Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

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For the U.S. version of this show, see Kitchen Nightmares.
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.jpg
Starring Gordon Ramsay
Narrated by Gordon Ramsay
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 7
No. of episodes 38 (30 original and 8 revisits)
Production
Running time 44 minutes
Release
Original network Channel 4
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
(Season 1 & 2)
1080i (HDTV)
(Season 3 – Season 7)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release April 27, 2004 (2004-04-27) – October 14, 2014 (2014-10-14)
Chronology
Related shows Kitchen Nightmares
Pesadilla en la cocina
External links
Website

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is a television programme featuring British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning programme debuted on Channel 4 in 2004.

In each episode, Ramsay visits a failing restaurant and acts as a troubleshooter to help improve the establishment in just one week. Ramsay revisits the restaurant a few months later to see how business has fared in his absence. Episodes from series one and two have been re-edited with additional new material as Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Revisited; they featured Ramsay checking up on restaurants a year or more after he attended to them.

An American adaptation of this show, titled Kitchen Nightmares, debuted 19 September 2007, on Fox. It is broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 as Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA.

In October 2009 Ramsay announced that after his four-year contract expired in 2011 he would not continue with Kitchen Nightmares and would instead work on his other shows.[1] In June 2014, however, Ramsay announced that the UK version would return for four episodes after a seven-year hiatus.[2] These four episodes will bring the "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" franchise, which exists in the United States and the United Kingdom, to an end.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 4 27 April 2004 (2004-04-27) 18 May 2004 (2004-05-18)
2 8 24 May 2005 (2005-05-24) 12 July 2005 (2005-07-12)
3 4 21 February 2006 (2006-02-21) 14 March 2006 (2006-03-14)
4 6 14 November 2006 (2006-11-14) 19 December 2006 (2006-12-19)
5 8 30 October 2007 (2007-10-30) 18 December 2007 (2007-12-18)
Great British Nightmare 2 30 January 2009 (2009-01-30)
Costa del Nightmares 4 23 September 2014 (2014-09-23) 14 October 2014 (2014-10-14)

Episodes[edit]

Series 1: 2004[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
1 1 "Bonapartes Restaurant" Silsden, England 27 April 2004 (2004-04-27)

Ramsay quickly identifies the restaurant as having two major issues; firstly, the fine dining menu has no appeal to the mostly working-class locals, and secondly the head chef, 21-year-old Tim Gray is inexperienced and out of his depth, evidenced when he firstly proves unable to make an omelet, and then when he unwittingly serves Ramsay expired scallops which cause him to vomit. Ramsay shows Tim how to buy cheaper produce from the Leeds Kirkgate Market and helps him make a meal for his family, though is still concerned when Tim botches the meal. Despite this, Tim is successfully able to serve a new bistro menu to nearly fifty guests on Valentine's Day, leaving Ramsay hopeful for the restaurant's future.

When Ramsay returns for a revisit a month later however, he finds the restaurant in an even worse state than when he first arrived; virtually no guests are booked for dinner, and the fridges and pantry are found to be full of rotting, mouldy food. Bonapartes' owner, Sue, fires Tim and announces that she will close the restaurant and focus on running the upstairs bar, and Ramsay leaves, admitting failure.
2 2 "The Glass House" Ambleside, England 4 May 2004 (2004-05-04)

While Ramsay quickly sees the potential in the restaurant upon his arrival, due to the attractive building, excellent location and strong flow of tourists, he finds the actual food to be poor, which he blames on new owner Neil's inexperience and panicky nature, and head chef Richard's lazy attitude, which hampers an otherwise-talented kitchen staff. Ramsay also finds the kitchen to be in a terrible state, and makes the staff join him in cleaning and repainting it. An initial failure to improve sees Richard come dangerously close to being fired, but he talks Neil into giving him one last chance, and Richard is able to improve and lead the kitchen through a service with a simplified, revamped menu.

The following month, Ramsay revisits the restaurant, and is pleased to see that they have further improved their menu and food, and that Neil and Richard are now getting along well.
3 3 "The Walnut Tree Inn" Llanddewi Skirrid, Wales 11 May 2004 (2004-05-11)

Before visiting the inn, Ramsay discusses its history and the success it had under former owner Franco Taruschio, which has turned into financial difficulty under current owner Francesco, something that has surprised Ramsay, given that the two were already acquainted from Francesco's career as a restaurant manager in London. However, Ramsay soon discovers exactly how bad things are; the restaurant is without a head chef, the food is very expensive and of poor quality (including a seafood stew being full of sand), and the locals have lost interest. Ramsay helps Francesco recruit a new head chef, Spencer, and create a more reasonably priced menu, before holding a special anniversary dinner to celebrate the inn's 40th anniversary, with Franco in attendance.

When he returns for a revisit, Ramsay finds that the situation has improved somewhat; the food is definitely better, and the inn has more customers, but the prices are still very high. Before leaving, Ramsay re-iterates that Francesco has to lower prices if he wants to succeed.
4 4 "Moore Place" Esher, England 18 May 2004 (2004-05-18)

Despite the potential offered by the rich locals and the golf course next door to the restaurant, Ramsay finds it wasted by the building's terrible decor (including the exterior being entirely painted a claret shade), and the outdated menu that relies extensively on deep-fried food cooked in ageing, filthy equipment. The inexperience of owners Richard and Nick also poses a major problem, as does the seeming indifference of much of the kitchen staff, especially head chef Mark, whose background is mostly in IT rather than cooking, and is berated by Ramsay for spending time golfing rather than cooking, which eventually leads to Ramsay destroying the kitchen's deep-fat friers by throwing them into a water hazard on the course. Things begin to turn around when an experienced sous chef, Andy is hired, and Ramsay gives him a burger recipe which he turns into the restaurant's new signature dish and introduces in a successful Mother's Day lunch.

