(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 5 | View All Season 5 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: January 20, 2012
El Greco Address: 3016 Guadalupe St Ste C200 Austin, TX 78705
El Greco Restaurant was an Austin, Texas restaurant featured on season 5 of Kitchen Nightmares.
The El Greco Nightmares episode aired in January, 2012, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place before that.
It was Season 5 Episode 10.
In the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits an authentic Greek restaurant in Austin, Texas called El Greco.
It’s the only Kitchen Nightmares Texas episode, which is pretty surprising given the size of the state.
Other populous states like California and New York had tons of visits, while Texas only had one measly restaurant featured on the show.
But anyway, let’s get back to the El Greco restaurant episode recap…
El Greco is owned by Jake Konstantinidis and his mother Athina.
In 2007, Athina poured all of her money into purchasing the restaurant.
While the restaurant was thriving when it first opened, business has now declined within the last year due to the quality of food declining and Jake’s poor attitude causing a significant decrease in morale.
These are some of the many reasons for the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode to exist.
Upon arrival, Gordon Ramsay is greeted by Athinia who welcomes him with a hug.
Chef Ramsay then sits down with Jake and Athinia to discuss the day to day operations.
During this discussion it is revealed that Athinia does all the work while Jake continuously shows up late to work.
Athina blatantly admits that Jake is the number one problem with the restaurant.
Chef Ramsay then decides to taste the menu by ordering a stuffed zucchini, lamb shank and moussaka.
Chef Ramsay shares that the stuffed zucchini has poor presentation and reveals that the flavor was bland and disgusting; the lamb shank was depressing and he could tell it had been microwaved; and the moussaka would not detach itself from the plate and resembled dog food.
Afterwards, Chef Ramsay sits down with the two owners and reveals that the food was subpar and inauthentic.
Jake’s lack of interest irritates Gordon so he decides to talk to Athina alone and reveals his fear that Jake has lost his passion for the restaurant.
During the dinner rush that night, Gordon observes Diego, a line cook of 14-years, repeatedly placing plate after plate into the microwave while the burners go untouched for the night.
This fuels a heated argument between Jake and Gordon, where Jake defends his microwave usage for every dish.
The next day Chef Ramsay observes Athinia and Kiki arrive early to the restaurant to begin prepping for the day, while Jake, who promised to come in at 10 a.m. is nowhere to be found until midday.
After another heated argument between Jake and the two sisters, Chef Ramsay resolves the issue and the three make up.
Chef Ramsay gets everyone to commit to cooking everything from scratch and throws the microwave out the window.
Chef Ramsay works with Jake on creating a new menu and the staff loves the samples they are given to try.
The dining room also receives a new makeover to reflect a more modern Greek theme.
Besides a few minor hiccups with Jake failing to delegate tasks in the kitchen, the relaunch was a success and the owners end the night by breaking plates to signify that they are breaking old habits and starting fresh.
So was the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode a long-term success? Keep reading our update to learn what happened next and how the restaurant is doing in 2022 and beyond.
El Greco Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened to the restaurant after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Austin, TX.
In the months that followed there seemed to be positive feedback from the community (though Yelp reviews were mixed), unfortunately, the debt was too high for the owners to overcome, and the staff’s commitment to Gordon’s new menu started to wane.
Is El Greco still open after Kitchen Nightmares?
El Greco closed in December 2011, which is a month before the Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
Why did El Greco close? Well, it’s hard to know for sure, but the debt load probably put the restaurant in a pretty tough position even with Gordon’s help.
Additionally, while a lot of people did like Gordon’s changes, some regulars preferred the old El Greco when it came to the menu and decor.
That means El Greco has officially earned its spot on the list of closed Kitchen Nightmares episodes.
Personally, I think this one was always destined for failure. Even before Gordon Ramsay visited El Greco, there were already major complaints about Jake.
For example, James Holbrook, a former cook, went to the Austin Eater magazine and complained about Jake being “controlling and degrading”.
As of 2022, the old El Greco Austin Texas location is occupied by a sub shop named Cheba Hut Toasted Subs.
Reviews for the new restaurant seem pretty good as it has a 4.5 star rating on its Yelp page.
What happened to El Greco chef Jake Konstantinidis?
Jake Konstantinidis doesn’t have much of a social media presence so we’re not sure what happened to him after the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode. If you know anything, please let us know in the comments section!
As I mentioned earlier, El Greco was the only Austin Texas Kitchen Nightmares episode (and the only Texas episode in general).
If you want to see some other nearby episodes, you can check out these posts:
- Oceana in New Orleans update
- Zeke’s Restaurant in Louisiana update
- Amy’s Baking Company in Arizona update
What did you think about the El Greco episode of Kitchen Nightmares? I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!
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And don't forget to check out all of the other Kitchen Nightmares updates.
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Last updated: 2022-07-01 05:47