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Kitchen Nightmares (US)


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#1201

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:50 AM

If that is true, why would anyone spend big bucks on a remodel when its so easily done for a fraction of the cost?


Well to be honest a lot of designers that are paid money do not look for cost saving measures if the client is loaded. Overcharging is the rule rather then the exception. Same with taking months to do the job when it could be done in a day with a good number of workers. Often a designer would just have say one or two workers instead of a crew of a dozen people working 12 hours straight.

I do take issue with RI that salt and pepper turn a frozen hamburger patty into something fabulous.


Even fresh meat they weren't putting salt and pepper in. Also two restaurants on RI had chefs/owners that refused to put seasoning claiming that some people don't want salt or pepper in their food and that the salt and pepper on the table were enough.

Ah no any cook would know that salt and pepper added to the cooking infuses the food whereas adding it post cooking doesn't do the job just coating the surface of the food. Plus anyone worried about salt would go to restaurants with low salt options or a restaurant that would cook without it upon request.
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#1202

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 2:53 AM

Regarding "Kitchen Nightmares" cooks who don't use salt and pepper...

I'm a meat lover. I mean, a REAL meat lover. I've eaten far more than my share. To me, even good meat doesn't taste nearly as good if it isn't cooked with some salt and pepper. That's just basic cookery, I think.
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#1203

Raider Duck

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

Just watched my first few episodes of Kitchen Nightmares (Spanish Pavilion, Handlebar and Lido), and I've been an Restaurant: Impossible fan for awhile, so YMMV to everything in this post.

KN seems to focus a lot more on the personal drama aspect, while RI focuses more on the nuts and bolts of what needs to be done.

Both Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine are similarly acerbic when pointing out the cruddy food, but I like Robert's approach of trying everything, then bringing out the chef and/or owner and going through the meal's suckage, plate-by-plate. Gordon just critiques the food for the cameras, maybe says something to the waitress, and then sends the plate back.

GR will passively observe in the kitchen until he can't take it any more and starts yelling. RI will hop right in and start running the kitchen until it's "found its pace."

While GR will add a dish or two to an existing menu, RI will more often than not just completely scrap the existing menu and design a new one.

RI spends some time almost every show on promotion and advertising of "The NEW {Restaurant's Name}," while GR never mentions it.

RI talks about proper pricing (in the unlikely event I ever open a restaurant, I'll make sure to price the entrees at 3 times the cost of the food). GR never mentions that, either.

RI seems to have a higher success rate right now, but KN has been on longer (giving the earlier restaurants more time to fail), so who knows which approach is more successful? I find RI more fun to watch, though.
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#1204

ninakix

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 11:25 AM

Though I'll have a lingering feeling I'm cheating on Gordon Ramsay, I'll have to check out Restaurant Impossible
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#1205

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 4:59 PM

While GR will add a dish or two to an existing menu, RI will more often than not just completely scrap the existing menu and design a new one.


Actually he does scrap the entire menu. Numerous times he has presented entire menus. Plus he does talk with the chef and owners as to what is wrong with the food.

Watch more episodes.

GR never mentions that, either.

Actually GR does talk about price.

GR will passively observe in the kitchen until he can't take it any more and starts yelling.

He observes a service to see if the problem is with the kitchen staff. He takes a week. RI just three days.

while GR never mentions it.

Actually several episodes do mention and showing GR advertising the restaurant. Often the stuff is cut for airtime.

KN had worse restaurants not only in terms of hygiene, but food, chefs, and debt then RI.
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#1206

Raider Duck

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 6:30 PM

KN had worse restaurants not only in terms of hygiene, but food, chefs, and debt than RI.

Are you sure? Robert's had to deal with 13 dead mice behind a fridge, a back patio full of garbage (including a boxful of steaks purchased years before and then left outside to rot), drink dispensers with mold growing inside them, and "chefs" who only know how to add water to mixes, open cans, and reheat frozen food.

I'm not saying GR hasn't had to deal with those things, just that I haven't seen KN episodes like that yet. I do know that RI's had to deal with some real pieces of work.

