Keep Skin Thick, Stomach Strong: Gordon Ramsay’s Coming to Town


Oh,the shenanigans!

So Gordon Ramsay, the man who goes out of his way to make emotionally fragile people cry (granted, emotionally fragile people who've signed up to on a reality TV show with someone like Gordon Ramsay--on FOX) on Hell's Kitchen is coming to Boston for his other grim food-related show, Kitchen Nightmares. They're still looking for places for Ramsay to beat up now, which got me thinking about my old job.

A few summers ago, I was working at this joint in East Boston--one of those generic, American fare, chain restaurants--and let me tell you, the place needed a shakedown from a kitchen Nazi like Ramsay.

You could say our business had its troubles. Despite the alluring temptation of mediocre, generic Americana cuisine offered by our establishment, the customers just weren't biting, even the ones who ordered the food.  Maybe it was our entranceway, which consisted of a shattered glass door maintained by duct tape, or our restaurant sign, which ominously hung over the door, supported by several electrical wires. 

Once inside the place, if our 16 year-old gum-smacking hostess wasn't too busy flirting with our head waiter, customers were usually seated within 10 minutes, if we were empty, that is. Our waiting staff was made up of one feisty, alcoholic woman in her 30s who had a reputation for bouts of swearing and violence at any time of the day, a bumbling old Albanian man who rarely shaved or bathed, and a 32 year-old townie whose social circle consisted mainly of high school girls.

Our charming kitchen staff seemed to be more passionate about unexpectedly exposing their genitals to one another than actually preparing meals.

Our clientele consisted mainly of people too drunk to realize they hadn't walked into the Italian place next door, or the self-loathing types who like to mope in disreputable places so as to further intensify their internal woes.

Sound familiar?


But for real, if cooking and screaming is something you want to be a part of, check this:

Famed chef and Michelin Star winner Gordon Ramsay steps out of his own five- star establishments and into some of the country's most unsanitary and unsuccessful restaurants to help them turn their businesses around or close their doors forever.

Each week, Chef Ramsay will attempt to turn one ordinary and empty restaurant into the most popular, sought-after venue in town. He reveals the behind-the- scenes realities of running a restaurant and wastes no time getting down to business - implementing signature menu items, modernizing décor and making the restaurant run as smoothly as possible. With his reputation on the line, Ramsay accepts nothing less than the best when it comes to the food, staff and customer service. While still prone to the explosive outbursts and spectacular confrontations familiar to fans, Ramsay reveals a sensitive and nurturing side as he coaches, cheers and challenges the restaurant staff, all the way from appetizers through dessert.

Will the restaurants follow Ramsay's rules, or will they continue to stumble toward closure?

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES is a co-production of ITV Studios (formally Granada America) and Optomen in association with A. Smith & Co. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Patricia Llewellyn serve as executive producers.


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