"Kitchen Nightmares" was a mid-2000s reality T.V. staple that helped Chef Gordon Ramsay extend his reach as the de facto king of culinary insults. The show's earlier seasons saw Ramsay utterly incensed over the state of the restaurants he visited, and the furor with which he delivered his reactionary disgust was often over the top. "Kitchen Nightmares" had a seven-season run on Fox before ceasing production in 2014. Now, after a nearly 10-year absence, Ramsay hits the streets once again for a long-awaited Season 8, lending his tough love to restaurants in peril, and flinging more than a few insults along the way.
Season 8 of "Kitchen Nightmares" follows the same formula as before: Ramsay opens each episode with a brief overview of the neighborhood where the restaurant operates before entering the dining room and eating a meal that is disappointing 100% of the time. There is nothing candy-coated about his observations, although the Ramsay we see in Season 8 is less like his hothead persona of yesteryear and more of the "I don't put up with B.S. but I want the best for you" mentoring side he's shown over the last few years. The latest "Kitchen Nightmares" season doesn't hold back on the smack-talking, but it also shows heart and vulnerability. We've given all 10 episodes a watch to compile the worst insults that came out of Ramsay's mouth. Here's how it went.
Read more: The Untold Truth Of Kitchen Nightmares
I've Got More Cream Cheese In A Zit
Uh, gross but also insulting. In "Kitchen Nightmares", Ramsay always pops in during normal business hours to survey how each restaurant runs its service — which is usually a big part of why it's struggling. This is definitely the case at the family-owned Bel Aire Diner in Queens, New York. Brothers Kal and Peter have bad blood because Kal feels forced to take on the majority of the work.
The menu is "like an encyclopedia" and Ramsay loses count at 270 items — just halfway through. Having so many items available meant that Bel Aire specialized in nothing. When the fried tortellini hit the table, Ramsay doubted the menu's claim that they were homemade. He confirmed that they tasted horrible because the "filling escaped". Tearing a tortellini open to examine its insides, Ramsay recalled his zits being less hollow and apparently ... cream cheese-filled. Wanting to know who runs the place, Kal takes a seat at Ramsay's booth and explains that his brother is supposed to be taking half the responsibility but isn't. Kal tears up, disclosing that he sleeps at Bel Aire despite having a small daughter at home. Ramsay focuses on making changes.
There's More Wrinkles On There Than There Is On My Grandad's **ck And He's Been Dead For 10 Years
If Season 8 of "Kitchen Nightmares" showed us one thing, it's that Ramsay has a recurring fondness for phallic humor and jokes about his dead grandparents. When he visits Max's Bar & Grill, a once-famed Jersey Shore hot dog place nearing its 100th anniversary, he lets the dirty insults fly.
An awkward love triangle between owner Jennifer, her ex-husband kitchen manager Jake, and bar manager MK who is also Jake's girlfriend, is as problematic as you'd expect. Worse is Jake's habit of leaving hot dogs on the grill for hours, making them crack and shrivel in a manner that resembles ... erm, Ramsay's deceased grandfather's penis. Ramsay spat out the dog with brute force, assuring that hot dogs sold in Times Square at 4 a.m. are far superior.
Ramsay can't believe the quality has dropped this low. Jennifer, third-generation owner of Max's, claims that the hot dogs were once so revered that customers took their fathers here for their last meal, or placed a Max's hot dog in their father's coffin. Big (and weird) statements, yes, but Ramsay and Jennifer agree that modern-day Max's isn't up to snuff.
The Only Thing We're Basking In Is A Restaurant Full Of Sh**
Restaurateur couple Steve and Sandi have opened successful eateries in the past, but Bask 46 in Woodland Park, New Jersey is not one of them. It's clear from the start that Bask 46's main issue is the head chef Bobby, a.k.a. the "culinary gangster". Steve pinpoints Chef Bobby as the kitchen nightmare, and when Ramsay arrives he's inclined to agree.
