Is being a crappy restaurant owner like being an alcoholic? I ask this question because it seems as though a lot of times I watch Intervention, despite the fact that their family comes together and says that the addict is ruining their lives, the person in question still denies that there’s a problem—even when they’re drinking a fifth of vodka a day, straight out of the bottle. Similarly, it seems that even when Gordon Ramsay shows up to a restaurant to film a show called Kitchen Nightmares, the owners are absolutely flabbergasted when Ramsay tells them that they have, you know, problems that are causing their restaurant to sit empty and for them to be horribly in debt. It amazes me every time.
Trobiano’s has problems right off the bat. Anthony, the 12-year-old owner, basically decided that he wanted to run a restaurant because he didn’t feel like working for anyone else. So, with that solid business plan in place, he asked his girlfriend’s parents to buy a restaurant for him—AND THEY DID. They opened an Italian restaurant on Long Island, which, come on. Those are a dime a dozen, so unless you have something really special going on, you’re not going to be a success. Also, the fact that the décor makes it look like a cafeteria in an old folk’s home doesn’t exactly help matters.
Even better is the fact that Anthony had never even worked in an Italian restaurant before opening his own. Anthony’s girlfriend, who works as a waitress at the restaurant, hates it there. I don’t really understand what she hates though, I mean, what’s not to love about a restaurant that is only known for its early bird special?
“And right now, it’s time for the Early Bird.”
Ramsay sits down for the Early Bird special, and totally agrees with my assessment of the décor. I feel so vindicated!
Okay, here’s something baffling: One of Anthony’s creations is a shrimp stuffed chicken. As Ramsay puts it, it’s chicken that tastes like shrimp, which sounds gross. Anthony just stuck some shrimp inside a chicken breast? I think? I don’t know; like I said, it’s baffling.
Ramsay also sends back the salmon he ordered, saying it’s too dry. Anthony gets pissed and calls it “the wrong opinion at this time.” He doesn’t even taste it to see what’s wrong with it. When Ramsay confronts Anthony, Anthony just pretty much blows him off.
“When a chef lets go of his kitchen like this, it proves he doesn’t care.”
After Ramsay leaves, he decides that he needs to go back and check out the kitchen. It is of course, a disaster area. There’s mystery meat, dirt everywhere, and mysterious puddles of water. Plus, mouse droppings! Yummy.
Ramsay asks Anthony how he could cook in this filth, and Anthony of course says that they clean on a daily basis. Then, Anthony tries to put the cleaning off on the staff. Ramsay is horrified that Anthony doesn’t do any cleaning and tells him that he should be absolutely ashamed. Anthony, unsurprisingly, does not agree with this assessment. Ramsay is so disgusted by this entire situation, that he tells Joe, the one who actually put up the money, that they have no chance; then he leaves.
After Gordon storms out, Anthony actually goes after him. Ramsay tries to knock some sense into him, and while that probably doesn’t work, Anthony is able to be contrite enough that Ramsay decides to come back for the big clean. Anthony even says that he’s going to follow Ramsay’s directions.
“Teats are not your strong point.”
Ramsay takes the family out to what looks like a petting zoo, and has them milk a cow. It’s kind of hilarious, but the point is to set Trobiano’s apart by making their own mozzarella. Everybody takes a turn, and I feel sorry for that poor cow. So many hands!
Back at the restaurant, Ramsay teaches them how to make fresh mozzarella, which apparently only takes 45 minutes. That’s awesome; I totally want to make my own cheese now. Who wants to buy me a cow?
“How can he serve food and not taste anything?”
During dinner service, Ramsay is impressed with the speed and efficiency with which Anthony is getting the food out. However, he isn’t tasting anything, so food starts coming back to the kitchen.
Unfortunately, having food sent back isn’t Anthony’s biggest problem. The kitchen starts backing up, and Anthony catches something on fire, causing the fire alarm to go off in the restaurant. Now, that’s an impressive feat. I’ve worked in restaurants and things get burned and/or catch on fire pretty frequently. You really need to work hard to set off the fire alarm though.
“Everything is on the line.”
It’s relaunch time, and Ramsay has a critic coming from Bon Appetit magazine. Things start off well; Ramsay’s mozzarella bar seems to be a big hit with the customers, which makes sense, considering that a mozzarella bar is the best idea ever. I am so hungry!
Anyway, food starts coming back, but it’s not an entire disaster. Anthony is tasting the food and Ramsay gets to yell at him about risotto, which, if you’ve ever watched Hell’s Kitchen, you know is one of his favorite things to do.
To top it all off, The Bon Appetit table seems to enjoy the food. The rest of the customers seem to be enjoying themselves as well, so even though they had some problems, the relaunch is a success.
Ramsay ends the evening by telling Anthony to stop being a mooching ass and make an honest woman out of Tiffany. He even gives Anthony a ring and arranges for them to get married that night. Holy Jesus. No pressure or anything. Ramsay even has a dress ready for her, and a priest! This is the most insane thing I’ve ever seen; the family seems to be into it though. What an odd episode.
Once again, there’s no epilogue, but I fully expect this couple to be divorced now and the restaurant to be closed.