NOTE: If you do know of any KN episodes like this from Seasons 3 or 4 (the only seasons currently available on Hulu Plus), let me know. I'd love to watch them.
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#1207

ninakix

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:51 PM

Raider Duck if you have Netflix you should watch Kitchen Nightmares the U.K. version.
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#1208

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 10:34 PM

Both Gordon Ramsay and Robert Irvine are similarly acerbic when pointing out the cruddy food, but I like Robert's approach of trying everything, then bringing out the chef and/or owner and going through the meal's suckage, plate-by-plate. Gordon just critiques the food for the cameras, maybe says something to the waitress, and then sends the plate back.


And I've seen a few times Robert try dishes on "RI" and say that some of them are okay. Only twice can I recall Gordon liking any of the dishes he's tried (both of them were desserts made by people who were not the primary cooks or the owners). Additionally, GR's critiques of the food are seem to be more insulting than Robert's. In Robert's case, I think I hear the word "bland" more than any other word.

I suspect that even if Gordon found some of the food he's tasting passable, he'd still say it was unfit to feed to a dog.

Though I'll have a lingering feeling I'm cheating on Gordon Ramsay, I'll have to check out Restaurant Impossible


Don't worry. Apparently, cheating is okay with Gordon Ramsay.
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#1209

Raider Duck

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Posted Feb 22, 2012 @ 11:41 PM

One other quick thing I've noticed from watching this show on both Discovery and BBC America: While "fuck" is censored on both shows, "shit" is censored on Discovery, but featured prominently on BBC America.
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#1210

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 1:25 AM

Robert's had to deal with 13 dead mice behind a fridge, a back patio full of garbage (including a boxful of steaks purchased years before and then left outside to rot), drink dispensers with mold growing inside them, and "chefs" who only know how to add water to mixes, open cans, and reheat frozen food.


Gordon has dealt with worse. A few of the restaurants Gordon went to had a history of being shut down by the health department.

Season 1 Dillion's you had cooks that couldn't speak English and were never trained in food prep or sanitation. Lots of flies buzzing around the restaurant. Imagine opening a bag of salad greens and a swarm of flies coming out. Roaches were living in the innards the refrigerates and freezers. Gordon had to wear a hazmat suit to work with a crew to decon the place.

Seascape chef and sous chef didn't give a damn and never cleaned the kitchen and walked out rather then listen to Gordon. Food horrible tasting. Owner was a man child who never lived up to his father's expectations.

Sebastian's pizza place that didn't serve fresh pizza or even make their own dough. Fun fact it was reported that a pizza place owner had chased Ramsay and tried to stab him. Which is why Gordon has a bodyguard or two while filming Kitchen Nightmares. Sebastian is suspected he had a very interesting change of heart and was accepting what Gordon was doing while previously he was delusional. I think Fox offered to drop the charges if Sebastian cooperated.

The Secret Garden. Incredibly hideous decor that reminds one of the horrors of visiting Grandma's place as a child. Horrible quality food, disgusting kitchen.

Just a few examples and far worse then most of the kitchens that were not clean on Restaurant Impossible.

Ramsay has had to shut down a few kitchens because they were serving things like raw chicken that had been put next to cooked kitchen.

Plus Burger Kitchen with the family issues because the father was the son of an Australian crime boss and the son and his girlfriend seemed to be on meth plus the father stealing over a 100k from his son's trust fund. Said trust fund had been established with mob money from the grandfather godfather. That was an epic two episodes.
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#1211

Nukerjsr

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 1:33 AM

(Sorry, Duplicate)

Edited by Nukerjsr, Feb 23, 2012 @ 12:39 PM.

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#1212

Nukerjsr

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 1:33 AM

The reason why I'm hoping Kitchen Nightmares up like this, is because Restaurant: Impossible came along and upped the standard.

