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Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares US, Ep.2

Dillon's / Purinama

what a disgusting mess that kitchen was. I was squicking out on my couch seeing all those bugs.

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  1. I felt so sorry for the owner. But what an idiot he was. I was very satisfied when they sent that manager packing. The bugs were so disgusting. I loved the cook that kept hugging GR!

    1. It made me want to never eat out again! I am hoping that was the exception and not the norm but I have a sinking feeling ( in the pit of my stomach!) that the filth may be more widespread than we realize.

      7 Replies
      1. re: baseballfan

        I have worked in several kitchens and they have all been clean, clean, clean. We all were responsible to keep the coolers clean and the food fresh. I could not believe that place! I wanted to see the basement again..after the clean up. Where are the health inspectors in New York City??

        1. re: melly

          I am very relieved to hear that. Going out to dinner is one of my great pleasures in life! I wonder if NYC is like many other cities with a woefully understaffed health dept. With so many restaurants, they may only do routine inspections every couple of years unless a complaint is lodged. Maybe someone in the know can clue us in on how that works.

          1. re: baseballfan

            The health department in NYC has been on a major crack down for the last 8 months or so, if there is a complaint they will turn up every few weeks and make your life hell. Things are much better than they were before and I guarantee you that Dillons was/is and anomaly.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              The Television without Pity Kitchen Nightmares thread has more info on the personailities at Dillons as well as links to the NYC Department of Health inspections for Dillons/Purnima.

            2. re: baseballfan

              I have worked in both filthy kitchens and spotless... filthy is the norm sorry guys! If it were the other way around, the health inspectors wouldn't have much to do. Here is a rundown of current violations in NYC:


          2. re: baseballfan

            any good restaurant will be happy to show the kitchen at any time... it is thee exception and not the norm.

            1. re: MACDAD

              I am feeling much better now especially because I have dinner reservations for Saturday night! I have no idea how stringent the health dept is out here in the Bay Area but I think I will ask around :)

          3. Personally - if I lived in NYC I wouldn't eat there EVER. Old habits die very hard. Also the surfeit of managers was ridiculous. The owner was just too nice for his own good. And the other manager who was also part time chef - he was just as much to blame for the disgusting conditions in the kitchen - I mean he cooked there - the only difference was that he wasn't as blatantly obnoxious as the british guy - he reeked of perversion.

            I have to say also, it looked like Gordo was gunning for a fistfight when he kept getting in that guy's face/space. He wouldn't let up. Lucky no punches were thrown.

            But I LOVE GR. LOVE HIM and am amazed at what he can do with a restaurant - seeing his kitchen was certainly a thrill. Now if only I could eat there!!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: maisonbistro

              How about the cook's insistence on putting the "food" on the floor. Hilarious! And those potatoes? The manager (who I believe was actually Irish, not British) should have taken the train out to Babylon and asked for a job at Peter's. Just curious, not that I mind, but is the entire series going to take place in the NY area? If so, I know a place in Jersey that would make GR's angry head explode!

              1. re: maisonbistro

                I felt the same way about "never eating there -- EVER!" But -- I took a look at Purnima's website -- and it looks like that new chef - Vikas Khanna has totally taken over the kitchen -- and he has quite an extensive culinary background. I doubt he would tolerate the place if it reverted back to its old wretchedness.

                1. re: Jill Brazil

                  I thought he was only going to be a "consultant' - but even from the looks of that he seemed to have impeccable standards. It's just that I would never be able to get the pictures of that filth and rot and bug/rat infestation out of my mind. I'm sure there are other clean indian restaurants in NYC that would be happy to take my money -

              2. Is it just me, or have both of the first two episodes featured people who seem more caricature than real? First we have the Italian American Mafioso wannabe and then the effete British wanker (who, by the way, is the guy who sued Ramsay over the show). I don't recall the british version having such extreme personalities (other than Gordon).

                2 Replies
                1. re: LabRat

                  I was thinking the same thing. Somehow here they've built up the conflict of personalities more and as a result is a little more over the top....a la 'Hell's Kitchen'.

                  I'll still be watching.