Bobby's idea of a signature sauce is putting sauce from a can in a ramekin. The massive portions of heavy, processed foods contribute to Bask 46's estimated $15,000 monthly losses — and it's only been open six months. Conflicts between owner Steve and Chef Bobby have led to misstep after misstep, prompting Ramsay to conclude that all Bask 46 basks in is its own sh**.
Ramsay shuts Bask 46 down due to the hordes of rotting food in the fridge. Bobby apologizes to Steve, the restaurant gets a glow-up, and things appear hopeful. Bobby is given a 30-day window to prove he's worth his $100,000 salary — he quits the next day.
A Tad Under $30 For That, In Yonkers — Anyone Paying That Needs To Be F***ing Bonkers
Brother and sister Julio and Debbie opened El Cantito on March 10, 2020 — so it didn't get a real chance to thrive. El Cantito was inspired by their grandmother's Puerto Rican recipes and their mother's dream of owning a restaurant. If good intentions were all El Cantito needed to succeed it would have, but burnout, inexperience, and financial troubles tested this place to its limits.
No air conditioning and other malfunctioning equipment made El Cantito less than comfortable. On top of that, Julio wasn't exactly bringing the flavors of the island to Yonkers. The minute Ramsay steps inside he can't help reminiscing about his love for Puerto Rico, yet grows skeptical of El Cantito's authenticity by the first bite.
The table service is spot-on. The food ... is not. Greasy and bland, it signals to Ramsay that Julio has "fallen out of love with cooking". By the snapper course, Ramsay is appalled by the odd, taxidermy-like presentation of the fish and the lack of care it was prepared with. He balks at the snapper's price and says it's obvious Julio is cooking like a zombie. When a customer vomits in the bathroom from eating bloody chicken, Ramsay shuts it down, calling El Cantito "a total nightmare". After some reckoning, Chef Julio recenters, and vows to do better.
These Carrots Are So Old They've Been Practicing F***ing Yoga
Port Washington, New York, is an affluent waterfront town and Diwan was the first Indian restaurant there — but times have changed. Diwan is owned by husband and wife team Bobby and Margaret, but while Margaret sets her sights on retirement, Bobby can't pass the torch. It's part of why the finances are draining.
The "Mexican restaurant" Bobby opened upstairs as an experiment to draw in a broader crowd sits empty. The Indian menu is equally disjointed and prices are steep. Aside from top-notch service from front-of-the-house manager Fernandes, Ramsay describes his dining experience as a "hodgepodge" and notices the samosas are old. The tandoori chicken and prawns platter is packed with yellow food coloring and costs $42. Outdated dishes and corner-cutting in the kitchen lure Ramsay into Diwan's basement.
What's in the basement? Horror. Multiple freezer chests are piled with undated meats that are improperly stored. The walk-in fridge is no better. Raw carrots have sat in an uncovered crate for so long that they bend into what Ramsay calls yoga positions. Bobby and the kitchen staff deep clean the basement while the restaurant gets a makeover. By the episode's end, Bobby finally takes a seat beside Margaret to experience Diwan 2.0.
I've Come For A Hot Dog, I Feel Like I'm In F***ing Therapy
The blistered, discolored hot dogs at Max's looked like they were covered in gangrenous sores, but the real decay at the restaurant lay within the staff's lack of camaraderie. In the kitchen, Jake claimed he was only there to help the owner and ex-wife Jennifer "for the kids". Jennifer invited Jake's girlfriend MK to manage the bar because she was desperately short-staffed, and the dynamic was messy. As Ramsay winced over his food, he couldn't ignore the bickering overheard from the back of the house and said he came to Max's for lunch — not a therapy session. Ramsay addresses the ego battles being waged between Jennifer and MK and it's not pretty.
Although MK has more formal serving experience than Jennifer, her suggestions about improving service are given abrasively. Ramsay finds out Max's hasn't had a staff meeting in two years, which is why they aren't on the same page. He spruces up the place and stores the hot dogs in brine so that they no longer grill for three hours. Jennifer and MK patch things up, and a successful service points Max's in the right direction.