Nightmares is getting a bit tedious at this point, especially with the people this season. I've hit a point where I don't want to see the horrible people from Burger Kitchen or insane son from El Greco to succeed. They are just exploiting far too much with the stupidity, naivety, ignorance, and just plain mean-spirited attitude this point. Do I really have to see Gordon Ramsay play the marriage consular or family therapist so many times? I'm debating that Robert plays a much better bad guy, because he'll go. "No, screw you. I'm sorry, but you have to think and make a tough decision."

Restaurant Impossible is quickly delivering so many different new episodes with new conflicts, new people, and covering many more nuts and bolts, as Raider Duck has said. He's reflecting over costs, cleanliness, management, and food all equally, and not a bias towards the drama. Even if a restaurant has great food, if it has shit service, people will still be driven away by it.

Imagine, what would Robert have done against that head chef of Charlie's? He would have blown a lid. I've seen Gordon take people out of the restaurant and even go beyond doing that, but he's just so damn restrained on Fox. Even if you don't like KN more than RI, you have to admit, breaking the formula on RI over how Irvine fixes the problem, is the norm, not the exception, compared to Ramsay.

Edited by Nukerjsr, Feb 23, 2012 @ 1:36 AM.

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#1213

fresiaa

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 8:01 PM

(Cafe Hon)

How credible is that change of behaviour of the owner?
I don't believe it. Either they edited out a lot of what happened in between, or she just puts up a brave face to save face.

How plastic ugly was that make over!
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#1214

ProfCrash

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Posted Feb 23, 2012 @ 9:19 PM

The food still tastes really, really good even in its simplicity. I'm sure if Gordon were working with a Michelin star restaurant, he would bring out the works in terms of complexity, but the chefs he's working with on the U.S. Kitchen Nightmares are such disasters. It would be like learning to run before you can walk.


Gordon has said on many a show that simplicity makes for better food on pretty much every show he has filmed. There was one episode of Kitchen Nightmares in the UK where he was working with a French Chef in Scotland. The restaurant was failing because the food was too complicated and expensive. The Chef had amazing talent and was buying amazing ingredients. Gordon tried convincing him that his plates where to busy and that he needed to pair down. When the Chef wouldn't listen, he brought in a former Michelin Star reviewer and had him review the food. The reviewer agreed that there was potential but that the plates were to busy. The young Chef still did not get the message.

Gordon changed the restaurant from fine dining to a really nice Bistro and it was doing well. They also opened a second fine dining restaurant. The owner was rolling in cash and could afford it. (shrugs)

My point is that I think you could go to any one of Gorden's restaurants and find that most of his dishes are made with a small number of ingredients but that the flavors are amazing and that the food is pretty complex. So his recipes and suggestions to owners are not a surprise to me. I also think that most of what he puts out for home cooks is good but a great deal less complex than what he serves in his own kitchens.
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#1215

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 4:37 AM

The restaurant was failing because the food was too complicated and expensive.


Plus 15 course meals and that the area was not the center of where Rich people live but more average folks.

Then again if he did open the place where the Rich lived he still wouldn't get the business due to the overcomplex meals.
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#1216

Anna Baptist

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 8:47 PM

I can't get over how much Denise of Cafe Hon looks like Robert Irvine.

Cafe Hon? Cafe Hun is more like it.
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#1217

mooncreek

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 9:13 PM

Anyone that has been saying that this show has gotten stale should watch the Cafe Hon episode.

The funny thing is I don't believe Denise for a second. I mean, this is a woman who lied to Gordon's face about filing lawsuits, something easy enough to research when she said about the town hating her. But here's the thing: the ladies who have worked with her for years were still putting up with her bullshit. I give the head chef and younger employees a bit of a pass because a job is a job but 13 years of this boss is just torturing yourself.

The town was portrayed as idiots who bought her apology. If the place had changed its name, maybe I'd buy it but that would be an expensive change for this particular restaurant so I get not doing that. That radio program was another stellar acting performance done by a greedy woman who will screw everyone over again in the future.
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#1218

maineiac

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 9:31 PM

I hated the Cafe Hon makeover. It looked like a place that little girls would have a tea party or something.