                  1. re: LabRat

                    I skipped this show (watching tonight's episode) but from the first show, it seems that Fox has pumped up the volume. The Brit show is much better, at least compared to what I have seen so far. The thing that attracts me is that he often comes up with innovative ways to make a restaurant stand out. The two shows so far were just car wrecks...you have to watch, but do you learn anything useful?

                  2. He was running that small restaurant like a hotel! GM, dir. of Ops, and Floor manager. can you imagein what money he will save getting rid of Martin?

                    Anyone know about Vikas' (spelling) the famed Indian chef that stepped in? Does he have a great place in NYC?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: stellamystar

                      stella, check out the restaurant's website - looks like there's a LOT of press on him from around the world (click on the Press link): http://www.purnimarestaurant.com/

                      A brief mention by the NY Times "Off The Menu" section from July 2007 shows him as their executive chef. So I guess he went from consultant to Exec Chef rather quickly. Review in the NY Sun on 6/13 has the owner hiring Khanna to take over the kitchen.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        there are a few reviews on menupages that look quite positive. i hope they're not just planted, but it's interesting.

                      2. re: stellamystar

                        A former employee posted at TWOP. Apparently, the restaurant has a big show/banquet room that was booked enough to keep the cashflow from being too negative, and Martin had originally been responsible for keeping the show room booked.

                        1. re: beachmouse

                          beachmouse, when I found out that bit about Martin it explained a lot of things, given the location of the place and how profitable a large, busy bar can be. The owner also sabotaged the dining side by having two monolingual supervisors plus the potentially useful floor mgr. who had no initative, but ended up responding to Ramsay.

                      3. My DH mentioned something about the lawsuit last night but didn't have any details. Is the Brtish guy suing? And for what? Details anyone?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Diane in Bexley

                          The British guy did sue - but it was thrown out of court and went to arbitration. He claimed that GR planted the rotten meat, staff cut off the leg of the chair to make it wobbly, hired diners for the last few sequences to make it look busier than it was, that the restaurant now is a huge financial failure.... among other things. This link has the story, plus a further link to the exact lawsuit. http://www.zagat.com/buzz/Detail.aspx...

                          I would think that some of this stuff is edited and dramatized - but there's no faking a basement full of rotting food, a GM who appears to be utterly hopeless in managing anything, and the bug and rat infestation. I do really want to know what Purnima is like now - as empty as Martin's lawsuit claims it is?

                          1. re: heeter

                            From your link, there is a link to the court papers filed regarding this lawsuit. There is a reference to a story that states that Ramsay is an fight-club type bare knucks champ and a member of the British Special Forces. It's hard to believe that anyone would cite that as a reference in a legal document; you'd have to have a brain the size of a Leseur brand pea to not be able to see that it is as fake as those picture of the guy with the knapsack on top of the World Trade Center!

                            Check it out yourselves, have a good laugh:


                        2. What I don't get is why wasn't the Ops Manager also given heat? He worked the kitchen... he had to know about the bugs, the rotting food... etc.

                          Yet he skated.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jennalynn

                            In Andrew, the op's manager's defense, he was the one who submitted their restaurant for the show, and was really the one guy who very much wanted change when they came there. He was very open to changing things, while Martin was not.

                          2. I'm a big fan of the British version of the show and so I was a bit put off by Ep.1's extensive promos before the ads and kinda odd editing.

                            With Ep.2 I'm a bit more relieved, it seems to have found its sea legs and the show overall felt more 'cohesive.' The bugs were astounding and I second the people who say that the lawsuit is clearly bogus, I don't think it's possible to plant that much filth everywhere.

                            Gordon was a bit in that guy's face, but, trusting Gordo's judgement, the guy deserved it. I also really liked that they put the people at the restaurant to work cleaning -- yea they brought in a cleaning crew, but what I liked best about the British version was how he used the 'scrub up the place' part of the show as a way to suss out the keepers from the losers on staff.

                            1. I was entertained by the episode. The SOUND EFFECTs (the fake fly buzzing sounds they were using) and the ANNOUNCER (yeah, I can basically tell what's going on, you don't have to tell me word for word what's going on) is totally annoying.

