Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: Complete Series Two – DVD Review
by Danny Cox on September 1, 2009

ramsayskitchen2

Chef Gordon Ramsay is a world-renowned chef that has multiple restaurants and has given advice to countless aspiring chefs from one side of the globe to the other. He knows how to make good food and he knows what customers want when they order it. Ramsay knows how a good restaurant should be run in every single aspect imaginable from the management to the ambiance to the food to the preparation to the timeliness to the cleanliness. He certainly has no problem with offering his assistance when it may mean that another restaurant can become successful and bless the people of the world with an good food and an enjoyable dining experience. But one piece of advice if you do ask for his help…you better have some tough f*cking skin.

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is the predecessor and show that made way for the American version entitled very simply, Kitchen Nightmares. Well the premise for both series is exactly the same so it will be easy for you to understand one and both in the same breath. Chef Ramsay visits restaurants that are failing for some reason or another. Maybe they have horrible management and business sense that is making the restaurant lose money every second. Perhaps there is a huge issue with the atmosphere and it’s an Indian restaurant that has the décor of a futuristic diner. Or maybe, just maybe, they serve some of the most horribly tasting food seen this side of the stove top. It could be one or a number of reasons that they need Ramsay’s help, but he is going to do everything in his power to turn the restaurant around and make it a success. But his one requirement is that the owners and workers are also willing to help themselves.

First and foremost you will notice the brashness that lives within Ramsay. He is not afraid to tell the restaurateurs exactly what he is thinking and just what they need to do in order to improve their business. Yes they often get angry and irritated with him, but they did ask for his help and he’s going to give it to them the only way he knows how and that is straight-forward and honestly. It is sometimes extremely hilarious to hear the insults hurled by Ramsay which many people have told me are over the top and often necessary. I’m sorry but I think they are usually damn funny and spot-on accurate because the people he is dealing with just don’t seem to even care about themselves so not only is he helping them in ways of business but also in their own lives. It takes some hurt in order to get to the good and that is evidently proven by the “devil” that is Chef Gordon Ramsay and the miracles he performs.

Perhaps the more interesting, yet disturbing, aspect of the show is seeing some of the restaurants that Ramsay sets foot into. There are a few that just have really poor management and bad food that would certainly keep patrons away and are things that need to be fixed in order for success. Those though are the best case scenarios. It’s the worst case scenarios that make you feel as if you should never go to any restaurant ever again. Seeing some of the filth and bad habits performed by the chefs makes me think twice or maybe eighteen times before trusting what food is served to me different establishments. From roaches to mold to old or pre-packaged food to dropping food on the floor…and those are some of the easier things to stomach. Makes you also wonder where the hell the health department is, but that is a subject for an entirely new and different television series. You honestly may hate Chef Ramsay, but sit down and think about it for a second and realize that he is helping us all by fixing so many problems that not only plague restaurant owners but also the patrons that frequent them.

Episodes

Disc One:

Lanterna: A British chef who calls himself “Alessandro” claims to offer authentic Italian food, provoking Gordon to use another F-word: fake.

D-Place: Offering fusion confusion on its menu and full-scale screaming matches between the head chef and maitre d’, D-place is a real disaster.

Momma Cherri’s Soul Food Shack: The owner has personality to spare, and the head chef has talent. So why doesn’t this tourist-town eatery make money?

Momma Cherri’s Soul Food Shack/Big House Revisited: Two years after his first visit, Gordon finds that the bighearted momma has moved to the Big House – with big problems.

Disc Two:

La Riviera: Despite the finest resources, am ambitious, superbly trained chef has failed to win over local folks with his too fancy French cuisine.

La Riviera/Abstract Revisited: With a spin-off brasserie going like gangbusters, La Riviera – newly rechristened as Abstract – falls back to Frankenstein rather than Franco-Scottish creations.

The Sandgate: With four restaurants serving 168 dishes, the Sandgate suffers from lack of focus in its kitchen and too little discipline among its staff.

Disc Three:

Clubway 41: This dysfunctional enterprise in a resort town provides Gordon the perfect place to detail his nine rules for how not to run a restaurant.

Oscar’s: Named for the Irish writer Oscar Wilde, this seemingly friendly restaurant has serious family problems bubbling below the surface.

La Gondola: Still stuck in the past, this once lively dining-and-dancing establishment has fallen far from its heyday in the ’70s – but the owner doesn’t seem to notice.

The episodes are shown in 1.78:1 Widescreen format and all looks great here as the transfer from television to series to DVD comes off without a hitch and actually looks crisper and better.

Chef Ramsay and all his obscenity-laced tirades are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and come through just fine here. There is no need for surround sound here because everything is dialogue driven. Sometimes there is a bit of a problem with echo but nothing too major or bothersome.

Biography of Gordon Ramsay – Just a little on the history of the foul-mouthed chef.


Having become a fan of the American version before ever catching an episode of the original series, it’s quite hard to determine which one I like more. But it doesn’t really matter because they are both virtually identical in nature except for location, types of food served, and there is a lot more swearing thrown about by Ramsay in this particular series. Well, he probably did just as much in his American version but it just wasn’t aired as freely. Love him or hate him, you have to give Ramsay a lot of credit for putting up with what he puts up with in order to make restaurants better for us…the paying customers. Watch this series and realize that yes it may be disgusting and he may be over the top but he’s doing it all so that we don’t have to suffer through horrible service, boring atmospheres, and food that can make us literally ill. A few more special features would have been nice of course, but one can’t be too picky when it comes to DVD sets of television series. Do yourself a favor and grab this set not only for the entertainment value but also to know the telltale signs of restaurants that may not be all they’re cracked up to be. Do it now wankers!



Acorn Media presents Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: Complete Series Two. Starring: Gordon Ramsay. Running time: 481 minutes on 3 discs. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: September 1, 2009. Available at Amazon.com



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