Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you for a fact that I’m a huge sucker for reality television. It is one of life’s guilty pleasures that I indulge in from time-to-time (well, now that I’m admitting to it on the Internet, more like any free time I get, really)! I can’t begin to explain my fascination with reality television and why it appeals to me, because it just does. While I’m highly aware a lot of reality television shows are heavily scripted and that a lot of the drama and tension that goes on during the show is exaggerated and staged – I can’t deny it makes for good television!
In all my boredom during the last semester break, I found myself going down the YouTube rabbit hole of watching videos upon videos of Gordon Ramsay’s reality television shows. Gordon Ramsay, as you all may know, is a world famous Michelin Star chef who aside from being a successful restaurateur and food critic; has his own set of reality television shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell, Masterchef, Masterchef Junior and Kitchen Nightmares.
I have watched enough Kitchen Nightmares to know that the restaurants that Gordon Ramsay visits are usually failing and in need of saving because of these reasons: the food they claim to be fresh is actually a few days old, the food they claim to make from a family recipe actually comes in frozen and prepackaged which they then microwave, the state of the restaurant’s walk-in freezer and kitchen is abysmal or the chef/owner is in denial and refuses to listen to any criticisms and make the necessary changes to keep their business running.
Gordon Ramsay has some of the most quotable lines in reality television, what with his hilarious insults and punchy one-liners on a show like Kitchen Nightmares. Safe to say, there have surely been a huge number of unforgettable moments throughout the show’s seven-year run and in this article, I will be compiling the four moments from Kitchen Nightmares that I can never forget.
1. “Chimichangas? More like chimi-chuck it in the bin!”
Kitchen Nightmares follows Gordon Ramsay as he visits failing restaurants across America and does all he can to help revive these businesses. In no particular order, first on the list is his visit to Mama Rita’s, which is a Mexican restaurant that was started by the owner who opened this restaurant following the success of her food catering business. When asked about what was wrong with the restaurant, the restaurant manager claimed the restaurant has a problem with a lack of customers and they need to find ways to get more customers to dine there. A confusing and rather odd answer, I must say! I wonder why there’s a lack of customers here in Mama Rita’s….
Well, let’s see we have the head waiter naming a few dishes off the menu that Gordon Ramsay should avoid ordering. At least there’s one person at the restaurant who’s honest about what’s wrong with the place! Gordon Ramsay later orders tamales that, according to him resembles a ‘soaking wet newspaper’, chicken chimichangas that are more like ‘chimi-chuck it in the bin’ and a steak burrito that he thinks is ‘gross’ and ‘could be the biggest ad for any diaper anywhere in California’. So, maybe that’s all the answers we need to understand why Mama Rita’s isn’t doing so well, just by this clip.
2. “How can it be soup of the day when it’s soup of yesterday?”
It’s always entertaining when the chefs and restaurant owners featured in Kitchen Nightmares bend over backwards to try to come up with excuses to cover their lies and this moment from the show is truly unforgettable! The lies Sabatiello’s owner tells Gordon Ramsay are endless: from his proud claims of making homemade lasagna and only serving what’s fresh, the restaurant’s soup of the day which is the wedding soup that has vegetables and meatballs which claims to be ‘the best balls in town’ to him saying that Gordon Ramsay will be amazed by the food served in his restaurant that he’ll be doing cartwheels – these bold claims are absolutely hilarious! Such is always the case with Kitchen Nightmares, that these proud claims are hardly ever true as the truth always comes out when Gordon Ramsay has a taste of the food!
If the wedding soup was made to get people in the mood to get married, Gordon Ramsay says he’d rather get divorced then! Ha! And to top it off, the wedding soup is made to last two days! That’s not soup of the day now is it? That’s soup of yesterday and Gordon Ramsay is sure to point that out to the owner! The homemade lasagna the owner recommended Gordon Ramsay order? Well, the camera crew followed the kitchen staff in the kitchen who are ordered by the owner himself to put the frozen lasagna in the microwave! And of course, he arrogantly says they put ground beef in the lasagna “because it’s an Italian lasagna not a Chinese lasagna!” Very well then.
3. “It looks like something out of Harry Potter!”
Chef Ramsay no feel happy – a great alternative title to Kitchen Nightmares, as suggested in the comments section of this clip. What cheese is being used in the chile relleno dish? I can’t understand what the chef said to his wife. She can’t understand what he said to her and Gordon Ramsay can’t understand what she’s telling him. Greer? Brier? Nobody knows. One thing’s for sure, the last dish Gordon Ramsay is sampling, the molcajete, well “it looks like something out of Harry Potter”! I agree, it looks like a bubbling witch’s cauldron and there’s a potion being brewed in there – not particularly appetising if you ask me. The cactus in the dish tastes as if Gordon Ramsay is ‘eating the inside of a golf ball”, yikes!
4. “The customer is not always right.”
Last but certainly not least is Gordon Ramsay’s visit to Amy’s Baking Company! Husband and wife owner, Amy and Samy have become infamous since the Season 5 episode premiered in 2013 which sparked a follow-up episode, a release of bonus scenes that didn’t make it in the episode’s initial premiere and a Dr. Phil segment. They became notorious for lashing out at customers, getting physical with them, kicking them out of their restaurant and telling them to never come back if they dared to give negative feedback on the wife’s cooking, not just that, they were also verbally abusive to their waitresses, refused to give the staff their tips and even instigated a fight with Gordon Ramsay who came to Arizona to help their restaurant out – what a nutty couple these two are! It’s ironic how Amy says it’s not true when customers assume they are going to be yelled at, screamed at and get thrown out of the restaurant when it’s proven that is exactly what takes place in Amy’s Baking Company. She called a customer ‘a little pansy’ and ‘a little weeny’ and kicked him out of her restaurant, that’s crazy! Who does that?Well, spoiler alert but Gordon Ramsay was so fed up with this couple and their crazy antics that he left the restaurant without helping them out – this has never happened before in the history of Kitchen Nightmares!
Kitchen Nightmares was an entertaining, dramatic and hilarious reality show through all of its’ seven seasons, where the audience watched Gordon Ramsay visit failing restaurants across the UK and America and try to help their struggling owners, and these top four moments showcase just how unforgettable the show is!