Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps



Aired: 5/20/11

Chef Ramsay is back in New Orleans this week, this time visiting world-famous Bourbon Street. It's a great location for Oceana, an eatery brothers Rami and Moe took over from their father in 2008. According to staffers, the owners are always at each other's throats, and hot-headed Moe screams and snaps at employees. But what's worse is the filth: the place is crawling with bugs, and even rats! The kitchen is disorganized, and Oceana is losing money. Moe and Rami agree they need Chef Ramsay's help.

Chef Ramsay is confused as soon as he arrives, due to the fact that Oceana actually consists of two different restaurants sharing one kitchen and one menu. Rami tells him that he wanted to combine the two, but his brother won't let him. Chef Ramsay chats a little with server Nell about how easy it is to get fired, thanks to the owners' tempers. In fact, Nell has been fired four times during the 17 months she's worked here!

Chef Ramsay orders seafood gumbo, the crab cake platter, and blackened duck. Before he even starts cooking, Damon, Oceana's executive chef, is convinced that the guest of honor is going to like the food. Well, Damon is wrong. Chef Ramsay thinks the gumbo tastes old and is "an embarrassment to Bourbon Street."

Back in the kitchen everyone agrees that the food good and Chef Ramsay simply doesn't know anything about Cajun cuisine. Chef Ramsay insists the crab cakes must be frozen and not made in house. The duck doesn't fare any better. He calls it tough and says that it tastes like it's been cooked for five days. After sharing some with Nell, she declares, "It tastes like the bottom of a shoe."

Back in the kitchen, Moe and the chefs joke around about Chef Ramsay's critique, then Chef Ramsay requests to speak with Chef Damon. He tells him that the food is embarrassing and lacks flavor. Though Damon claims that the crab cakes aren't frozen, Rami admits that they indeed are, and asks how Chef Ramsay can help them if they're just going to lie. Moe insists they simply don't have enough customers, so they don't have a choice when it comes to freezing the crab cakes.

Next, Chef Ramsay grills them about the duck. None of the chefs knows when it was cooked. Finally, Moe explains that the duck is cooked off premises once a month and frozen. Chef Ramsay is in shock. Damon gets fed up with Chef Ramsay's questioning and gets in his face, attempting to start a fight. Chef Ramsay storms out, saying he can't help them if they're going to lie. Rami tries to have a talk with Damon, explaining that it's not just Chef Ramsay who doesn't like the food.

Later, a cooled-down Chef Ramsay returns for dinner service. Dishes are being sent back to the kitchen as quickly as they're going out. Damon, however, refuses to admit Oceana is serving bad food, claiming it's just "bad opinions." Soon, Chef Ramsay discovers that the hot cupboard, which is supposed to be keeping food, well, hot, is just lukewarm. Everything inside is only room temperature; the crabs inside are milky, and a container of cream sauce has gone sour. Chef Ramsay takes a whiff of the shrimp and nearly vomits.

Moe is distraught and can't believe this is what's going on in his business. Rami says Chef Damon should know better. As Chef Ramsay empties out the walk-in fridge, he discovers an overload of fried crabs, pasta, crawfish, and jambalaya, and moldy food at the bottom of bins. "How dare you serve me food from this disgusting fridge?" Chef Ramsay asks. Moe is in shock and wants to know how long this has been going on. The last straw comes when Chef Ramsay finds three dead mice in a trap right in the middle of the kitchen. He implores the owners to shut Oceana down immediately.

After customers leave, Chef Ramsay calls in professional exterminators and then takes a walk around and finds plenty more filth in the kitchen. The staffers work overnight to clean the place for the first time. In the middle of it all, Moe loses his temper with the servers and begins kicking furniture before doing a shot of liquor. After he calms down, he tells Rami that today was a wake-up call, and Chef Damon needs to be let go. Rami reminds him that he's been saying that all along. Damon tries to blame his prep cooks, but the brothers aren't swayed. He's fired.

The next morning, in a newly cleaned Oceana, Chef Ramsay sits down with the brothers and finds out that Moe refuses to write down any of his recipes and keeps them all in his head so that no one steals his secrets. After Chef Ramsay calls Moe a few names and Moe threatens violence, Chef Ramsay leaves, and Rami somehow convinces his brother that when Chef Ramsay called him a "busy idiot," it was actually a compliment.

Later that night, Chef Ramsay returns and begins to work with the staff on revamping the menu and demonstrating how to cook a few new dishes. He warns Rami and Moe that he won't continue unless the brothers are prepared to accept his changes. Moe is reluctant, but they both agree to cooperate.

Chef Ramsay's team works through the night to transform Oceana. They've decluttered the dining rooms, created a more New Orleans-style décor, and made both rooms feel more connected. Even Moe is happy with how it turned out. Next, Chef Ramsay introduces new versions of the restaurant's stale dishes, including revamped crab cakes, jambalaya, and, of course, that blackened duck. Moe admits that it's all delicious and says that he's excited to serve it to customers.

Later, however, with dinner service about to kick off, Moe is nowhere to be found. Chef Ramsay calls him on the phone and gets him to come in. He's also called in three professional chefs to help train the staff in getting the new menu right tonight . . . and in the future. Rami will supervise the kitchen and Moe will run the front of the house.

As orders start rolling in and dishes go out to diners, things are running smoothly until Moe starts hanging around the kitchen rather than greeting customers in the dining room. After Chef Ramsay shoos him out, he returns to complain about the kitchen getting food out too slowly. Chef Ramsay explains that good food takes time, but Moe is growing impatient and decides to "take a little break" due to the stress. Chef Ramsay can't believe it and Rami is super-frustrated.

Chef Ramsay tracks him down outside, but Moe refuses to return. Despite Moe's absence, the kitchen staff doesn't miss a beat and works hard to push out the remaining dishes. Customers are happy, and relaunch night is deemed a success. Moe finally returns and can't figure out why his break was such a big deal.

Afterward, Chef Ramsay chats with the brothers and expresses his concerns about Moe. He tells him not to be scared of change and to keep his standards high. Rami admits that he's afraid of Moe wanting to go back to his old ways. Chef Ramsay tells Rami to look after his brother and later says that, due to Moe's attitude, he's not all that sure that Oceana will be here a year from now.

We'll see ...

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