                              I don't like the fact that the restaurant owners just kind of sit back and let Gordon do his thing with that rennovation crew and bringing in consultant chefs, etc. Little emphasis on cooking...i want to see if the cooks were actually getting better at cooking, plating and prepping.

                              That English manager was a douche. Just standing around and faux-managing. Surprised Gordon actually said to get rid of him.....

                              1. I'm still grossed out just thinking of the flies, roaches and rotten food. Thank goodness the Bionic Woman premeired.

                                Also, why did they pick a name that was similar to Purina... It would be a lead-in to a lot of bad jokes.

                                Has anyone tried Purinama?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: dave_c

                                  I can't believe that wanker sued Gordon. Nothing could make him look more lame than he was already than a frivolous lawsuit. Welcome to the US, Gordon.

                                  I was curious about their repeated mention and even tour of the London, particularly describing it as wildly successful. I have heard on several foodie sites that the place is really not doing very well. I'm sure they are getting a lot of business due to their locale and Gordon's name, but I mean repeat business, full restaurant, etc. Anyone in NYC that can comment?

                                  I agree also that it sounds like from the preview that next week is another Jersey show. Did they film all of the US version in NY/NJ? They should call it Kitchen Nightmares NY metro or something instead of U.S.

                                  1. re: dave_c

                                    >Also, why did they pick a name that was similar to Purina
                                    i dont know anything about the resto Purnima, but the word means "full moon".
                                    [althought it can also be a first name ... maybe the name of some relation of one of
                                    the principals?]. reasonable to pick some name other than something with ganges,
                                    taj mahal, tumeric, with a city/region name [delhi, pubjab, india], or food name [curry,
                                    chaat, naan].

                                    1. re: psb

                                      The word actually means something - they said it during the show - why he changed the name to that.

                                      1. re: maisonbistro

                                        >The word actually means something - they said it during the show
                                        yes what it means is "full moon". i was doing something else when the show
                                        was on, but it i saw 2 or 3 min, including some entertaining dialog in the
                                        east bengal dialect between some of the bangladeshi fellows. maybe i'll
                                        try to dig up the full show. might be worth my while to see if they said anything
                                        interesting. [if memory serves, on a simpsons episode they had some swearing
                                        in hindi they didnt bleep out].

                                  2. In regards to the lawsuit. The past summer Ramsay and his people ran in to some trouble. for their show 'The F Word' and faking issues. They had to come clean.



                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      That lawsuit in England was a joke - well not a haha joke - but ridiculous. They were on him about saying he actually caught a big fish, when in reality he only caught little ones - first of all, who cares, and second of all, what man hasn't lied at some point in his life about the size of something????? Please.

                                      It would seem that Gordon's closet is pretty clean, and people are grasping at straws to create negative buzz.

                                      1. re: maisonbistro

                                        I don't think it was even a lawsuit.

                                        He did go on camera saying that he caught the fish that he was cooking.(he didn't). It does set a precedence..

                                        It's always different when you lie about the size of something on camera.

                                    2. Brilliant episode! What I can't believe is that a place so terrible existed in the first place and secondly, that they would allow a top chef and film crew in the door.

                                      They were begging for trouble and they got it. I'm just surprised that GR didn't call the health department and have the place cited on the spot.

                                      Give 'em hell Gordo- Maybe you show will help raise the awareness of the general public and help raise dining standards overall.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bkhuna

                                        bkhuna: From the snippets of conversation, it seems like the place at one time was not so bad, then sort of spiraled downhill to the state it was in when Gordo found it.

                                      2. ok, so it's been a busy week and i'm finally catching up on my tivo backlog.

                                        i just watched episode 2, and read all the comments in this post...and i'm suprised to see that i'm the only one who noticed they MISSPELLED 'dillons' on the new exterior signage of the restaurant!

                                        they added another 'i' smack dab in the middle of the name...so both the wall and the awning now say purnima dill[i]ons.

                                        wtf??? how did no one at the restaurant or on ramsay's staff catch that?!