Ramsay is dismayed to find that the building still has the same claret paint job when he returns for his revisit, but is otherwise pleased to find that Andy has been promoted to head chef (Mark is mentioned as having left to become a pub landlord), and that the restaurant attracts much more business.

Series 2: 2005[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
5 1 "La Lanterna" Letchworth, England 24 May 2005 (2005-05-24)

Ramsay meets Executive Chef Alex Scott in the kitchen, where he finds no authentic Italian ingredients, and too many precooked and prepackaged dishes. His meal consists of greasy minestrone soup, breadsticks in a paper package, and sausages on garlic bread that remind him of "two poodles' penises doused in parsley". In the walk-in, Ramsay finds old food, pot-noodles, and rotten vegetables. Worst of all, the kitchen and floor are filthy, with food debris everywhere (but amazingly, no rats or mice). Despite Alex losing 1000 pounds per week, Ramsay opens his garage to find a brand new BMW with custom numberplates-- "A1 CHEF". Ramsay discovers that Alex had spent £48,000 on the car, and straight away sets off to sell both the car and the numberplate-- calling a number of celebrity chefs about the latter, with amusing results. Ramsay teaches Gavin, the ineffectual manager, to be more authoritative-- even roleplaying an uncooperative cook, to let Gavin tell him off. Ramsay also has the cooks engage in a pizza contest; which the sous chef, Aldona Novak, wins. This ignites some passion in her for food, where before she completely lacked it. Ramsay also updates the menu and the decor, bringing in paintings from a local art school. On reopening night, Alex starts to get overwhelmed and takes too long getting food out, but Gavin's newfound assertiveness saves the night.

Six weeks later, Ramsay revisits La Lanterna and found that Alex has stuck to the changes-- keeping the kitchen clean, serving fresh ingredients, and making homemade ravioli and desserts. Gavin has also continued to be a better manager. Alex is now making £4000 a week and has been able to pay down £20,000 of debt, enough to start paying himself a salary.
6 2 "D-Place" Chelmsford, England 31 May 2005 (2005-05-31)

While his biggest problem is with the restaurant's name, Ramsay finds that rookie owners Israel and Tara are allowing themselves to be steamrollered by general manager Dave, who Ramsay finds confrontational and ineffective, and head chef Philippe, who is vastly experienced and somewhat talented, but also arrogant and prone to taking shortcuts. Ramsay gets the owners to rename the restaurant as the Saracen's Café Bar, after the hotel which the restaurant is situated in, and creates a better menu with a club sandwich as its centerpiece. While Philippe needs a lot of persuasion (and more than a little yelling) to fully embrace the new menu, Dave's inept handling of the reopening lunch service rapidly causes it to descend into chaos, leaving many guests without food. This causes Israel to finally run out of patience, and he fires Dave on the spot. Ramsay leaves with an uncertain outlook, noting that Israel and Tara are finally toughening up and Philippe's attitude seems a little better, but that it remains to be seen whether the changes will stick.

On his return, Ramsay discovers that Israel and Tara have been evicted from the restaurant by the building's owners, a decision they apparently made before Ramsay originally arrived in Chelmsford, and that the two are now in a dire financial situation. The restaurant is now closed and the lease up for sale. In the face of all this, Ramsay is shocked to find that Philippe was hired by the Saracen Hotel to head up their own kitchen, and has made the club sandwich into its signature dish. While this definitely was not the outcome Ramsay expected, he's happy to see that Philippe is at least maintaining high standards in his new job.
7 3 "Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack" Brighton, England 7 June 2005 (2005-06-07)

In a break from form, Ramsay declares that the restaurant's food is excellent, and easily the best he's had on the show so far. However, he finds that owner-chef Charita is far too easygoing when managing her staff, tends to rely on freezing her food (ruining its flavour), and has made little attempt to promote the restaurant. With Ramsay's help, she adjusts to cooking all her food to order, and manages to pull in more custom. The kitchen staff initially finds it hard to adjust to the hugely increased custom, but soon adapt as the week goes on.

In his revisit two months later, Ramsay finds that the restaurant is still a success, Charita is focusing on running the front of house, and is also considering moving to a larger location to expand the potential of her business.
8 4 "La Riviera" Inverness, Scotland 14 June 2005 (2005-06-14)

Ramsay has mixed feelings on the restaurant's food, noting that while head chef Loic's food is technically very proficient, it's overcomplicated, not cost-efficient, and would have limited appeal even in London or Edinburgh, to say nothing of Inverness. After helping Loic and his team gain a better understanding of local culture by taking them to an Inverness Caledonian Thistle match and even getting them to wear kilts for their reopening service, Gordon helps Loic create a menu that's sophisticated, but also cost-effective and appealing to the locals.

