The Best Episodes of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
Last Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Rancid scallops, arrogant head chefs, and dangerously dirty kitchens...these are just some of the horrors that await celebrated UK chef, Gordon Ramsay, in Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Famous for his explosive personality, fiery temper, and colorful language, Gordon attempts to save a different restaurant from financial ruin every week.
#1 - Curry Lounge
Season 5 - Episode 7
The 120-seater Curry Lounge in Nottingham cost its owner, Raz, £500,000. But, six months after opening, it's haemorrhaging £3,000 a week. Maybe customers are put off by the decor, unkindly but accurately described by Gordon Ramsay as looking like the interior of a lap-dancing club. Raz has made a rod for his restaurant's back, thanks to the barmy idea of letting customers choose the make-up of their own curries. Yes, that's right, if you want a chicken and prawn korma, that's what you shall have. But such nonsense is draining and demoralising for the excellent kitchen staff, so Ramsay brings the Curry Lounge back to basics in one of the most satisfying Kitchen Nightmares of recent memory. Everyone is charming, so Ramsay doesn't need to bluster too much: he can get on with bringing his skill and common sense to bear on a restaurant that's about to run out of luck.
#2 - Abstract (La Riviera Revisited)
Season 4 - Episode 5
In the penultimate programme, Gordon returns to La Riviera - now renamed Abstract - a fine dining restaurant in Inverness. Owned by multi-millionaire Barry Larson and costing £8,000 a week to run, the place boasted top French chef Loic LeFebvre and an impeccably-trained kitchen staff, all of them on a mission to bring sophisticated French cooking to the home of the haggis.
#3 - Morgan's
Season 4 - Episode 4
In this fourth helping, Gordon grapples with girl power when he takes on an intimate family-run restaurant in the heart of WAG territory near Liverpool. For the last three years Morgan's has been run by antiques dealer-turned-restaurateur, Sandy and her two daughters, Helen and Laura. The beautifully-designed dining room has a prime high street location and should be the perfect eatery for the trendy local clientele. But head chef Phil is grappling with an eclectic menu that includes mashed potato with apricots and his cooking's just not up to it. Meanwhile owner Sandy can't keep the books straight, the all-female front-of-house team lacks any clear line of command and they're £100k in debt. At this rate of loss they are facing the prospect of no punters and closure within six months. It's handbags at dawn as Gordon imposes some drastic changes, only to discover that when he turns up for the launch of a Sunday lunch menu, he's the only one who's bothered to get out of bed. Will the ladies that lunch carry on treating their business as an expensive hobby, or can they lure the WAG glitterati of Woolton through the door for a make-or-break celebrity relaunch?
#4 - Moore Place
Season 1 - Episode 4
In the final episode, Gordon tries to save Moore Place, a restaurant adjacent to a busy golf course in Surrey, in the south of England. There's plenty of money in the area with golfers, 'ladies who lunch,' and American business executives, but this place is deserted.
#5 - Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack
Season 2 - Episode 3
Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack has hit ROCK BOTTOM. It's sounds SO GOOD: an intimate 40-seater a stone's throw from Brighton's sea front with loads of hungry locals and a steady stream of tourists. Big soul momma, owner Charita Jones produces a menu of irresistibly unique classics from the Deep South. Should be a surefire MONEYSPINNER, right? Wrong... the shack is in a hole... a very deep FINANCIAL HOLE. Despite three and a half years of hard graft it's a SPLITTING HEADACHE of a cafe. The food's hard to fault but the punters are nowhere to be seen, Head Chef Brian and a rag-tag collection of part-timers are taking the mickey - and despite working a seven-day week Charita's got an empty restaurant and owes the bank £65,000. If ever there was a case of too many cooks, this is it. Charita's a natural, but she's never made a profit on the restaurant and is now facing financial disaster. It's time to get SERIOUS... else the Soul Food Shack is finished. Can Gordon successfully shut her out o
#6 - La Lanterna
Season 2 - Episode 1
The venue for the first programme is La Lanterna in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Twenty-eight-year-old owner and head chef Alex offers modern Italian cuisine, a taste of Little Italy in England's first garden city, and the restaurant is run by his best mate, maitre d' Gavin, helped by Alex's ex-air hostess girlfriend Emily. Alex has no customers, cookers that don't work and an expensive menu that's about as authentically Italian as a Hawaiian Pizza. He re-mortgaged his house to buy the business, it's losing £1,000 a week, he hasn't slept for months but still runs round town in a flash car (number plate: A1CHEF) that's worth more than the restaurant. Running out of money, inspiration and energy, Alex is on the verge of losing EVERYTHING. It's a prime restaurant for a dose of TOUGH LOVE - Ramsay-style. But can a strict diet of brutal honesty, radical food surgery and undiluted energy turn things round, or is it only a matter of time before the lights go out at La Lanterna for good?
