Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Chicken is supposed to be a good and rather safe thing to get at a restaurant, but on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, there’s clear evidence that ordering chicken is like playing Russian Roulette with a drumstick. If you really like chicken, you have been warned. Here are 10 Of Gordon Ramsay’s WORST Chicken Experiences On Kitchen Nightmares.
10. Stripped And Raw (season 6 episode 9)
Fried chicken strips are a basic pub restaurant food that pretty much anyone can make. You certainly don’t have to be a trained chef to batter, bread, and cook pieces of chicken. You could even go with one of many frozen brands and heat them up in a few minutes, no biggie. However, at Sam’s Mediterranean Kabbob Room, in California, even the frozen kind can be too much to handle for a kitchen staff. As Gordon was overlooking the service at the restaurant, he noticed some unsettling detail on a plate right before it was served to a customer and intercepted it immediately. He pulled apart the severely undercooked chicken strips and was appalled by the sheer obliviousness displayed by the cook. Gordon informed him that he couldn’t “serve that sh*t and expect to get away with it.” The cook’s excuse was that it looked cooked on the outside, so obviously it must have been cooked on the inside. Gordon was not having it. Wouldn’t even an unaccomplished cook know the difference between cooked and still raw chicken strips? Either way, the uncooked chicken lead Gordon to say that he “wouldn’t serve that to his dog,”
9. The 5 Second Rule (La Galleria 33- season 6 episode 2)
You might be familiar with the famous “5-second rule” that’s been haunting every doctor and every chef since it was first heard. You know, the rule that says that if you drop your food on the floor, you can still eat it if you pick it up under 5 seconds? Well, Gordon expressed his disbelief with the said rule during his visit to the Italian restaurant La Galleria 33 in Boston. After being served some rather disappointing meals, Gordon did his usual kitchen run with the cooks to supervise how the restaurant operates. he then witnessed something horrifying. The cook dropped a piece of raw chicken on the dirty, contaminated floor and put it in the pan like nothing happened. Gordon’s eyes said it all. He was so appalled by the cook’s carelessness, he kept looking around to see if anyone else took notice. Gordon confronted the cook, but he just shrugged it off and continued to prepare the chicken with the intention of serving it. Ramsay then sought the support of the owners and told everyone they looked like a bunch of idiots. It begs the question, who got the dropped chicken on their plate, as they kept serving the customers despite the whole incident. Raw chicken on the floor was definitely a big no-no for Gordon Ramsay. The scary thing is, it wasn’t for the cook.
8. A Loss for Words (Down City- season 4 episode 6)
No one likes to hear bad news, but the owner at Down City knew what she was getting herself into when Chef Ramsay showed up. He was there to help her restaurant. And getting rid of all the decomposing meat in the coolers would certainly be a first step. After they served him a mediocre meal, Gordon went downstairs to see where all the bad food was coming from. He was faced with an outrageous reality. Not only was nothing labeled, but he also discovered bags of chicken carcasses in the freezer, and that caused immediate concern. The carcasses were also accompanied by some good old raw chicken. He went to get the owner to show her his appalling discovery, but she didn’t seem phased at all. Gordon couldn’t get an answer from anyone about why chicken carcasses were being stored in the cooler for indefinite periods of time. He grew increasingly frustrated and finally asked the owner, if she was “at a loss for words?” The owner insisted that her refrigerators never looked like that before he came and that she would never allow it to become this bad. But, yet, there it was. Moldy and unsanitary. After insults were thrown and accusations were made, Gordon was eventually kicked out of the restaurant. So much for trying to get that restaurant’s standards up. You know, one without chicken carcasses in the freezer, for instance.