When he revisits, Ramsay is pleased to see that Loic has stuck with the new menu, and also impressed by a redesign of the restaurant. In a pre-credits caption, it's revealed that the restaurant was renamed Abstract shortly before the episode aired.
9 5 "The Glass House" Ambleside, England 21 May 2005 (2005-05-21)

"Revisited" episode

After recapping the original episode, Ramsay returns to the Glass House for a second time, and is happy to see standards mostly being maintained, though he takes the time to criticize Richard for allowing standards to slip a little in certain areas. Fortunately, Richard quickly corrects this. It's noted that a few members in the kitchen team have changed; in particular, two of them have been hired by Ramsay himself to work at his restaurants.
10 6 "The Walnut Tree Inn" Llandewi Skirrid, Wales 28 May 2005 (2005-05-28)

"Revisited" episode

While the overall standard of food has been broadly maintained as of his second revisit, Ramsay is dismayed to find that the number of customers has dropped to its lowest-ever number, and that Francesco is still charging extremely high prices that, on average, are in excess of £60 for an entrée alone. After speaking to the locals and finding out that those who've visited the inn have enjoyed the food but not felt it to be worth the price, Ramsay creates a new dish that can be sold for half the price of the existing items and still be very profitable. However, Francesco is adamant that his approach is correct, and openly says that he would rather see the inn go out of business than make prices as cheap as Ramsay is suggesting. Ramsay gives up, tells Francesco that the inn will close if he maintains his current approach, and leaves.
11 7 "Moore Place" Esher, England 5 July 2005 (2005-07-05)
"Revisited" episode
12 8 "Bonapartes Restaurant" Silsden, England 12 July 2005 (2005-07-12)

"Revisited" episode

As of Ramsay's second revisit, Bonaparte's has closed altogether, and is up for sale. More importantly Ramsay reveals that Sue, who refuses to be interviewed in the episode, has made several allegations about Ramsay and the show through the press (including an accusation that Tim was actually an actor hired by the producers, who duped Sue into believing he was a chef and then deliberately did the worst job possible in order to make the restaurant and Sue look bad) and is considering a lawsuit against both (though she ultimately did not go through with one). Ramsay also catches up with Tim, who is now working part-time in a lesser position at another restaurant and trying to save up enough money to go to culinary school, though is dismayed to find that like in the original episode, Tim still can't successfully cook an omelet.

Series 3: 2006[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
13 1 "Oscar's" Nantwich, England 21 February 2006 (2006-02-21)

Initially, Ramsay deems the restaurant's problem to be its unfocused, overcomplicated menu, and Ramsay helps owner Maura to address this, along with setting up deals with local butchers. However, Ramsay also finds head chef (and Maura's son) Lenin to be alarmingly inconsistent in terms of ability, and on further investigation finds that he's been drinking in service. Ramsay orders Lenin to stop, but the following night he gets a waitress to smuggle alcohol into the kitchen for him, further angering Ramsay. Events take a serious turn on the third night, when Lenin suddenly collapses in service and has to be rushed to hospital, where it's revealed that he's in the early stages of cirrhosis. This leads to Ramsay bringing in former chef and charity founder Michael Quinn to discuss the issue of alcoholism and drug abuse in the industry, and Michael tells Ramsay that Lenin must give up his job and enter rehab. In the meantime, Ramsay and sous chef Les manage a successful service with a new menu focused around Irish cuisine.

When Ramsay revisits, he finds that the restaurant has a new head chef, and that Lenin is now only involved to hand over the reins before checking into rehab. More importantly, Lenin's cirrhosis was found to be treatable, and he's expected to make a full recovery. That night, Maura forces an unwilling Ramsay to engage in an Irish folk dance with her.
14 2 "The Sandgate Hotel" Sandgate, England 28 February 2006 (2006-02-28)

Upon visiting the Sandgate Hotel, Ramsay is immediately confused with the hotel's layout. There is a bar, a restaurant, and even a Japanese restaurant downstairs, all run from the same kitchen. To further complicate the experience, each has their own menu and diners cannot order from one menu without going to the other restaurant. Ramsay finds Stuart, a gentle Geordie, in charge of the kitchen alongside his young inexperienced assistants. Ramsay identifies numerous issues: Stuart is clearly not comfortable cooking the bizarre range of food and has no experience in cooking Japanese food; he must leave the kitchen to his junior chefs while he runs the balcony grill; the orders are sent through an intercom system that disrupts the kitchen; the hotel staff spend too much time and money at their own bar (and in fact are inadvertently keeping the hotel afloat); and the number of managers causes confusion over who is in charge. Furthermore, during the week Stuart loses his AA rosette, severely demoralising him. Despite these problems, Ramsay manages to set the restaurant on the right path by turning the Japanese restaurant into an exclusive dining area, focusing the menu on fresh seafood, and establishing more control over the front of house with owner Lois as the host.

Ramsay returns to find that turnover has doubled and while Stuart had not yet regained his AA rosette, he was relieved to find his morale and passion had improved.
15 3 "Clubway 41" Blackpool, England 7 March 2006 (2006-03-07)

Clubway 41 is run by former manager Dave, and is heavily promoted on the back of being named Blackpool Restaurant of the Year, but is struggling to attract customers. Ramsay finds that the upstairs restaurant is being kept afloat by the downstairs greasy spoon café. Dave's salmon with strawberry and mash with nectarines are appalling to Ramsay. Dave has difficulty taking criticism from Ramsay and shows little proficiency for cooking, and even less familiarity with managing a kitchen, even with the downstairs cook Nigel, who was more capable in handling the rush. Digging deeper, Ramsay discovers that no locals have heard of the award-winning Clubway 41 and obtains copies of the nomination forms, finding the reviews to be almost farcical. Identifying the difficulty with attracting customers to an upstairs restaurant, he takes a risk and turns the downstairs café into the main attraction, focusing on simple English food. In the reopening, the restaurant is renamed Jacksons. With Dave and Nigel in the kitchen, the service begins well, and while Nigel is a capable assistant, Dave continues to struggle with handling the workload.

