Kitchen Nightmares

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Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps

Park's Edge

Park's Edge

Aired: 2/3/12

Chef Gordon Ramsay heads to Inman Park, Georgia, an upscale Atlanta suburb, to help first-time restaurant owners Richard and Jorge. Their restaurant, Park's Edge, is on the verge of disaster. The longtime friends opened the establishment three years ago, but Richard had no restaurant experience before opening the business, and Jorge was fresh out of culinary school.

The restaurant's employees say that there is no organization and that their bosses have no idea what they are doing. They say Jorge is delusional, thinking his food is topnotch, when it is not. Richard runs the front of house and states, "I just dress up and smile," but the staff says this grin is masking many problems. The restaurant has had issues with the town for serving liquor without a license and with the neighbors, whom Richard came close to calling racist in a local newspaper article.

When Chef Ramsay arrives, he sits with Richard and Jorge to discuss the problems at hand. They confess to making some mistakes with the locals that they hope to repair. But they also assure him that the quality of their food is not the issue.

Yet when Chef Ramsay sits down to sample the fare, he is baffled by what he calls the "fusion confusion" menu, which has no clear direction or culinary style. He orders several items, including the grilled salad, the fried oysters, and the sesame salmon. Chef Ramsay says that the dishes hideous and inedible. He then goes back to the kitchen and informs Richard and Jorge that the neighbors are not their only problem.

After that, Chef Ramsay discovers that Jorge never trained in a restaurant but opened his own establishment immediately after finishing culinary school. He responds to this information by telling Jorge that he is not qualified to run a kitchen. Jorge becomes insulted by Chef Ramsay's critique and walks out.

Chef Ramsay next sits with Richard and finds out the specifics about the problems with the neighborhood. He says it all started when they put up a tent in the parking lot without a permit, annoying the locals. Then they operated without a liquor license. He finally explains that when the neighbors told a local paper that they wanted a better restaurant in the area, Richard rebutted by saying, "They don't like us because we're a minority-owned restaurant in a white neighborhood." Chef Ramsay asks him if he has attempted to build connections with the neighbors; Richard replies that he doesn't know how.

With a busy night ahead of them, Richard and Jorge prepare their teams for dinner service. Chef Ramsay arrives to observe. It is immediately apparent that the head chef has no idea what he's doing when customers begin complaining about the food.

Chef Jorge loses complete control of the kitchen, leaving the servers and the diners frustrated. Richard hides in the back room rather than dealing with complaints from his patrons. Chef Ramsay asks him what his role is in running the restaurant. He explains that he is overwhelmed and doesn't know what to do.

With disgruntled diners unwilling to wait any longer, the dining room empties out quickly. But while the kitchen may be done for the night, Chef Ramsay's inspection of the walk-in is just beginning. When he finds rubbery, rotting veggies and bad meat, Jorge blames the staff for the quality of the food. But Chef Ramsay has had enough of Jorge's excuses.

The following day, Chef Ramsay asks the staff to unload as the owners watch on surveillance cameras. They beg for Chef Ramsay's help and present a clear picture of the main issues. Richard is reluctant to interact with the guests after they sit down, leaving the servers to solve the diner's problems.

But the employees' biggest criticism is that the two owners know nothing about running the business and are too proud to ask for help. They complain that Jorge will not accept negative feedback and often lashes out at them. When Chef Ramsay brings the two sides together, Richard is visibly moved by the comments and tearfully says he was enlightened. Jorge apologizes for his behavior and promises to change his attitude.

While Chef Ramsay has a plan to relaunch the restaurant, he knows it is critical for the owners to reach out to the community. He arranges for Richard and Jorge to appear on a local news station to promote the grand reopening. Richard makes an open apology to the neighbors and asks for their trust and respect moving forward.

After reconnecting with the community, Chef Ramsay unveils the new look of Park's Edge: edgy, rustic, clean, simple, and modern. The interior features photography and artwork created by local artisans as a way to support the neighborhood. The menu is also revamped. Chef Ramsay has simplified it and made the food easy to execute.

Before the doors open for service that night, Chef Ramsay's team comes in to train the staff to create the items on the new menu. But when one chef, Matt, refuses to make fried chicken, tempers flare. Chef Ramsay persuades him to calm down and start again.

Fresh off Richard and Jorge's TV appearance, the restaurant is packed as the community gives Park's Edge a second chance. Jorge steps up and commands his kitchen, and delicious food is seamlessly delivered to the patrons.

But when Matt begins to display a bad attitude and overcooks the pork, Chef Ramsay calls him out and Jorge removes him from the kitchen. With Matt gone, Jorge takes control, and dishes quickly make their way out to happy diners.

After a successful night, Jorge and Richard are optimistic that they can rebuild their business. Chef Ramsay praises them for a strong finish to a difficult week. He encourages them to not overcomplicate the menu again. He also urges them to push each other to be the best they can be. In the weeks that follow, Richard and Jorge continue their community outreach, and business at Park's Edge is on the rise.

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