Curse of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares from staggering closure rate to tragic suicide as iconic show makes comeback | The Sun

GORDON Ramsay’s infamous Kitchen Nightmares USA was back on our screens last night but the "cursed" show has a staggering number of closures and a tragic suicide attached to the iconic program.

The celebrity chef’s biggest show has been off the air for 10 years in the US, but now Ramsay is bringing it to Fox in a season full of exciting new reveals to welcome back fans.

But despite Ramsay's mission on the show being to turn the failining restaurants around – often they still end up closed.

Some 84 per cent of the restaurants featured on the US version of the hit show have ended up shuttered.

Ramsay's team have defended the closure rate, saying in 2014: "You don’t ask to take part in a show called Kitchen Nightmares if your restaurant business is booming."

And there is also tragedy linked to the show, with the sad case of chef Joe Cerniglia.



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Cerniglia, the head chef at New Jersey restaurant Campania, committed suicide off the George Washington Bridge in 2010.

He was on Kitchen Nightmares three years earlier, and the loving father got exposed by Ramsey and berated for his poor management skills.

Cerniglia, who was more than $80,000 in debt was told: "Your business is about to f***ing swim down the Hudson.”

"Why did you become a chef-owner if you haven't a clue how to run a business?"

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The 39-year-old's body was eerily found in the Hudson River after his death.

Ramsay put out a statement after Cerniglia’s death saying: “I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares.

 “Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff.”

Alongside this tragic death sits 65 closed restaurants that were meant to be saved on the show.

Just 16 per cent of the 77 disastrous places are still open today.

Not a single restaurant from the first two seasons of the show are open – and only season 5 has two still in business.

And in the UK edition of Kitchen Nightmares, only three of the 21 locations are open.

So despite Ramsay's talents and expletive-laden motivational style – not even he could save them.

Some owners outright blamed Ramsay for their failure, such as New York eatery Black Pearl's boss David Leonard who branded him a "potty-mouthed teabag".

And owner of Haywards Heath carvery The Priory's Scott Aitchison scraped Ramsay's changes as he said they were costing him cash.

Ramsay's team however have defended his record – and pointed out the only reason the restaurants go on the show is if they are already struggling.

The basic idea behind the iconic show is Ramsey goes into a failing restaurant and spends a week with the business, trying to help revive it and get them back on track.

The number of closures after the show aren’t that surprising given when Gordon leaves the restaurants go back to their old ways.

Without the watchful and vengeful eye of Ramsay and the pressure to perform for the cameras, chefs and staff fall into bad habits and the business begins to tumble before it closes for good.

As with any Gordon Ramsay show the people he meets become victims of the angry chef’s harsh tongue.

Swearing, screaming and torrent abuse all appear episode by episode as Ramsay rips into the owners of each restaurant for their often lazy approach to food and lacklustre service.

Some memorable moments from Kitchen Nightmares USA include Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona who remain the only place to have physically threatened Ramsay after he exploded on the delusional married couple for ignoring his help and threatening customers.

In season two Gordon goes to Ohio and meets what many consider the most arrogant and ignorant owner in the show's illustrious history.

Joe Nagy spends the episode, split into two parts, ranting at his staff, ruining his diner's stay and serving some of the worst food Gordon had tried in the show.

During the dinner service, Joe gets kicked out by Gordon and the chef takes over, revealing a new menu and teaching the chefs how to cook properly.

Joe spends his time watching through a security camera as he gets ripped into by his fed up staff and made to serve the food when the bistro re-opens after he gets banned from his own kitchen.

As soon as Gordon left the problems mounted up again.

Nagy’s staff staged a mutiny and walked out, leaving him on his own, forcing the bistro to close.

The famous “it’s raw” meme, that made Gordon Ramsay a cultural icon, also came from the show and has gone on to spark hundreds of viral photos online.

Ramsay has worryingly been able to go on and make it a catchphrase with some of his best “raw” moments including “this f***ing pigeon’s that raw it can still fly,” and describing a lamb cutlet as “so raw it’s still got its wool on it.”

Surprisingly there is an upside to a Ramsay scolding.

Most restaurants come out of the show with a new menu, revamped interior and an inspirational kick up the backside by the man with seven Michelin stars even if the success is only short lived.  

Chef Ramsay is happy about bringing back the show after a decade.

He said: “I launched Kitchen Nightmares with Fox in 2007, and then we had seven amazing seasons, and so, to bring it back after a hiatus of 10 years, it’s one of the most popular demanded return shows on the planet.

“We don’t have many shows on Fox, so, I thought Kitchen Nightmares may be a nice edition, but all jokes apart, I think the devastation of what’s gone on in the industry over the last three years has been horrific, so there’s never been a more perfect time for Kitchen Nightmares.”

Recently, Ramsay has starred in the hit ITV show Gordon, Gino and Fred as they returned with a Spanish special, set to be the final time the three celebrity restaurateurs join forces.

The notoriously hot-headed, boisterous personality also spoke on the Big Fish podcast in April.



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He felt unfairly judged because of his emotional outbursts on TV.

He labelled his emotions as simply, “passion, pure f***ing passion.”

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