Looks Like Someone's Melted A F***ing Condom On My Sandwich
On "Kitchen Nightmares" we're used to seeing restaurant owners who are stressed, angry, and exhausted. It's a different story at In the Drink, a golf course eatery in Wayne, New Jersey. Co-owner Jorge isn't at all frazzled by the problems his establishment faces. He holes up in his office, and keeps co-owner and wife Solange in the dark about their $250,000 debt.
In the Drink has bad food and a glum interior. Wait times are excessive and items constantly get sent back. Ramsay sees this for himself as he gazes down at his open-faced sandwich and likens the rubbery cheese to a melted condom. Server Nadia runs front-of-the-house operations in Jorge's absence and head chef Carlos collapses from fatigue after not having a day off in three weeks. Ramsay gets loud with Jorge over the treatment of his workers.
To save In the Drink, Ramsay injects life into the dining room and tricks out the golf cart with a cooler of quick bites for golfers to buy and eat on the green. He teaches Carlos the new menu and assigns Solange to oversee the kitchen. Nadia becomes manager and In the Drink thrives.
$22 For That? It Looks Like An Implant Gone Wrong. Wowza.
Dumont, New Jersey is home to Da Mimmo, a six-month-old restaurant that's half a million dollars in debt. What was supposed to be a family operation has fallen onto the shoulders of mother and son Melissa and Antonio, who admittedly have no prior restaurant experience. Melissa's sons Vito and Vincent are social media influencers who can't be bothered to help out ... even with the restaurant's social media presence. Chef Francesca isn't wowing customers with her skills despite being classically trained. Antonio is a self-taught pizza maker doubling as Da Mimmo's manager.
Francesca (slowly) makes Ramsay a decent minestrone soup, but there are other issues. Da Mimmo's meatballs in a bread bowl entrée is odd and overpriced — the burned dough inspires comparison to "an implant gone wrong," which Ramsay is tempted to try on for size. Francesca blames her subpar food on frozen ingredients. Ramsay agrees that customers know the difference.
Vito and Vincent turn up at the restaurant and Ramsay dismisses them as "snowflakes", telling them to either help the family or "get the f*** out ..." Ramsay rifles through rotted food in the kitchen and kicks the customers out, but he hasn't given up. Antonio gets a masterclass in pizza-making, and Da Mimmo undergoes a relaunch with classier decor and a refurbished menu of fresh ingredients.
It's Like A Scene Out Of Saw
You know it's bad when the subtitles say [retching]. Kal has grown so overwhelmed by his workload at Bel Aire that after 25 years of business, the standards at the diner have slipped. When Ramsay ventures down to the basement to see how the food used to make Bel Aire's hundreds of menu items is stored, it's unbelievable.
The huge space is filthy and in complete disarray, causing Ramsay to liken the setting to a scene out of "Saw". He asks, "Is this for real?" followed by, "If I get lost, somebody send help." The sights and smells truly were the stuff of slasher films. Pastrami marinated in a bacteria bath with raw chicken, and there seemed to be no end to the containers of rotting goods. The crew and Ramsay are gagging. Ramsay huddles up the staff to tell them that the restaurant is a death trap. He shuts it down and moments later discovers epic pools of grease above the kitchen ranges that pose a major fire hazard. He calls these food practices the most unsafe he's ever seen.
The silver lining is that the shock of the situation gets the brothers to finally work together. Peter renews his commitment to Bel Aire, and Ramsay shows them how to maintain fridge cleanliness and perfect diner staples like french fries. In the end, the brothers hug it out ... literally.
Back In 2016, That Was A F***ing Onion
In the Little Haiti neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn sits Juicy Box, one of owner Jacques' "Box" businesses which he entrusted to his son Q and his sister Zappy. Unfortunately, Q is more concerned with partying than being a respected manager of the Haitian-inspired restaurant. Jacques is ready to close the doors.
Ramsay strolls up at 10 a.m. and sees Juicy Box is closed. Later on, he orders juice, only to find out that the juicer has been broken for months and only smoothies are sold. Juicy Box has problems keeping its menu items in stock and only offers customers plastic silverware. A look inside the walk-in fridge is shocking. The fridge, at 74 degrees is what Ramsay calls a sauna, where peppers roast themselves and onions look like they've been rotting "since 2016". Ramsay accuses Juicy Box of being run by "a bunch of jokers" with no standards. He lays into Q and Zappy, telling them to get serious.