When Ramsay revisits, he finds a significant turn of events. A new bus stop was built in front of the restaurant, deterring customers from coming in. Nigel has left, leaving Dave in the kitchen, and the restaurant has reverted to its previous greasy spoon fare. Ramsay brings the owners out to Blackpool to do heavy promoting and places ads on the buses to help bring customers back.
16 4 "La Gondola" Derby, England 14 March 2006 (2006-03-14)

Daniela has invested in a 40-year-old establishment and is hesitant to modernise, and relies on functions to sustain the restaurant rather than a steady customer base. Ramsay states that the restaurant is stuck in a time warp, with dishes and service reminiscent of the 70s and the dishes are severely underpriced, making a loss per sale. Head chef Steve lacks passion and is unused to busy sessions. During a birthday function, the kitchen uses canned tuna to substitute for tuna steaks, uses bought-in apple pie instead of making it, and mixes freshly made minestrone soup with packet soup to save costs. Steve struggles to maintain order in the kitchen during service without a clear system. Ramsay discards the complicated menu and devises a new, simpler menu and changes the decor in the dining room. He also brings back the flambé table service as a hallmark of the restaurant. The dinner service proceeds well, though Steve still has difficulty communicating with the team.

When Ramsay revisits, he discovers that Steve has moved on and Daniela has gone through several chefs before hiring a new one.

Series 4: 2006[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
17 1 "La Parra de Burriana" Nerja, Spain 14 November 2006 (2006-11-14)

Lawrence runs a restaurant in an ideal Spanish holiday location, but has difficulty attracting locals. Ramsay discovers a menu that encompasses numerous cuisines and appalling recipes, such as prawns with chocolate sauce and chicken with banana. Poor service and improperly cooked food have given the restaurant a negative reputation. To show the staff the importance of letting ingredients speak for themselves, he creates smoothies from the menu items, including the prawns with chocolate, with Lawrence being unable to identify the prawns. Ramsay creates a simple menu for the night's service, but Lawrence insists that he is in control of his large, unpopular menu and only switches to Ramsay's backup menu after it is too late. To make things worse, the restaurant is robbed during the night, with the thieves taking money from the takings stored in a filing cabinet. Ramsay takes Lawrence to a bullfighting school to demonstrate the importance of listening to expert advice. He also berates Lawrence over his excessive use of his plancha grill, causing food to be overcooked and taste monotonous, and teaches him to cook fresh food in pans. The final service begins well, but the staff have double-booked tables, causing confusion in the kitchen and ruining a nearly flawless reopening. Ramsay leaves, concerned that the restaurant would not make it through the slower winter season.

When Ramsay revisits, he finds that the restaurant is doing well, and Lawrence has ceased using the grill. The kitchen staff have been moved around to more suitable roles, and Lawrence has found a new passion for cooking.
18 2 "The Fenwick Arms" Claughton, England 21 November 2006 (2006-11-21)

The Fenwick Arms is a classic English pub, but Ramsay finds the menu is anything but classic English pub grub, with many dishes ruined by sloppy sauces created by owner and head chef, Brian. At 62 years of age, Brian is working too hard and his age and health create disorder in kitchen as he is unable to keep track of orders. Ramsay also finds that Brian is a compulsive hoarder, collecting a bizarre collection of crockery from eBay. To address the problems, Ramsay removes Brian from the kitchen and moves him to the front of house. However, Brian is unable to fully remove himself from his duties and creates another batch of terrible sauce. Ramsay throws the sauce out and gets Brian to begin selling his excessive plate collection. He turns Brian over to a simpler menu, focusing on classic pub dishes instead of pretending to be a restaurant, and to complement the excellent Yorkshire pudding, Ramsay creates a new focus and campaign for the pub to bring back real gravy. Brian is enthusiastic about the idea and the staff market their new gravy in town. Despite some confusion in the service, the kitchen staff hold up under pressure and the customers are pleased with the new food. Ramsay leaves after making Brian promise not to step back into the kitchen.

During his revisit, Ramsay is shocked to learn that Brian has returned to the kitchen. The kitchen staff have been left shorthanded and he is filling in until they can employ a new chef, and subsequently he has begun reverting to some of his old habits. While Ramsay is impressed with the roast beef and gravy, he is still unimpressed with the plates and the presentation of prawn cocktail in scallop shells.
19 3 "Rococo" King's Lynn, England 28 November 2006 (2006-11-28)

Despite being a successful chef in the previous decade, owner-chef Nick has fallen on hard times due to his refusal to modernize his menu or cooking methods, which Ramsay attributes to the way he was abruptly fired from a hotel shortly after earning it a Michelin Star in 1997. After speaking to the locals and finding out about the Rococo's abysmal reputation, Ramsay tells Nick that there's no way he can salvage things as they are, and that the only way to recover is to effectively start over with a new restaurant in the same building. Nick agrees, and Rococo is renamed Maggie's, given a complete makeover and refit, and a new menu focused around local seafood.

When he revisits, Ramsay is happy to find that Nick has embraced the restaurant's new identity, and has finally shaken off his ghosts of the past.
20 4 "Morgans" Liverpool, England 5 December 2006 (2006-12-05)

Ramsay has major issues with the food, but finds the biggest problem to be the feuds among the owners and staff; owner Sandy has little knowledge of restaurants, younger daughter Laura has even less, elder daughter Helen has the most business knowledge but only works at the restaurant part-time, head chef Phil has a confrontational attitude, uses bizarre combinations (such as mashed potatoes and apricot) in the menu and doesn't get on with sous chef Emma, who nonetheless serves Ramsay the only thing he likes, a sticky toffee pudding. Ramsay finds it hard going, and the continued feuds cause Laura to walk away from the restaurant, but with Helen committing to the restaurant full-time and Phil agreeing to work more with Emma and simplifying the menu, things begin to look up.

