As I reported on the Hectic Gourmet, one of my guilty pleasures (besides using the phrase "guilty pleasure") is the FOX reality show Kitchen Nightmare. It stars the unflappable (no, he's extremely flappable) Gordon Ramsay. On each episode notorious British chef Gordon Ramsay steps in to give his expertise in turning around a failing restaurant.
One of my favorite episodes takes place right in Burbank at a restaurant called Sebastian's; named for the egotistical owner who envisioned that he would one day have a chain of restaurants named after him as well as a self-named line of grocery store pizzas. With classic L.A arrogance, owner/madman Sebastian freaked out and dumped all of Gordon's restaurant changes and went back to what he called a "unique" menu that consisted of over 10,000 possible menu combinations (you choose the meat, than the sauce on top, than the pasta/side that goes with it... ).
Since the episode aired, Sebastian's has shut its doors with its business going belly-up. The point: you should always listen to Chef Ramsay. If you are a failing restaurant with the aspirations of being on Kitchen Nightmares, here're a few tips on how NOT to piss-off Gordon Ramsay:
1) TIN CANS Never have a recipe that involves serving anything out of a can. There's only one thing that gets Ramsay's goat more than a restaurant that has ingredients from a can, and that is...
2) MICROWAVES Don't you even dare consider having Ramsay in your kitchen, without an onslaught of screaming, if you are going to heat up a menu item assisted by a microwave. Be prepared for all hell to break loose.
3) MENUS If you are going to have a large, confusing menu get ready to have Ramsay get all biblical on your ass. It's a simple formula: have a small menu and focus on your restaurant's specialty.
4) ARROGANCE Ramsay currently ranks 3rd in the world in terms of prestigious Michelin stars. Chances are he's a much better, more experienced chef than you. In fact, that's why you asked him to come in to your restaurant and shape it up; because your business is failing. Listen to what he has to say.
5) DÉCOR By no means have your restaurant decorated like a 1980's dance club.
6) SWEARING You think you can out swear Chef Ramsay? Guess again. Gordon Ramsay.
What happens if you don't follow these simple rules? Check out the wrath of Ramsay:
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