Kitchen Nightmares Episode Recaps

Spin-A-Yarn

Spin-A-Yarn

Aired: 2/10/12

Chef Ramsay heads to Fremont, California, to help the owners of Spin a Yarn, a husband-and-wife team whose struggling restaurant is tearing their marriage apart. Saki, the longtime owner, is focused on all the wrong things and his wife, Jen, is on the verge of a breakdown.

Saki had taken over the dying landmark restaurant in 1995 and brought it back to life. With Spin a Yarn booming, it seemed like nothing could come between the Greek immigrant and his dream of owning an eatery. Then he hired Jennifer as a bartender, after she lied about having previous experience. Two years later, they were married with a baby.

Mary, the server, says that Jen is a mess when she tries to help in the restaurant. Saki's wife insists, "I'm not as stupid as everyone thinks . . . I'm not book-smart. I'm street-smart."

When business started to slow, Jen convinced Saki that a remodel would help bring customers back. Despite her husband's target budget of $350,000, she spent almost $950,000 on the new look. Following that, the quality of the food plummeted.

Jen and Saki's daughter, Mikayla, reveals that they'll go days without talking and then when they do speak, it's usually to fight. She says that her parents are on the verge of divorce because of the failing restaurant. Jen admits that she feels things are out of control and they need help.

When Chef Ramsay arrives, he decides to meet Jen at her home before heading to Spin a Yarn. She confesses that she's nervous to have the "white Oprah" sitting in her living room. She acknowledges to Chef Ramsay that although Saki was initially attracted to her, he wasn't her type. She concedes that because of their 16-year age difference, people sometimes call her a trophy wife.

Jen tells Chef Ramsay that communication has broken down between her and Saki. According to her, he's ignoring his family because the restaurant is stressing him out.

Upon arriving at Spin a Yarn, Chef Ramsay finds waiters dressed like penguins in stiff white shirts and bow ties. The hostess, Erica, brings Saki out to meet Chef Ramsay. He takes a tour of the restaurant, marveling at the $80,000 restroom.

Next Saki attempts to explain the menu to Chef Ramsay. He defines the food as "seafood pasta" and then changes the interpretation to Continental cuisine before yet again shifting to describe it as "seafood steakhouse."

When it comes time to sample the food, Chef Ramsay selects the Greek sampler, crab Louie, and filet mignon. He calls the canned salmon caviar mixed with mashed potatoes a "Greek tragedy." He realizes that the crab isn't fresh either and dubs the steak rubbery.

He the heads to the kitchen to chat with the staff. After Chef Ramsay tells head chef Victor that his lunch was horrendous, the cook insists that he's just following the recipes.

Before dinner service, Chef Ramsay pulls Mikayla aside to get her opinion of the situation. When the 14-year-old explains that she's caught in the middle, Chef Ramsay tells her that he's there to help and asks that she come and get him if she needs him. In the meantime, he finds Victor washing dishes rather than cooking.

Not surprisingly, the restaurant's patrons are sending food back to the kitchen. To make matters worst, Chef Ramsay finds old meat and moldy vegetables in the pantry. The conditions are so disgusting, Jen runs out of the room gagging. Once again, the situation dissolves into a screaming match between Saki and his wife.

Chef Ramsay calls the couple aside. He accuses Saki of giving up and challenges Jen to really get involved. With that said, the owners go back inside to address the issues that Chef Ramsay has raised.

The next day, Chef Ramsay sits down with the husband and wife to discuss their lack of communication. Saki promises that he's going to change because he loves his wife and wants her by his side. Jen says she loves him, too.

Now that they've committed to being a team, Chef Ramsay has made some changes for the night's dinner service. He tells Saki he's expediting, and he puts Jen in charge of carving prime rib table-side.

As the dining room fills up, Jen must overcome her fear of cutting the fatty meat in front of the customers. She gets off to a rocky start. But with Chef Ramsay's firm guidance, Jen eventually rises to the challenge.

Since Saki and Jen have proven that they're committed to the restaurant, Chef Ramsay has given them a new, more focused identity: the Spin a Yarn Steakhouse. He's narrowed down the original menu, which had almost 200 dishes. The new offerings are easy yet glamorous.

Minutes before relaunch night starts, Chef Ramsay announces that half of the San Jose Sharks will be dining at Spin a Yarn. The good news is that the prime rib is a big hit with customers. The bad news is that Jen is cutting it so thick they're running dangerously low on the meat. When the pro hockey players all want the prime rib, Victor manages to save the day and the orders are fulfilled.

Chef Ramsay compliments both Saki and Jennifer for their efforts and commends them for their teamwork. In the weeks that follow, the prime rib continues to attract new customers from the Bay Area. And while Jennifer and Saki's restaurant continues to have its quirks, they're working together to make Spin a Yarn a success.

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