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Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - 11/21 episode

LindaWhit Nov 21, 2007 05:18 PM

I'm only ten minutes into watching this episode, but you KNOW it's gotta be bad if Chef Ramsay is plugging *his* ears to avoid hearing all the F-bombs that are being dropped by Ricky and the waitress! LOL The Bleep-O-Meter is going to be working OT on this episode!

More amazement to come, I'm sure....

ETA....so Buzzard is gone - those light fingers of his sure lifted a boatload of food and wine in one night!

Loved the Hell's Kitchen taste test. Interesting that the sous chef got the test right and Ricky, the "executive chef" couldn't get one right. I thought Lex would be the "one to save the day" but I guess I was wrong.

Well, the previously written scenario came true - fights in the kitchen and between FOH and BOH, things worked out on the first night of the makeover. But too bad to hear that the place closed down 5 months later. Looks like Chef Ramsay's makeover came too late.

Fair Lawn, NJ restaurant next week. Anyone know what restaurant it is?

  1. m
    maisonbistro Nov 21, 2007 06:19 PM

    There goes my formula again. I just LOVE it how the chef has a miraculous turnaround in no time at all. That is the high point for me. When is the chef going to come to realize that Gordon does know what he is talking about.. When will the epiphany happen.

    They need to change things up a bit - I am really getting tired of this - and really, I do like Gordon. I admire his business acumen, his sense of fair play, (I would love to taste his food and admire his cooking skills) and just well, being Gordon. But this show is just Hollywood.

    1. g
      gutreactions Nov 21, 2007 07:34 PM

      They did a program in Tuckahoe at the Old Stone Mill Restaurant not long ago. A handsome spot that took months to open...the way these things go, I am sure the 'focus' restaurant would have had enough time to gear up...In this case it did not...not only did the place look stupid after the airing...it had already been slipping into nowhereland prior...the owner, we hear, is an aspiring actor, so I guess this was an opportunity to act...sorry to say it made everyone in the process look bad...A lot of people came to the restaurant for the wrong reasons...only to be disappointed.
      If I had this high powered, talented chef as a consultant even for a short period of time, I would make sure that we learned something. ( I do not own a restaurant, but I am becoming increasingly frustrated about all this so called reality stuff, especially when no one follows thru...). What do you think?

      1. coney with everything Nov 22, 2007 03:21 AM

        I was honestly sad that the place ended up closing, but I wondered why Lela felt obliged to open a restaurant in the first place?? She didn't seem very passionate about food--didn't know the "chef" was using instant mashed potatoes, etc. It seems that most successful restaurants (actually, businesses in general) are at least STARTED by someone who feels strongly that they "gotta dance" (Singin' in the Rain was on last night LOL).

        Lela made awful business and hiring decisions, and seemed clueless about what her eponymous restaurant was supposed to be. "Fine Dining" and "Instant mashed potatoes" is an oxymoronic concept.

        5 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything
          m
          maisonbistro Nov 22, 2007 03:51 AM

          Again, the question begs to be asked - what did she actually DO there - except get $120K in debt? And I'm more disgusted by the connection of "Executive Chef" and instant mashed potatoes and frozen everything and Hershey's chocolate sauce with mint leaves...

          1. re: maisonbistro
            coney with everything Nov 22, 2007 04:57 AM

            God, I forgot (repressed the memory?) about that ghastly Hersheys syrup thing! I thought if he had attempted a savory sauce with unsweetened chocolate, like a mole, that would have at least had SOME potential (still didn't sound very good). But HERSHEY'S SYRUP ON LAMB, surprised GR didn't vomit as he did last week!

            1. re: coney with everything
              LindaWhit Nov 22, 2007 06:36 AM

              I had to laugh when they blurred out the name brand on the plastic bottle. Ummm, it's not like we didn't KNOW it was Hershey's syrup! The thought of chocolate sauce on lamb is just wrong. Plain wrong.

