Kitchen Nightmares
Secret Garden

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Secret Garden

We get a kitchen inspection in this episode, and Ramsay finds grease, lots of mold, and what he says are maggoty potatoes. They're so maggoty, in fact, that he dashes off to vomit loudly in the bathroom. Were the potatoes really maggoty? The (intentionally) shifty camera work made it impossible to focus and see anything other than bits of potato flaking off. While Ramsay vomits, they have Chef Michel calmly walking up to his restaurant, humming. Yes. Humming. Like, a very Sesame Street-y, "Grover is nonchalantly walking down the street before slipping on a banana peel" type of humming. How do you know he's nonchalant? Because he's HUMMING! It's weird and fake and fricking hysterical if they expect us to believe it. Chef Michel joins Ramsay in the walk-in where Ramsay points out all the mold and grossosities. Chef Michel retorts, "Is everything perfect in your kitchen? I don't think so!" Ramsay responds, "It's fucking clean!" Chef Michel tells the camera that he doesn't like Ramsay's attitude and insults. I'm weary, so weary. Why...you? This show? Participate? Insults! Ramsay insults! ALL INSULTS AND INSULTS! Ramsay and Chef Michel keep arguing. Chef Michel says that he worked for Thomas Keller and Gary Clauson and also that he can't remember how much money he's lost over the years. Ramsay tells him he better wise up and cooperate if he wants help.

The kitchen is cleaned up by the entire staff, and Ramsay says that Chef Michel was beginning to show some skills in the kitchen when he started mopping. Ramsay observes the dinner service and first reams Michel out for serving tiny-ass "canap├ęs" with unripe (very, very white) strawberries, and also for his complicated, overly rich menu where everything is either crusted or stuffed. Sort of like a taxidermist's! Chef Michel really doesn't see the problem with his food, and Ramsay boggles at this. Another problem is that Chef Michel won't let Sous Chef Devon do anything because, as Devon says, Michel wants to be the star of the show. However, when Michel goes out to schmooze with his customers, Devon snaps into action and starts whipping the dishes out, and food finally goes out on time. After watching Michel hobnob for a bit, Ramsay decides that no one in the restaurant has passion. Later, Ramsay tells Michel just that. He gesticulates that Michel cares only about himself and that, starting tomorrow, he needs to see passion from Michel.

The next day, Ramsay decides that Michel needs a bit of a shakeup, so he plasters "Closed for Business" and "Foreclosed by Bank" signs all over the restaurant. Okay, having lived in a post-dot-com San Francisco, I have to ask -- outside of Bedford Falls, does anyone ever post "Foreclosed by Bank" anymore? That FOX, so Capra-esque. Ramsay explains to the cameras that he is putting up these signs because he wants Michel to realize that this is exactly what will happen if he doesn't take Ramsay's advice to heart. Meanwhile, Ramsay paces around because Michel is late to work. When Michel does show up, he's pissed about the signs and not amused in the least. Ramsay explains the point of the board scare and then helps Michel to remove them. Dude, something I didn't realize initially: Ramsay also had false boards leaned against the restaurant. You know, so it looked "boarded up"? And those boards had greenery sticking out of them! Classic. It's the attention to detail that's quite wonderful, especially considering that the greenery is probably plastic.

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Kitchen Nightmares

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