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Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
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  • Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 8:29 pm Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 8:29 pm
    Just got done watching this season premier on BBC America and found it wildly entertaining and definitely *the* most informative food-industry related show I've ever seen. Way better than stuff like "Top Chef", "Next Food Network Star" or "Cooking Under Fire". No challenges, no eliminations no gimmicks. Just a failing business (sometimes deservedly so) that Gordon Ramsay tries to whip into shape. By about halfway through, I really found myself rooting for the subjects of this week's episode.

    I had previously wrote him off as a blowhard jackass from what I'd seen on "Hell's Kitchen" but he's obviously an extremely knowledgeable, inspirational (tho w/ a hard edge and more F-bombs than most people would like) kind of leader.

    Give it a try.

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
  • Post #2 - June 1st, 2006, 8:36 am
    Post #2 - June 1st, 2006, 8:36 am Post #2 - June 1st, 2006, 8:36 am
    I'm in complete agreement. I nearly flipped past it last night thinking, "oh dear not ANOTHER of those shows...not MORE Ramsay..." I gave it a few minutes. Great show. But, then, I also like Footballers Wives and Bad Lads.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #3 - June 1st, 2006, 10:54 am
    Post #3 - June 1st, 2006, 10:54 am Post #3 - June 1st, 2006, 10:54 am
    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares has been on for a couple seasons. Love it but sometimes get grossed out by some of those kitchens.....He can be a bit arrogant but he knows his stuff......
  • Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 7:46 am
    Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 7:46 am Post #4 - June 14th, 2006, 7:46 am
    Dees_1,

    Gordon Ramsay: "He can be a bit arrogant"

    How arrogant does an individual need to be to register more than "a bit" on your scale?!
  • Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 1:27 pm
    Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 1:27 pm Post #5 - June 14th, 2006, 1:27 pm
    Satiate:

    Depends on my tolerance level that day! :lol: Really.....I'm pretty tolerant.

    The first time I watched the show I was appalled! Then I started delving deeper into it......editing tends to show more of the negatives, which lends the name "Nightmares". I think there are a lot of positives that are not shown. Look at how the staff interacts with him late in the show; there's honest respect there. He does something to draw 99% of the staff into his web.

    Heck, look at the editing for Top Chef! I'm sure we didn't "see" the real people; just them as perceived by the editor/producer/etc.
  • Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 4:55 pm
    Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 4:55 pm Post #6 - June 14th, 2006, 4:55 pm
    Dees_1, you certainly seem to be a considerate and fair person, I'm just not used to coming across such traits on a Web forum!

    I agree with you about most "Reality TV" editing, such as in Top Chef. But I really do think that Ramsay is one of the most appalling people around. In addition to watching Kitchen Nightmares and an episode of Hell's Kitchen, I've seen and heard him interviewed on other British TV shows and in print (I lived in the UK for a while, travel there frequently). He is relentless! His attitude to vegetarians, for example, is particularly condescending, obnoxious and offensive.

    Having said that, Kitchen Nightmares is a great show! I just wish someone else hosted it . . .
  • Post #7 - June 21st, 2006, 8:01 pm
    Post #7 - June 21st, 2006, 8:01 pm Post #7 - June 21st, 2006, 8:01 pm
    I was dubious at first, but I've been really enjoying this program. Tonight's episode was the best - very entertaining and instructive with a belly laugh or two. It will be repeated. You should catch it if you can on [url=http://www.bbcamerica.com/genre/home_living/ramsays_kitchen_nightmares/ramsays_kitchen_nightmares.jsp#]BBC America:
    [/url]
    Thu, Jun 22, 2006
    1:00 am ET

    Sun, Jun 25, 2006
    10:00 am ET

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:43 am
    Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:43 am Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:43 am
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I was dubious at first, but I've been really enjoying this program. Tonight's episode was the best - very entertaining and instructive with a belly laugh or two.


    I've been following this show since BBCAmerica first started airing it a couple years ago, I think.

    I'm guessing that you're referring to the episode with the young French chef in the fancy restaurant in Scotland. I just watched this episode and I found it to be one of the best hours of television that I've watched in a while.

