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Kitchen Nightmares (US)

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I too am tired of the double episodes. It feels drawn out. I was actually sitting on the couch thinking "When will this be over already?" That's not a good sign.

 

Maybe the problem is that there are other similar shows like this out there so they have competition and not as many restaurants are calling KN. 

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I also don't like the double episodes. I'd like it much better if they showed 2 episodes from different restaurants back to back. But when it's the same restaurant it just makes it feel drawn out. Last night I sat on the couch actually thinking "When will this be over already?"

 

I too think the other shows like this are probably the cause for such a short season this year, because maybe not as many people are calling KN and are going to other shows.


Last night my mom was complaining that the music was too loud and she couldn't hear what anybody was saying. Once she said that, it made it hard for me to not notice it. It's totally true- why do they have to play Jaws music over everything? Whoever did the audio mixing did a horrible job. The music is overpowering the dialogue. Even I could do a better job.

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I was nosing around online and found the applications that the restaurant owners fill out to be on the show. It's the usual stuff you'd expect, but on the part that outlines what you should include in your submissions video, I saw this:

 

Introduce to us the types of employees:
Disgruntled Chef?
Snotty waitress?
Lazy sous chef?
Vindictive co-owner?
Sensitive busboys?
Tardy hostesses? Etc, etc

 

Kind of leading, and probably explains why there's so many owners blaming the employees, it's encouraged by the show. 

For the owners, there's a lot of info that's really...personal I guess? Overly personal IMO for this. Height, weight, ethnicity, etc.  There's questions about mental issues which I am sure a lot of them aren't honest about.

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My younger daughter lives in Easton.  I remember her telling me that there was a lot of excitement when Ramsay was in town and also a lot of traffic problems due to gawkers.  She said then that the producers were out and about actively looking for people willing to appear on camera to be diners at the reveal.  She wasn't involved at all so she didn't have any details.

I talked to her on Skype earlier today and she said she's pretty sure that Bella Luna has been closed for some time. 

Edited by mlp

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This was my first time watching KN (I watched it because my sister in law was hired to do the redecorating for the relaunch and I wanted to see what she painted on the walls) and I am glad I DVR'd so that I could FF through much of the shouting. I didn't need nearly as many illustrations of "Faye is a martyr who does all the work because she doesn't trust anyone else to do so" as they gave us. I loved the hummus switch, though.

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Here are two stories from the local paper in Easton.  The first one was written before the show was aired and the second one after.  The comments fom local residents after the first article are quite interesting.

 

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/05/we_didnt_fail_says_bella_luna.html#incart_most-read

 

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2014/05/gordon_ramsays_kitchen_nightma.html#incart_river_default

Edited by mlp

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Seriously, how hard is it to understand that just because you bought it fresh, if you then put it in the freezer it is frozen? This owner falls firmly in the "I hope you fail so hard" camp.

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What a train wreck (the show, I mean).

 

It's like Ramsay has just checked out and doesn't care anymore. A mock courtroom trial? Seriously?

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That questionnaire needs to includes things like:

 

If you buy it fresh and then put it in the freezer, is it fresh?
If you cooked it yesterday, is it fresh?

Is it sharing fridge space with something only an archaeologist could recognize?

If you answered "yes" to those questions, would you serve it to Ramsay?
... you'd tug on Superman's cape too, wouldn't you?

 

At this point, if they're stupid enough to answer yes to all of those, I don't want to watch them. There have to be restaurants out there that are failing for reasons other than the total idiocy of their owners that still will provide enough drama (not that we need it, but network execs must) and entertainment (which is not the same as drama, execs! We are not getting any of that!)

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Exactly!!! I would love to see businesses that actually deserve a makeover and some free equipment to help them out, not these asshole lunatics who are serving garbage to people. 

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Last night my mom was complaining that the music was too loud and she couldn't hear what anybody was saying. Once she said that, it made it hard for me to not notice it. It's totally true- why do they have to play Jaws music over everything? Whoever did the audio mixing did a horrible job. The music is overpowering the dialogue. Even I could do a better job.

This drives me crazy about this show.  We have a surround system, so last season I discovered I could make it bearable by disconnecting my left and right speakers and get the vocals only out of the center channel.  There's essentially no music, and it seems remarkably like the U.K. version!

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What a train wreck (the show, I mean).

