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Gordon Ramsey Nightmares, USA version

coll Feb 20, 2007 02:04 AM

Stopped in at a local restaurant last week, hadn't seen the owner in some time. When I asked what's new, he told me that Gordon Ramsey is making a Kitchen Nightmares show there and also other places aroound the country, they're shooting in March and airing in May. Wish I could pick up the BBC version but this will be better than nothing.
PS I volunteered to help out while they're filming but I'm sure that won't happen!!

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  1. n
    nuxvomica RE: coll Feb 20, 2007 06:23 AM

    love that show! i read somewhere they advertised for interested restaurnats. glad to hear it's airing soon(ish) but i wonder about that return-to-check-on-the-place bit at the end of each episode. how much time are they giving the restaurant before he comes back to check on them, a month? (based on the soot - air dates: March -May) perhaps they're changing the format a little. at any rate, looking forward to it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: nuxvomica
      mnosyne RE: nuxvomica Feb 20, 2007 09:45 AM

      The ad ran a while ago on Craig's List Los Angeles.

    2. peetoteeto RE: coll Feb 20, 2007 06:41 AM

      Great show. I have a poor quality DVD of the first season...my SO and I watch it quite often. I'm not sure how much I'd advertise that my restaurant is going to be featured on Kitchen Nightmares, however!

      6 Replies
      1. re: peetoteeto
        coll RE: peetoteeto Feb 20, 2007 10:22 AM

        He told me it's because he's new, not bad! But he did own another place for many years, so he's fudging it.

        1. re: coll
          Robert Lauriston RE: coll Feb 20, 2007 11:29 AM

          The idea of the show is that the restaurants are doomed to fail without an intervention.

          If the food's good, then there must be business problems. Unless maybe he's just cooking up imaginary problems to get on the show.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            coll RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 20, 2007 02:22 PM

            I wouldn't be surprised!!!! Or because it's an Irish pub and it'll be around St Patricks Day?

            1. re: coll
              Robert Lauriston RE: coll Feb 20, 2007 02:49 PM

              The "before" situation is always that the restaurant's facing bankruptcy, either from a well-deserved lack of customers or because expenses are out of line.

              Ramsay spends a week trying to straighten them out, then goes back a month or so later to see if the place has turned around.

        2. re: peetoteeto
          toptvchefs RE: peetoteeto Mar 3, 2007 05:01 PM

          I have all 4 seasons on DVDs too but mine are excellent quality. LOL. Ramsay’s kitchen Nightmares is one of my favorite shows. Mainly because it contains a huge amount of practical business advice. Not just for running a restaurant. The lessons Ramsay outlines can apply to any type of business. I’ve watched the show many times on dvd and keep finding new pointers and ideas. Very useful.

          1. re: toptvchefs
            taco clandestino RE: toptvchefs Jul 12, 2007 09:04 AM

            Is there any way to get DVD's of the shows? I don't have tv, cable, or satellite but would love to see it.

        3. daily_unadventures RE: coll Feb 20, 2007 09:13 AM

          So exciting! They used to air them on FoodTV Canada and I was addicted.

          1. t
            toptvchefs RE: coll Mar 3, 2007 04:55 PM

            Excellent post.

            1. r
              Rocknrope RE: coll Jul 12, 2007 08:53 AM

              My hope for this show is that they don't "Americanize" it so much that it's just Gordon running around yelling at everybody, a la Hell's Kitchen. The one thing I love about the UK version of Kitchen Nightmare's is that Ramsay comes across compassionate, excited and willing to get into the muck of things (How often do you see 3 Michelin star-chefs do you see peeling potatoes?) .

              So far the previews have me less than enthusiastic, but we'll see.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Rocknrope
                cackalackie RE: Rocknrope Jul 12, 2007 09:03 AM

                I don't see the yelling of HK as being anything to do with America, do you? Sounds like the US -HK is the same as the UK-HK, yes? (Sorry - added that for effect.)

                By the way, have you all heard that there's already a lawsuit filed by the owner of one of the US restaurants, claiming much was staged?

                1. re: cackalackie
                  jeanki RE: cackalackie Jul 12, 2007 10:51 AM

                  They posted the affidavit for the lawsuit somewhere and it sounded kind of ridiculous. They were trying to use GR's behavior on episodes of Hell's Kitchen as evidence of his nature etc. I think he won a similar lawsuit in the UK.

                  1. re: cackalackie
                    Rocknrope RE: cackalackie Jul 12, 2007 11:00 AM

                    That could be the case, as I haven't seen the UK-HK. Perhaps I made the generalization that America tv shows seem to enjoy creating the caricature of a personna and running with it (The slut, the goody-two shoes, the jock, the brainiac, the foul-mouthed chef. ;))

                    1. re: cackalackie
                      Jugo703 RE: cackalackie Jul 12, 2007 10:26 PM

                      Sounds like sour grapes. The BBC show simply forces the owner/chef to realize the incompetence that surrounds them (sometimes its themselves!) and to take action if they want to stay in business & make money. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it dosn't.

