Kitchen Nightmares - Mangia Mangia - CLOSED

Mangia Mangia Kitchen Nightmares

In this Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mangia Mangia in Woodland Park, Colorado.

Mangia Mangia was bought by owner Julie Watson, who just wanted to own a restaurant and chose to make the restaurant an Italian restaurant to stand out from the competition.

The staff says Julie is a bad manager, she shouts and swears at the staff and doesn't know how to run a restaurant.

The staff also don't like head chef Trevor as he has a bad temper, is mean to staff and has walked out on service.

Arriving at the restaurant Gordon pulls into the drive thru and is confused that a fine dining restaurant offers this service.

He is told by Janelle that only a couple of customers use the drive thru a day.

Gordon orders the soup of the day, Janelle forgets to give him a spoon and the soup is a solid sludge.

Gordon meets with Julie who tells Gordon that Trevor has an attitude but she hasn't fired him as it is hard to get staff in the town.

She also reveals that Trevor has no formal training and was promoted to chef from previously washing dishes.

Gordon meets Andrea and Trevor, who tells Gordon that his food is a 5 out of 10.

Inside the restaurant Gordon orders mushroom ravioli, veal piccata, salmon, lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs

The ravioli is bought in with a terrible glowing white sauce and the lasagna is still frozen in the middle.

The meatballs taste like "warm foam", the veal is raw in the middle and the balsamic drenched salmon tastes frozen.

Gordon confronts the staff in the kitchen including Trevor and cook Kevin and discovers that none of the staff have any formal training.

Julie is defensive about the food, telling Gordon the food is good. Gordon walks out and Julie bursts into tears.

Gordon returns for a dinner service but it is a disaster. Everything is cooked in the microwave, they are serving yellowed spinach and dishes are poor quality or over seasoned.

Most of the food is returned to the kitchen but is thrown away without Trevor tasting it.

Gordon decides it is time to inspect the walk in and finds mold on the floor and 400 portions of pre-cooked pasta.

The staff reveal that the cooks change the breadcrumbs every other day, coating both egg plant and chicken means cross contamination.

Frustrated, Gordon walks into the dining room and explains that only 5% of the food they were served is fresh and 95% of the food was frozen.

Mangia Mangia Part 2

Julie walks out, the service stops and the staff go out back to smoke and moan with Kevin shouting at Julie.

Janelle tells Gordon that Trevor tried to punch her at work, the staff don't always turn up for shifts and Kevin and Trevor have both often come to work high.

The next day, the staff meet to discuss problems in the restaurant and Chris tells Julie that they are all treading on egg shells around her.

It emerges that Trevor has had a number of violent outbursts in front of customers and it is revealed that he has a meth problem so Julie fires him so he can get help for this.

Gordon teaches the cooks a fresh salmon dish and a lasagna, both dishes will be cooked fresh and will not be cooked in the microwave.

Gordon makes some calls and he recruits Chef Don Wolf to run the kitchen and Kevin is eager to learn from him.

Gordon hosts a family fun day to advertise the restaurant. They give out samples of the food to the community and there is a pasta eating contest.

The restaurant decor is given a makeover, the booths are removed and the menu is revamped with fresh menu items added.

For relaunch night, things get off to a bad start when Julie fires quickly orders at the kitchen.

Julie is told to slow down as the fresh food takes longer to cook and customers need a break between course.

The customers are impressed with the new decor and also with the food and the staff are also much happier in the restaurant.

As a final prank, Gordon pulls into the drive through to pick up the microwave from the kitchen.

What Happened Next at Mangia Mangia?

In the following weeks, the positive feedback continued and Julie asked Don to stay on to continue training the kitchen.

Reviews were mostly good on Yelp and Julie had responded to the negative reviews.

Reviews on Trip Advisor were positive after Gordon's makeover and the filming of the episode with compliments on the food and service.

They initially kept most of Gordon's changes before returning a number of menu items to create a menu with both new and old shortly after Gordon's visit.

They also returned to serving soup or salad with main dishes and returned their old ciabatta bread as Lisa did not like the new bread.

Julie also hired a new head chef as Don left shortly after the episode was filmed and she also hired new servers.

Some customers said that Julie remained a problem and mistreated both staff and customers.

Mangia Mangia closed in November 2014.

Trevor's dad posted an update on Facebook on how Trevor was doing after the show,

Many of those who saw the show have asked for an update about Trevor. Shortly after the show was taped, he moved out of Woodland Park. He entered rehab and after 6 months has "graduated" from the intensive aspect and is in a maintenance mode. He is now 9 months clean and sober.

He is in the process of chosing a culinary school to enroll in. There are many aspects of the show that were not aired, so please don't judge too quickly. In case you're wondering my source, I'm his Dad and I'm very proud of what he's accomplished

Mangia Mangia was aired on 25 April 2014, the episode was filmed in August 2013 and is Kitchen Nightmares season 7 episode 5 and 6

Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Previous episode - Kati Allo

Next episode - Zayna Flaming Grill

This post was last updated in September 2019.