 

It's like Ramsay has just checked out and doesn't care anymore. A mock courtroom trial? Seriously?

I get the sense that this was an episode that almost didn't get aired (they certainly produce more than go to air), and pulled it out of the bin because this season was a non-entity that Ramsay barely worked on, and they needed filler.  

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When Perdue chicken is 40% off, I buy a lot of it and throw it into the freezer. 

 

When people come for dinner I don't volunteer to them that it was frozen. 

 

If they asked me "Was this chicken in the freezer?" I would say yes. 

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When Perdue chicken is 40% off, I buy a lot of it and throw it into the freezer. 

 

When people come for dinner I don't volunteer to them that it was frozen. 

 

If they asked me "Was this chicken in the freezer?" I would say yes. 

Well, I think the difference is that, unless you are running a Supper Club, you aren't SELLING that cooked chicken to people.  Not that the frozen chicken is necessarily going to be bad, it's just that it loses moisture and the texture permanently changes from being frozen (and multiple freezing and thaws?  Don't ever do that)

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I usually put the chicken in a freezer bag with some olive oil before I put it in the freezer and I don't find it suffers much, but if I'm paying fine dining prices I do expect that they're going to have higher standards for what they sell than I do for workday meals.

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I also don't defrost the chicken under harsh hot water in a hand sink either.  I think you're right, Kromm, the sticking point is that they're advertising it as fresh but it's frozen- and charging people prices that reflect fresh inventory. 

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Amy (and Samy to a lesser degree) is BSC and seriously delusional.  I had not heard that she doesn't make her own desserts.....but I'm not surprised.  I, also. wondered when she had time to make all those and cook in the kitchen.

 

What kind of legal trouble were they in?  Outside of Samy's "shady" past.

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He didn't disclose his legal history when he sought resident alien status, and she went to prison for credit card fraud.

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had not heard that she doesn't make her own desserts.....but I'm not surprised.  I, also. wondered when she had time to make all those and cook in the kitchen.

 

Internet trolls did Google image searches on pictures of the desserts on their website, which touted that Amy had made them and how wonderful they were.

 

They came back and were posting the source of the actual desserts under those pictures.  Amy and/or Sammy had even taken the trouble to remove watermarks from the original pictures.  I remember one of them originated on a Chinese website.

 

I think even Gordon knew she didn't really bake those desserts on his first visit.  If she was doing that type of baking, I would think the restaurant should have smelled absolutely wonderful.  Instead it must have smelled like cardboard bakery boxes...Until Amy began the day's cooking and then it smelled like undercooked pizza, anyway.

 

Their Facebook page (ABC Bakery) makes for some fascinating reading.  Every time they try to post something defending themselves, the trolls are on them quicker than you can say MEOW!!!  

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*small voice*  I'm on the interwebs a lot and I still can't grasp what a troll is.  Someone out to create trouble for somebody?

 

Thanks for helping a dummy out...;-)

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I'm not sure if troll is the word I would have used for the people who factchecked them. Wikipedia defines trolls as "a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."

They did get pasted on their Facebook page and on their business page and downrated on Yelp by people who wanted to forcefully make the point that they sucked, many of whom admitted that they'd never been to the restaurant. I think those folks could qualify. They were certainly remarkably successful at provoking an emotional response.

Sorry if this is boards on boards, btw. I tried not to.

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How can you remove a watermark from a picture? Isn't that the whole reason why it's there in the first place? So no one can remove it and claim it as their own?

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Sorry if this is boards on boards, btw. I tried not to.

 

We don't have the boards-on-boards rule here, so don't worry about it.

 

We have one rule: don't be a dick.  

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Thanks Julia!  I was on the right track.

 

And thanks PTV mods for the no boards on boards....I never got that either.

 

I'm an old fart.

 

On Topic....I love Gordon (much to Mr. Songbird's chagrin).  He calls him 'that guy who yells at everybody'....;-)

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Chiming in late, because I just saw this episode, but it accomplished something I never would've thought possible. It made me have at least a little bit of sympathy for two really unpleasant people. (You know those people who get arrested for slavery, because they keep some illegal immigrant under virtual lock and key and threaten to report them if they complain? Amy struck me as the kind of person who could do that. And that previously unseen clip, where Sammy curses at and threatens to call the police on a guy who's walking out after waiting an hour for a pizza, was truly appalling).

