Kitchen Nightmares - Michon's - CLOSED

Michon's Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Michon’s in College Park, Georgia.

Michon's is a Smokehouse and restaurant owned by Al and Gaye and their daughter Natalie works in the restaurant.

They have owned the restaurant since 2002 after purchasing it with the intention of passing it on to their daughter.

The staff say when it was run by Al it ran smoothly and his smoked meats were popular with customers.

Al then fell ill with a collapsed lung and needed to take care of his health and passed the restaurant to Natalie.

Natalie is a hands off manager and as a result the standards have slipped and they are losing money.

Al wants Natalie to take charge but she is not interested in doing so.

He is $200,000 and often watches the restaurant via the CCTV that he had installed.

Gordon meets Al first before heading down to the restaurant.

Al tells him the history of the restaurant and that he wants to retire but his daughter is not ready to take over from him.

Gordon is surprised Al has cameras in the restaurant that he watches from home.

Gordon insists on going to see things for himself at the restaurant.

He arrives and meets Gaye and Natalie and is impressed with the stunning decor of the restaurant.

They tell him Gaye works front of house taking care of customers and Natalie does a lot of the backend stuff in the back office.

He picks on her saying she likes to hide there and Natalie is not happy at being told she is not doing much.

Gordon meets server Todesha who tells Gordon the only good thing about Natalie is that she makes sure the staff are paid their wages.

He orders smoked chicken gourmet salad, beef brisket, pork ribs with corn bread, collard greens, sweet potato soufflé and a mac and cheese.

He wants mashed potato salad but is told the kitchen don’t like to peel potatoes.

The smoked chicken wings were supposedly smoked in the morning. The chicken is dry but the sauce was nice.

Gordon is then told the wings were made the day before.

The rest of the food he ordered comes all at once.

The smoked chicken gourmet salad has soggy, old, rotten tomatoes, the ribs are dry, the corn bread is stale and dry and the black-eyed beans are bad.

Gordon then feeds Todesha some of the beans and she says its nasty.

The beef brisket is dry, rubbery, chewy and can pass as beef jerky. .

Gordon meets Archie, Terell, Kelvin, Joe and Terence who all work in the kitchen but not one amongst them is the head chef.

Joe who smokes the meat, admits nothing that he was served was smoked on the day and everything was microwaved, only the salads were fresh.

Gordon returns to watch a dinner service and finds the kitchen reheating food rather than serving the fresh chicken out of the $17,000 smokers!

He witnesses every meal being put into the microwave.

Gordon finds out they bring all the meat out of bags and discovers plastic tubs with hundreds of chicken wings that were cooked days ago..

Gordon asks to see the smoker machine, which is big, high tech and functional with tasty chicken wings currently being cooked on the rails.

Natalie comes outside and Gordon asks her why day-old wings are being served when there are tasty fresh wings in the smoker ready to go.

In the dining room, people are sending back all the food and Gaye says it is a normal occurrence.

Gordon points out the restaurant is highly disorganised and brings out all the precooked stored meat and pours them on the counter and it is well over 100 smoked wings and meats.

The staff are shocked at the amount of meat that is already cooked and will be served to diners.

Gordon believes Natalie is in denial and doesn’t want to be involved.

He asks her to hand over if she doesn’t want to commit and she insists she is bothered.

The next day, Gordon holds a staff meeting with the family watching from the office.

The staff speak their mind without holding back and a lot of the blame is placed on Natalie.

The kitchen think they are lacking a leader, their scheduling is awful and communication between the kitchen and servers is very poor.

Natalie finds it brutal to watch and she is ready to step up.

Gordon is touched by her resolve and promises to help her turn things around.

Natalie’s first job is to nominate a head cook. Terrence is one of the longest staff and he is given the honour.

The staff is shown their new menu based on meat that can be cooked in the smoker.

Chef Adam, an expert in barbecue is brought in to mentor the kitchen staff for a month.

On relaunch night Gordon invites some VIP guests, barbecue experts to come along and test the new Michon's.

Natalie is confident leaving Terrence to run the kitchen so she can talk to customers.

