After about a decade, Chef Gordon Ramsay has brought back his popular reality show “Kitchen Nightmares” (TV-NR) where he aims to turn around dysfunctional restaurants on the brink of disaster. The eighth season premiered on Monday, Sept. 25 on Fox with the promise of more dramatic and entertaining moments than ever before.
After a brief recap of the series premise by Ramsay, who serves as host and narrator, the first episode focuses on the Bel Aire Diner, a family-owned and operated restaurant in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York. Brothers Kal and Peter inherit the diner, originally ran by their parents from Greece. In its original configuration, the diner has been a mainstay of Queens culture for the last 30 years, having been featured in various media such as Jerry Seinfeld’s series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Howard Stern.
Miscommunication and a lack of team spirit have led the restaurant to falter, with over 400 hard-to-prepare menu items, outdated décor and food safety violations. The parents also refuse to take a backseat to the day-to-day operations until the brothers have shown themselves to be ready.
In his classic fashion, Ramsay tries the unique cuisine available at the Bel Aire, including dishes traditionally only served in fine dining, seafood concoctions and misshapen, undercooked offerings. During the dinner peak, burgers show up undercooked, grilled cheeses haven’t been grilled and lobster is being served raw. After seeing how the kitchen is operated and visiting the walk-in storage freezer, Ramsay orders the diner to shut down for the evening to reassess his findings.
As part of his week stead, Gordon helps the Bel Aire team develop a new, simplified menu, renovate the interior dining room and help the family with their priorities and professional relationships. Ramsay is no stranger to tearing apart kitchens all around the world, having originated the series in the United Kingdom in 2004 and expanding to the United States, Canada and Europe through 2014. Ramsay also started flipping hotels and motor lodges as part of his companion series “Hotel Hell” until 2016. In fact, he has helped Connecticut and other New England establishments on multiple occasions.
The show hasn’t changed the formula since its original incarnation, which was a hit during the original run. With the variety of problems that started being faced by all business owners, not just restaurants, during the worldwide situation, this is the perfect time for Ramsay to revive his helpful ways and save some disastrous restaurants across the country with some laughs along the way.
For fans of the original series or Ramsay’s other work, the new season of “Kitchen Nightmares” will delight and entertain – with a side of not wanting to work in food service. Produced by Fox Alternative Entertainment and Studio Ramsay, you can watch “Kitchen Nightmares” every Monday night at 8 p.m. on Fox (local WTIC channel 61 – HuskyVision channel 9) or on-demand the next day with a Hulu subscription.
Rating: 4.5/5 Spoons