simply Homemade Desserts .

Gordon returns in a Kitchen Nightmares revisited episode.

He arrives to a dark and abandoned restaurant and assumes that Bazzini is closed for lunch.

After phoning the Pastry chef Sharyn he discovers they are actually closed permanently.

Gordon goes to visit Sharyn in her kitchen where she is baking cakes and she is doing well.

The single Yelp review after Gordon visited is negative after the episode was filmed and complains of poor service from the hostess.

A review on Patch rates the service as acceptable and the atmosphere as not welcoming.

Paul and Leslie were critical of the show.

They told a local news site that they were naive of the process, did not see much of Gordon except for filming and there were attempts to stir up tension. Bazzini closed in June 2010 and Paul became chef at Jersey Boys Grill.

He is currently chef at Hearth & Tap Co. with his son Andrew, who is also a chef.

Bazzini aired on February 05 2010, the episode was filmed in July 2009 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 3 episode 3.


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This post was last updated in April 2021.

24 comments:

  1. Aww I wouldn't have blamed Paul's lack of success on his wife's appearance, if anything, it's the other way around. Besides, some guys like big girls :) Paul blamed everyone but himself for his failures, how should that feel for a wife who put not just her own self, but her own money, into her husband's business ventures? The chef seemed rotten on the inside.

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    1. Now that's not quite fair though is it? These places are failing before he gets there. They'd be closed far sooner if he didn't go.
      He tries to get them back on track, but it's not always possible. Most of the time he leaves them with a much better chance of getting somewhere.
      In the case of Bazzini's, Gordon was pessimistic about it's chances when his time was finished.

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    2. These days people blame everyone but themselves. I am an avid watcher and it's obvious that some people aren't meant to own a business. How could it be Ramsey's fault when half the time he shows up they don't even know how to clean out their fridge? Ick.

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    3. Honestly, are you serious ? Without Gordon, these restaurants was lost.
      Gordon's show has save some restaurants but with the actual economy and the owner's actions, it is not possible to save all.

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    4. Hospitality is one of the most hostile industries to work/succeed in. In most western countries atleast half of all new restaurants close within a couple of years of opening or less due to multiple factors i.e unexpectedly large overhead costs, lack of support, expensive revamps that backfire, variability in revenue due to season changes, unreliable staff etc.

      PS: Ramsay is actually the world's most successful restauranteur (as well as one of the world's top rated chefs) with 27 open & successful restaurants around the world. That's pretty much the reason why he has this show.

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    5. When the restaurant is hundreds of thousands or even millions in debt, which is a common case with this show, its almost impossible to save it, even if Gordon turns it into an ideal establishment overnight. Its a show, first and foremost. Gordon gives good advice, but in most cases even a total overhaul is too little too late.

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    6. Actually the when he visits the restaurants are on the verge of closing. They are in debt and or have lost their passion. They get their restaurants redecorated and sale to help pay the debt. And quiet a few are still open

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  3. Re the 7/05/2014 comments, where the commentator stated that it seems Chef Ramsay visiting a restaurant is a kiss of death ... that is a completely ridiculous comment and thought! Ramsay is invited to restaurants that are failing; without Ramsay's visit, these restaurants will fail because they're all ready in-process of such. If they fail after Ramsay's visit, it's due to the owner's failure to change their ways and succeed. Think about it. And, the restaurants highlighted on Kitchen Nightmare are set up with a lot of free tools to help them succeed ... new kitchens, dining room makeovers, free food and other inventory so, I don't feel sorry for these restaurant owners who sign-up for a reality show--in a last ditch effort type of attempt to same their dying business. Further, Fox's Kitchen Nightmares, which dropped Gordon Ramsay's name from the show's title for their USA version of the UK's Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is truly typical of USA reality shows ... a lot of drama to draw in viewers. The UK version of the program shows a compassionate Gordon Ramsay truly helping failing restaurants. In the UK's Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, you will see Ramsay's caring demeanor and love for his craft.

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  4. Owner/chef is just not cut out for the leadership/management role, no time management and able to balance so many different things up in the air. I mean, this is why Chef Ramsey never puts his hand in too deeply when they are working with customers, because he knows he can run a kitchen, point is to get the owner to be able to run his kitchen. Very good chef, probably a great sous chef, but not a leader

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  5. "They never did open for lunch".

    Death knell right there. How much money could they make for lunch? How much of their operating costs could they cover doing lunch? If they can make even 60% then after a few dinners they are into pure profit and they can use the same stock as lunch and dinner can be largely the same menu. Simple, efficient and profitable.

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    1. Well said. While - obviously - it will incur additional costs (staff), it means more meals per square meter (i.e. more revenue in the same space) as well moving more inventory. Common sense would tell one to open for lunch unless there is no business to be made at lunch - and not "by guess" but "prooven by trying". But then, common sense and a lot of those restaurants have - no common ground.

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    2. You can just open for lunch Monday through Friday to take advantage of office worker traffic. Single part-time shift staff, simple yet quick menu, maybe stock up on to-go boxes and people can phone or fax in their orders from their office and swing by to pick up. Close down at 2 for cleanup and dinner setup, then reopen at 5 with the dinner menu.

