Kitchen Nightmares - El Greco - CLOSED

El Greco Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits El Greco in Austin, Texas.

El Greco is a Greek restaurant owned by Jake Konstantinidis and his mother Athina.

Business was great for the first 6 months but business has declined and Athina has put all her money into the restaurant.

Gordon arrives and meets Jake and Athina.

He learns that Jake is a trained chef but shows up just before service starts.

Athina and sister Kiki also cook in the kitchen and do the prep each morning at 6am.

Jake turns up late and an argument breaks out.

Athina believes Jake is the reason the restaurant is failing and she is losing all of her money as a result.

Gordon meets manager Anthony who reveals that they argue frequently and Jake is there just three hours a day because he likes to play video games.

Gordon orders the stuffed zucchini, lamb shank and moussaka.

He says the zucchini is like "something out of an alien movie" and is bland, the microwaved lamb looks anaemic and is too salty and the moussaka is like dog food.

He brands the food non authentic and embarrassing and server Dustin tells him the food was cooked by chef mike aka the microwave.

In the kitchen Jake defends his food as high end quality food and Gordon believes he just doesn't care any more.

Gordon observes a dinner service, meets Deigo the line cook and is amazed that they use the microwaves so much whilst nothing is cooked on the burners.

Jake defends his use of the microwaves by saying he isn't cooking but reheating which astounds Gordon who tells him he needs to respect what he is cooking.

The next day Athina and Kiki are left to do the prep after Jake promises to come in and help and when Jake arrives late another fight breaks out.

Gordon tells Jake he needs to arrive earlier each day but he tells Gordon he doesn't like to come to the restaurant due to the nagging from the pair.

Gordon tells the sisters they need to back off and stop the nagging whilst he is at the restaurant.

Gordon decides on a staffing change and throws chef mike out of a third story window.

Jake admits he has lost his passion and Gordon teaches him some Greek dishes that will feature on their new menu.

Overnight, Gordon's team revamps the restaurant and the menu is changed.

On relaunch night everything is to be cooked fresh to order.

Jake does not delegate and is doing everything in the kitchen, this slows the food leaving the kitchen.

Gordon steps in and tells the staff to help him.

The evening gets back on track and the relaunch turns into a success.


What Happened Next at El Greco?

In the following weeks, progress is made however the debts were too large and too difficult for them to over come and El Grego closed in December 2011.

Several staff left the restaurant including the lead line cook and there were many disagreements after the episode was filmed, according to cook James.

James also claimed that Jake was difficult to work with and had already started cutting corners on Gordon's menu.

Yelp reviews after his visit were mostly poor with negative comments on the food quality, menu availablity and slow service.

Local press reported that the regulars were not pleased with the changes that Gordon made.

Many regulars claimed that Gordon removed the authentic Greek food and replaced it with generic Greek fast food.

El Greco was aired on January 20 2012, the episode was filmed in August/September 2011 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 9.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Michon's

Next episode - Park's Edge


This post was last updated in August 2019.

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19 comments:

  1. I thought the makeover looked pretty good, I think they were just in too much debt to be able to climb out in time.

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  2. Not shocked it closed, the "chef" had one of the worst attitudes I've seen in the show. His aunt was right on point about him. I do feel bad for Athina, hope she's ok

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  3. I'm amazed Jake wasn't put down with the way he spoke to his mother.

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  4. I feel bad that 2/3rds of the restaurants Gordon visits close down. What does that tell us? He arrives too late? This is more about entertainment than really helping? What?

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    1. In some cases, the debts are too significant, and an improvement in the business would have to be fast and huge to keep creditors at bay. By the time KN comes in, many of these places seem like they should have been forced into bankruptcy years before! In others, stubborn owners or chefs revert to the old ways that were failing them in the first place. I do sometimes wonder if the short time Gordon spends at each place is simply not enough to undo existing damage - be it family drama, incompetence, bad reputation, etc.

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    2. I don't think it's on him. If he didn't visit, 100% would close.

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    3. well alot of the places he does help seems to be so deep down in debt when he already arrives alot of them seem to be around 1 million in debt which is obviously gonna take some time to pay off and as such they could close for that reason but it can also be that they just go back to their old ways or sell it to someone else.

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    4. You have to keep in mind that turning a profit in the restaurant business is very hard as is. The fact that 1/3 remain open in the worst business venture there is, is pretty great.

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    5. The thing is that the majority of the time, Gordon Ramsay doesn't come in and talk to the owners about how to price food, how to run the business in general. It's a redecoration, a new menu, maybe a little therapy, then gone. But the best menu on the planet isn't going to save a restaurant owner who doesn't know how to price his food, pay creditors or invest in the right things to make the business work.

      So yeah, of course most of the failing business still tank. They're on their last legs anyway, but not getting a proper education on how to run the business end and pay off their debts really helps them along.

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  5. @Mark Holloway what it shows us is that people are either to stubborn, uneducated, or impassionate to ask for help before it is to late. Gordon is a very successful restauranteur and I feel sure that those restaurants that have made a come back thanks to his help were caused by a genuine desire to have their restaurant succeed.

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  6. If I were to speak to my mother the way this guy did, I wouldn't have lived long enough to regret it. He is a disrespectful little turd! The only reason I can't say I'm happy his business failed is because he dragged his mother down with him.

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  7. Just started watching this show and Im up to Season 5, I think Michons was the only restaurant so far that was not in so much debt.

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    1. Its pretty clear how business savvy the parents were. They had a good business and could also see the train wreck was coming long long before hand.

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  8. Another so called "CHEF" in these episodes thinking reheating pre cooked food is just fine lol. Poor mother with useless son maybe he should play video games as a job and see how he does.

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  9. I hope that now that the restaurant is closed that the mother and aunt have a place to stay with other family members,hopefully the son would take better care of them though.

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  10. chef useless with bad attitude and so lazy rip chef mic

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  11. Chef Mic isn't much of a cook but at least he shows up on time.

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  12. Couldn't even finish the episode. The attitude of the owner's son had me take to the internet to confirm suspicions. Only other episode to do that do me so far was the owner of the restaurant whose boyfriend accused Gordon of planting dead mice to pad ratings for television.

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