    This episode was particularly interesting because Ramsay sincerely had a level of respect for the chef that I have not seen him display before. He was critical without being a jerk, never really yelling, and seemed totally genuine in his interest in this team. It really changed the texture of the show to see him behave like more of a concerned adult and mentor rather than a cartoony (but entertaining) TV chef.

    The episode really told an interesting story of learning, growth, and moderate success. I really found myself rooting for this young chef by the end and I really hope he gets a Michelin star one day.

    It also provided an interesting insight into what it takes to get recognized by Michelin. Anyone even mildly interested in fine dining should find a way to watch this most recent episode.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 2:29 pm
    Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 2:29 pm Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 2:29 pm
    eatchicago wrote:I'm guessing that you're referring to the episode with the young French chef in the fancy restaurant in Scotland. I just watched this episode and I found it to be one of the best hours of television that I've watched in a while.


    Michael, yes, that is the episode I watched. Great, wasn't it?!

    I don't know who the "real" Gordon Ramsay is - the kinder, gentler one in this week's episode, or the sadistic blowhard bully of Hell's Kitchen with the talent for contructing complete sentences using only the F-word for every part of speech (bleeep bleeeep bleeeping bleeepity-bleeep). Both? Neither? Who cares?

    But one thing clearly shows through the posturing and editing - this is a guy who sincerely cares about excellence in the kitchen. I don't think that is a facade and it is pleasure to watch him teach others in different ways to develop and enforce their own high standards.

    Best,
    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 1:08 pm
    Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 1:08 pm Post #10 - June 28th, 2006, 1:08 pm
    Satiate wrote:I agree with you about most "Reality TV" editing, such as in Top Chef. But I really do think that Ramsay is one of the most appalling people around. In addition to watching Kitchen Nightmares and an episode of Hell's Kitchen, I've seen and heard him interviewed on other British TV shows and in print (I lived in the UK for a while, travel there frequently). He is relentless! His attitude to vegetarians, for example, is particularly condescending, obnoxious and offensive.


    For what it's worth, in his new book, The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain states in a chapter about celebrity chefs and reality TV that anyone who knows Gordon Ramsay knows him to be a complete cupcake. This was in reference to a general point as to how skewed TV, even "reality" TV, is. But then again, Tony Bourdain, is similarly gruff and takes a similar dim view of vegetarians, so maybe his idea as to what a "cupcake" is differs from the average person's.
  • Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 9:26 pm Post #11 - June 28th, 2006, 9:26 pm
    Another great episode tonight, even if I couldn't understand a word the chef said. GR indeed showed his soft side w/ the chef, the French folk (great how he dumped one in the water) and gently pushing the owner to grow a pair.

    Sadly, however, things didn't seem to work out:

    http://www.sandgatehotel.com/

    The Sandgate Hotel is under new management.
    Our new website is under construction and will be available soon.
  • Post #12 - July 4th, 2006, 3:30 pm
    Post #12 - July 4th, 2006, 3:30 pm Post #12 - July 4th, 2006, 3:30 pm
    Is it OK to fake being a bully? Aren't all bullies "cupcakes" underneath? Does that make it OK for them to bully someone else?

    Ramsay's fame is based on being nasty, but doesn't he cross the line? For example, have you seen the episode of Kitchen Nightmares where he tells someone who does not eat meat that what they are about to sample is vegetarian? Then he laughs while telling them they've eaten pork! Read the story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/15/nrams15.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/05/15/ixhome.html. Is that not wrong on many levels?

    I've read (and enjoyed) Bourdain too, but didn't take offense. And, for what it's worth, I'm not a vegetarian.
  • Post #13 - July 4th, 2006, 4:01 pm
    Post #13 - July 4th, 2006, 4:01 pm Post #13 - July 4th, 2006, 4:01 pm
    Satiate wrote:Is it OK to fake being a bully? Aren't all bullies "cupcakes" underneath? Does that make it OK for them to bully someone else?