When he revisits, Ramsay finds the restaurant running much better, thanks to Helen handling the business aspects and Sandy focusing on hospitality. Most significantly however, it's revealed that just a week after Ramsay left, Sandy decided to promote Emma to head chef and gave Phil an ultimatum to accept demotion to sous chef or be fired, which resulted in him quitting. Ramsay visits Phil at his new job at a restaurant on the Albert Dock, though there are no hard feelings between the two.
21 5 "La Riviera" Inverness, Scotland 12 December 2006 (2006-12-12)
"Revisited" episode, restaurant is now called Abstract
22 6 "Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack" Brighton, England 19 December 2006 (2006-12-19)
"Revisited" episode, the restaurant later moved to larger premises and was renamed Momma Cherri's Big House.

Series 5: 2007[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
23 1 "Ruby Tate's" Brighton, England 30 October 2007 (2007-10-30)

On his arrival, Ramsay finds that owner and former actor Allan Love is in a fragile emotional state due to the precarious nature of the business and the possibility of losing his house, and that the two chefs, Jamie and Alex are lazy and seemingly only interested in the money. On sampling the food, Ramsay realises that the restaurant's fish is too expensive and sub-standard, and on taking Alex and Jamie to a local fish market finds that pollock is in plentiful local supply. A revamped menu with a pollock fish and chips meal proves a hit, but things nearly stall when Ramsay clashes with Allan over the restaurant's gaudy decor, which Allan is proud of and threatens to stop filming if Ramsay attempts to change it. Despite this, Allan eventually agrees to allow a makeover, and Ramsay also has the restaurant renamed Love's Fish Restaurant so as to take advantage of its biggest asset, Allan himself. Jamie is designated head chef, and the full reopening proves a big hit.

Two months later, Ramsay returns to Brighton and covertly orders a takeaway under the name of "Jimmy," in a rare instance of him using his natural Scottish accent. When he arrives at the restaurant he finds that it's still a big success, and that Alex was fired two days after Ramsay originally left, after he showed up late to work and openly disrespected Allan. After Gordon and Allan enjoy fish and chips on the beach, Allan sings the episode out by performing My Way.
24 2 "Piccolo Teatro" Paris, France 6 November 2007 (2007-11-06)

Ramsay is simultaneously delighted to be working in Paris, the city where he originally learned to be a chef, though a little daunted at the prospect of taking on a vegetarian restaurant. He's further daunted when he realizes just how bad things are, and by the end of the first night forces owner Rachel to fire her lazy, incompetent head chef Daniel (who Ramsay has to physically eject from the premises when he refuses to leave), with Rachel's friend and waitress Stephanie quitting a day later after Ramsay criticizes her attitude. Ramsay proves the restaurant's potential by opening it himself for lunch (something Rachel has never done), and makes over €400 from a simple meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese-on-toast. Backup then arrives in the form of Rachel's father Brian and promising young chef India, and a much-improved service seemingly has the restaurant set up for success.

When Gordon returns for his revisit however, he finds that the restaurant has closed; Rachel gave up and quit just a few weeks after Ramsay left, and is completely unapologetic when Ramsay catches up with her, leading Ramsay to furiously berate her for letting down Brian and India (who tried to carry on alone after she left, to no avail) and brand her the absolute worst owner he's ever seen on the show. The episode ends on a positive note however, as Ramsay sees enough potential in India to hire her to work at his Boxwood restaurant.
25 3 "The Fenwick Arms" Claughton, England 13 November 2007 (2007-11-13)
"Revisited" episode
26 4 "La Parra de Burriana" Nerja, Spain 20 November 2007 (2007-11-20)
"Revisited" episode
27 5 "The Priory" Haywards Heath, England 27 November 2007 (2007-11-27)

Despite enjoying perhaps more custom than any other restaurant seen to date on the show, new owner Scott reveals that The Priory is still losing money because almost all the custom is from people using "50% off" vouchers on the restaurant's carvery. Ramsay also strongly criticizes the work ethic and competence of head chef Toby, and is infuriated to discover the kitchen is full of old food and filthy, rusting equipment, which he orders to be replaced. However, Ramsay suspects that the kitchen staff are merely demotivated due to the unchanging menu, and sets up a new grill menu, only for Toby to turn out to be even worse at cooking that than he was the carvery. Ramsay's patience with Toby runs out, and he orders the restaurant's general manager Matt, himself an experienced chef, to take over from Toby, who is demoted to sous chef. This change in roles finally gets things moving, and under Matt's leadership the kitchen finally gets through a service.