 

But what was really served by giving them more exposure, other than Kitchen Nightmares getting to pat itself on the back for stirring up a social media firestorm, and also getting a cheaply produced segment of mostly old footage.  At this point it seems almost like inviting someone to laugh at the mentally ill. That's probably too strong a term to use, but as others have pointed out, their problems seem to go far beyond the self-delusion of the typical KN subject. (Many of whom I suspect are made out to be worse than they really are, for the redemption arc.) When they showed the clip of Amy talking about her cats it seemed that the show was going out of its way to humiliate her out of spite. (I actually know several childless women who refer to their cats as their children. It may be sad, but it's not all that unusual).

 

The dynamic between Sammy and Amy seems pretty obvious. She's his trophy wife, and he's not going to say anything to risk having her walk out. Considering how many times he talked about his manhood, having a younger wife (who I'm sure he considers hot) is a big status symbol for him. (Amy also has some kind of weird fixation on manhood. Her worst insult, which she used several times, is to call someone a pansy).

 

It did feel a bit like the big guy (GR, Kitchen Nightmares) kicking around the little guy just because they can. The unused clips really didn't add anything to the story, and neither did the interview. I hope this is the last I see or hear of Amy's Baking Company for a long long time.

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Agreed. There really wasn't anything new that was added to this episode. I feel like Ramsey could have walked through the door, taken one look at Amy's buggin' out baby blues, and said, "Right, then." As he quickly walked back out. Still crazy, stop poking it.

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There was a comment in the Bella Luna thread that Ramsay barely worked on this season.  First I'd heard that this was different... what's the scoop?

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She's his trophy wife, and he's not going to say anything to risk having her walk out.

She's certainly a real prize, that's for sure.

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There was one exception that I know of in the US version: While the food at Blackberry's was typically awful, the cakes (made by the owner's mother) were so good that Ramsay actually walked around the counter, hugged the mom, and told her how much he'd enjoyed his slice.

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Yeah it turns out the desserts are bought from another company.

I understand Amy buys her cakes and pies from Safeway, and basically charges as much for one slice as she paid for the whole cake. This also explains why special orders aren't allowed.

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Seriously, how hard is it to understand that just because you bought it fresh, if you then put it in the freezer it is frozen? This owner falls firmly in the "I hope you fail so hard" camp.

I can't remember which specific episode it was, but I remember Ramsay asking a typically clueless owner if his obviously not-fresh food was really fresh like he advertised. His classic response: "It IS fresh. Fresh-frozen, that is. Well, fresh-frozen-canned." Ramsay's incredulous look was priceless.

Edited by Sir RaiderDuck OMS

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The food was average. [...] It was super expensive, though.

 

This was the impression I got from watching the episode. I haven't watched Kitchen Nightmares in years, because similar to another poster, it was making me want to stop eating in any restaurant ever, but the "return" episode was on OnDemand, so I just watched it.

 

Having never eaten there, my guess would be the objection is more to the exhorbitant prices (and bad/slow service) than the average/mediocre food. If the undercooked pizza was $10, then oh well -- what do you expect for $10? But for $22, people expect (rightfully so) a higher standard of quality. I think Amy is 75% wrong about the grand "Yelper conspiracy," but I also think people get particularly angry when they feel they are being ripped off. If the majority of the reviews had been more along the lines of "This place is not worth it for the quality of food you get" rather than "HORRIBLE food! AWFUL! Worst food EVER!", I wonder if Amy would've been quite so upset.

 

I saw a Kitchen Nightmares episode where Gordon Ramsay got physically ill after eating the food. I don't think that would've happened here. And yes, Samy and Amy (which I was pronouncing as "Same-y and Amy" before I saw the episode) have made-for-reality-TV personalities, but I've seen more outrageous behavior from Brandon Hantz on Survivor and about seven people from the last season of Big Brother.

 

I don't think Ramsay could've saved this restaurant, because Samy and Amy were too resistant to change, but I'm guessing once the hype dies down, they'll go back to being an overpriced restaurant that serves mediocre food. Which is not exactly a dream kitchen, but it's also not a kitchen nightmare.

Edited by Eolivet

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I don't think Ramsay could've saved this restaurant, because Samy and Amy were too resistant to change, but I'm guessing once the hype dies down, they'll go back to being an overpriced restaurant that serves mediocre food. Which is not exactly a dream kitchen, but it's also not a kitchen nightmare.

