Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares saw the UK chef going to Fleming in Miami, Florida Friday night on FOX. The Danish-themed restaurant was the latest project of the cussing Chef Gordon Ramsay. The restaurant was once a hot spot in Miami, but had been declining over the last 15 years, putting the owner’s home and business at severe risk. This Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares episode witnessed a kitchen fire and carrots in Caesar salads. Viewers were left to wonder if this place would really make a turnaround.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares saw the UK Chef Threaten to Leave Fleming Early
When Chef Gordon arrived at the restaurant, he attempted to speak Danish, but the owner Andy and his wife Suzanne had no idea what he was saying. They kept the name and menu of the previous owner, who they bought it from eight years earlier. The motif was dominated by pink, and hadn’t been changed like the menu because Andy was afraid of change, afraid of offending the senior citizens, his principal but slowly dying off customers. After the star of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares sampled his meal, he quipped, “What a disaster.” He found a fly in the appetizer, found the Frikadelle mushy and bland-tasting, and the duck dry and overcooked. The Cuban Head Chef of Fleming, Orlando, was beside himself. The best thing about the UK chef’s experience was seeing aluminum foil dessert swans designed by server Cindee.
When the people heard that Gordon Ramsay was coming, business picked up, but the meals were not received positively at all, where many customers described the Fleming food as “bland”, even though it was served quickly. Much of the food was trashed figuratively and literally. When the UK chef went to the storage area, he was mortified by the gross meat, including a thawing duck sitting in meat juice. Chef Ramsay had to take duck entrees from the customers and went ballistic, saying the place was “contaminated” and blasted the owners. Andy had a nonchalant attitude about it, and on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Chef Gordon threatened to leave if anything else was served.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Saw Drastic Changes in the Food at Fleming
Suzanne couldn’t really explain her hubby’s denial over the running of Fleming. Chef Gordon asked the locals about the place during his second day in Miami, and only negative comments were expressed. They talked about its best days being during the last ownership. During a meeting with the whole staff, the employees and Andy’s wife implored the owner to take a risk on change. Andy agreed to finally try to change, and for the re-launch of Fleming on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the menu was changed to not stress Danish food, but more exciting food for the people of Miami like seared tuna. Desserts were to be rolled out on a tray instead of displaying them near the toilet. The staff was pleased.
Gordon Ramsay’s team worked all night, and on Day 3, the staff was moved to see the interior updated to a more modern atmosphere that gives off more elegance via white and Tudor Brown walls with “birds of flight” artwork. Before the re-launch, a swimsuit fashion show helped promote the event to attract younger people. Even Fleming owner Andy got an updated fashion look, with new clothes and haircut.
During the actual re-launch on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Miami Heat player Daequan Cook showed up. The Caesar’s salads were coming with carrots, which angered Chef Gordon. 40 minutes had passed and not one rightly prepared salad had been served, but finally they come out right, and quickly the entrees come. But then the old equipment caused delays in entrée service, including burners setting on fire, but the “white knight” Chef Ramsay put out the fire, then bitched at the staff for not cleaning the burners regularly. But with six burners, the entrees managed to get made, and the response was very positive to the new menus. The Fleming restaurant was festive for the first time in years. What incentives did the customers have to be more patient during the snafu period with the salads and entrees? Did they get free food and/or free drinks?
Chef Gordon Ramsay had one more surprise up his sleeve towards the end: new cooking equipment which brought Orlando to tears. The restaurant is doing much better since Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares came.
What do restaurants like Fleming have to do via concessions and/or legal agreements in order to be profiled on this FOX program? It would be nice if reality shows like this one would tell people, but then again, it might spoil any illusions that such programs may want to convey.
“Fleming”, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, May 7, 2010, FOX