Maybe someone from Baltimore can explain this whole "hon" thing because I'm not getting it. I wonder if anyone has trademarked "y'all". They say that a lot here in Texas.

I find it hard to believe this whole trademark thing is why she has no business. They spent way too much time on that issue. The food appeared to suck and this nonsense of "86ing" things and having to reorder repeatedly would turn me off without question.

Denise must have paid well, because despite being a moody bitch (as described by her employee) they worked for her for an extended period of time.
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#1219

kittenista

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:01 PM

Hello! Baltimore resident here :)
Baltimore loves their "hon". So much that the Baltimore Sun covered it like it was THE story of the year. There were protests and boycotts. All over a word. So yes, that was one of the main reasons (I've never eaten there but I have also heard complaints about it being over priced and poor quality as well) because Denise was viewed as a person on par with the grinch or something because she had that trademark.
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#1220

MrsEVH

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:02 PM

Any explanation for the huge pink flamingo outside?
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#1221

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:15 PM

Oh my does this show LOVE to use editing to manufacture the draaaaahma.

During that radio broadcast when Denise was asked about releasing the trademark on the word "hon" the editing monkeys were playing her reaction out in worst way possible! Reaction shots all over the place as it APPEARED that Denise was unexpectedly confronted about giving up the trademark and that she was hesitating and wrestling with a decision. But in the end, it was clear that they had "phonied up" that bit of video and that Denise answered directly without all that hesitation.
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#1222

kittenista

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:28 PM

I can explain the pink flamingo as well :)
John Waters is from Baltimore and its in reference to the movie "Pink Flamingos".
There was another "controversy" with Denise and being allowed to have the damn tacky thing up. She won of course. That's another reason why people refused to patronize her restaurants.
Look up Honfest if you want to see how into the whole "hon" thing the people are around here.

Edited by kittenista, Feb 24, 2012 @ 10:30 PM.

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#1223

HandBanana

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:03 PM

The owner of Cafe Hon seemed like a tone-deaf lunatic. Way to alienate the public by trying to trademark a popular phrase, and that whole "86 everything" bit made her seem seriously unstable. I felt bad for her employees.
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#1224

Jamoche

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:10 PM

Five minutes in and I'm hoping for this restaurant to go under.
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#1225

AwNutz

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:32 PM

Good gads that woman was a heinous bitch. I don't believe for one red hot second that "change of heart" was at all real. She's a greedy, greedy woman (as evidenced by tradmarking "hon" and then suing THE FRIGGIN' STATE for using it in their ad campaign AND forcing them to let her have creative control over said campaign) who will do whatever it takes to get what she believes is due her. I hate for the place to fail for those who work there, but I wouldn't care about her...
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#1226

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:51 PM

Cafe Hon trademark was something the people apparently were able to accept. But trademarking a popular phrase or word? I didn't think you could get a trademark that vague and have it be able to withstand a court challenge.
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#1227

VegasRobb

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Posted Feb 24, 2012 @ 11:53 PM

That is one loyal crew.

She does look a little like Chef Robert.
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#1228

backformore

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 12:43 AM

That wasn't Robert Irvine in drag?
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#1229

ubi

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 7:15 AM

Anyone that has been saying that this show has gotten stale should watch the Cafe Hon episode.

Yeah, this week, Gordon LIKED soemthing he ordered and didn't look in the kitchen for grody stuff.

Maybe someone from Baltimore can explain this whole "hon" thing because I'm not getting it.

Neither do I, as that's what a stereotypical diner waitress calls her customers. I thought the word was "hun", after a local (high school) football team mascot or something very specific to the region.

I can explain the pink flamingo as well :) John Waters is from Baltimore and its in reference to the movie "Pink Flamingos".

Oh, crap! I should have made the connection! Speaking of which, I just realized Denise resembles Dorothy Davenport, the antagonist of that movie.
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#1230

patty1h

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

When the owner was throwing away perfectly good uncooked steaks, french fries, fish, etc. it hurt my heart. What a waste of food, for no apparent reason. She could have turned them over to a soup kitchen or shelter.
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