So I’ve been on a major Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares kick this last week. I was feeling kind of down and for some reason just sitting back and watching one episode after another of the show cheered me up a bit.
In case you haven’t seen it the premise of the show is that Gordon Ramsay (world renowned chef and owner of many successful restaurants) visits a failing restaurant during each episode.
He then spends a week using his expert knowledge, makeover crew, and a shitload of bloody fucking cuss words to try and turn things around for the restaurant before things get so bad that they have to shut the doors for good.
Every episode follows the same basic storyline and sets up Gordon Ramsay as the knight in shining armor who must do battle with one or two fire breathing restaurant owners in order to rescue the business.
But even though the overall story is usually the same it’s the details that are interesting and gawk-worthy.
Sometimes you’ll get a set of twin brother co-owners who are giant Campbell Soup kids from the Twilight Zone, fumbling around the kitchen slopping together drippy meatball sandwiches and doling out bacteria laden chicken tenders.
And sometimes it’s a restaurant owner who ran the restaurant for years with his father, but when his father died lost the will to go on and so slogs through each day swigging beer and throwing together crappy meals for his customers.
But as interesting as these episodes can be there’s an element in many of the Kitchen Nightmares stories that I find shocking, and that’s the absolutely filthy and critter infested kitchens lurking in the back of the restaurants. These are often the source of Gordon Ramsay’s most emotional cuss word tirades.
When the fuckedy fuck was this fucking chicken fucking made? And it’s fucking filthy!
Is this the chicken you fucking served me for lunch today you tosspot? Aww fuck! You bloody fucking idiot!”
During my Kitchen Nightmares (winner of the Most Appropriate Title For A TV Series award) marathon I witnessed the most horrifying kitchens… we’re talking rat scurrying, roach infested, grimy layered, slime coated, bacteria factories… not so much suitable for feeding you dinner as feeding your nightmares.
But surprisingly out of all those episodes with the dramatically terrible kitchens the one that got to me the most wasn’t so dramatic, but it gives me the shivers every time I think about it.
This kitchen didn’t include an army of rats or rat traps everywhere nor would you think that there was something wrong if you just glanced into it, in fact you might even think it looked pretty clean in there. However, every cup and plate in that kitchen was touched by many tiny feet before any food was placed on it…
Blech. First off if I was Gordon Ramsay I wouldn’t be setting my jacket down anywhere near that kitchen for fear of creepy crawly stowaways getting in. Second off, if roaches swarming over dinner plates is the kind of thing happening when camera crews are around just imagine what happens when nobody from the outside is paying attention.
What made this particular kitchen top my list of worst kitchen in Kitchen Nightmares is that even though there were other horrifyingly bad ones you could at least imagine that some of the food had escaped contamination by critters or bugs or bacteria.
But in this restaurant all the plates were covered in scurrying roaches so no person who ate or drank there escaped the nastiness. And really that mental image of roaches scurrying over the plates, brrr I won’t be forgetting that one any time soon.
So be warned, one thing I learned from my Kitchen Nightmares marathon is that while the show is quite awesome and has tons of really memorable characters and stories, some episodes will stick with you for the wrong reasons. No matter how hard you try you won’t be able to shake all those plates of scurrying roach feet from your memory. Bloody fucking hell.