The next morning, Ramsay kicks Q's butt in the gym and says Juicy Box will open at 7 a.m. from now on. The family cries tears of joy over Juicy Box's refreshed look and proper equipment, while Ramsay recruits "Next Level Chef" finalist Reuel Vincent to mentor Q. Things appear to be looking up ... though Juicy Box now opens at 11 a.m. at the earliest.
I've Been To Thousands Of Restaurants In My Life, But I've Never Been To A Restaurant As Toxic As This
This was a tough episode to watch because the owner's rampant psychological issues needed to be addressed more urgently than the food. Chris and Tess run Love Bites in Saugerties, New York and it's running them into the ground. Chris's extreme anxiety and volatility in the kitchen cause him to verbally and emotionally abuse fiancée Tess. Diners hear his screams and curses to the point where they often approach Tess with concern for her wellbeing. When we learn of the serious health issues Tess endures alongside her personal and professional struggles, it's heartbreaking.
Chris' cooking fails to impress, but the necessary improvements seem relatively minor. Ramsay confronts Chris alone, telling him it was the most toxic restaurant situation he'd ever seen, and the first thing that needed changing was him. Ramsay sets Chris up with a therapist and Tess takes time off. He streamlines Love Bites' menu and gives Chris some much-needed coaching on how to pace out a service. Two months after Ramsay's visit, Chris and Tess sell Love Bites to heal their damaged relationship.
It Says Here, Flavors That Just Come Straight From My Grandma's Kitchen. Well, This Does Taste Like My Grandma's Kitchen, Except My Grandma's F***ing Dead
Chef Julio and his sister Debbie wanted to honor their grandmother and mother through El Cantito, yet everything is falling apart. Throughout the episode, Ramsay, a huge aficionado of Puerto Rican cuisine, continually referenced the menu's "About Us" section, which promised that El Cantito would be reminiscent of grandma's kitchen. Of course, the state of things at El Cantito was nothing like dinner at grandma's. After spitting out some ceviche made with off-color frozen shrimp, Ramsay says the food actually tastes like his grandma's kitchen ... because she's dead.
Ramsay invites Omi Hopper, a fan-favorite alum from his competition show "Next Level Chef", to dine in disguise. While she's there, Ramsay assesses the walk-in fridge, where rotten meat cross-contaminates with rotten poultry and moldy produce, compelling him to kick everyone out of the dining room. In tears, Julio admits he's crumbling under the pressure, and if his deceased mother could see El Cantito she would be embarrassed. Debbie, also in tears, admits she has a second job to combat their debts. Ramsay advises Julio to cook with love to save El Cantito's greasy, underseasoned food. He finds his way, and El Cantito gets back on track.
Hey Young Man, I'm Not Here To F***ing Tolerate Your Ego
Kelly co-owns tiny burger bistro South Brooklyn Foundry in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with executive chef Rey. She shoulders the restaurant's six-figure debt alone while Rey controls the restaurant's bank account. This rubbed Ramsay the wrong way. The food, while overpriced and slow to come out, wasn't the horror show Ramsay usually ingests on "Kitchen Nightmares". For South Brooklyn Foundry, the problems are more personal.
Ramsay observes Rey refusing to speak to Kelly during shifts. A strange kitchen setup and one-sided communication account for the slow service. When Ramsay confronts Rey, he gets defensive and we see flashes of Ramsay's take-no-prisoners persona from the bad old days. He comes for Rey in a rapid-fire back-and-forth, saying he won't "f***ing tolerate" his ego. Rey retreats with a "Yes, chef" — but it doesn't end there.
After hours, Kelly offers to take over the business. Rey is reluctant. Ramsay screams, "You're robbing her," and Kelly begins to cry, fearing that Rey will empty the business account. He agrees to leave, and Ramsay holds the door for him. Kelly meets with a financial advisor and the restaurant's future looks brighter, but in the two-month update, we see that Rey has returned.
Read the original article on Mashed.