                      Article about the case:

                      Case docket:

                  2. applehome RE: coll Jul 12, 2007 10:05 PM

                    Just saw tonight's episode on BBC America (of the UK series). He turned around a place in Spain's Costa Del Sol - La Parra de Burriana. He says that he has 2 weeks to do each place, and then comes back in about a month. This one looked very well done - but I understand that he's being sued by one of these places.

                    Here's the episode guide for the program on BBC America's page:

                    This is Fox's site on the US series - not much info there:

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: applehome
                      Rocknrope RE: applehome Jul 13, 2007 07:38 AM

                      I saw last night's BBC-A premier as well. Quite good, and probably one of the longest times I've seen it take for the chef to get it out of his thick head that what he was doing wasn't working.

                      Ramsay is actually there for only one week, not two, so he doesn't have much time with each place.

                      I was cracking up when he was describing the kabobs and a table full of "donkey d*cks"

                      1. re: Rocknrope
                        weezycom RE: Rocknrope Jul 13, 2007 11:43 AM

                        When I saw those horrible swinging kabobs coming out, I was thinking "oh my god, it looks like a schl*ng!"

                        And then GR said the exact same thing. Couldn't believe it wasn't bleeped out.

                        1. re: weezycom
                          LabRat RE: weezycom Jul 13, 2007 01:58 PM

                          Since BBC-A is available only via cable systems and satellite in the US, they don't fall under FCC regulation. Gordon can say whatever the bleepin 'ell e wants to!

                          1. re: LabRat
                            cackalackie RE: LabRat Jul 13, 2007 09:09 PM

                            That still doesn't prevent them from bleeping him!

                            1. re: cackalackie
                              food_eater79 RE: cackalackie Sep 19, 2007 11:07 AM

                              Yes they still censor some of it, but not all. The ones I've seen elsewhere have not been censored at all.

                        2. re: Rocknrope
                          Scrapironchef RE: Rocknrope Jul 13, 2007 05:35 PM

                          I don't run a resto anymore, but if I was in trouble and GR came to help me I might just listen to him.

                          Before he arrived I might even rent the previous seasons and take a look. No way would I have a 72(!) item menu or a kitchen that dirty.

                          The sad part of the whole thing was that my wife and I paused the show to read "new" menu, if we were looking for a placce to eat we'd probably skip this place and look for more seafood.

                          1. re: Scrapironchef
                            Leonardo RE: Scrapironchef Jul 13, 2007 06:28 PM

                            Shopsin's in NY has hundreds of menu items and they do just fine.

                            1. re: Leonardo
                              Scrapironchef RE: Leonardo Jul 14, 2007 12:28 PM

                              With one chef? All done with a deep fryer and a griddle? Badly?

                              1. re: Leonardo
                                Stephmo RE: Leonardo Jul 14, 2007 08:01 PM

                                Calvin Trillian's love aside, I believe the restaurant is now closed. With all due respect, if you've seen Kitchen Nightmares no one on that show had a desire to be Shopsin's. I can guarantee you for the "hundreds" of menu items (let's face it, 30+ kinds of pancakes is cheating it and is basically batter with whatever thrown in), if you really wanted to get the best of something in town (let's say Banana Pancakes), Shopsin's wasn't the absolute best place to get them. It was a great place to visit as a tourist and much of the charm was in the atmosphere. They are clearly an exception to the rule, although I doubt Shopsin's was ever constantly on the verge of bankruptcy and desperately adding menu items in hopes of luring new customers.

                                In watching Kitchen Nightmares, you will find that GR's message regarding too many menu items is incredibly consistent and makes complete sense. If you have 30 + menu items that require a ton of ingredients, you open yourself up to three big problems: 1) you do a lot of things decently but nothing extraordinary which means that you're not likely to get people talking about how fantastic you are and coming back; 2) due to the huge ingredient list, you will either have to use sub-standard items (read: premade sauces and the like) or if you use fresh, you'll kill yourself with food waste; 3) the more your kitchen has to switch gears when they cook, the more likely you're to get behind, the more likely your service will suffer.

                                It's really a brilliant series that we're fortunate enough to get on BBC America. I do hope that they don't tinker with the formula too much to get the Fox factor going. As others have noted, there are many fantastic business lessons to be learned from this show - and it's amazing to see how blind people can be in trusting the wrong sorts of people with their dreams of owning a restaurant.

                                1. re: Stephmo
                                  weezycom RE: Stephmo Jul 16, 2007 11:26 AM

                                  Nicely put, Stephmo. One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants seats perhaps 110 when packed (which is often) and has perhaps 25 items on the menu. Another neighborhood joint -- that I've always been a little disappointed in -- seats at best 45, is usally 2/3rds empty, and has 40 to 50 menu items. I always look at that menu and wonder how the restaurant can stay in business with that many items on offer and such a scant amount of people to eat it.