    Ramsay's fame is based on being nasty, but doesn't he cross the line? For example, have you seen the episode of Kitchen Nightmares where he tells someone who does not eat meat that what they are about to sample is vegetarian? Then he laughs while telling them they've eaten pork! Read the story here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/15/nrams15.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/05/15/ixhome.html. Is that not wrong on many levels?

    I've read (and enjoyed) Bourdain too, but didn't take offense. And, for what it's worth, I'm not a vegetarian.


    Actually, he admits during the show in question that he didn't know the pizza contained prosciutto. That he laughs off his mistake in the face of the vegetarian; draw your own conclusions.

    I like him.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #14 - July 6th, 2006, 4:59 pm
    Post #14 - July 6th, 2006, 4:59 pm Post #14 - July 6th, 2006, 4:59 pm
    OK. I "acquired" a few episodes of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares yesterday, and I have to say that the show is fantastic! Ramsay is actually really good. It's a really compelling and satisfying TV show. Bravo!

    I have forgiven him for Hell's Kitchen and all the other stuff. The vegetarian taste test controversey? I have now seen that episode, and it did seem like an accident. Furthermore, he was not as mean as the UK paper(s) suggested. Shame on me for reacting to sensationalistic journalism.

    One more thing: The version of the Sandgate episode I saw was from the original UK Channel 4 broadcast, and it had a text screen at the end of the credits that read: Stuart is now up a mountain in Spain waiting for his baby to be born. Lois and Peter have put the Sandgate Hotel up for sale. They are taking a break from the catering industry.

    Perhaps Lois and Peter were disappointed to learn that running a hotel was not as easy as hosting a catered dinner party . . .
  • Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 12:27 pm
    Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 12:27 pm Post #15 - July 7th, 2006, 12:27 pm
    thanks for the info satiate !
  • Post #16 - July 7th, 2006, 3:27 pm
    Post #16 - July 7th, 2006, 3:27 pm Post #16 - July 7th, 2006, 3:27 pm
    I have to admit that I don't find Gordon to be mean or nasty in the slightest. He is direct and very profane, but I just don't see that as being mean and nasty.

    How would I feel if I worked with someone like that? Well, I guess I work with a lot of people like that (okay, slightly less profane) and it doesn't bother me.

    I think the show is fantastic and I have now put it on my TiVo along with Check Please!
  • Post #17 - July 7th, 2006, 5:11 pm
    Post #17 - July 7th, 2006, 5:11 pm Post #17 - July 7th, 2006, 5:11 pm
    Um, Satiate.....does this mean you're becoming a considerate and fair person!?!? :lol:

    He grows on you.....but he *IS* sensational and the UK press dis him. It's the bad boy/potty mouth that gets them all riled.
  • Post #18 - July 18th, 2006, 9:26 am
    Post #18 - July 18th, 2006, 9:26 am Post #18 - July 18th, 2006, 9:26 am
    Ah Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares or, The Softer Side of Gordon Ramsay. Did anyone see the episode involving the Irish family? The restaurant was Mum's retirement investment, and unfortunately, she suffered from the "Rick Syndrome" as detailed numerous times by Tony Bourdain. That is, she "really likes people" and mostly had dreams of sauntering around her restaurant hobnobbing with her patrons. The space was really cute, but the patrons were left waiting literally hours for badly-prepared food. The patroness, in an effort to save money, installed her ne'er-do-well son, Lenin, as the chef.

    As Gordon discovers partway through, Lenin has a "problem with the drink." Mum, in fact, would sneak him, in the middle of service(!), a squash-like concoction laced with vodka. After that, it was all downhill for Lenin and the restaurant.

    Gordon was quite pissed at what he walked into -- in fact, he accused Mum of knowing about his problem and concealing it from him. But he did quite a good job of carefully coddling Lenin, who he believed was in no position to mentally handle the pressures of the kitchen. Very little screaming in this one.