#7 - The Fenwick Arms (Revisited)
Season 5 - Episode 3
When Gordon first arrived at the Fenwick Arms, in 2006, he found the pub run by landlord Brian who, after thirty years in the business and a quadruple heart-bypass, was still determined to run his kitchen his way. But despite Brian and his partner Elaine working 120 hour weeks the pub was sinking fast. Already £250,000 in debt they were losing £1500 a week and bankruptcy was mere months away. Money management was part of Brian's problem. He had spent a fortune on unnecessary kitchen equipment and an extensive collection of novelty plates. In the kitchen, he insisted on cooking his menu of over-ambitious dishes, all coated in ostentatious and cloying sauces, while his head chef was only allowed to garnish the food. Gordon stepped in to remove Brian from the kitchen and turn him into a punter to get back to basics on the appeal of a traditional British pub. Taking to the streets, they launched a Campaign for Real Gravy, and put classic pub fare back on the menu. Finally things were starting to look up for the team at the Fenwick Arms. Now, one year on, Gordon’s back only to find that morale is at an all-time low, and Brian is ready to chuck in the towel. Can Gordon save the Fenwick Arms, again?
#8 - Bonaparte's Restaurant (Revisited)
Season 2 - Episode 8
Gordon Ramsey returns to Bonaparte's Restaurant.
#9 - Ruby Tate's
Season 5 - Episode 1
The new series of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares hits the ground running as Gordon comes to the aid of resting actor Allan Love. Despite an aversion to fish Allan opened Ruby Tates, a high end seafood restaurant in Brighton. But it hasn’t been a success. Thanks to a pair of lazy chefs producing badly cooked, poor quality food at premium prices Ruby Tates is losing £1500 a week. And it’s not just the food that’s off-putting. The restaurant’s name is instantly forgettable, even to locals and the décor, featuring a paint splattered pair of knickers, is keeping potential punters far from the door. Allan is in denial. He has mortgaged his house to the hilt in an attempt to keep the restaurant out of hot water but he’s failing fast. If Gordon can’t get the team to pull together and re-inject some passion back into the kitchen, the restaurant will fold in a matter of months and Allan will lose everything. So it's out with farmed sea bass and Canadian lobster and in with sustainable, locally sourced fish as Allan Love gets the Kitchen Nightmares treatment.
#10 - D-Place
Season 2 - Episode 2
Mexican-born Israel and his English partner Tara have sunk a cool £150,000 of their own money into their trendy cafe bar D-Place, which offers a vast selection of fusion cuisine. They believed they had found the WINNING FORMULA: great place, great music, great service, great food... and all at the right price. Sounds promising... but from there on it's all DOWNHILL. For the first two years, it all went swimmingly as Israel built up a mini-empire of five businesses... but the success didn't last long. Just three years later and they are all GONE - only D-Place remains and it's hanging by a thread. It's a 24-carat NIGHTMARE. The staff are at WAR, the plastic food is DIRE, the customers have evaporated, the restaurant is losing MONEY and the owners are at their WITS END. Something simply has to give or everyone is out of a job. Faced with dysfunctional staff and a disastrous menu, Gordon is about to face the LONGEST WEEK of his professional life. Can he quell the panic, banish the deep fa
#11 - Rococo
Season 4 - Episode 3
In this third helping, Gordon finds a chef caught in a time warp when he tackles a picturesque but largely unfrequented upmarket restaurant in King's Lynn, a traditional market town on the Norfolk coast. For the last eighteen months, ex-Michelin-starred chef, Nick, has owned and run Rococo but his past success is now eluding him. The menu is past its sell-by date, the service is stuffy, the food is over-priced and the only thing being fed is his ego. Yet, despite debts of £100k and the prospect of putting his home at risk and his young family on the streets, Nick continues to cook comatose in a 1990s fantasy land of his own making. Gordon forces him to face his failures, strips down the menu and dismantles the claustrophobic dining room. But when he discovers the depths of Nick's stubbornness - and that he's locked him out of the restaurant (a Kitchen Nightmares' first), even Gordon is forced to face the prospect of failure. Will Nick ever get up to speed and recapture his glory days, or will he carry on sleep-walking his way to disaster?
