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Jan 10, 2011 06:43 AM

Kitchen Nightmares vs. Kitchen Impossible

I suppose it was eventually going to happy, the Food Network ripping off yet another show idea.

I like Robert Irvine, and think he will probably do an okay job (as long as he refrains from screaming all of the time) but does anybody else think this is lame?

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  1. The series is called "Restaurant Impossible" and is a slightly different premise, with only a $10,000 budget and two days to do it.

    I don't think it's lame at all - I'm looking forward to it, but then I'm a fan of Irvine's.

    BTW...Ramsey's show was actually a spin off of another show in the first place.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SmartCookie

      I like Ramsey's show. His comments need a little refreshing: rustic and simple for every restaurant gets old, but I get the point, people tend to get too fancy and too complicated.

      I can't see Irvine doing anything different than who he is, which can be good or bad, depending on how you like his personality. Not a big fan of the guy, so I am not going to be watching. The best part about Ramsey's show is the way he tears the owner/chef apart and build them back up, and the longer time spent there makes the changes more than just a cursory cosmetic change. This seems like something that is like the TLC home improvement shows, everything will revert back to the way it was much sooner.

      1. re: SmartCookie

        Am I the only one who notices that $10,000 seems to be the prize or whatever for every FN Show?
        Cup Cake Wars
        Restaurant Impossible
        All their other Food Network Challenge shows....

        1. re: monku

          You know I guess I never paid that much attention to it but you have a very good point. So I guess the question is now, is your business worth more then the $10,000 and the horrible footage that is going to be shown of you. Maybe their adds should read something like ( $10,000.00 to make a fool of you and your business on national television even if what we show is only a little scripted for good tv! Wonder how many people would apply I guess the same amount that already did.

          1. re: snojen

            At the end of every Restaurant Impossible they're looking for "failing" restaurants. Irvine and his people must pick and choose and know what they're capable of doing for that $10,000 and 2 day time limit.
            What have they (restaurant owners) got to lose besides their dignity.

        2. re: SmartCookie

          Sorry some of the make overs make it look much worse then they did to begin with. Look at the wooden chairs with Leather, he had them paint part of it white left the black leather and the rest of the stain wood stained. What a mess, I bet money that they either had to replace or repaint the entire chair.

        3. I actually watched the rerun this evening as the restaurant is in my general area and mom remembers going on dates there in the 50s. Two days is not enough time and $10,000 is not enough money. I don't think I'll watch again.

          1. Interesting Irvine is making a comeback as FN's poster boy with DInner Impossible, Worst Cooks In America and now Restaurant Impossible.

            Watched the premiere Restaurant Impossible and every moment I'm comparing it to Kitchen Nightmares. The $10,000 re-model budget is the "impossible" part from the show title.

            1. I just read Irvine's biography and I'm trying to figure out his expertise in redoing restaurants. He's a cook but as far as I can tell he has never operated his own restaurant. He was going to open at least one restaurant in Florida a couple of years ago but his financial backers apparently backed out when news broke that he wasn't really discovered by Prince Charles when he made his and Di's wedding cake or that he really wasn't the White House chef and he wasn't a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

              I kind of liked him on Dinner: Impossible except for his misuse of the word 'done'. He meant to use the word 'completed' but since he went I to the Navy at 15 I guess I could cut him some slack.

              16 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                I just read Irvine's biography and I'm trying to figure out his expertise in redoing restaurants.

                Expertise or not, he's got a show.
                As far as his questionable past, he's got shows.
                Whatever he did, got his foot in the door with Marc Summers (Executive producer of Dinner Impossible and host of Unwrapped on FN).

                1. re: monku

                  I wasn't questioning his credentials as a television personality or cook. I was questioning his experience in turning around failing restaurants.

                  1. re: John E.

                    That's my point, he's a personality...he doesn't need experience in turning around a failing restaurant.
                    Are we ever going to see the successful or unsuccessful results down the road like on Kitchen Nightmares?

                    1. re: monku

                      He doesn't need experience in turning around a failing restaurant in order to be on a Food Network TV show but he really should have some experience in turning around failing restaurans if the goal is to turn around failing restaurants. Since the goal of the show is not to help the restaurants but to get viewers for a half-assed TV show, I suppose you are correct after all.

                      1. re: John E.

                        Experience or not, I don't think he can do anymore damage than has already been done, whether it makes for entertaining TV is the question.

                        I read some recent posts on CH they're looking for restaurants in the Los Angeles area to feature on the show. I think one of them is going to be a pizza place that I've been to once that is close to where I live. Same scenario, old 50+ year family run Italian restaurant.

                    2. re: John E.