    Hell's Kitchen, on the other hand . . . WHERE'S THE LAMB SAUCE? WHEEERRRREEE'SSSS THHHEE BLOOOOOODDDDY LLLAAMMMBB SAUUUCCEE?
  • Post #19 - July 18th, 2006, 11:32 am
    Post #19 - July 18th, 2006, 11:32 am Post #19 - July 18th, 2006, 11:32 am
    yeah ... that last one was sad. Lenin was clearly beyond a casual drinker. The tag at the end said he went to full time rehab. Subsequent news is that Mum sold the place and Lenin said that "Gordon saved my life".
  • Post #20 - May 13th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Post #20 - May 13th, 2013, 3:45 pm Post #20 - May 13th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    This is an epic display of pique: http://eater.com/archives/2013/05/13/gordon-ramsay-kitchen-nightmares-amys-baking-company.php

    Here's the odd thing: I bet this place actually gets some business out of this melt-down.

    On Yelp, a brief scan reveals all 1 star reviews -- and one 5 star review.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #21 - May 13th, 2013, 5:25 pm
    Post #21 - May 13th, 2013, 5:25 pm Post #21 - May 13th, 2013, 5:25 pm
    I haven't followed this thread and I don't watch the show - though what little I've seen of GR makes him look not all bad. However, incite's nice Manhattan post reminded me to note that my dinner at Ramsay's restaurant in the London Hotel, NYC, 3 years back was the most laughingly disastrous high end dinner I have experienced - just edging out Le Francais circa 2007 when Roland Liccioni, the maître d', and the rest of the staff were YELLING at each other while sending out some pretty mediocre food. Dark last days. So much tension.

    The Ramsay dinner was only "better" in that I wasn't paying for it. The whole thing was otherwise crazy, with boring super-expensive food and very unprofessional staff dropping in randomly at very long intervals between smokes and high volume debates just behind the screen dividing kitchen from the absurd pompous night-club scene cum dining room. What an idiotic place. The irony.
  • Post #22 - May 13th, 2013, 7:06 pm
    Post #22 - May 13th, 2013, 7:06 pm Post #22 - May 13th, 2013, 7:06 pm
    I thought I could handle the stress of watching these moments in bite-sized YouTube-sized bits.

    Turns out I can't.
  • Post #23 - May 13th, 2013, 9:41 pm
    Post #23 - May 13th, 2013, 9:41 pm Post #23 - May 13th, 2013, 9:41 pm
    This is the one food show's I enjoy on televison. My life has revolved around this type of thing for the last dozen yrs. One inherent problem though is he usually sets them up to fail w/a one day turnaround on the menu, something that takes mulitple days if not wks for all staff to cook/describe/expo comfortably.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #24 - May 14th, 2013, 5:23 am
    Post #24 - May 14th, 2013, 5:23 am Post #24 - May 14th, 2013, 5:23 am
    Jazzfood wrote:This is the one food show's I enjoy on televison. My life has revolved around this type of thing for the last dozen yrs. One inherent problem though is he usually sets them up to fail w/a one day turnaround on the menu, something that takes mulitple days if not wks for all staff to cook/describe/expo comfortably.

    I have watched a few episodes over the years, and I ask the following question not rhetorically, but sincerely: Does anyone think that even one restaurant Ramsey transformed stayed transformed six months or a year later? I don't. I feel the same way about these shows that do interventions on hoarders. The restaurant owners and the hoarders have made a mess of things because of who they are. Who they are is not going to fundamentally change because of a televised intervention.

    I'm sure I could be proven wrong, though.
  • Post #25 - May 14th, 2013, 6:08 am
    Post #25 - May 14th, 2013, 6:08 am Post #25 - May 14th, 2013, 6:08 am
    My experience is that w/o follow up most stray (like a place I did in town a couple yrs ago) but I'd wager many do. Once shown the way, you @ least have a baseline but for many it is out of sight out of mind. They sometime allude to it as a postscript. Would make for an interesting episode though.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #26 - May 14th, 2013, 9:17 am
    Post #26 - May 14th, 2013, 9:17 am Post #26 - May 14th, 2013, 9:17 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    Jazzfood wrote:This is the one food show's I enjoy on televison. My life has revolved around this type of thing for the last dozen yrs. One inherent problem though is he usually sets them up to fail w/a one day turnaround on the menu, something that takes mulitple days if not wks for all staff to cook/describe/expo comfortably.