#12 - The Walnut Tree Inn (Revisited)
Season 2 - Episode 6
What's happened since the last time Gordon was here?
#13 - The Fish & Anchor
Season 5 - Episode 6
Gordon takes on an ex-boxer and his feisty wife whose barroom brawls are scaring away customers Gordon might be famed for his aggression in the kitchen but he meets his match this week as Kitchen Nightmares heads to rural Wales The Fish & Anchor restaurant and bar near Lampeter is run by a couple of bruisers, ex-boxer Mike and his mouthy wife Caron. A self taught cook, Mike is a one-man pressure cooker in the kitchen as he struggles to cope with a menu too vast and wide ranging for his skills. While Mike gets steamed up in the kitchen, Carol's getting hot under the collar in the restaurant. Her unique front-of-house management style includes abusing the customers and her husband in equal measure. Every night they go twelve rounds with the local clientele who are fast deserting them to the tune of a £1,000 per week loss. Enter Gordon, who finds himself cast as marriage counsellor in a culinary battlefield. It’s a last-ditch attempt to reverse the restaurant’s disastrous reputation and put some love back into the kitchen as well as on plates. Will Mike take on board a last-minute reality check in the fight of his life, or stay on the ropes and sink?
#14 - The Priory
Season 5 - Episode 5
Gordon's off to The Priory, but not to rub shoulders with wayward actors and musicians. This priory is a huge, 100 seater carvery in Haywards Heath, Sussex. This unusual venue was once a place of meditation and tranquillity as the chapel of a nineteenth-century convent. It's in a beautiful location and has been offering bargain roast dinners to its regulars for twenty years. But under its current management, things are in need of divine intervention. Owner Scott, an ex IT consultant, bought the place for £300k but with an ageing clientele eating for half-price, he’s now losing a massive £5,000 a week. And despite the heavenly setting, the food is straight from hell: recycled meat, soup in a bucket, synthetic sauces and to make matters worse, a lazy head chef content to preside over food-encrusted ovens and a disaffected staff. In one of his toughest tasks ever, Gordon’s got to move mountains to turn a time warp into a trend-setter. He'll be dishing out penance, making Scott repent for his business sins, get the staff to confess their faults and above all transform The Priory’s turgid food into ambrosia. Will he inspire a miracle, or witness a disaster?
#15 - Bonaparte's Restaurant
Season 1 - Episode 1
The kitchen in Bonapartes, a restaurant in West Yorkshire, is run by 21-year-old Head Chef Tim. He truly believes that he specialises in 'fine dining' and has ambitions to be a TV chef and own restaurants in London, Paris, and New York. Unfortunately, as Gordon discovers, Tim has no customers and doesn't even know the basics of cooking.
#16 - The Walnut Tree
Season 1 - Episode 3
In a previous life, The Walnut Tree Inn in South Wales was a Michelin-starred restaurant known throughout Britain. Under its new owners, Italian Francesco Mattioli, Gordon arrives to find the kitchen in chaos with no Head Chef and no customers.
#17 - The Glass House (Revisited)
Season 2 - Episode 5
Have things gotten any better since Gordon left?
#18 - The Fenwick Arms
Season 4 - Episode 2
Gordon tackles a pub for the first time time - The Fenwick Arms in rural Lancashire. Landlord Brian who has been running the business for over 30 years but despite his best efforts Brian and his partner Elaine are £250k in debt, losing £1,500 a week and facing bankruptcy in three months.
#20 - The Granary
Season 5 - Episode 8
Gordon attempts to help Nigel Nieddu turn around his restaurant in Hampshire. He opened it four years ago but despite having the place refurbished it is still running at a loss.
