(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
In the El Greco Kitchen Nightmares episode, Chef Gordon Ramsay visits an authentic Greek restaurant in Austin, Texas called El Greco. El Greco is owned by Jake Konstantinidis and his mother Athina.
In 2007 Athina poured all of her money into purchasing the restaurant, and 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.
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, fueling 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 a 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.
El Greco Update - What Happened Next?
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.
In December of 2011, El Greco closed its doors for good.
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”.
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!
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Last updated: 2021-11-30 07:06