  1. I went to this place several months after Ramsey came and this restaurant was just par. Pretty much forgettable after eating there. I've tried the other Colorado Kitchen Nightmare place and it's excellent. I would recommend Pantaleones to anybody who wants to try one of Ramsey's successes.

  2. ... and BBC America ... I'm watching it on BBCA now!

    1. Today is July 9, 2015 and they just finished airing part 2 of the episode. I'm trying to find out why they closed, other than the fact that the owner was on the other side of crazy and her daughter had more than her share of issues as well. If they were the only Italian restaurant in the area, one would think that with Ramsay's help and the positive reviews afterwords, they could have made it. Personally, I would have changed the name to something more recognizable in an Italian theme because not many people are probably aware of what "Mangia, Mangia" even means, let alone know that it's Italian for Eat, Eat. Something simple like "Mario's" or "Luigi's" to convey the Italian theme to the locals who had been there and had a negative experience might have helped. I know how trivial that sounds, but a name, good or bad, can affect a business for a long time. I feel bad for the people who lost their jobs, but the owner's attitude and possible mental health were not conducive to a successful business.

  3. The daugher is so obnoxious. Ugh.

    1. Yeah. Whilst she certainly had her reasons (Who wouldn't be enraged at working with a disrespectful drug-addicted incompetent who tried to assault you), she's hardly any more competent, constantly whines and seems to defend her mother more than she should.

    2. I actually rather liked the daughter, Janelle - considering the stock that she came from. That mother/owner Julie was clueless and in full denial. I'm guessing they both suffer from bad taste in men, as well as poor taste in food. Dating Trevor was clearly a poor decision, and one that she will hopefully learn from. Janelle's overflowing emotions were perfectly understandale, considering the stress of running a failing restaurant and being abused by the nutjob ex-BF chef on a daily basis.

    3. Trevor atleast had the balls to admit his mistakes. The mom and daughter never admitted to anything. It was never the mom or daughters fault according to them.

  4. I agree! I felt like the owner was using him as a scapegoat because it was an easy out. Blame the junkie, can him, then turn things around and no one will realize the problem with the owner!
    I was honestly surprised that they didn't give a follow up on what happened to Trevor, and also surprised that Gordon Ramsey didn't take more time in a double episode to address the issue.

    1. Because Ramsay already did a double episode for this restaurant.
      And this particular season they did follow up days to only weeks after, whereas Trevor's beginning recovery was a year later.

  5. I love the confusion over 550 grams of flour.

    Is it just me or does Julie remind you of a female version of Alan Love from the Loves Fish UK episode in both her mannerisms and way of speaking?

  6. I was really worried for Trevor as well. I would love to hear from a local that he found a better place to work and didn't turn to drugs after getting fired in such a humiliating way!!!!

  7. For those, like me, asking about how Trevor is doing, I found this FB link where supposedly his dad left a comment on the post. It is from 2014 tho. According to the comment, Trevor went to rehab, followed by drug-free maintenance outside, and then at the time is looking into going to culinary school.

    1. This is wonderful! I hope he continues to do well. Addiction is a scary road and without support and love it can be difficult. I wish him and his future the best. Thank you for providing this info. I was searching for the same thing!

    2. Ah, good news from this mess!

    3. That's absolutely great news. I was in tears watching it as I also cooked at an early age and struggled with addiction. It really hit home. Very good that he took steps to better his life

  8. Janelle said in that show that Trevor had been on for like 3 years. I didnt hear how long he worked there or when they went out or whatever be he clearly had drug issues long before working there. I mean i m all for giving someone a second chance in life or whatever. But, the society today needs to stop with all this blame everyone else for your on personal choices. Awww... they were mean to the poor guy. Let, me tell you this is that guy ever even thought about hitting my daughter.... mean? i would beat the brakes off the kid. Grow up people take reasonably for your own bad choices.

  9. I felt sorry for Trevor - he was used as the perfect scapegoat.

  10. KEVIN WAS THE STAR of Mangia Mangia !
    Always looked fantastic and well mannered even when aimed for attack.
    Sorry he is not working where I could find out how well he is doing now.

  11. I honestly feel like this place was doomed from the get-go. There was absolutely no way Gordon was ever going to go in there and make the necessary changes to keep it up and running without throwing the whole thing away and starting over fresh.

    I am not defending him or his actions but I can see why Trevor was pushed to his breaking point. The way Julie and Janelle talked to him and got in his face--it makes total sense. If someone screamed at me like that or got in my face like that, I'd defend myself too. It would be one thing if it was a 1 vs 1 situation but it's the entire staff vs Janelle and Julie. Those two are in complete denial and refuse to admit to any wrong doing/mistakes. The best thing Julie ever did was close the doors and sell the place.


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