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  6. Common sense is a very difficult concept for most people,but when your Restaurant is failing and you are given new stuff ( appliances, food, Store makeover) And given a completely different way of doing things, that require passion and hard work, one needs to get it there all. And that dear friends is common sense!! As comments below may disagree with me, please see opening line of my Rant..

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  7. Did Sharyn ever actually work at Bazzini? If I remember correctly the website for her business Simply Homemade Desserts (no longer active) stated that Sharyn started the business in 2005. Also Sharyn was wearing a shirt in the Kitchen Nightmares episode with her company's name on it. The episode claimed that Sharyn eventually left Bazzini to start her own dessert business. I don't think that was totally accurate. She had to have already started the business prior to her appearance on the episode. I think that there were two different possibilities regarding Sharyn's work history with Bazzini. She might have been running her own business plus working at Bazzini, or she might have been strictly running her business and not working for Bazzini at all. I think that it's possible that Bazzini might have been outsourcing Sharyn's desserts while the Kitchen Nightmares production crew might have instructed Sharyn to act as a regular employee for the episode.

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    1. The show said she left to focus on (not start) her own dessert business.

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  8. Overall the shows is good. A chance to have a longer life for the restaurants. The changes on the decor, menu, kitchen, etc was good. The problems on the restaurant were found. The solutions were adviced and applied by Gordon and his team. And the rest is left to the owner and his team to manage the restaurant after Gordon left.

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  9. I think Paul is just not cut out for head/executive chef position, he broke down under pressure and need someone to take over and give him guidance. I think he is better suited to just being a sous chef, or at least executive chef in a restaurant he doesn't own so he is not bogged down by managerial stuff.

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  10. I found an article from 2010 with comments from Paul about this episode. He was not pleased with how he was presented.

    http://archive.northjersey.com/story-archives/a-ridgewood-restaurant-braces-for-its-portrayal-on-fox-s-kitchen-nightmares-with-gordon-ramsay-1.1250431

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  11. Paul was a lazy dead beat. He is not a chef, he was merely playing at being a restaurateur. Who the hell only opens from 5 to 9.30 and expects to make money? Where do the people who come out of the cinema at 10pm go?....somewhere open and serving decent food, he's already lost out! When was he doing his prep work?...he should be open for lunch, grab a few customers while getting ready for the evening! I worked at an extremely busy and successful Italian restaurant here in the UK, open every lunch time, and served till 12 at night...£6G profit every week...30 years and counting.

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    1. Lunch time is a great chance to train staff, especially kitchen staff, for promotion to an evening shift. As I said above, you don't have to do lunch 7 days a week -- just catch the weekday crowds if you're in an area with a lot of weekday foot traffic or offices. Have some to-go containers for people who want to take their food back to the office (free advertising!), maybe even offer catering menus where an office can order in 15-20 servings of the same pasta dish for a meeting.

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  12. That's really sad. I liked Paul and his wife. I hope whatever they're doing now that they're happy.

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  13. This is one of my favorite episodes because of Sharyn only. She is hilarious and I would love to have her around 24/7.

    In terms of the restaurant, Paul had given up. It was clear. Food is such an interesting concept and it is incredible how a change in one ingredient can create an almost entirely new dish and flavor. And for Paul to just cook food and send it out like an automated machine after working with some of the best and seeing the possibilities shows that the pressures of the business world and the constant failures and setbacks had made him give up.

    Ramsay came in and tried his best to reignite the passion that he knew Paul had while also giving his little restaurant a new look and a new signature stamp that he could market and show to the world, like he does with most places. I loved the changes and you could see that Paul reignited the fire a little bit but was too beat down to really get there and reverted himself to his old burned out ways once the problems came up on relaunch night.

    Gordon is amazing, but he can't do everything. People forget three major things. First, these restaurants are chosen out of all of the calls the producers got because they're failing the worst. Yes, it makes for good TV, but it also establishes very slim chances for a full recovery. These places would have to be highly profitable for months on end with no setbacks or extra costs in order to break even, let alone start turning an actual profit. Second, most of the owners only wanted the free makeover and publicity from the show. They never intended to keep new changes to the menu or tips from Ramsay. Once they switched back to their failing ways, it just spells doom from the start. And finally, Gordon only has one week to pull it off. Months of time would be needed to truly get down to the problems of the restaurant and start making changes gradually so the staff could adapt and then new staff could be hired to make sure everything ran smoothly. One week only gets them a "starter kit" so to speak and it's up to the will and skill of the owners whether or not it stays successful.

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  14. I kept wondering what was in that jar that appeared to be water. LOL! I'm just kidding but...I think I for him the thrill was gone but it didn't walk out the back door like the sous chef did...It may have walked out by the door of his home address... He hinted too what his family life was like and his wife did too. Nothing more deadly to your self esteem and confidence when you stop believing in your self then the person who once believed and looked up to you stop believing in you even more. Like your wife and children. Like food, fresh is best and expected...So I wish his would have hired a head chef. Give himself a break. Blame Ramsey! That's probably what he's doing!

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