In the revisit, Ramsay is happy to see that Matt is still heading up the kitchen and that Toby has been fired for serving expired chicken, but alarmed to find that Scott has refused to fully commit to the new menu, and is only running it on weekdays, with the carvery still running at weekends. He therefore gets Scott and the staff to run an advertising campaign for the new menu in the town center.
28 6 "The Fish and Anchor" Lampeter, Wales 4 December 2007 (2007-12-04)

Run by former Italian boxer Mike, The Fish and Anchor is a local eatery filled with sports memorabilia and with a tarnished reputation, with Mike and wife Karen notorious for their feuding, which has scared customers away. Ramsay learns that Mike, while passionate and ambitious, is not a trained chef and has based his menu on cookbooks written by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay himself. Ramsay is critical of the menu's complexity and lack of focus, and his concerns are proven in the evening service. As the cookbooks are written for home cooking, the dishes are too complex to manage in a busy restaurant environment and Mike does not know how to handle multiple orders. Half the customers are not served food, and Karen verbally confronts and kicks out several customers. The next day, Ramsay gets rid of Mike's cookbooks and removes the exotic dishes from the menu. He appeals to Mike's proud Italian heritage and creates an authentic meatball item. Mike is capable of handling the orders in the following service with praise for the food, but the night is ruined when Karen forgets an order and throws a tantrum. Ramsay manages to help the couple ease the tension and work together. They go into town to promote their new menu and service. Before the service, Ramsay sets up a punching bag outside to get the couple to vent their anger. The restaurant is packed, and Karen proves to have overcome her temper issues. However, Mike's inexperience in managing a full dining room causes him to fall behind. The service is stopped when one of the waitresses slips and falls, being knocked unconscious and taken to hospital.

When Ramsay revisits, he finds that Mike has changed the ugly blue paint to a pleasing white. Business has doubled and Karen and Mike no longer argue. To verify this, Ramsay calls up recent customers, who confirm their positive experience. He parts ways with the couple and gifts them with their own empty cookbook, and tells Mike to fill it with his own recipes.
29 7 "Curry Lounge" Nottingham, England 11 December 2007 (2007-12-11)

Ramsay is initially displeased with the restaurant's atmosphere and misleading claims of being Nottingham's best restaurant (with "Runners-Up" in small print). While owner Raz proudly boasts that his "make your own curry" idea is what sets his restaurant apart, Ramsay tells him that it's actually ensuring the business will fail, as the kitchen staff have to buy huge numbers of ingredients to make all the curries on the menu, and none of them taste especially nice and not even the restaurant staff can taste the difference. At Ramsay's urging, head chef Khan puts a lamb korma made from a family recipe on the menu for the second night's service, which proves a big hit and wins Raz over. Ramsay also sells Raz on the idea of making curry deliveries to offices in the city center. With a fully revamped menu based on regional flavours, the reopening night is a big hit.

Subsequently, the restaurant enjoys such success that when Ramsay revisits, he can't even find a seat. He does however take issue with the ugly naan bread stands that Raz has been using throughout the episode, to the point where at the end, he takes them to a scrap metal dealer to be destroyed.
30 8 "The Granary" Titchfield, England 18 December 2007 (2007-12-18)

The Granary is run by ambitious entrepreneur Nigel. Originally intended as an exclusive club for the rich and famous, Nigel has had to rebrand the restaurant, which now struggles to pull customers and has a poor reputation with the locals for its exclusive impression. Ramsay and Nigel eat lunch together, where it becomes clear that the restaurant does not live up to its focus of modern British food, with too many exotic dishes on the menu, such as shark with mozzarella, that the kitchen staff struggle to cook. The kitchen is run by Martin, who has taken on board two delinquent boys to help them back on track with cooking. Ramsay books the restaurant to half capacity for lunch to test the kitchen, but unused to even these numbers, the staff struggle to keep up. Ramsay identifies the main weakness to be Nigel, who has no experience as a restaurant manager, lacks control over the dining room and has difficulty accepting criticism. This is demonstrated when Nigel struggles to delegate tasks to his staff when challenged to put together a prefabricated chicken coop. After convincing Nigel to turn to a simpler British menu and allowing Martin to have more control, the staff host a food fair to bring the community back. The reopening begins well, but Martin struggles with the numbers and fails to show strong leadership under pressure. The kitchen staff lose discipline, although young cook Pete is able to hold himself together. The service is disappointing, with Martin disappointed with himself and Nigel determined to get it right.

Revisiting the restaurant, Ramsay is pleased to find the restaurant is maintaining a steady flow of customers. Martin reveals that he is leaving after applying for a government-funded workshop to help troubled kids through cooking.

Great British Nightmare[edit]

A one-off special entitled Ramsay's Great British Nightmare aired on Channel 4 on 30 January 2009 as part of 'The Great British Food Fight', a two-week series of food-related programming. In the program, Ramsay campaigned for viewers to start supporting local restaurants, especially in a bad economy.

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
31 1 "The Dovecote Bistro" Devon, England 30 January 2009 (2009-01-30)

Mick is a former truck driver and burger van operator who has opened a bistro with his wife and adopted daughter, Michelle. Ramsay is firstly appalled by the psychedelic wallpaper. While Ramsay is impressed with the simple menu, he is furious to find that Mick has very little cooking ability, using orange squash to make a sauce and using vacuum-sealed pre-cooked lamb shanks in a microwave bag. Not only does he show little responsibility in the kitchen, he is also secretive with his spending and is hugely in debt. Mick is adamant that the problems in the kitchen are not his fault, and his stubbornness causes a rift with his wife and daughter. Ramsay solves the crisis by taking the business matters out of Mick's hands and kicks him out of the kitchen. His daughter, Michelle, is placed in charge of the kitchen despite having no cooking experience. She rises to the challenge, and while Mick is not convinced over replacing his microwave food, the reopening is a success.

Months later, Ramsay returns to find that the restaurant is making profit. He sent Michelle for further culinary training, and she impresses Ramsay with freshly cooked food.

