It's been a year since Chef Ramsay traveled the country, attempting to help a crop of failing restaurateurs. They may have asked for his assistance, but that didn't stop them from fighting him every step of the way. Now, he is back to check up on three of those same eateries and to find out how they've fared on their own. Which restaurants are cooking? And which owners turned their kitchens back into a nightmare?
Back when he was first called in to help Lido in Manhattan Beach, California, he found that immature owner Lisa treated Lido less like a business and more like a sorority party. She was even hooking up with an employee! The food was sub-par, and Lisa didn't seem to hold her chefs to any kind of standard. After discovering a disgusting kitchen with dust and dirt everywhere, Chef Ramsay called customers in to show them the filth, which brought Lisa to tears.
While Chef Ramsay and the staff cleaned the kitchen and finished up dinner service, Lisa spent the night hiding in the bathroom. After getting an honest talk from Chef Ramsay, she showed up the next day ready to improve things. She spent the evening learning how the kitchen worked and finally took a genuine interest in the food. After a total makeover - which included taking down a wall that was dividing the dining room - Lido was turned into a hip wine bar with a menu of small plates.
Unfortunately, on relaunch night, the kitchen staff revolted and walked out. But Chef Ramsay persuaded them to return and also called in his friend and sous chef on "Hell's Kitchen," Scott, to help turn things around. Most importantly, Chef Ramsay began believing in Lisa.
Now, Chef Ramsay is back to check on Lido and Lisa, and though he happens to show up when Lisa is in the ladies' room, he's happy to see that the restaurant is packed. Lisa says that she took everything Chef Ramsay told her to heart and has "stuck to the plan." She has kept up great cleaning habits and has gotten more involved in the kitchen.
Chef Ramsay tries a mushroom flatbread he created and loves it. Lisa is thrilled to report that revenues are up 20 percent and she's turning a profit. As for that boyfriend, she fired him a week after Chef Ramsay left and swears she'd never date a staffer again. Though she admits that she hated Chef Ramsay when he first arrived, she now absolutely loves him. The two head back to the kitchen where Chef Ramsay is pleasantly surprised to see how clean things are. He gives the space an actual white-glove test and finds it spotless. Lisa and Chef Ramsay share a glass of the new "Lido" wine she created, and then she asks Chef Ramsay to help her cook a dish. He jokes that she's become demanding, but obliges.
The two cook a pan-seared duck together, and Lisa says that the biggest thing she learned from her mentor was the confidence to get in the kitchen and take the reins of the whole restaurant.
Before checking back in on Anna Vincenzo's in Boca Raton, Florida, run by hot-tempered owner CeCe, Chef Ramsay recalls his first visit there - back when CeCe was running the eatery into bankruptcy. Her dad lent her $300,000 to get the business started, but he eventually ended up working for her. CeCe's husband, Michael, who worked as the head server, was afraid to speak up and be honest about his wife's cooking, but Chef Ramsay wasn't.
The food was bland and frozen, and it didn't surprise Chef Ramsay that customers were constantly sending dishes back ... which only infuriated an emotional CeCe. After CeCe walked out on a dinner service, Chef Ramsay had a serious heart-to-heart with her, explaining that she needed to let him in to help.
Things began to turn around when CeCe finally admitted the food was bad. After Chef Ramsay and the team transformed the dark dining room into a light, bright space, he streamlined the menu and turned Anna Vincenzo's into a quality family restaurant with fresh, not frozen, food.
Relaunch night got off to a rocky start but ended as a huge success. Before leaving, Chef Ramsay reminded CeCe that she had everything she needed to make the place work and she needed to "go for it."
When Chef Ramsay returns he gets his first shock of the visit - Anna Vincenzo's is closed. He tracks down a server who explains that CeCe went back to her old ways, cut down portion size, and raised her prices. He then shows up at CeCe's house and gets another big surprise: the formerly obese CeCe has lost a tremendous amount of weight. She says that she made the choice to sell the restaurant because she wanted to put her children first and felt she couldn't handle both responsibilities.
The good news is that she'll be paying her dad back his loan from whatever money she gets from the sale, but the bad news is she and Michael have separated after too much stress in their marriage. She asks - half jokingly - for a job in one of Chef Ramsay's restaurants, but he doesn't make any offers. Chef Ramsay says that he's happy to see she's in a good state, and the two hug goodbye.
A short distance from Boca Raton is Lighthouse Point, Florida, where Chef Ramsay previously stepped in to help Le Bistro, where locals were treated poorly by arrogant and angry owner Andy, whose motto was "the customer is always wrong."
Back then, the place was bleeding money, and Chef Ramsay soon discovered the food was awful. Though Andy had studied in top Michelin-rated restaurants, just as had Chef Ramsay himself, something was very wrong with his cooking. Adding to the problems, the service was slow and Andy wouldn't let his sous chef help cook.
Chef Ramsay told Andy that he didn't understand the value of his customers or his staff. Andy wouldn't listen to Chef Ramsay, so he set up a boat ride with a slew of former customers who all gave their two cents about why they've stopped dining at Lighthouse Bistro. After another debacle of a dinner service, Chef Ramsay tried to drill home what kind of serious trouble the business was in, and Andy finally saw the light.
Inspired, Chef Ramsay and his team renovated the restaurant and reworked the menu. For reopening night, Chef Ramsay invited a lot of local VIPs to check out the place, but Andy soon got back into his old lazy habits and was about to send out undercooked food. Outside, during a private talk, Andy admitted that he needed to make a change. After dinner, Chef Ramsay told Andy he finally saw the man he'd been wanting to see.
Now, Chef Ramsay has returned and is interested to see how Le Bistro is doing and to find out if Andy has stayed the course or not. He walks into a full house and finds out from Andy's wife that business is up 20 percent and that Andy has actually become a little less stubborn and a lot more light-hearted. The kitchen's been reorganized, and Andy has started to delegate responsibilities.
Andy admits that the biggest lesson he learned from Chef Ramsay is that change is good. Chef Ramsay sits down with Andy's wife, where she explains that Andy has become less of a snob. Andy joins them just as Chef Ramsay is digging into his lunch and is relieved to learn that Chef Ramsay loves what he's eating. Chef Ramsay stands up and announces to all the customers that this year marks their 10th year in business, then he raises his glass for a toast. Andy says he'd love to see Chef Ramsay back in another 10 years ... but he'll have to make a reservation.
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