              1. re: LindaWhit
                l
                Leonardo Nov 24, 2007 10:04 AM

                The reason they blur out brand names on containers, clothing etc is because they asked the maker for a product placement fee and didn't get it!

                1. re: Leonardo
                  LindaWhit Nov 24, 2007 12:23 PM

                  Yes I'm aware of that. Doesn't really matter, as I'd hazard a guess that anyone watching KN knows the brand by the packaging alone.

        2. sixelagogo Nov 22, 2007 08:25 AM

          I've been to next week's place, Compania in NJ, about a month ago (post gordon re-do, as it was really good Italian (particularily because we don't see much more than the ubiquitous meatballandredsauce joints around these parts))..see my review from the tri-state region
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/448474

          1 Reply
          1. re: sixelagogo
            LindaWhit Nov 22, 2007 02:24 PM

            Thanks sixe - looks like a GREAT place (and you went there on my birthday, if you posted same night as going there [grin]). I Mapquested to see where Campania is located, as I grew up in Ridgewood/Wyckoff and also lived in Paramus/Rochelle Park - I see where it is on Broadway is just off of Route 208/Route 4 interchange. So it'll be interesting to see what the "before" was like, as the write-up you gave for the "after" sounds amazing!

          2. s
            stangoldsmith Nov 22, 2007 10:07 AM

            Every episode seems to follow a similar pattern that doesn't really ring true to me.

            An angry dumb guy serves awful food and yells a lot, then in the end he turns into a nice guy who suddenly serves good food. There are some weepy waitresses who stand by helplessly who in the end turn into strong hearted managers or something. The owners all are hands off business people with no clue who are being tortured by the angry chef but in the end realize they should pay attention to their business more.

            Gordon Ramsey comes in and makes some faces when he eats the food and pretends to throw up and says some outrageous things and acts like a jerk but in the end he becomes a nice guy savior one of the working class who is in it because of his heart not his paycheck.

            They put some new tablecloths and viola, Chez Panisse.

            It's getting a little old and it feels way too scripted and even fake sometimes. I wonder how much of what we see is the result of the director going "ok now say: $#&@^! this food is disssssgusting! be a man!"

            Stan
            http://www.sandiegofoodblog.com
            san diego food blog

            8 Replies
            1. re: stangoldsmith
              m
              maisonbistro Nov 22, 2007 11:33 AM

              Stan, you shoulda checked my post re. last week's show. You would have saved yourself the trouble of writing.

              1. re: stangoldsmith
                g
                gutreactions Nov 23, 2007 04:36 AM

                Stan, as I alluded to above (Nov. 21st) regarding his foray into The Old Stone Mill in Tuckahoe, N.Y. not long ago, I knew the players inside, positions were changed for the program (the weeping bartender suddently became the manager etc.), the whole event was definately adulterated inside and out...His goal in this short time frame is impossible to achieve even with the best of players within...it's some sort of theatre, it's showbiz. Why a restaurant would want to portray itself so poorly is a mystery...Just like Ramsay's earlier scenario on Fox, taking a group of fresh young trainees and trying to bring them up to snuff as a team in a professional kitchen in quick order for an packed house opening night...how exhausting and impossible...

                1. re: gutreactions
                  b
                  bakerboyz Nov 23, 2007 06:11 AM

                  I find it oddly amusing that week after week almost everyone wants to bash the show and GR and yet they keep watching and now we have those who are basically asserting that the show is a fraud and a fiction "...some sort of theatre, it's showbiz." I am not saying that I know that everything on the show is complete reality, but I find it hard to believe people who claim to have inside information that the show is a fraud....seems like more bashing to me...jealousy maybe?

                  1. re: bakerboyz
                    s
                    stangoldsmith Nov 23, 2007 10:01 AM

                    I didn't mean to sound like I was bashing anyone and I haven't read the other postings about the show so sorry if it was a repetition of ideas but I think as viewers of television programs we are immediately put in the role of judge as well, television is a medium that plays into that relationship so I'm not sure what the problem is.

