Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps



Aired: 5/6/11

Chef Ramsay is in the up-and-coming Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, ready to rescue identical twins Jim and Jeff, who own the Italian restaurant Capri. The guys started out as frequent customers of the eatery and decided to buy it 14 years ago. As for their attitudes, server Mia calls them "two overgrown boys" who are "immature." Sure, they entertain customers with their childish behavior, but the truth is that they're lazy and they can't cook. Darian, the pizza cook, says that the brothers do as little work as possible. Now, Jim and Jeff are in financial trouble, and if things don't improve soon, they'll have to close their doors.

After shocking Chef Ramsay with their identical looks and wardrobe, he grills the guys with a few questions. Jim is considered the one in charge as he's worked there longer; he says that the restaurant isn't open for lunch because they'd have to hire a whole new staff. In actuality, Jim would prefer to watch TV and play poker during the day than work. Chef Ramsay can't believe that they aren't open for lunch and that they only serve dinner five nights a week.

He sits down to lunch and is disgusted by the dirty menus that are falling apart. Chef Ramsay orders a meatball sandwich, Chicken Scarpello, and the "Colossal" pizza. While he waits, he inspects the restaurant and finds dirt, dust, and grime everywhere. Waitress Colleen says that the place hasn't been cleaned in a long time. Jim's in charge of cleaning, but because he hates doing it, the restaurant stays dirty.

The meatball sandwich is filled with meatballs bought frozen from an outside vendor and then microwaved. "When a restaurant can't even bother to make a meatball, that's not a good sign," says Chef Ramsay. The pizza has so many toppings it's falling apart, but it's the chicken that scares Chef Ramsay the most. He sends Colleen back to find out how old it is, but Jim doesn't know, simply answering that he took it out of the freezer yesterday. They can't afford to keep fresh meat on hand.

In the kitchen, Jeff starts crying before Chef Ramsay shows them that every table has pieces of gum stuck underneath. He then gives them his review of the disgusting food, including the pizza's canned toppings. He asks them to clean up before dinner service. Jeff sobs even more.

That night, Chef Ramsay discovers more filth in the disorganized kitchen. The refrigerator is filled with rotten vegetables; old, pre-cooked dishes; and a warm marinara sauce that shouldn't yet be in the fridge. Not surprisingly, tons of dishes get sent back, and a sobbing Jeff steps outside with Chef Ramsay and says that he feels like a failure. Jeff jumps back in the kitchen, but quickly makes matters worse by improperly defrosting chicken. A frustrated Chef Ramsay implores Jim to take the chicken off the menu, who makes a loud announcement to the customers that they're no longer serving chicken.

Chef Ramsay tells him that he's being a baby and calls him a spoiled brat. Many diners walk out rather than continue to wait. Chef Ramsay sums up the dinner service with the word "lazy" and says that Jim and Jeff - not their staff - need to clean the kitchen. Jim gives cleaning a try, but he gets frustrated and breaks down in tears.

The next day, Chef Ramsay arrives early, and with the help of Colleen and Darian, opens the place for lunch. Jeff and Jim show up and are surprised to see a full dining room. Chef Ramsay serves them his new lunch menu: a chopped salad, a sausage lasagna, and a simple Margherita pizza. The lunch shift brought in $300, and the guys are thrilled, realizing that if they did that five times a week they'd be seriously boosting revenues.

Later, he takes the guys to a boxing studio to get their aggression out. Jim breaks down, saying that he's a failure. Chef Ramsay gives him the encouragement he needs to feel more confident. While boxing each other, the guys both decide to communicate better in order to be successful. It's time for change. Back at the restaurant, Chef Ramsay gives the guys a lesson in meatball making, and then Jim heads outside to shout to the neighborhood that Capri now offers homemade meatballs.

Next, Chef Ramsay and his team work overnight to give Capri one of the biggest makeovers in "Kitchen Nightmares" history. Everyone is completely blown away. They got rid of the hideous green booths and replaced them with wooden church pews. The gross carpet has been pulled up, and new menus have been printed. Capri's offerings now include an eggplant parm pizza, a baked meat lasagna, a baked herb chicken in a white wine sauce, and a fresh chopped salad.

Word has spread of Capri's relaunch, and the place is packed for dinner service. Jim is calling out orders and food is quickly making its way out to the diners. Some dishes are going out a little too quickly and being sent out cold, and Chef Ramsay is disappointed that the kitchen isn't properly plating the dishes as he showed them. An hour into service, Jim is struggling to keep up with orders, and customers are getting frustrated with the wait . . . and the fact entrees are arriving before appetizers.

Chef Ramsay takes both guys outside and tells them to command the kitchen, stop panicking, and focus. It's not a race, and customers will wait for good food. The kitchen staff gets into a rhythm and manages to get things back on track. Diners are indeed happy with the food.

Afterward, Chef Ramsay tells Jim and Jeff that they've come a long way, but they both must work hard, show up early, and remember that "lazy" is a four-letter word. He wishes them luck and leaves, saying that he really believes Jim, Jeff, and their little restaurant can become a tourist attraction.

One month after Chef Ramsay's departure, the twins kept their promise and began serving lunch. The new food and décor have made Capri a hot spot in Eagle Rock.

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