The hype will never die down.  Samy and Amy milk it now and base their business on it.

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If the majority of the reviews had been more along the lines of "This place is not worth it for the quality of food you get" rather than "HORRIBLE food! AWFUL! Worst food EVER!", I wonder if Amy would've been quite so upset.

 

I have no doubt Amy would have been just as upset - she considers her food to be a little bit of heaven in Arizona, to say it isn't worth the price she charges would make her just as mad.  You have to remember, she's crazy.

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That's about typical from what I understand, and if they'd picked at random you could say he had no effect at all. Unfortunately they picked a lot of restaurants that I was actively rooting to fail, so a big chunk of that 40% got extra life they didn't deserve. I'd really rather he'd gone to restaurants that had at least one redeeming quality; I'd bet the success rate would've been higher then.

Edited by Jamoche
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I really wish the show had been more of a makeover show. Like everyone says, it's impossible to root for these restaurants to do well. With the filthy conditions and rotten food, you'd be a fool to eat there. You know after Ramsay leaves their standards will just go back to what they were before. I'd rather see Ramsay come in and give the place a facelift and help them streamline their menus and come up with signature dishes, that sort of thing. 

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I understood why he was shutting this down, until I saw the promo for Hotel Hell, or whatever they're calling that thing. All the idiot owners and shoddy conditions, but instead of cooking we get proper dusting technique and how to change pillowcases? If they had to save one, I have no idea why it was that one.

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Maybe he's over-extended and picked his least favorite show to drop. (I know which is my least favorite of his shows, and this isn't it, but I don't get to decide for him.)

 

Seriously, how many TV shows does he have going on? In how many countries? And he still has multiple restaurants, with, I assume, at least a token interest in each. And a wife (and/or mistress???) and kids. And who knows what else?

 

No wonder he yells so much - I'd yell, too, if I were that busy.

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His father-in-law did some serious damage to his company, and he needed the shows to keep them going. I think that's passed.

 

At this point, I guess he just really enjoys being rich?

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To discuss all the reruns that are on various networks: BBCA, FYI, FOX, etc.

I just caught Campania, a restaurant profiled in season 1 of the U.S. versions. I'd not seen it before, so I looked online to find out what happened afterward. I was shocked to learn that Joe, the owner, committed suicide. This is from the blog that follows up with each restaurant:

What Happened Next: Joe won Chef Central's Bergen County Ultimate Chef Competition in 2008 and came Runner Up in 2009. In September 2010 Joe sold the restaurant to Campania Holding Corp and 8 days later comitted suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson river , other information has come out since his death including a relationship with a waitress Jessica, a cocaine overdose and there have been various court cases relating to his life insurance policy and who should be the beneficiary. The restaurant closed completely in January 2011. Sage Restaurant, an American/Italian restaurant opened in it's place on 29th March 2012 with mostly good reviews.

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I was really disappointed in Eric Ripert, who used the whole mess as an excuse to double down on Ramsay, as though his yelling at people had something to do with Joe's death. The man used his family home as a guarantee for his business, walked out on his SAHW and kids to do blow and bonk his pastry chef, lost his business and was arrested after he OD'd. I feel terrible that he didn't feel strong enough to fight back any more, and it's awful for his family, but it looked to me like Ramsay gave the man a hand up he decided not to take. 

 

I also thought it was a little bizarre that Joe was portrayed as some sort of restaurant novice. He was a VP and an executive chef for the Gallagher's Steakhouse chain for years before he struck out on his own.

 

The one I'm watching a rerun of now is Nino's. Between crazy ass fabulist Nino and his horrible brother dragging out his childhood resentments every forty five seconds in the workplace, I can't imagine how they're still open, but apparently they are.

Edited by Julia
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I watched the episode about The Greek at the Harbor today. I'm glad the son finally realized what an ass he'd been, and really stepped up to expedite. And that they got a real chef. I wasn't nuts about the redecoration, those BLUE walls. Blue doesn't invite me to eat. It reminds me of Captain D's.

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I'd say it was about the flag, but I always think of that color as greek coffee cup blue. Which, come to think of it, is probably also about the flag...

 

I wouldn't ever paint a wall deep blue, but it was probably the quickest way to communicate waterfront, greek and seafood.

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