                                        btw, did anyone else get the feeling that waitress might pounce and molest vikas khanna right there when they introduced him?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          I noticed it too. Probably they got it wrong and didn't have enought time to fix it before they had to shoot the "reveal". pictures of the resto. now show that its spelled correctly.

                                          1. re: MaspethMaven

                                            I did notice it but i am sure they did it to make the name sound more in tune with the new name. I cannot imagine they would make such a mistake?

                                            hmmm anyone checked the web site?

                                            1. re: Eddie Nickell

                                              I thought the original name of the restaurant was "Dillions" and wondered why everyone kept saying "Dillons." I'd have to go back and re-watch the beginning to be sure, but I thought it said Dillions all along on the restaurant itself, though perhaps not on the marquee type sign.

                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                nope, i rewound several times to be sure. name on the original signage - building AND electronic billboard - was dillons...only one "i" in there...even on the restaurant's new web site.


                                                  1. re: rockandroller1

                                                    old habits die hard...i used to be a editor :)

                                        2. The show was almost unbearable with those bugs and the genius chefs who did not even know that they were in New York or New Jersey. I loved the perfectly sculpted new consultant chef Vikas Khanna, thanks Gordon for bringing him in as he was the only good part of the nightmare last Wednesday. Thanks Tivo I did not miss the show again.

                                          1. I found this really annoying compared with the original.

                                            Does Fox really think its viewers are so stupid or ignorant that we need an announcer to tell us what we're seeing? And those overbearing musical cues, ugh.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                              Yeah, it doesn't hold a candle to the original... I also hate the "Extreme Make-Over:Kitchen Edition" vibe of the show

                                            2. I just watched the show last night as I PVRd it. I really don't enjoy this version of the nightmares show as much as the British version. It seems to be too tidy. However that kitchen was disgusting thank goodness I ate dinner before watching it. Ick

                                              1. I saw the repeat tonight. That kitchen and basement were horrifying. There is no way you could fake those roaches crawling around in the refrigerator gasket! It is true that they left out the fact that there is a show room. But I would like to say that I went there a few years back to see Neil Innes, and the place was HORRIBLY run back them. They booked the poor guy for weeks and didn't advertise and there were only a handful of people there. The food was mediocre and overpriced. I don' t think that place has EVER been well-run. Interested in an update about the current restaurant...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Carol Gardens

                                                  I couldn't watch it the first time, but I hung in there tonight. It is without question the best episode of the new series. I felt bad for the idiot owner. He knows what he ate when he grew up, and it was obviously awful food. The waitress was the only other person with a clue. I would have fired all the managers. They were terrible. Just terrible. Not just the guy who quit. Until he promoted Khan, no one was competent.

                                                  Apart from being a short-order cook and a counter server, I have no experience in the restaurant trade (well, I washed dishes when I was 15). I could do better at running the front than that dick did.

                                                  Allowing flies and roaches, though, is just laziness and total contempt for their own restaurant. Including the owner. If I owned a place and walked into the kitchen and saw rotten food and roaches, I would just FLIP OUT. No one would have a job the next day.

                                                  1. re: Carol Gardens

                                                    Carol, I am happy to report that the new Purnima is like a whole new restaurant. I found this out when I watched Kitchen Nightmares Revisited and Gordon went for a surprise visit to Purnima. First off, Vikas was hired as the head chef and along with Andrew, the new manager, he discovered how immaculate the kitchen was, along with that, all the employees got Food Safety Protection Certificates. Vikas also mentioned that the new kitchen is so clean that Vikas loves to show customers the kitchen. Also, the menu which uses high quality ingredients and is only Contemporary Indian. From what I saw and heard, Mohammed is making almost $1,000,000 anually and Andrew's managerial skills are keeping the restaurant running like a well oiled machine. After seeing the new Purnima, I would love to eat there sometime when I am in New York City.

                                                  2. I'm confused....why is there no review on Chowhound for the new Dillions/Dillons/Purina-ma????

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Scooby

                                                      Ummmm, would you go there???

                                                      No self respecting Chowhound would set foot in that place. I would never be able to get the vision of mold and dirt and vermin out of my mind long enough to enjoy a meal there. I would keep thinking..... what if.....