I’ve been watching Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares for a quite a while – both the UK version and the US version. I’m a huge fan of The F Word. I even tune in now and again to Hell’s Kitchen (although honestly, they seem to be a worse bunch of chefs than I am!). And he seems like he knows what he’s doing. Ramsay seems like he knows what he’s talking about, and he’s got successful restaurants of his own under his belt.
Well, not entirely. His empire has been crumbling as of late, and rumors have circulated that the Ramsay enterprise is in dire financial straits. There have been reports of him having to sell personal belongings – a la Pawn Stars – to pay off debts owed and taxes that are due.
So I started looking into some of the restaurants featured on Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.
Gone. More than half.
Not that they wouldn’t have closed anyway – although there are some restaurant owners who have blamed the famed chef for their ultimate demise. But whatever business plan Ramsay has to get these mostly Mom and Pop restaurants back on solid ground doesn’t work for them – and evidently, it doesn’t always work for Ramsay, either. Three of his restaurants closed within a six month span in 2008, and in recent days, he fired his father-in-law (who was chief executive of the chef’s company) and two other family members.
He has just written an open letter to his mother-in-law, essentially begging her to resume communication with his wife and children following his in-laws’ decision to halt all communications with Ramsay or his family.
Until he puts his business and family lives in order, I’m not sure I’d want him handling the sharp knives in my kitchen.