Costa del Nightmares - Mayfair / Jacks Chicken Shack - CLOSED

Mayfair Jacks Chicken Shack Kitchen Nightmares

In this episode of Costa Del Nightmares, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Mayfair Restaurante in Fuengirola, Spain.

Mayfair Restaurante is owned by South Londoner Pat and her Spanish husband Jack.

They met 45 years ago whilst Pat was on holiday, they married and settled in England.

Jack is eccentric, a hoarder and his ways are driving his wife Pat mad.

They opened a successful restaurant in London but moved back to Spain 28 years ago and opened Mayfair.

The couple have two children, Marie and John and they help at the restaurant.

Marie says that the restaurant is like a second home and the family all come over.

John thinks that the restaurant is filthy, old fashioned and says that nothing has been changed in more than 25 years.

He says that people will eat at the restaurant once and never come back again.

He also shows that there is old produce stored in the freezers and pulls out some fish that he thinks is 10 years old.

John is very vocal to his father about wanting them to serve fresh and it leads to an argument.

Since the recession they have lost £30,000 a year and Pat had hoped they would be able to retire in their 60s.

Pat is there 16 hours a day and doesn’t sleep from worrying about the problems at the restaurant.

John says maybe it is time to hand the keys back in but Pat says that she can’t do that.

Gordon arrives and meets Pat, John and Jack.

He says that he notices that the beach front restaurants are all full of customers, all except Mayfair.

Gordon finds broken freezers, a room full of clutter and doors leaning against the wall.

Pat reveals that the restaurant has been restricted in size to make room for his clutter.

Gordon finds a tray of lemons and more clutter in the storeroom with their alcohol.

Pat reveals she has sold her house in England and is using money from the sale to support the business instead of their retirement.

Pat reveals that John would have taken over years ago if Jack would let him and she isn’t happy.

Behind the bar, the tapas counter has raw pork and cooked chicken stored next to each other.

The kitchen is filthy and there is also fresh produce stored on top of old, mouldy produce.

There are also trays of precooked spaghetti, chips and chicken with thousands being wasted as he buys every day.

After discovering a rotting chicken carcass, Gordon orders the kitchen and restaurant to be closed.

Jack’s chef Juan has been working for him for more than 25 years and has developed many bad practices.

Gordon comes back the next day and Jack has cleaned the kitchen and thrown away old produce.

Gordon sits down to order some food and is offered ketchup by John

He orders a tortilla and the potatoes taste rotten and microwaved.

The fried fish dish is sloppy with rubbery calamari and squid.

Juan tastes the dish and thinks that it tastes fine.

Jack takes over in the kitchen after he is disappointed by Juan and serves Gordon a 2 day old chicken.

The chicken is dry and cold.

Gordon orders John to taste the sauce and he says it is nasty, Jack tastes it and calls it salty.

He tells Pat that his meal was a joke and he thinks the issue is Jack, who acts like a dictator.

Gordon talks to Marie who says that her dad is a hard head and Pat just shuts up and puts up with it.

She says that John tries to tell him to change but it turns into a war.

Gordon puts down a line and tells Jack he isn't to enter and if he crosses the line he'll put him in the sea.

John is to run the restaurant going forward and Juan is not to use a microwave.

Gordon wants to make sure that he can actually cook not using the microwave.

Jack is out front charming the customers but the kitchen is falling apart with Juan overcooking meat and putting chips in a cold fryer.

Gordon thinks that Juan has given up and doesn’t care anymore, he is just there to be paid.

Jack refuses to sack Juan as he feels sorry for him and John reveals five years ago he told him to sack him.

The customers aren't happy with the wait and substandard food with one being only served stale bread and poor olives.

Some customers send food back, some customers leave without paying and John is furious.

Gordon meets with John, who also runs a car rental firm but John is losing money and the cars are falling apart.

He reveals that the business has cost him 300,000 euros, is losing 4,000 euros and he has mortgaged everything he owns to pay for it.

John breaks down in tears and tells him that the cars are broken and he can’t afford to repair them.

He says that his dad gave him 40,000 euros to start the business and Gordon tells him to sell the business to pay them back and reduce the debt.

Gordon arrives the next day and says he hasn’t seen a mess like this before and Jack needs to change.

