Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Holy crap! Just watched an episode of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares. I have never been so disgusted and I almost, almost, was going to give up eating out at restaurants.

Ok, so this is what happened. Well first, let me set this up. This is Gordon Ramsey's American show. He has a UK version of Kitchen Nightmares (which I used to watch when I had DirecTV. Sigh) where he goes to resturants that are on their last legs and helps them out. Sometimes they survive and thrive after he helps and sometimes the owners can't manage it and the restaurant fails. The US version is the same concept.

So ok. Chef Ramsey goes to this Indian restaurant, thankfully one that I never been to. OMG this kitchen is absolutely filthy. He's pulling out rotten meat, green chicken, rotten tomatoes. He goes downstairs to the basement and there are rat droppings and roaches everywhere, in boxes and in a refrigeration unit. He pulls back the rubber sealant on the unit and it's alive with roach activity. I thought I was going to lose it.

On a commercial break I look up the restaurant, to see what if anyone has had to say about it. Then I look up the NYS health inspection report. Bam, closed by the health department earlier this year!

But wait. Chef Ramsey turns this place around. He hires cleaners for the kitchen and takes the managers and owners to his own restaurant to show them how clean a kitchen can be. Let me tell you, that made me feel much better to see his kitchen but it also made it clear how much of a roll of the dice it can be to eat out. (Chef Ramsey's kitchen is spotless but unless you go back there you will never really know. I wish I could tour kitchens. I'm one that judges by the bathroom. It's an area that's highly trafficked and gets very dirty, much like a kitchen. If they don't care what their customers think, imagine the kitchen. Dirty bathroom = dirty kitchen.) Back at the restaurant the dining area is remodeled and the restaurant is renamed Purnima. At the end of the show things are looking up, the kitchen is clean and the food is fresh.

This was a tough episode to watch. I love Indian food and I've been in some places where I suspected the kitchen was pretty bad. I may never go out to eat again but I can't wait for more kitchen nightmares!

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