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October 13, 2015

Gordon Ramsay sued over new show

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 20th 2007 8:01AM

Gordon RamsayBut it's not the new season of Hell's Kitchen. It's actually a show that hasn't premiered yet.

The former general manager of Dillon's Restaurant in Manhattan has filed a lawsuit to block the airing of Kitchen Nightmares, the new Ramsay show that is supposed to premiere this September on FOX. The man says that he was fired from the restaurant on orders from Ramsay, and that Ramsay actually lied about finding rotten food and actually hired actors to pose as customers so the place would look busier than it usually is. The show has Ramsay coming into various restaurants to make them better.

This could be interesting, because many fans of Hell's Kitchen often wonder if the customers are plants or if the problems the chefs experience in the kitchen are fabricated or exaggerated.

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I think that Gordon is brilliant!! He is soo talented!! Yeah he is a bit harsh sometimes but you get that in any kitchen!! He is probably the most famous chef in the world and he didn't get there by being a big softie - you have to be tough in his industry - he had all sorts when he was training he had hot plates chucked in his face and almost near death threats from one of his bosses so year he is bloody tough!! Not many people could perserver in those conditions. He is a real man and I absolutley love him!!

July 20 2007 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcus Gorman

The customers are actual people. I can't validate whether or not they throw background actors into the mix to fill the restaurant, but I know that they used to post craigslist ads looking for people who want to show up on dinner service nights.

I would have gone once, but I was out-of-town when I first saw the ad. I guess it's kind of like signing up for Idol and SYTYCD audiences, which I've also done.

June 20 2007 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

"Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" - the British one - essentially has Ramsay coming in as a consultant to whoever is running the restaurant. It's a role the he's eminently suited for as he owns nine restaurants in Britain - six with at least one Michelin star, and one with three (one of only three in Britain) - and his personal stake (69%) in his holding company "Gordon Ramsay Holdings" is worth roughly $100 million. In none of the episodes of "Kitchen Nightmares" does Ramsay "order" anyone fired - he lets the owners (most of whom are thoroughly clueless) know what is going on. He rightly has a mania about food that is even a little off (that can lead to law suits) and is determined to see kitchen staffs in pressure situations. If he brings people in for any reason it is for that. (As for "Hell's Kitchen", compared to the way he was treated when he was learning in restaurants under, he's behaving like a real pussycat.)

June 20 2007 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Having watched Kitchen Nightmares on BBCA, it's the one show that I find Ramsey bearable on. He usually gives good advice on running the restaurant as a BUSINESS, rather than a HOBBY; a lot of the owners are in trouble because of that; especially employing incompetent staff because they're friends. The format of the show usually has him bring in 'special guest' customers (staff's relatives, food experts, ex-Michelin judges) to either test the staff and/or confirm their progress/regression. He's usually really helpful to the staff (way more so than on HK), encouraging owners to change or strip down the the menu to what the staff can actually do competently, and very rarely have I seen one where he gives up on a chef unless the person is utterly hopeless (One episode the young chef had a filthy kitchen full of rotten seafood and moldy produce, burned up a meal Ramsey had him cook for his parents, and still Ramsey didn't recommend he get the axe until he found the kitchen back in it's initial state on his followup visit.) So while Ramsey can be a prick, at least on the original series he always came across as a fair prick.

June 20 2007 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike m

I don't believe the claims for a minute. What you all may not be aware of is that he won a libel suit recently for the exact same reason. Someone claimed the same thing about one of his first season shows...IT WAS BAD...I MEAN THE RESTAURANT WAS TERRIBLE!...and they sued over it....and they LOST.

For those that only see Hell's Kitchen, it's easy to think he's acting of over the top. For those of us who have seen Ramsay on a proper level, Hell's Kitchen is nothing. Although, I admittedly haven't seen his US version of Hell's Kitchen except through d/ling it this year. His first UK series of Hell's was fan-bleeding-tastic!

June 20 2007 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sean P. Aune

First off, Gordon takes rotting food very seriously. I really find it hard to believe he would lie about that.

Secondly, so what if he hired people to come and eat? How else is he supposed to see how you handle the rush of a large dinner crowd if there are no people?

June 20 2007 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Restaurants can be that bad .. In North America people usually start restaurants because of a specific desire for the field.. in Europe there is many countries England/France where opening a restaurant is like opening a corner store .. no background necessary (at least in their opinions) .. there is amazing food there but there is also AWFUL food ...

June 20 2007 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Davis

Part of this guy's complaint is that Gordon "actually lied about finding rotten food and actually hired actors to pose as customers so the place would look busier than it usually is."

So, reality shows aren't?

Whoa. I need to lie down.

June 20 2007 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@h8rain: Kitchen Nightmare has been on BBC America. About 6 months ago or more they had a Kitchen Nightmares marathon and it ran all day. Maybe you saw it then or when they run it on and off.

@Wild Bill: This is nothing like "The Restaurant." Gordon isn't opening restaurants. He's going to restaurants that have issues and helping to change the menus and better prepare the kitchens.

June 20 2007 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@ Michael

I was like I have seen this "show" before, except he was in small places over in England. Glad to know I am not crazy. I am not usually a big fan of reality TV, but watching Ramsey rip someone a new one is always amusing.

June 20 2007 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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