He orders them to declutter the restaurant but Jack struggles to let go of things.

Gordon goes for a walk down the strip to see the competition and what food is available.

Most of the food available is standard British fare that can be served at the British seaside.

Gordon returns to the restaurant and sees Jack trying to keep hold of things and the front of the restaurant is full of things to be sold to raise funds or thrown away.

Pat is overjoyed that the clutter is now gone from the restaurant.

With the clutter gone the restaurant has doubled in size and the sale raised £300.

Gordon reveals he had bought a new sign with the money.

The restaurant is to be a fried chicken shack called Jack’s Chicken Shack.

The restaurant has been repainted and extra tables have been added with 38 more covered available and the family are overwhelmed.

Gordon shows them how to make fried chicken and they will cook fresh to order every day.

The menu is small and simple and the family love it.

There are also sauces and salads to upsell to help boost income.

Jack, John and Pat are sent into the town and are promoting the restaurant in chicken suits.

A new chef has been hired and Juan is demoted to pot washer.

On opening night, there are all hands on deck. One customer says that the smell from the kitchen is amazing.

The kitchen is prepared but the front of house have given 5 big orders to the kitchen at once.

Gordon orders them to stop taking orders for 5 minutes to allow them to catch up.

Jack doesn’t know the table numbers and doesn’t tell the customers which chicken is which.

Gordon despairs as Jack returns to the kitchen with raw chicken that has been served to a customer.

Raw chicken keeps returning to the kitchen and he orders them to slow down, take no more orders and work as a team.

John steps in and supports the kitchen and the kitchen runs smoothly, sending out good food to the customers.

The customers are happy with the food despite the wait and they have made over 700 Euros.



What Happened Next at Mayfair / Jacks Chicken Shack?

Gordon returns to the restaurant 4 weeks later for a surprise visit and they have kept the chicken theme.

He arrives at lunch time and the restaurant is busy with many happy customers.

Juan has left the restaurant and has been replaced by another Juan, Young Juan.

The kitchen is spotless as the staff have kept up the cleaning regime and the fridges are clean.

They are averaging 4-500 Euros a day and John has sold a few of the cars but he hasn't repaid his parents.

John writes an IOU to his parents and it is put inside the till to ensure that he does repay them.

In the 3 months prior to airing, they were averaging £1500 a week.

John has sold two more cars and still hasn't paid his parents back.

The owners have reported since that both customer satisfaction and sales are up.

John has since reverted to his own recipe and told the Mirror in October 2014 that his recipe was better and that he was losing £2500 a month.

Jacks Chicken Shack closed after failing to reopen for the 2019 season.

Curry Corner opened in it's place in April 2019 and reviews for Curry Corner are excellent on Trip Advisor.

Reviews since Gordon visited were mixed, mostly negative on Trip Advisor, reviews of the 2017 summer season are very bad and have not improved in 2019.

Twitter user Chris, visited the restaurant in June 2014,

"my girlfriend and I went in June, a few weeks after filming finished. The food was not bad, looked like they'd taken inspiration from Nandos a bit.

We weren't aware at the time who Jack & Juan were but turns out they were the two guys hanging out at a table making the place look untidy!

John (the son) served us and he was pleasant enough but we seemed to sense some tension between Jack and him. John said something at one point in Spanish that mentioned "Chef Ramsay" delivered in a passive aggressive tone!

We sat outside but was very quiet for an evening, didn't venture inside but wish I had after last nights viewing!"

Jacks Chicken Shack was aired on 23 September 2014, the episode was filmed in May 2014 and is Costa Del Nightmares episode 1.


Read About More Kitchen Nightmares

Next episode - Le Deck

This post was last updated in May 2021.

2 comments:

  1. I'm curious. Is "Costa Del" the one-off series that is the finale to the Kitchen Nightmares franchise, or is this re-brand a way for GR to get complete control of the KN concept away from Optomen?

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  2. I'm an American and I watch the show on BBC America. I'm just glad that there are not going to be any further episodes made in the U.S. because they are either done by the owners for publicity and new equipment or the owners are so incompetent that they would mess up a lemonade stand and are a complete embarrassment to the restaurant industry.

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