KITCHEN NIGHTMARES “Leone’s” Review

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Fox) "Leone's"
KITCHEN NIGHTMARES “Leone’s” Season 4 Episode 2 – In the second episode of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, Gordon Ramsey ventures to Leone’s, a restaurant on the rocks. The owner was hospitalized and her son, Michael, came in to cover for her, but sadly for her and luckily for us, he did not make it work. Things when down hill dramatically in her absence. When Rose returned she discovered her business in shambles and she, in desperation, puts out the call. The 911 for failing restaurants and Gordon Ramsey shows up.

As you might expect, that goes well.

Ramsey comes in to discover Michael watching football at the entrance. When the chef asks to speak with Rosie, she puts her finger on he problems with the restaurant really fast. “Everything.” The staff settles in to tell him what’s up. No management. Michael says it’s the decor. The staff says they are running the place, but Michael is in denial. He’s pretty sure it’s everyone’s problem but his, it’s clear though that the start of it is Michael, but it’s not everything. A massive menu—fifteen pages—also contributes, and while large, the food is not good.

In fact, the food is in the “bad, close the restaurant” class.

In one of those “best moments ever” for Kitchen Nightmares, the chefs for Leone’s announce they don’t like the food and they don’t want to eat it. Really? If the people cooking the food won’t eat it, there’s trouble. Of course, the fact that the food is green, disgusting and not fit to be eaten might have something to do with that. Ramsey has only one choice.

Yep, you guess ited. Shut that place down!

Once the doors are closed, Rose is devastated, of course. Michael is feeling regret for what he’s done to the place. (Are we surprised?) Ramsey hauls out his compassion and comforts Rose. Her dream won’t die! It won’t!! Right?

I have to admit, this week’s “look what’s wrong with you” had a bit of a fun twist. Ramsey packs the staff off to a local art gallery where he’s displayed pictures of the competitions offerings on one wall and Leone’s horrific food on another. It was a refreshing idea in a show that’s been going on this long, and really, a picture is worth a thousand words—or trips to the ER, depending.

And halleluiah! They see the light! Michael cooks! The restaurant is overhauled, the food updated and best of all, a fancy computer ordering system which will make everything better! Halleluiah!

There is something about Kitchen Nightmares that draws me back every week, even though, as I’ve said before, we all pretty much know what’s going to happen. Last week we did get a bit of a surprise with the lovely, sweet-tempered owner of Blackberry’s walk out on Ramsey on her re-launch. Of course she came back and implemented all the changes. “Leone’s” is a little more of the usual formula, the see how bad it is, the big change/reveal, a slightly rocky re-launch then everything is happy and successful for all involved. Ramsey hugs a few people and wanders off down the street, muttering to himself about the restaurant, but we all know they are on the right track.

Of course, sometimes they aren’t, and “Leone’s” will be one I wonder about. I hope it’s one that will reappear on a show sometime later so we know what actually happened when Ramsey left. As we’ve found in the past, sometimes things don’t always turn out quite as perfectly a they seem in those final happy moments. Kitchen Nightmares will always draw me in, and keep me watching no matter how formulaic it gets because at it’s core is always that unpredictable factor—humanity, in all its glory.

About The Author

Born in California, Muffy Morrigan began her writing career at the age of six, when after completing her first hand written novel she attempted to sell it to the neighbors for the lofty price of ten cents. After myriad careers, including archaeological consultant, teacher, herbalist, shop keeper, news editor, reporter and columnist, she has settled in to her first love and passion–writing. She currently lives and works in the Pacific Northwest.