Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

If anyone is NOT watching this show, you are missing something special!
You’ll see the most disgusting restaurants on earth, and every manager I’ve ever fired!

There are two versions. One is on BBC America, the other is on (fox?). The one on BBC is about restaurants in Europe and more “unscripted”. The one that just started this season in the US seems more “production” where there appears to be a script. Last night’s was MUCH less of that than the first episode, which seemed extremely “acted”.

The BBC version is fantastic. So far, I haven’t been to impressed with the U.S. version. Chef Ramsay is an entirely different person in the U.S. version and I’m sure it’s because the production is catering to Americans who can’t get enough Jerry Springer type activity.

The U.K. version is much more informative and comes across as a documentary. It has no soundtrack, no dramatic editing and Gordon is the narrator. There’s not much shouting, crying or verbal beatdowns. It’s more focused on the problems and solutions, not the drama.

I’ve always hated Gordon Ramsay based on the U.S. version of Hell’s Kitchen, but after seeing the U.K. version of Kitchen Nightmares my opinion of him completely changed. You can really see his talent, but he also seems like a good, decent human being. You can tell that he genuinely cares about fixing the restaurants he goes into.

My wife and I were talking last night while watching the show and noticed a common theme amongst the troubled restaurants… they all had menus that were way too large and way too complicated. I think one restaurant in the U.K. had over 120 dishes being produced from one kitchen. The large menus certainly aren’t the only issues with these restaurants, but it always seems to be a contributing factor. I’ve given that a good amount of thought as we’re considering expanding our menu.

Edited to add: It’s also really obvious in the U.S. version that the “customers” are actors and were paid to come in, ala Hell’s Kitchen. The U.K. version does nothing like that.

You can watch the full episodes here:


I think it’s a great show. Then again, any show that has to do with food or food service I find interesting.

Small World. Episode 1-Peters is right around the corner from my store.

Peter was a complete and utter moron. It all looked SO staged.

For several episodes on BBC-A, it sure looked like he tried to plant the Hell’s Kitchen menu style into each place… 3 starters, 3 main courses, 3 desserts.