7. Hot Flashes (Kingston Cafe- season 4 episode 10)
Gordon Ramsay has dealt with many stubborn restaurant owners during his time on Kitchen Nightmares, but very few could compare to the owner of Kingston cafe, a doctor who tried her best to become a good restauranteur. From the beginning, the tension was very high between Gordon and the owner, as Gordon criticized the name of the restaurant’s signature dish: a plate of jerk chicken named Hot Flashes, which also happens to be a symptom of menopause. As soon as he saw the name, as unappetizing as it sounded, Gordon ordered the dish, with a lot of reluctance. He said the dish was tasteless, dry, barely lukewarm, and even went as far as saying that it was “bland us f*ck” and an “insult to Jamaica.” The owner of the restaurant tried to argue that Ramsay simply didn’t know what authentic Jerk chicken was supposed to taste like. Ramsay partly agreed by saying he didn’t mind mostly dry chicken, but he didn’t want the dry and inedible one. He later found out that all the chicken was cooked in advance and then frozen, but who knows for how long. No one at the restaurant could remember when it was first cooked. And when the owner’s son tried to agree with Gordon about the chicken’s freshness, he was immediately shut down by his mother. Needless to say, this was definitely not one of Ramsay’s favorite chicken experiences, with old and bland chicken, who can blame him?
6. Some Chicken With That Oil? ( season 4 episode 1)
Fried chicken has long been a popular dish in America despite the knowledge that battered, deep-fried food isn’t the most healthy option. When Gordon visited Spanish Pavillion, in New Jersey, he sampled some of the menu items to assess the restaurant. Among those items was the chicken with garlic sauce, which Gordon was very excited to try. But, disappointment was also on the menu. As soon as Gordon got his plate, he asked for an extra bowl to pour the excessive amount of oil sitting underneath his chicken. He tasted it only after he drained the oil, and said it was “absolutely dreadful.” He made the owner try it and he reluctantly agreed that it was dry. Gordon even went as far as asking the cook to taste his own meal, who just brushed it off and said it was “f*cking good.” The cook finally asked what was so wrong with the chicken, to which Gordon replied that it was “way overcooked,” but the cook didn’t seem to agree with him on that. Things got worse when Gordon discovered fridges jam-packed with an endless supply of slimy chicken. Not the freshest kitchen he’s been to, that’s for sure.
5. Hard Like A Bullet (Trobiano’s- season 2 episode 3)
Chicken dishes can be pretty simple but can often be impressive when executed properly. Some cooks try to reinvent the chicken breast to come up with something flashy. Chef Ramsay doesn’t really appreciate flashy – he appreciates competence. And the cooks at Trobiano’s definitely did not meet his standards. He ordered the shrimp-stuffed chicken, which already sounded peculiar, and he wasn’t sure what to make of it. But, after he tried it, he knew exactly what to make of it: “looks like chicken, tastes like shrimp or sh*t.” Not only does Shrimp stuffed chicken not sound like a fancy dish, but it also sounds a little nuts. Ramsay claimed the shrimps were “rock hard like a bullet” and immediately sent his plate back to the kitchen. When he asked the owner why on earth the cook would stuff a chicken with shrimp, he had no satisfactory answer. Nothing more than it must be another one of his creations. It doesn’t really want to make you find out what his other creations are, and Ramsay even said it made him concerned about what he’s actually tasting. Overall, he called this unique creation disgusting and wasn’t pleased about any of the other dishes, no matter how exclusive they sounded. That hard shrimp really caught him off guard. Maybe the cook would’ve had better chances with a separate chicken dish and omitting the bad shrimp and left a classic, beloved dish alone.
4. A Godsend (season 6 episode 8)
After observing the poor quality of food the cook was churning out at Levanti’s American Bistro, Gordon Ramsay decided he had to try some of it for himself. He ordered the chicken carletta, which is Levanti’s signature dish. The waitress explained to Gordon how the recipe for the sauce came to the cook in a dream, which left him a little skeptical but he ordered it anyway. The dream quickly turned into a nightmare as soon as Gordon tried it. He was overwhelmed by the over abundance of garlic. After sending back his plate in disbelief, he described it as a dry, rubbery, and chewed dish that never should never have been put together in the first place. The cook even later said he was inspired by God to make that sauce, which just sounded ridiculous to Gordon. He told the cook he must “not be all there.” He was so frustrated with the poor quality of the food he called it the worst Italian food he’s ever had. A little harsh, but yet justifiable. Even other customers complained that the chicken tasted frozen, which is not exactly what you hope for. He also found a brand new surprise in the fridge: old, slimy, green, stinky, and wet chicken. Wet. It was enough for Gordon to stop the service for the night – he forced them to apologize to every customer in the restaurant. No wonder he threatened to shut down Levanti’s if the owners didn’t shape up fast.
