TV Recap: Kitchen Nightmares - The Black Pearl

We learn from the VO that New York has thousands of restaurants, and now thanks to this show, I’m afraid to eat at all of them. Today we’re visiting The Black Pearl, a midtown lobster restaurant with three owners who aren’t on speaking terms. The waitstaff is often put in the middle of their petty fights and are all about Ramsay coming in and whipping everyone into shape.

“A little bit watery for chowder.”

The lunch isn’t exactly a disaster, but it’s not that good. The clam chowder is watery, the mussels are too spicy, and the lobster mac & cheese is chewy and too rich. He orders three lobster rolls and isn’t exactly thrilled: he compares eating the first one to “eating a dirty diaper,” so that’s a nice image.

After lunch, Gordon meets with the owners, David, Brian and Greg. Gordon quickly determines that three is a crowd; especially since the third partner was brought in solely because the first two didn’t want to put in their own money. This plan hasn’t exactly worked out so well, since The Black Pearl is now a quarter of a million dollars in debt.

“It’s really good; I promise.”

Gordon returns to The Black Pearl to observe a dinner service. David is in the kitchen tonight, serving as an expediter, which is something he usually does not do. As a result, a good amount of food was sent back to the kitchen. David even went so far as to reprimand a table for sending a dish filled with sand back to the kitchen.

In an after-service meeting, Gordon brings up the fact that the Maine lobsters that they’re selling are actually Canadian. David argues that they both come from the North Atlantic waters, so Canadian lobsters are the same thing as Maine lobsters. This is obviously and completely untrue, but David will not give up the ghost and keeps on insisting to Ramsay that there’s nothing wrong with using Canadian lobster in their “award-winning” Maine lobster rolls.

“It’s also policy for you not to have a drink here after your shift, but you often do.”

The next day, Ramsay has a staff meeting, since there hasn’t been one in seven months. The employees are asking questions, but all David does is answer a question with a question. Meanwhile, the employees are crying out for management and direction, so they’re actually begging for policies to be enacted and for one of the owners to actually act as a general manager. In the end, Ramsay has the staff vote for a general manager, and they all choose Greg.

At the next dinner service, Brian gets sent home, and Greg and David alternate between front and back of the house. David’s problem is that when he’s in the back of the house, he treats the waitstaff like they’re idiots, and when he’s in the front of the house, he’s patronizing toward the customers. Greg, on the other hand, gets easily confused in the kitchen and can’t make decisions, which causes a huge bottleneck in the kitchen, frustrating the cooking staff.

After not getting chosen to be the general manager, David decides to pout. Ramsay redoes the restaurant’s décor, which everyone loves, except for David, who says that it doesn’t blow him away and that the columns should be yellow.

Ramsay also adds a bit of whimsy to The black Pearl, by adding a claw machine that actually has lobsters in it. If a customer can grab a lobster, then they get to eat it. He also has a man dressed as a lobster and takes the entire staff out to Times Square to hand out fliers. Of course, they draw a huge group of tourists, but David stays behind and says that handing out fliers in Times Square isn’t going to have any effect. Even when Ramsay cooks a bunch of food to add to the menu, David just pooh-poohs it.

During the next dinner service, things don’t exactly magically turn around under Greg’s leadership. The kitchen basically falls apart, and Brian and David just sit in the dining room complaining about the new cole slaw. Despite the problems however, the customers love the food.

“Whilst you’ve got the hunger and the passion, I don’t think your two partners give a damn.”

Ramsay commends Greg’s heart, but tells Brian that he’s lazy, and David that he doesn’t actually give a crap about the restaurant; that he’s just using this restaurant to stroke his own ego. David calls Gordon “Gordy,” and is sarcastic and dismissive toward everything that Ramsay says. Gordon tries to explain that this restaurant has every chance to succeed, but David is “soulless,” so The Black Pearl can’t succeed while he’s here. David challenges Gordon to return in four months to see how kick ass it is.

So what happens four months later when Gordon returns? I HAVE NO IDEA, because we get no form of epilogue. What a waste.