(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 2 | View All Season 2 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 15, 2009
Cafe 36 Address: 22 Calendar Ave La Grange, Illinois 60525
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Television phenomenon, Chef Gordon Ramsay, is famous for his frankness, blunt expression of opinion and downright brazen critiques. He is, on the other hand, a well-respected, top expert in the culinary industry, who can either make or break a chef or a restaurant. He starred in Fox’s television series “Kitchen Nightmares” from 2009 to 2014, until he decided himself to end the program.
The owners of Cafe 36 in La Grange, Illinois, were fortunate (or unfortunate) to have the services of “Kitchen Nightmares” Chef Ramsay at their restaurant. In this 2009 episode, Terry and Carol Gilmer were distraught with fear at the prospect of losing everything due to a declining clientele and poor kitchen service. Their sous-chef, Barney Smith, made a desperate plea for help and called upon Chef Ramsay’s expert services. It took three months for the Gilmers to agree to this proposition.
The waiter at Cafe 36 was pleasant, polite and honest the day that Gordon Ramsay visited the establishment. The famous chef decided to try the duck salad, despite its odd mixture of ingredients, the wild mushroom risotto, and the day’s crepe special, a sauteed Atlantic salmon, made with crepes that were “not special at all”. The head chef, Pinto Das, received the order with confidence, stating that Chef Ramsay’s presence did not make him nervous at all.
While waiting impatiently for his order, Chef Ramsay commented on the presence of dust and the unattractiveness of the mismatched plates. He did not seem overly impressed as he questioned about the lack of customers. Mr. Ramsay’s lunch finally arrived on a trolley after a surprising 40-minute wait. Viewers could easily detect worry and apprehensiveness on the the Gilmers’ faces, as Carol Gilmer admitted that she got nervous when Chef Ramsay began eating. She maintained, however, that she was confident regarding the excellent quality of the food served at Cafe 36.
Chef Ramsay seemed less than impressed with the mushy, overly salty risotto.The sous-chef, Barney, was amused and relieved that an expert finally confirmed what he had been trying to tell Pinto for ages. The next course of duck salad was excessively sweet, with a bizarre combination of candied walnuts and fruit. Chef Ramsay was further appalled when, upon receiving his third course, he learned that the mushy crepe, buried under the saucy, salmon mixture, was store-bought.
Cafe 36 Update - What Happened Next?
What became of Cafe 36? During the filming of the episode, the Gilmers actually became friends with Ramsay, and they had a very successful beginning to 2009 because of the changes made based on his recommendations. They updated their decor, developed a more contemporary menu and added some local artwork. After the episode aired, chef Pinto was fired and replaced by Barney, who eventually left also to finish his studies. Pinto moved on to work for a family restaurant in the area. Cafe 36 closed in April of 2009. The Gilmers blamed the weak economy and Chef Ramsay’s interference, however, reviews still confirmed the truth behind the claims of poor food and service. Whether a victim of a poor economy or of Chef Ramsay’s tough love, Cafe 36 is now nothing but an abandoned, forsaken dream.
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Last updated: 2017-04-04 07:27