On this episode of "Kitchen Nightmares," Chef Gordon Ramsay checks back on four troubled restaurants he tried to save. His first stop is Harrison, New Jersey's Spanish Pavilion, run by two brothers who had turned the restaurant into a battleground. The sibling owners spent most of their day fighting. Chef Michael and his brother Jerry, who ran the front of the house, had managed to get $500,000 into debt. On first impression, Chef Ramsay found both the menu and the décor outdated.
At dinner service, Chef Ramsay saw that customers were sending back their food. The tension in the kitchen launched Michael into self-destruct mode, and he pushed a member of his staff during a heated exchange.
The next morning, Chef Ramsay conducted a sneak inspection of the establishment. He was shocked to find too much food in storage and a pigeon flying freely around the kitchen. Trying to reignite Michael's passion and commitment, Chef Ramsay taught him to prepare a new chicken dish and unveiled the new menu.
On relaunch night, Michael was up to his old antics, getting flustered and quickly falling behind. But with Chef Ramsay's encouragement, he refocused and served a dining room full of satisfied customers.
Upon his return visit, Chef Ramsay again wages a sneak attack. He slips in the backdoor, and this time he's ecstatic to see a cleaner and more organized storage area. He's also pleased to see Jerry, who tells him that business has increased by almost 15 percent. But Chef Ramsay is shocked to learn that Michael has moved on to a managerial job at a chain restaurant and is no longer working at Spanish Pavilion.
Chef Ramsay next journeys to Kingston Café in Pasadena, California, where the stubborn owner, Dr. Una Morris, had been completely resistant to change. She wouldn't even listen to her son, Keone, who managed the restaurant. But the biggest problem was the food. The signature jerk chicken was dry and tasteless. And Dr. Morris' fiery defense of it was, in Chef Ramsay's words, "Jamaican me crazy!"
Dr. Morris finally let her guard down, tearfully confessing to Chef Ramsay that she grew up without a mother and was determined to be somebody. After their breakthrough, relaunch night turned into a huge success.
Upon returning to Kingston Café, Chef Ramsay gets an update from Dr. Morris. He learns that Keone is focusing on his education and is no longer a big part of the business. Dr. Morris says she will always love her son but admits that she would rather not work with him. She has also replaced her entire kitchen staff because she felt she needed to make a change to start anew. Dr. Morris reveals that the restaurant's income has gone up 30 percent since the changes were made. Chef Ramsay declares that the food she's now serving is delicious.
Chef Ramsay next travels a little further west, to Eagle Rock, California, to get an update on the Thiel twins at Capri Italian Restaurant. When Chef Ramsay first met Jim and Jeff, he found their place to be like a bad comedy club. Jim ran the kitchen, while Jeff worked the front of the house. But the overgrown kids acted more like babies than owners. The chef realized that their laziness was leading them to bankruptcy.
At Chef Ramsay's first meeting with them, neither would accept responsibility for being in charge. Worse still, the dining room was filthy and the food was "nasty." He told Jim and Jeff to "find a pulse and get real."
At dinner service, the customers called the food disgusting. Chef Ramsay was appalled to uncover their risky methods for defrosting chicken and insisted that they take it off the evening's menu. That night, he forced the twins to clean their kitchen.
In hopes of getting them to believe in themselves, Chef Ramsay took the brothers boxing and made them confront their fear of failure. Back at the restaurant, he taught them how to make a delicious meatball, gave the dining room a complete makeover, and unveiled a new menu. Although relaunch night got off to a rocky start, the twins ultimately rose to the occasion and agreed to work at making Capri a success.
Upon his return, Chef Ramsay finds Jim and Jeff serving a buzzing lunch crowd. Jeff is in control of the front of house, while Jim is efficiently running the kitchen. Chef Ramsay is happy to see that the restaurant is clean and that business has increased by 20 percent. Best of all, the brothers are acting like grown men and responsible restaurateurs.
Chef Ramsay's final stop is La Frite in Sherman Oaks, California, where sibling rivalry had been destroying the restaurant. Brother and sister Alex and Celine were constantly arguing, while their father, Andre - who owned the business - was trapped in the middle of his children's bickering. After a tearful heart-to-heart conversation, the family moved past the issues dividing them. A dining room makeover and updated menu helped put La Frite back on the road to success.
When Chef Ramsay checks back at the eatery, he finds a harmonious family and delicious food. Celine says that her brother and father are doing their best to listen to her and respect her opinions. Alex admits that it was tough to see such big changes occur, but that he took Chef Ramsay's advice to go for it and not look back. He confirms that these days he and Celine focus on working together to make sure that they're on top of everything.
Episodes appear online 1 day after airdate. Learn more
|Episode Title||Description||Air Date||Expires|
|5/16||Amy's Baking Company (43:43)||
A couple finds it hard to listen to Chef Ramsay's advice.
Chef Ramsay heads to "Music City."
|5/14||Prohibition Grille (43:42)||
Chef Ramsay helps a belly dancer shake up her restaurant.
Chef Ramsay convinces a Greek restaurant owner it's time for a change.
|5/12||Mill Street Bistro, Part 2 (43:42)||
Chef Ramsay's quest to help a bistro owner continues.
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