3. It Smells (Capri- season 4 episode 12)
Italian food is one of the more popular cuisines around, and you can find good Italian restaurants all over the world. Unfortunately, you can also find very bad ones. Gordon got to experience the latter when he visited Capri, an Italian restaurant in California. He ordered the Chicken Scarpariello, which means shoe in Italian, and he was left in awe. Ramsay was dubious as soon as he saw the dish and after taking only one bite he knew something was off. Then, he smelled it. Bad move. He asked the server if the chicken was fresh. There was a big pause. Not off to a very good start. The server asked the owners how old the chicken was before they served it to him. Again, not good news. They didn’t know how long the chicken had been around or even when the last delivery was. But, hey, they did take it out of the freezer yesterday, which is… good, right? There was even a witty comment from one of them that was thankfully not heard by Gordon: “Oh, it’s 14 years old.” Yea, just imagine his reaction if he did hear it. Given the news, Gordon let out some profanities and felt a little sick, understandably. After they served him this disappointing smelly, old chicken, Gordon said: “they’re not open for lunch, but so far from what I’ve experienced, they shouldn’t be open for dinner either.”
2. Just Wing it (Michon’s- season 5 episode 8)
Heavenly chicken wings, a popular, happy snack, and an absolute hit with sports fans cheering on their favorite teams. Plus, they’re really easy to make: just season, cook, and voila! But, for some reason, the manager of Michon’s managed to make the whole thing more complicated than it had to be. The first thing the restaurant served him was one, lonely chicken wing. And it was dry. Gordon said it was a shame since the sauce was actually good. They told him it was smoked this morning, but Gordon had his suspicions. He asked the owner to find out when exactly it was smoked and turned out, they were actually a day old. Off to a disappointing start. After his meal, he went to the kitchen to meet the chefs and made a shocking discovery – all the food had been microwaved before it was served to him. Nothing was fresh. As for the wings, instead of serving hot and fresh batches to customers, the cooks used the $17,000 smokers to store them and then heated them up in the microwave. Gordon said it didn’t make sense to cook food to perfection with high-quality equipment, only to spoil it with a $2 microwave. Sure, you can eat old, reheated wings at home, but when you go to the restaurant, you expect them to be fresh. Gordon then made his kitchen rounds and found boxes upon boxes of old cooked chicken wings in the fridge, comparing it to “a mass grave.” A mass grave of chicken wings, not the worst thing to find in a kitchen, but not the best either.
1. Raiding The Fridge
Most of the action on Kitchen Nightmares happens in the kitchen, but more often than not, Gordon discovers that a restaurant’s real issues actually lie in the refrigerator. One thing that is guaranteed to drive Gordon mad is the improper storage of perishable foods, especially raw meat like chicken. It’s a question of health, people. He is often left speechless by the horrific lapses of judgment from restaurant owners, who aren’t committed to their kitchen at all. Most of the time, they’re just unaware or simply unbothered by the basic sanitation regulations. Like, maybe don’t leave the old chicken out in the open for over a week. It just seems logical. But, unfortunately, Gordon often has to deal with cases of raw chicken being stored next to cooked chicken, expired, slimy chicken, and badly defrosted chicken, which does not sound appetizing in the least. Pale and moldy chicken is also quite often on the menu. Yikes. A lot of cooks are in complete denial of their disgracing kitchens and simply refuse to accept Gordon’s criticism. But they need to remember that he wouldn’t be rummaging through their kitchen if it wasn’t a nightmare, to begin with.