Kitchen Nightmares
Olde Stone Mill

Episode Report Card
Michael Neal: B- | 4 USERS: A
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Olde Stone Mill

Ramsay sits Dean and his wife down for a little heart-to-heart-to-heart. Ramsay wants to know if Barbara understands the full scope of financial strain that Olde Stone Mill is under. She kind of knows, but finds it easier not to think about it, which she accomplishes by only going to visit the restaurant, say, when the dry cleaning needs to be done. "What you don't know can't hurt you," she surmises, like some victim of adultery. Ramsay sets his lasers to faze: "If the house gets taken away you'd have every reason to worry." Barbara wells up in frustratingly silent tears and Dean -- he no happy. I begin to well up in very loud tears as Dean admits to owing a cool half a million dollars, all of it tied up in two mortgages and a home equity line. I say fuck the restaurant; let's get Neil Cavuto on the show.

The one busy night at the restaurant is Saturday. In the kitchen, Chef Mike, fresh from a nap, is preparing meals while Ramsay stands by to observe. Mike is on the defensive, making it clear to Ramsay that he's all alone when it comes to the kitchen. In the main room, Dean has a beer and brags heartily to patrons that "there is no place like this in Pennsylvania." Back in the kitchen, Chef Mike orchestrates ghastly food presentations such as calamari in an oversized martini glass. In the main room, Tom starts walking, then stops suddenly for no reason, then stands there with his arms folded and his face worn with satisfaction. Ramsay asks him what he's good at. Silence.

The food finally makes its way out like so many Vegas showgirls at an Arab prince's eighteenth birthday. However, it is met with nowhere near the level of satisfaction, and customers are quick to send back their food. Chef Mike is just not into it, complaining again how much of a job his job is. With all the orders going back to the kitchen, Chef Mike -- all by his lonesome Chef Mike -- gets backed up. Dean feels the need to take charge by storming into the kitchen and demanding more progress. It doesn't work. Chef Mike's philosophy is that if it takes an extra 20 minutes for the food to be served properly and, you know, edibly, then so be it, but owner Dean, who must have a few of Trump's "How To Be Rich" seminars under his belt, sees it the other way: get the crap out there already so that all these customers I've been schmoozing will continue to like me. Gordon Ramsay stands like a specter among all this and his negative evaluation at the end of the night is directed squarely at Dean. He accuses Dean of brainwashing the staff. Dean equivocates, and Ramsay asks the staff to leave them alone. Ramsay proceeds to tear Dean a nice new one, calling him a fake who enjoys standing over his customers as they blow smoke up his ass. "You don't like the truth," he tells Dean, adding the accusation that Dean is afraid to fail. C'mon, Dean! Ramsay's right. Haven't you ever seen a Michael Jordan commercial? Failure leads to success. It's just that, in your case, before success will come a long bout of homelessness and a painful divorce.

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Kitchen Nightmares

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