#21 - Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack (Revisited)
Season 4 - Episode 6
In the final programme, Gordon returns to Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack, an intimate 40-seater in Brighton where he oversaw one of the most spectacular changes of fortune at a single venue. Owner Charita Jones was producing a menu of irresistible unique classics from the Deep South, but at the same facing financial disaster. The punters were missing, and so was her business acumen. But Gordon succeeded in shutting her out of the kitchen, getting the chef back on the boil and putting the soul back into the business. Today Charita is fully-booked round the clock and bursting out of the Soul Shack to take on the 110-seater Momma Cherri's Big House. But expansion brings a different set of challenges, and she's still struggling to control her staff and manage her success. Has she got what it takes to make the next step up, or will she be forced to rethink her grand plans?
#22 - Oscar's Restaurant
Season 3 - Episode 1
Gordon pays a visit to Oscars in Nantwich. On the surface this place seems idyllic - an Irish family-run restaurant in the heart of beautiful countryside. Owner Maura runs the front of house and her son Lenin is head chef, but it's not happy families. With her life savings on the line Maura is in big trouble. She constantly bickers with her son whilst the customers are forced to wait hours for their fluorescent crab stick paellas, and stodgy carbonaras from Oscar's 'bit of everything' menu. The place is losing £2,000 per week, but that isn't the worst of their problems - Lenin has got a serious drink problem and during service collapses and has to be rushed off to hospital. It's Gordon's toughest challenge yet. Can he bring the Irish heart back to Oscars, stop mother and son fighting, and get Lenin to face up to his problems?
#23 - Piccolo Teatro
Season 5 - Episode 2
This week Gordon takes a sentimental journey back to Paris, the place where he spent his formative years as a chef. But in the city that is a gourmet's dream, he's about to encounter one of his worst ever Kitchen Nightmares. Three years ago, feisty Scot Rachel made the jump from waitress to restaurateur and, together with best friend Stephanie, bought Piccolo Teatro, a bijou vegetarian restaurant in Paris, on a mission to convert the carnivorous French into a nation of vegetarians. But handicapped by her total lack of experience she is struggling to keep the restaurant afloat. She can't motivate her staff, she doesn't bother opening for lunch and the punters are totally turned off by the awful rabbit food she's dishing up. As a result Piccolo Teatro is losing £5,500 a month. Gordon's on hand with a radical plan for an emergency wake-up call. But the combination of Rachel's stubbornness and an eccentric Brazilian chef, incapable of preparing edible food, could prove too much even for the Ramsay remedy. Will Gordon be able to perform an eleventh-hour miracle, or is he about to admit defeat?
#24 - La Parra de Burriana
Season 4 - Episode 1
Gordon takes on a nightmare restaurant abroad - La Parra de Burriana in Nerja on the Spanish Costa del Sol. Nestling among the cafes lining the seafront offering all-day English breakfast and chipsEx-nightclub manager Laurence set himself up in business 18 months ago with a loan from his dad and, although he's not an experienced chef he mans the kitchen on his own determined to offer something better than chips.Laurence's menu has 72 dishes including his signature dish: prawns in garlic with chocolate sauce. Running front-of-house is Laurence's mate, Alex and sous-chef, Norman, is on the barbecue serving kebabs and steaks cooked by torchlight. The kebabs are raw, the dining room is a mess and anyone who does turn up for diner faces a interminable wait. Laurence lost £22k last year but still resists Gordon's attempts to introduce a simple menu that will bring customers back.
#25 - Sandgate Hotel
Season 3 - Episode 2
Gordon travels to the seaside in aid of hotel and restaurant the Sandgate. This is happily married couple Lois and Peters' first venture into the catering industry. They used to enjoy eating in restaurants, so thought it might be fun to own one. A year and a half later their dream has turned into a nightmare - they're losing £4,000 a month. In the kitchen, their head chef Stuart is on the brink of a nervous breakdown. He's forced to cook for four restaurants, including fine dining upstairs and Japanese fare in the basement. But it's when he loses his coveted AA award that he really hits rock bottom. Eccentric, overstaffed and on the point of collapse, can Gordon bring this real life Fawlty Towers back from the edge?