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Kitchen Nightmares-Mike and Nellie's-recap

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Written by : published Monday 10th October 2011

Kitchen Nightmares-Mike and Nellie's-recap main image

Mike and Nellie's is an Oakhurst, New Jersey restaurant not far from the rides nd pier. Tt is the legacy of a father who has passed on and his surviving son Mike. But the place is run down  and the food is awful.  The decor is patched and the food is gross and a cockroach is on the table. The staff and his granddaughters moan about how Mike serves awful food and must do everything himself. The carpet is old and smelly and the place is depressing and falling down.

Comments one employee ”He doesn’t let other people take more responsibility and the running of the restaurant is becoming too much for him.” The twin daughters are waitresses. One woman, Mike’s eldest daughter Samantha wants to fill in Gordon Ramsay on the issues. Samantha says ever since her grandfather died her father wont delegate and overdoes the boss thing.

Comments another employee (Louis the Manager) “Since Uncle Melson’s passing Mike the owner does drink quite a bit more. There is some nights where he is completely hammered.” (video of Mike drinking wine from a bottle while he cooks). The family members are concerned that their livelihood is at stake. Mike’s young cousin Dan is prevented form helping despite the potential.

Gordon Ramsay comes in to find a weird smell in the air. The waitress only smells Ramsay’s cologne. He says “Did something die in here last night”. Samantha says to her father that Gordon Ramsay wants to meet him.

Ramsay meets Mike. They have been open for fifteen years. Gordon asks his opinion on the food. He rates the food in the upper 9‘s. Mike says the food is not the problem it is the ambience the food or the service. The mold and the carpet stink is terrible. Ramsay orders steak and seafood and Italian from the menu which has a suspicious urine stain.

Ramsay orders a selection of steak and other things to see where the 9 out of ten food is hitting. Ramsay cannot stand the look of the place because there are holes and patches and problems everywhere. Gordon fixes a dimming lightbulb over another customer’s head. Mike the chef and owner says he is a perfectionist.

Ramsay is shocked at the inedible quality of the food. He doesn’t want to risk ptomaine poisoning. The linguini with shrimp sauce is gross. Rubber shrimps and watery sauce is nowhere near a 9. The chicken Murphy is a disastrous slop and looks like a stew gone bad. Ramsay demands to speak to the manager. All the staff are mealy mouthed at how the food looks.

Ramsay says it is tasteless and overcooked and not a hot mess but a hot joke. Ramsay says he can’t afford to be up all night being sick. Ramsay waits to taste the steak. Mike says he is a master of the grill and serves up a charcoal mess to Ramsay.  Ramsay nearly chokes and  asks the manager to taste the burnt charcoal. Ramsay says “Would you give this a 9“” The manager says no and report to the chef about Ramsay’s response.

Mike says “There isn’t no way in Hell I overcooked that steak”. Samantha says shouldn’t he go out there? She says he is the owner and should take care of things. Ramsay sits Mike down for a talk. He says the dishes are inedible and outdated. Mike is into total denial and says his customers like his food. The feature is steak and seafood.

Mike says he doesn’t trust his staff. Nobody else fixes food. Only he can. That night Ramsay returns for dinner service. A lot of the diners come because Ramsay is known to be there. Ramsays is very critical of the food served and almost everything is being sent back. Mike hustles all the orders and denies everything is wrong and the food is OK.

Gordon meets up with Mike alone after service. says Mike is running himself into the ground. Ramsay pulls him aside and accuses him of drinking. he says although he cooks everything he is in denial and drinks too much. Mike babbles drunkenly about trying to make it and he can’t do it anymore.

Gordon finds out if the passion to cook went away when Mike’s father died. Mike said he has two daughters going to college. He is alone after his father has gone. feel cheated and a little betrayed. Ramsay says he can’t go down this line it is the beginning of the end. He has to rekindle the fire in his belly and Mike says the whole place is wearing him out. The downward spiral of Mike and his restaurant has to get back in gear.

Ramsay advises the daughters the next day in a meeting. Ramsay says he has not got over losing his father. Mike did not get any time off after the death of his father. Ramsay says this is a call for help and that their Dad is really hurting.

Ramsay advises the girls to tell him to slow down. Mike walks in on the meeting and says that Mike means a lot to the family. He says he is not a 25 year old and he is 55 and not a machine. Mike hears from his daughters he has to not monopolize all the work and has his guard up all the time so nobody can help.

They say they need a more open Mike who can share the responsibility of the restaurant. He needs to accept the change. the daughters say the dad needs the change more than the decoration. Ramsay is anxious to re-ignite Ramsay’s passion with food. Ramsay charges into the kitchen for a inspection.

Ramsay is shocked at the state of the kitchen. The refrigerators are gross mixed with uncovered cooked food and raw uncooked food unwrapped. Ramsay is extremely alarmed. Uncooked steaks are sitting raw in the cold broiler from the previous night. Lobster and calamari contaminated fish is in the fridges. Week old meatballs are sitting in the fridge. Ramsay says Mike is better than this.

Mike say this place need to turn upside down. He says cracks can be filled and things can be fixed. Mike says he is going to have to change if he has to change his restaurant. Ramsay does a bone-in and a ribeye. Ramsay thrills the other chef with his cooking skills. Mike spots the touch of horseradish in the mashed potatoes and Ramsay says “well spotted”.

Chef Ramsay now focuses on the makeover of Mike and Nellie’s. The reworked dining room and new carpets really help the look. Ramsays presents an all steakhouse menu. There is crab cakes and macaroni and cheese. The steak menu is just want Mike wanted. Under pressure Mike starts to work fast. but the cousin Dan tries to help him.

The customers are pleased. One hour into service Mike jumps the list and confuses the orders. Mike’s insistence on being responsible for every single dish has put the whole kitchen in the weeds. Mike starts to put Dan to work under Ramsay’s tutelage. Dan controls the tickets and Mike pushes the food.

They get zero complaints on the food. Mike acknowledge the Dan assistance and taking the pressure off. Mike takes a lap of the dining room to smile and friends. Mike clears the board and they finish service. Ramsay gives Mike a pep talk and says the spirit of Nellie smiling down on him. mike says he was ready to close this place but his father would be overwhelmed by joy.

Ramsay says the depressing place has turned itself around. The follow up shows a success story in the community. The daughters are pleased as well for the happy ending.

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About the author tvqueen


I like to watch TV shows from classic eras as well as contemporary drama and comedy. Science Fiction is fun, and shows like the Cape and Fringe keep hope alive that the medium that produced Space 1999 is alive. Comedy such as 30 Rock is usually, good, but not always. I like Survivor but it has so little to do with survivor skills I am disappointed. Appointment viewing is Grey's Anatomy, NCIS LA, The CSI series for New York and Las Vegas and Miami, with a special shout out for the new Hawaii Five O. Gordon Ramsay's Hells Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares are top of the line viewing for the drama comedy Gordon's character and the business lessons they teach.

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