    I have watched a few episodes over the years, and I ask the following question not rhetorically, but sincerely: Does anyone think that even one restaurant Ramsey transformed stayed transformed six months or a year later? I don't.


    There is a blog that tracks the status of the restaurants. It looks like a good number of places are still open, although only one from the first US season (which would have been shot 7 years ago). I was happy to see that some specific places I was rooting for on the show are still open.

    I definitely understand what you're saying about people falling back into bad habits. I think the UK version does a much better job of trying to change bad habits, while the US version seems to focus on resolving conflicts between owners/staff. I remember one great UK episode where Gordon yells at the owner for driving a very expensive car while having a kitchen that is falling apart - he makes the owner sell the car to buy equipment for the kitchen. Every US episode just gives the restaurant a new kitchen, POS system, etc.

    Ultimately I think he's just serving as a consultant, it's up to the owners to learn from the experience. I'd guess his success rate is the same as any consulting firm in any industry.

    In terms of him being a bully, I can live with it. I'm sure a lot of it is posturing to make a point, and it is exacerbated by the editing. Most of the issues that set him off are pretty serious, and he seems willing to work with anyone who is willing to work with him. You can also look at him as being a strong advocate for the customers.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #27 - May 14th, 2013, 9:29 am
    Post #27 - May 14th, 2013, 9:29 am Post #27 - May 14th, 2013, 9:29 am
    Hi,

    I regularly watch Kitchen Nightmares. While Ramsay's visit may be week or less. They have begun the practice of bringing in a chef to continue with the restaurant for a month at least.

    Earlier this season, they had a two-episodes devoted to a farm-to-table restaurant in Ohio. The owner was narcissistic with the delusion he had the best restaurant in the country. Episode began with a visit to his farm, where he raised animals who eventually made its way to the restaurant. Except some of the meat served came via a shopping club, which is deceptive when he gives the allusion it is his personally raised meat.

    He offered food overpriced for the local market and didn't really encourage locals to visit. He felt his was a destination restaurant, which was more in his head than reality. He initally puffed himself as a European trained chef, though later backed off from this statement. I believe Ramsay felt he should not be in the kitchen and encouraged him to get a chef.

    When they revisited in six weeks, he was back in the kitchen, other staff had quit and he was back to his old ways. I did a search online for this restaurant to see if it is still in business at least it was a few months ago.

    It may be formulaic, though there are many variations on how people screw up their restaurants. Blaming the customer is usually the first symptom. :)

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - May 14th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Post #28 - May 14th, 2013, 9:41 am Post #28 - May 14th, 2013, 9:41 am
    Attrill wrote:I remember one great UK episode where Gordon yells at the owner for driving a very expensive car while having a kitchen that is falling apart - he makes the owner sell the car to buy equipment for the kitchen.

    I remember this episode, because the guy's license plate was something like "Best Chef." Gordon had him calling around to various chef's offering to transfer the plates to them. There were no takers.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #29 - May 14th, 2013, 9:47 am
    Post #29 - May 14th, 2013, 9:47 am Post #29 - May 14th, 2013, 9:47 am
    I can accept these shows as dramatized for your entertainment, but I always wonder about the underlying economics. What kind of debt are these places are in, and does the accumulated debt load make it impossible to make a profit even if they sold out every night. They talk about food, which matters on the unit profit, but that's only part of the equation; I seldom hear anything about what their monthly interest payments are, or if they'd be better off blowing it all up and starting over.

    At a certain point, it's better to cut your losses even if you're starting to make money. If your sunk costs are high enough, it doesn't matter what your food costs or total sales are, as all of your 'profit' goes to servicing debt.
    "I've always thought pastrami was the most sensuous of the salted cured meats."
  • Post #30 - May 14th, 2013, 11:26 am
    Post #30 - May 14th, 2013, 11:26 am Post #30 - May 14th, 2013, 11:26 am
    The story continues aka this is why people hire professionals to handle their social media:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/t ... ebook-ever
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher

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