The cooks are having some trouble adapting to the menu and food is taking long to come out.

Gordon gets Natalie to go into the kitchen to straighten things out, clear the tickets and the food in the window.

To entertain the VIP guests and distract them, she takes them to see their expensive smoker.

It works and they are excited about it taking pictures and it gives the kitchen enough time to catch up.

The customers and VIP guests are impressed with the food from the new menu and the relaunch is a success.



What Happened Next at Michon's?


Natalie has claimed that the episode has been doctored by producers, does not show the true facts, was damaging to the family and many of the conversations were taken out of context.

The College Park branch of Michon's featured on Kitchen Nightmares closed in August 2013 after retiring when Al's health continued to decline.

The Peach Tree Center Avenue location closed in early 2018.

Yelp reviews prior to the closure of the College Park location were mostly negative, highlighting poor service, a long wait and poor food.

Trip Advisor reviews also complain of long waits for food, small portions and the restaurant running out of menu items.

In March 2012, the newly opened Downtown Michon's restaurant burnt down in a fire just a few weeks after it's launch.

Michon's is Kitchen Nightmares season 5 episode 8 and was aired on January 13 2012. The episode was filmed in September 2011.

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - The Greek at the Harbor

Next episode - El Greco


This post was last updated in January 2021.

14 comments:

  1. I noticed that towards the end, when Gordon, Michon, and the chef Gordon brought are in the office the chef gordon brought's apron changes colors. From black and white stripes to solid black.

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  2. Do they still stockpile wings and serve them days later?

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  3. Looking at the show repeat now. It is appalling. If Natalie did not want to be in the business, she should have been adult enough to say so from the start.

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  4. It says closed but also indicates that the original place is still open. In a way, it is still open? Perhaps the title should indicate it is still open?

    I think it is neat that they are still in business.

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    1. The restaurant featured in the show is closed and that is what the blog post is about. I do state that the other restaurant is still open but it isn't the same restaurant so I don't want to mislead the readers of the blog who would only be interested in the restaurant featured on Kitchen Nightmares.

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    2. That location was beautiful,I hope their other location is as beautiful. Good Luck!

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  5. I don't know why this programme as shelved as it's an eye opener to where you expect decent food at any restaurant, personally I think most of these places were too far gone before this programme intervened and that's why most of them sailed down the river!

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  6. What annoyed me about this episode is the pressure for her to actually want to run the restaurant, its such an American thing, that what the parent wants to do, the offspring must automatically want to do as well. I would think if it was still open, she'd run it till the parents passed away and sell it as soon as she could.

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    1. She pretends to want to take the reins. If she does not want it, get some guts and walk away from it. Leave it to someone competent.

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    2. Hi Anonymous, I am Natalie.. It took alot to give up medical school to help my father's business go from 500K per year sales to 1.8 Mil per year sales. Gordon Ramsey called us. - we didn't call them. I hate how they twisted our family story line for ratings. It also hurts -how they picked one of our most troublesome employees to represent us. - that was for ratings as well. She hoped to walk out of there with a show of her own. She thought it was funny - yet apologized for her comments afterwards.
      No, Ramsey did whip things in shape in 24 hours... they caused ruckus to fix things.
      No we didn't serve old food - we couldn't cook food for 3 days prior to Chef coming.
      No we didn't stock pile food to serve. That food was for a client that we smoked meat for. We had to discard all of that product and redo it.
      No we weren't perfect. We are a typical small business that faced many challenges that others faced. We served over 6000 customers per month - and served our communities for 27 years. When my fathers health began to worsen - we retired.

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    3. they should have hired a manager that liked working there and let her go to medical school like she wanted.Several of the employees had been there a long time and loved food and at least would make sure they did overstock wings and use rotten tomatoes.The staff just microwaved everything so it would be hard to

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  7. Ratings or not, and since you all knew that he was coming, why didn't you all serve the best food?

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  8. Natalie thank you for setting it straight. The show should have let the viewers know you were giving up med school. I just watched this episode on YouTube.

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