Airs: FRI 8/7c MAR 1
Gordon Ramsay heads to the heart of farm country in Norwalk, Ohio, where he encounters Joe Nagy, the most pretentious restaurant owner he's ever met. Joe opened the Mill Street Bistro Bar five years ago after being laid off from his job in food sales. He claims he has the best restaurant fare from New York to Los Angeles, but his staff says he is delusional. He claims the food is fresh, farm-to-table, but his employees know the truth. Many of the products are frozen, and the steak comes from a wholesale club.
Joe talks down to his staff and treats them disrespectfully. The comment cards from the customers reinforce that Joe is arrogant and rude to the diners as well. But still he can't understand why his seats are empty.
Chef Ramsay meets Joe at his farm, where Mill Street's food allegedly comes from. He admits to Gordon that people think he's pretentious, but swears up and down that his passion is being mistaken for arrogance.
Gordon is excited after visiting the farm and looks forward to tasting Joe's fresh food. When he arrives at Mill Street, he is impressed by the d?cor, but questions why they have a fireplace raging on a hot day. He also asks all the staff to take off their name badges, which make the place look like a chain.
When his order arrives, Gordon is served greasy onion soup, oily oysters, inedible petite carrots, raw pastry, chewy elk, cold ravioli and dry fish. Instead of farm-to-table, he says it's "farm-to-garbage can." As Chef Ramsay questions the cuisine, Joe begins to show his true colors.
When Joe learns that Gordon has left Mill Street to go get a bite to eat, he dares his visitor to find something better. Gordon returns to give Joe his verdict on the food, one plate at a time. Chef Ramsay says he isn't impressed with anything. Joe finally admits that his "fresh catch of the day" is frozen. After each and every critique, Joe gets more and more defensive. Gordon tells the owner he's in denial if he thinks his food is good.
Chef Ramsay challenges Joe to prove him wrong at dinner service. As patrons arrive that evening, Joe is busy screaming at his servers about how much more he knows about food than Chef Ramsay. The staff seats the customers as the owner retreats angrily to the kitchen.
When Gordon arrives to observe the cooks, he questions the gigantic "Quiet" sign hanging in the doorway. Joe informs him he doesn't allow any talking in the kitchen, and Chef Ramsay wonders how they communicate. Still, they somehow are able to deliver the food to the tables at a reasonable pace. Unfortunately the food misses the mark with many of the customers, and multiple dishes are sent back.
When one diner finds a rock in her ravioli, Joe accuses Gordon of being overly critical. Chef Ramsay takes a break in frustration and goes outside to have a conversation with an ex-employee. She complains about Joe's abusive behavior and shows Gordon photographic proof that the food at Mill Street is not farm-fresh.
Chef Ramsay returns to the restaurant and heads for the storage room, where he finds three-year-old frozen meats, oysters, shrimp and even cheese. It's proof that Joe's farm-to-table philosophy is fake.
When Joe continues to lie to Gordon's face about the freshness of the food, the chef gets increasingly angry. The two erupt into a screaming match, and Joe throws Chef Ramsay out of his kitchen.
Tune in next week for the conclusion of Gordon's visit to the Mill Street Bistro Bar.
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