                                  1. re: weezycom
                                    billyparsons RE: weezycom Aug 17, 2007 07:21 AM

                                    There's a restaurant here in Tuckahoe, New York that subjected themselves to Gordon's new show. I was in there and briefly discussed the taping with the chef (feel funny even calling him that). He’s seems to just think the show was a documentary and is “fun tv”. Man is he in for a surprise once the show airs.

                                    See para. 3 in this post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/425778

                                    Amazingly enough, the place still sucks even after Gordon did his thing. I have a strange feeling these guys never saw any episodes from the UK. After Gordon leaves the place, they're usually left standing around with their tail between their legs.

                                    What these restaurants don't understand is that for Gordon to even pick the place, it's got to be bad. Really really bad. Gordon took this place in Tuckahoe and showed what a bumbling fool the chef is and proved that just because you’re a daytime soap actor, it’s not qualifications to run a restaurant. Think he can really take an idiot and teach him how to run a kitchen in 7 days? I spoke to this guy and he was still clueless, even after being mentored by Gordon.

                                    Sorry Gordon, there’s just no helping people that just don’t care.

                                    I will say that watching the show should be required viewing for anyone planning to open a restaurant.

                                    Anyone see the new trailer when the guy comes running after Gordon in the street yelling “I’ll kick your ef-ing british ass!”? This U.S. version is sure to be a hit.

                                    1. re: billyparsons
                                      cackalackie RE: billyparsons Aug 17, 2007 08:11 AM

                                      I've seen the trailers a lot recently. I can't believe how....different it seems to the British one. Perhaps it's partly due to the fact that the yanks don't know much about him - what to expect....

                                      Can't wait!

                                      1. re: cackalackie
                                        jeanki RE: cackalackie Sep 18, 2007 11:01 AM

                                        This show starts this week! The British Kitchen Nightmares is one of my all-time favorite shows; GR is much more human and well rounded in those episodes than the unwatchable Hell's Kitchen. The ways each restaurant reflects a dysfunctional dynamic and how he actually has to come in and play motivational speaker and shrink to these various staffs is absolutely fascinating. Granted his message gets a little repetitive after a while: Do a simple menu with fresh ingredients so you can keep up with orders, but it's mind-numbing in how many different ways people cannot follow this common-sense recommendation. GR butting heads with American-style narcissism should be fun to watch.

                                      2. re: billyparsons
                                        MRS RE: billyparsons Sep 25, 2007 02:45 PM

                                        Just curious...which restaurant was it in Tuckahoe?

                                        1. re: MRS
                                          jeanki RE: MRS Sep 25, 2007 06:33 PM

                                          I think I heard 'the olde stone mill'

                          2. Robert Lauriston RE: coll Sep 18, 2007 01:40 PM

                            Which network is this on?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              Stephmo RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 18, 2007 02:23 PM

                              Fox...so you know it will be a bit different from the British version (more on the rants and raves, I'm afraid less on the humanizing side of GR).

                              1. re: Stephmo
                                applehome RE: Stephmo Sep 18, 2007 09:53 PM

                                Any info on the lawsuit? Funny that for all the ones he did in the UK, he never got sued - he does a couple in the US, and bang...

                                I've really enjoyed the UK ones. He works hard (or seems to - maybe it's just TV). He often leaves people with recipes that become their trademark dish. And he has certainly shown a creative ability to do things (parades, call in some local "stars", give food away) to pull in new clientele. He absolutely understands the business side.

                                1. re: applehome
                                  billyparsons RE: applehome Sep 19, 2007 09:43 AM

                                  Tonight is the episode with Peter's Italian Restaurant. Check out the teasers on youtube. This version blows away the UK series. You have to see the kitchen blow their stack!

                                  1. re: applehome
                                    jeanki RE: applehome Sep 19, 2007 11:00 AM

                                    Although he wasn't sued directly, GR sued the London Evening Standard for libel after they wrote an article interviewing the owner of Bonapartes who alleged GR had faked some of the scenes (which was a similar complaint by the recent US lawsuit by some Indian place in NYC). GR won the UK suit.

                                    I saw the affidavit online of the US lawsuit, and, fair trial notwithstanding, their complaints don't seem that legitimate. Talk about biting the hand that feeds them.

                                    1. re: applehome
                                      Rocknrope RE: applehome Sep 25, 2007 02:17 PM

                                      Umm...he DID get sued in the UK by the owner of Bonaparte's, which Ramsay won. The judge threw out the US lawsuit from the restaurant Dillon's.

                                      1. re: Rocknrope
                                        applehome RE: Rocknrope Sep 25, 2007 03:14 PM

                                        No - I don't think so. As Jeanki says, it was Gordon that sued the newspaper, and won 75,000 pounds and a retraction/apology. I see nothing on-line or anywhere saying that the (ex) owner of Bonaparte's, Sue Ray actually sued him. The NYC suit was thrown out of court.

                                        Here's a link to a BBC article:


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