The culinary industry has grown in different shapes and sizes over the years, it has captured the attention of both the young and old, and that’s why it is no surprise that some of the biggest hits on television revolve around cooking and restaurants. For a couple of years in the 2000s, there was a certain show hosted by a certain top chef that was making all the noise, that show was known as kitchen nightmares. Do not be thrown off by the name, there was nothing horrific about the show, and it was a major hit during the time frame of it being aired on primetime TV.
Today we will be looking at the restaurants featured in the show all those years ago, we will be looking at the restaurants that still exist and some of the reasons why they’re still standing tall. Also, we’ll be giving you the low down on what the show was about, we will discuss the impact of the show on the restaurants featured, and who knows, we might throw in a couple of cool tidbits. So without further ado, let’s see what the former hit show was all about, and how some of the alumni fared after getting a jump start thanks to the show.
What is Kitchen Nightmares?
Kitchen Nightmares was a TV show aired from September 19, 2007, to September 12, 2014, and turned out to be one of the most successful reality shows of any nature on the Fox network. It revolved around the master chef Gordon Ramsay, which was all about the master chef turning the fortunes of dwindling culinary hubs.
It involved him teaching the restaurant owners the nitty-gritty, tips and tricks, and other secrets of what they’ll need to turn the fortunes of their dwindling businesses. He took a largely hands-on approach to the whole thing, and he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty for the short term well-being of the restaurants being featured on the reality show.
The show earned rave reviews thanks to the unfiltered content and Gordon Ramsay’s natural charisma on camera, making for a feel-good story that different people could relate to and not just people in the culinary industry. It makes you wonder has Gordon Ramsay has ever liked the food on Kitchen Nightmares?
The show’s major premise was Gordon Ramsay is invited by the owner of a struggling restaurant to spend a week with the hope that it will change the fortunes of the business, thanks to expert handling and proper tutorials from the Michelin star chef.
Over ninety episodes were aired on primetime TV, and it turned out to be a hit among different demographics. It earned plaudits for being genuine, interesting, and being educated in more ways than none. No wonder there was a public outcry when Gordon Ramsay announced on June 23, 2014, that the show would be ending on September 12, 2014.
The Impact of Kitchen Nightmares
The impact that kitchen nightmares had on the restaurants featured cannot be quantified, even if it might not be necessarily a good thing. The kind of publicity afforded to these restaurants cannot be bought, as it is not every day that a top notch chef of Gordon Ramsay’s caliber teaches you on primetime TV.
However, the disadvantage of the whole thing is that the secrets of the restaurants weren’t so secret anymore, the flaws were all so apparent, and for most of the restaurants featured it turned out to be their undoing. Also, and quite unfortunately the said restaurants had to deal with unreasonable high standards after being featured on the show, and without the super busy Gordon Ramsay being there to guide them, they sadly crumbled under the expectations.
That’s not saying that all the restaurants featured on the show had sad endings, in fact, some of them eventually went to the next level, and are still thriving to this very day. However, the vast majority of restaurants featured on the show just experienced a brief surge of fame, before the initial flaws became more apparent and they folder up for good. Speaking of restaurants that still thrived after being featured on the show, scroll down and check out the best of the rest (1).
Top 5 Kitchen Nightmares Restaurants That Are Still Open
Kitchen nightmares might be the most remarkable model of consistency, but if there’s something the show deserved credit for, it was the exposure that it afforded the restaurants featured on the show. It gave them a certain level of publicity that you cannot buy, and it allowed them to be tutored by one of the finest chefs to grace the planet, and some of the restaurants used that to kick off a successful tenure in the culinary industry. So here is a low down of the top 5 restaurants from the show that are still open today.
1) Spanish Pavilion
The only thing top-notch about this restaurant was its name, asides from that the restaurant was piss poor and pathetically managed. Gordon Ramsay worked his magic on the restaurant and gave the owners delicate tips on how to change their bad habits for good. Remarkably the restaurant is still open today, and judging from the reviews, it has been doing pretty well lately.
This was a restaurant on the show that had employees so used to the dirty tools of the culinary industry, that it almost became a norm. From rewarming stale food to milky crabs being stored at room temperature, Oceana was simply put in a mess waiting to be shut down. That’s what makes their upturn in fortune all the more astonishing, as they currently have a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating across all boards. Talk about a turnaround!
This restaurant was featured on the very first episode of season 7, and it has been thriving ever since following a complete makeover by Gordon Ramsay. Their Facebook page shows off an astonishing 4.8 out of 5-star rating which shows that the kitchen nightmares crush is a mere fallacy.
4) Ms. Jean’s Southern Cuisine
There’s a saying that hard work pays off, and that’s what best summarizes the change in fortunes of Ms. Jean’s Southern Cuisine. This restaurant was plagued by horrible reviews and annoyed customers when it first aired on kitchen nightmares. Luckily the reviews are slightly better and most of the bad habits have been curbed, as the restaurant still exists today.
5) Luigi’s D’Italia
One of the oldest restaurants to ever feature on the show, Luigi’s D’Italia has been in existence since 1981 and got a boost thanks to its appearance on the hit TV show. The major problem with the place was that Ramsay ravioli wasn’t fresh and pasta remained unseasoned. Thankfully that’s all a thing of the past as the restaurant is currently thriving and it has been earning awesome reviews from its esteemed clientele.
Every good thing must come to an end someday, and that’s what happened with the hit reality television show kitchen nightmares. The show shone the light on some unsavory practices that went down in the places people get their meals, and it showed how such places could be revamped and significantly improved.
However, a lot of the restaurants featured on the show folded up soon after, while a select few thrived. Gordon Ramsey did his job, as his performance on the show earned rave reviews. It’s no wonder that he has a show so similar to kitchen nightmares which goes by the name “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back” also premiering on Fox Network. Kitchen nightmares was a great reality television show, and it had a significant impact on some of the more famous television shows we see today.