                      I think any one of those celebrity FN chefs could go into a resturant and make a go of any failing restaurant experience or not.
                      Look at what Irvine does on his Dinner Impossible show, looks like he does some amazing stuff while on the fly.

                      1. re: monku

                        Gordon Ramsay could, though. I remember a bbc kitchen nightmares where ramsay served and cooked a vegetarian lunch at a veg. restaurant by himself and made more money then the restaurant would in several days.

                        1. re: TheFoodEater

                          In another series Ramsay did well in a one-day stand as a Calcutta street vendor, specializing in foods the the far NE corner of India. Of course we only have his edited show as proof. :)

                          1. re: TheFoodEater

                            I remember that! That was the Piccolo Theater, I believe. Dad was footing the bill..... Now closed and last I heard owner is in a very "alternative" career. I think the cook they hired, India (??) , ended up working for Ramsey, he was so impressed.

                          2. re: monku

                            "I think any one of those celebrity FN chefs could go into a resturant and make a go of any failing restaurant experience or not. " Very doubtful. Most of them have no real world experience.

                            Irvine was a cook in the navy specializing in serving groups of people. Why he's telling restaurant owners what to do I don't know.

                            1. re: Withnail42

                              While I never been there its been open and closed several times by the same owner. its been renovated several times. I really didn;t know it was open when they had FN there.

                      2. re: John E.

                        Watched one episode and won't watch again. For all of Ramsay's ego, on Nightmares you have the feeling he really does teach the owners and chefs something useful. On Impossible, it seemed to be all about Irvine ... and how everyone else fails to do what he wants. There was barely any cooking ... mostly the show was arguing about the idiotic repainted chairs.

                        1. re: Siun

                          Those chairs were hideous to begin with and even worse when his decorators were done with them.

                          1. re: monku

                            Those unredeemably ugly repainted chairs actually elicited a queasy visceral reaction in my gut, and I had a moment of dire existential dread for humanity's sense of aesthetics; that one of the 'decorators' responsible for those eyesores took umbrage for being called out, was unintentionally hilarious. Causing me to actually sympathise with Robert Irvine was no small feat. They seriously would have done better to stack red (to match the room's color accents) upside down plastic milk crates as chairs and be done with it...

                            1. re: silence9

                              Yes, when he said he would walk out if Robert used the (admittedly cheesy, but at least presentable) rental chairs over those atrocities of black leather, brown wood and badly painted white spindles left my bottom jaw unhinged.

                              My question for this low budget program was: OK, you ruined their existing chairs, you opened with rental chairs, now what? Is Villari's now stuck with a bill for 100+ new chairs?

                              1. re: gaffk

                                I wondered precisely the same ... and Irvine whinged on about them and on and on but didn't fix it until too late, leaving them with those rentals (which were better) and then didn't even make sure there were enough of those ... gosh, and this guy is in charge of the makeover?

                      3. Yeah, I don't see how a guy with no restaurant experience can go into a place and tell them how to run it. Irvine has never had that responsibility. He's always been working in some kind on in some kind of institutional work being told what to do by others. He has no leadership skills. Seriously why would anyone want a guy with no experience telling them how to save their business?

                        Ramsay love him or hate him has the credentials. He's been in the restaurant trenches at all levels.

                        And yes this is clear rip of of Ramsay's show. FN isn't even pretending to create new shows these days.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Withnail42

                          I think Kitchen Impossible is going to be about "putting lipstick on a pig", how much can you do with $10,000. Remember, they pick and choose the restaurants and there's editing. They're in and out of a place in 2-3 days and as we sW the pAint didn't even dry on the chairs.
                          Irvine appears to have some kind of leadership skills which he exhibits on Dinner Impossible.

                          1. re: Withnail42

                            I thought he identified two major problems with the restaurant-- no chef and that the owner was doing too much and not concentrating on managing the restaurant. He helped hire a new chef and shortened the menu and looks like it was a step in the right direction. The formula was not very different from that of Ramsay's except for the shorter time --which seemed to make it gimmicky when they used rented chairs and the customer got paint on his pants from the painted chairs.

                            1. re: lenwood

                              In every episode of Kichen Nightmares Ramsey revamps the menu, in Kitchen Impossible it will be the same.

                            2. re: Withnail42

                              One of my favorite Kitchen Nightmares is when Ramsey took the owners of a restaurant, I think it was an Indian place in Manhattan, to his own restaurant just to show him how everything is done, and how much cleaning they do and the amount of effort that goes into the restaurant. When you can show that kind of example, it certainly does wonders for the credibility of the person trying to convince the owners of the errors of their ways. Irvine can't come close to that.