The restaurant was renamed Martins' Bistro during production.
32 2 "The Runaway Girl" Sheffield, England 30 January 2009 (2009-01-30)

Justin runs The Runaway Girl, specialising in Spanish tapas, with best friend and head chef, Richie. Ramsay is not impressed with the decor, finding the name and appearance to be similar to a strip club. He discovers that the kitchen does no preparation work before service, as Richie has pre-cooked and stored all the meals in advance to prevent wastage. He discovers that Justin invests very little in the kitchen and focuses on organising live music events, which customers find loud and obnoxious. Richie and Justin fall out, with Richie launching a heated tirade about Justin's inability to listen to criticism. Ramsay employs a mystery diner to assess the service, and despite Justin claiming to recognise their purpose, botches the service and forgets to even provide cutlery, resulting in a scathing review. After helping Justin and Richie make amends, he refurbishes the restaurant and renames it Silversmiths, bans live music and, realising that they have no chance of competing against local Spanish restaurants, changes the focus to modern British cuisine.

Before Ramsay's revisit, he sends another mystery diner to the restaurant, who gives a positive assessment of the service. He is pleased that Justin has stuck to the changes, and is impressed that Richie has found a new passion for food.

Costa del Nightmares[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
Restaurant Location Original air date
33 1 "Mayfair Restaurante" Fuengirola, Spain 23 September 2014 (2014-09-23)

While previously successful, the Mayfair has fallen on hard times, which Ramsay attributes to owner Jack's refusal to fire head chef Juan, awful hygiene standards (which results in Ramsay closing the restaurant down for the first day for an extensive cleaning), and insistence on filling much of the restaurant with useless junk. Ramsay initially sees Jack's son John as the right man to take over, but quickly loses faith on finding out that not only has the car hire business that John runs separately been a huge failure, he's invested €40,000 of his parents' money into it too. After forcing John to promise to shut down his hire business and eventually repay his parents, and getting Jack to get rid of his hoard, Ramsay renames the restaurant Jack's Chicken Shack and creates a new menu focused around fried chicken. The service that follows initially goes poorly thanks to John's poor handling of the order system, but he eventually gets the hang of it, and service is successfully completed.

In his revisit, Ramsay is encouraged to find that the restaurant is still busy, Juan has been moved to barkeeping duties and replaced by a younger chef (also called Juan), and cleanliness standards have been maintained. However, he makes John write an IOU to his parents when he reveals that he hasn't paid them back any money yet.
34 2 "Le Deck" Capbreton, France 30 September 2014 (2014-09-30)

As soon as he arrives at the restaurant, Ramsay is outraged by head chef Steve and the staff cooking themselves a sirloin dinner, and accuses them of taking advantage of owners Tim and Debbie. However, Tim is discovered to be a big part of the problem due to his interference in service, refusal to allow Steve to set his own menu, and careless handling of the business side of the restaurant. While Ramsay has further criticism for Steve's lack of local product knowledge and not even being able to speak French, he and the kitchen staff prove their skill by cooking good dishes after Ramsay takes them to a local seafood market, only for Tim to berate the staff when he sees the results, accusing them of holding back and even threatening to fire them. Despite this, the reopening night goes well, and Ramsay tells Tim that so long as he doesn't interfere with the running of the kitchen, he can make Le Deck a success.

No revisit is shown in the episode, though an epilogue caption reveals that the restaurant is still doing well, while Steve has left and returned to the mountain resort where he previously worked, leaving sous chef Stuey to take over as head chef.
35 3 "La Granada Divino" Gaucín, Spain 7 October 2014 (2014-10-07)
36 4 "Quelcuttis" Els Poblets, Spain 14 October 2014 (2014-10-14)

Libel[edit]

In June 2006, Ramsay won a High Court case against the Evening Standard, which had alleged that scenes and the general condition of the restaurant had been faked for the first episode of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. These allegations followed reports from previous owner of Bonapartes, Sue Ray. Ramsay was awarded £75,000 plus costs.[3] Ramsay said at the time: "I won't let people write anything they want to about me. We have never done anything in a cynical, fake way."

Reception[edit]

The programme received favourable reviews for its in-depth look into the restaurant industry. Jane Redfem of Off the Telly commented that the show "could have been cynically designed to exploit Ramsay's foul-mouthed reputation... But watch, listen and think about what he is saying, and his genuine commitment to his profession in general, and the task at hand become abundantly evident."[4] Lorna Martin of The Observer said "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is compulsive viewing – packed with excitement, emotion and entertainment."[5] Slate's Sara Dickerman was impressed by the show's "economic realism" in the tired food television genre. She wrote, "There is something refreshing about a show that doesn't promise a ticket to ride (a surgical makeover, a million dollars, Richard Branson's job) but instead offers restaurant owners the hope—if they seriously reform their establishments—that they might, just might, break even for the next few months."[6]

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares was named Best Feature at the 2005[7] and 2008 BAFTA awards.[8] It also earned the 2006 International Emmy for best non-scripted entertainment.[7]

DVD releases[edit]

United States[edit]

On 3 March 2009, Acorn Media released season 1 of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on DVD in the US. Season 2 was released on 1 September 2009. [1]

Name Ep# Release Date
Season One 8 3 March 2009
Season Two 10 1 September 2009

Canada[edit]

For the Canadian market, Visual Entertainment has released the first three seasons of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on DVD in two volume sets.