                    I am still drawn to the show for some reason, maybe to watch Chef Ramsey's overplayed reactions and to see how gross the food is (and what foods he adds to the menu) but I think I also have the right to be critical, as a viewer, as long as my criticisms are backed up by evidence.

                    - Stan

                    1. re: stangoldsmith
                      ChinoWayne Nov 26, 2007 09:34 PM

                      We are, all of us, drawn to this show just like we would be drawn to a good car wreck, or in Southern California, freeway chase. It's just entertainment.

                      Yes it seems most of the restaurant owners are Bozo's in terms of managing their own businesses, and yes there is plenty of histrionics going on, and creative editing, and yes Gordon knows what the hell he is doing and has the passion that so far, very few of the characters portrayed seem to have.

                      An entertaining, fictional, diversion, and great water cooler fodder.

                      http://FIGHT-PTSD.ORG

                      1. re: ChinoWayne
                        g
                        gutreactions Nov 27, 2007 04:00 AM

                        ChinoWayne, you have it exactly at the right temperature...

                  2. re: gutreactions
                    LindaWhit Nov 23, 2007 11:14 AM

                    You didn't say above that people's positions were changed for the episode - and I had no idea they'd do something like that. A bit disappointing.

                    And re: why a restaurant would want to portray themselves so poorly - because if they *do* turn around, they get people in the door after the "makeover" and potentially recoup the money the owner has sunk into the place and potentially make a profit. Just looks like the 11/21 show's attempted fix was too late.

                    1. re: gutreactions
                      coll Nov 24, 2007 03:11 AM

                      It's true, I know the restaurant from last week pretty well, and everyone's personalities were reversed. The chef is such an easy going guy yet they made him like a monster. The owner has quite the temper but you'd never know it on the show. But a lot of it rang true too, it wasn't totally staged.
                      I also noticed a couple of quick cuts when the participants were telling their life stories and the show cut out some relevant facts about the restaurant and its history, so definitely going for the drama rather than "reality".

                  3. sixelagogo Nov 24, 2007 04:24 AM

                    What I'd wish Ramsay would promote is something more akin to "How to avoid having a Restaurant melt down"...like how to help the owner/mangager/chef's books straight, sanitation classes, cookign instruction and the like -BEFORE the restaurant launches...i guess watching a restaurant consultant isn't that much fun without the gross-out factor, but it would serve these joints -and other's who plan a foray into the business- far better than watching a team scrape mold off a wall.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sixelagogo
                      s
                      soupkitten Nov 27, 2007 09:27 AM

                      they don't listen, though. they think they can run a restaurant just because they've dined out a lot and they have vague corporate "marketing" or "networking" skills that simply don't play out when there is real nitty gritty work to be done. $2 mil later you still can't show them where they went wrong or that they should have taken a humble serving or prep cook job prior to having the audacity to open a fine dining restaurant in the wrong location, and how dare you a simple cook/server pretend to know more than them about the biz. . . plus they don't really have the physical endurance or emotional strength but they don't realize it until they're already screwed. why oh why so many people decide to open restaurants/bars when they are close to retirement is beyond me, they can't do the work, can't oversee the work, and they wind up throwing away any financial security they could have. . .

                      1. re: soupkitten
                        sixelagogo Nov 27, 2007 12:29 PM

                        Amen to that...i think that's really the sad part about the show ...for most of these restaurant owners, who should never have entered the business in the first place, totally screw their's and there family's finacial well-being, not to mention their sanity...It takes more than balls to open a restaurant, and, considering that more than half of all restuarants that open fail, I gotta wonder how many future newcomer's to the biz can stay optimistic...

                    2. z
                      zodiac2087 Nov 24, 2007 12:53 PM

                      Gotta love Chef! I pretty much shuffle my wednesday evening around this show. I still think the best Kitchen Nightmares episode yet is the one with the Indian restaurant, hands down. The others are great too, but that one is a standout.

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