Name Ep# Release Date
Volume 1 8 16 October 2007[9]
Volume 2 10 7 October 2008[10]

International versions[edit]

     Currently airing franchise
     An upcoming season
     Franchise no longer in production
Country Title Broadcaster Chef Original run Source(s)
 Argentina Pesadilla en la cocina (Nightmare in the kitchen) Telefe TBA Q3 2016
 Brazil Kitchen Nightmares Band Alex Atala 2012 [11]
 Bulgaria Кошмари в кухнята (Nightmares in the kitchen) Nova television Ivan Manchev 2014–present
 Chile Pesadilla en la cocina (Nightmare in the kitchen) Chilevision Gustavo Maurelli 28 Feb 2016 – present [12]
 Croatia Jezikova juha RTL Stephan Macchi 15 May 2009 – 23 June 2011 [13]
 Czech Republic Ano, šéfe! (Yes, Chef!) Prima Zdeněk Pohlreich 2009-present [14]
 Denmark Med kniven for struben (The knife against the throat) TV3 Bo Bech 6 March 2007 – 2012 [15]
 Finland Kuppilat kuntoon, Jyrki Sukula! (Jyrki Sukula charm right!) Nelonen Jyrki Sukula 2012 – present [16]
 Estonia Köögikubjas (Kitchen Hood) Kanal2 Juha Matti Rantanen 2011–12 [17]
 France Cauchemar en cuisine (Nightmare in the kitchen) M6 Philippe Etchebest 2011 – present [18]
 Germany Rach, der Restauranttester (Rach, the Restaurant Tester)
Der Restauranttester (The Restaurant Tester)
RTL Christian Rach
Steffen Henssler
11 September 2005 – 4 March 2013
24 February 2014 – present
[19]
[20]
 Greece Εφιάλτης στην Κουζίνα (Nightmare in the Kitchen) Alpha TV Ektoras Botrini 2009-2013 [21]
 Israel מהפיכה במטבח (A kitchen revolution) Reshet Asaf Granit 2015 [22]
 Italy Cucine da incubo (Nightmare kitchen) Fox Life Antonino Cannavacciuolo 15 May 2013 – present [23]
 Poland Kuchenne rewolucje (Kitchen revolutions) TVN Magda Gessler 6 March 2010 – present [24]
 Portugal Pesadelo na Cozinha (Nightmare in the kitchen) TVI Ljubomir Stanisic 2017 [25]
 Serbia Paklena kuhinja (Hell's Kitchen) Prva Srpska Televizija Saša Mišić 2010-2013 [26]
 Spain Pesadilla en la cocina (Nightmare in the kitchen) laSexta Alberto Chicote 25 October 2012 – present [27]
 Slovakia Ano, šéfe! (Yes, Chef!) TV JOJ Jaroslav Žídek 2011 [28]
 Sweden Kniven mot strupen (The knife against the throat) TV3 Alexander Nilson 19 November 2009 – 2012 [29]
  Switzerland Bumann, der Restauranttester (Bumann, the Restaurant Tester) 3+ Daniel Bumann 15 October 2009 – present [30]
 Ukraine На ножах (On Knives)
Na nozhakh
1+1 Aram Mnatsakanov 2012 – present [31]
 United States Kitchen Nightmares Fox Gordon Ramsay September 19, 2007 – September 12, 2014 N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TV chef off menu". TheSun.co.uk. 29 October 2009. 
  2. ^ http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/gordon-ramsay-to-end-kitchen-nightmares-series-in-u-s-and-u-k-1201242302/
  3. ^ "Chef Ramsay wins £75,000 damages". BBC News. 20 June 2006. 
  4. ^ "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares". Off the Telly. 14 April 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  5. ^ Martin, Lorna (9 May 2004). "What happened after Gordon said goodbye?". The Observer. London. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  6. ^ "Bloody Hell's Kitchen". Slate. 5 January 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "Fox announces Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' will air this fall". Reality TV World. 17 May 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2008: The winners". BBC News. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008. 
  9. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releaseinfo.cfm?ReleaseID=7122
  10. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releaseinfo.cfm?ReleaseID=8089
  11. ^ ""Kitchen Nightmares": Direção da Band aprova novo programa para 2013". Band (in Portuguese). Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Pesadilla en la cocina" (in Spanish). Retrieved 27 Apr 2016. 
  13. ^ "Jezikova juha" (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ano, šéfe!" (in Czech). Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Med kniven for struben". TV3 (in Danish). Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Kuppilat kuntoon, Jyrki Sukula!". Nelonen (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Köögikubjas". Kanal2 (in Estonian). Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Cauchemar en cuisine sans Ramsay, ce serait comme C'est pas sorcier sans Jamy". L'Express Culture (in French). 30 May 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Rach, der Restauranttester". rtl.de (in German). Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Steffen Henssler ist der neue RTL-„Restauranttester"". express.de (in German). Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  21. ^ http://www.alphatv.gr/Microsites/Efialtis-stin-kouzina/Home.aspx
  22. ^ http://www.timesofisrael.com/assaf-granit-talks-food-and-fame//
  23. ^ "Cucine da incubo – ogni mercoledì alle 21.55". foxlife.it (in Italian). Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  24. ^ "Kuchenne rewolucje". TVN (in Polish). Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  25. ^ TVI (PDF) (in Portuguese) http://tvi-mcd.comercial.iol.pt/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/INF-COM-174-16-PESADELO-NA-COZINHA.pdf. Retrieved 21 May 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Paklena kuhinja" (in Serbian). Retrieved 4 Oct 2015. 
  27. ^ "Pesadilla en la cocina". laSexta (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  28. ^ "Áno, šéfe!" (in Slovak). Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "Kniven mot strupen". TV3 (in Swedish). Retrieved 8 February 2013. 
  30. ^ "Bumann, der Restauranttester". 3plus (in German). Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  31. ^ На ножах. 1+1 (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 29 May 2013. 

External links[edit]