(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: UK | View All Season UK Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 24, 2005
La Lanterna Address: 57 Station Road Letchworth Garden City SG6 3BJ United Kingdom
La Lanterna was a Letchworth, England, UK restaurant featured on Season 2 of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in the UK.
Though the La Lanterna Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in May 2005, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in 2004. It was Season 2 Episode 1 on the UK version.
La Lanterna is in Letchworth, England, UK.
Chef Alexander Scott, AKA Alex, opened the restaurant after being inspired by his Italian vacations as a child.
His sous chef, Aldona, assists him in the kitchen.
Gavin is Alexander’s best friend and manages the front of the house.
Emily, Alex’s girlfriend, is the hostess.
Alex has done everything he can, like max out credits cards and taking out loans to stay in business.
However, it’s just not working, which is why he desperately needs help from Gordon Ramsay on the La Lanterna Kitchen Nightmares episode.
When Gordon arrives, he meets Alex in the kitchen.
He lets him know he is not a fan of the 1980s plastic Italian décor.
As Gordon sits down, he is given a package of broken breadsticks to snack on until his sampling of classic Italian meals arrives.
The minestrone arrives greasy.
The Italian sausage main dish is disgusting, and the dessert is still frozen.
Gordon gives feedback and says there is nothing authentically Italian about the restaurant.
The kitchen and the appliances are dirty and look like they haven’t been cleaned in some time.
The food storage pantry is filled with old food.
Sous chef Aldona tells Gordon she doesn’t cook the food; she reheats it in the microwave.
While driving to the restaurant on the second day, Gordon hears a commercial on the radio for La Lanterna.
Gordon watches a dinner service, and Alex runs around like a chicken with his head cut off.
Alex admits to Gordon he prefers to play golf overworking in the restaurant, and he shows up right before the start of dinner service.
Alex claims an Italian chef trained him, and Gordon wants to meet him.
Gordon thinks Alex needs his own identity and needs to stop relying on second-hand knowledge.
Gordon finds out that Alex hasn’t been paying himself but has bought a new BMW.
He convinces Alex to sell the car so they can use the money for the restaurant.
Gordon creates a competition for the cooks to make the best pizza.
The winner will have their pizza go on the new menu.
Joe, the porter, has experience as a cook and will take part in the contest.
Locals come in to eat the pizza and vote for a winner.
Aldona wins the battle, and her pizza is added to the menu.
That evening they are cooking using a limited menu and fresh ingredients.
Gavin seats 40 people at one time, which overwhelms the kitchen.
The night is not successful.
Gavin needs to be more assertive, so Gordon tries to help him gain confidence.
To see what success looks like, Alex and Gordon go to a thriving Italian restaurant.
Alex goes back to the restaurant and can cook great food.
They use paintings from a local art college and a fresh coat of paint to revamp the restaurant.
They set the relaunch night and are fully booked.
Service is slow, with some customers waiting for over an hour.
Alex begins to crack under pressure. Gavin helps the kitchen catch up.
He upsells the specials, and the kitchen finally catches up.
The relaunch is a success. Everyone loves the food.
La Lanterna Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the La Lanterna Kitchen Nightmares episode, let’s talk about what happened after Gordon Ramsay left Letchworth.
At first, things started off very well.
Gordon Ramsay revisited La Lanterna six weeks after his initial visit and found it to be very clean.
Alex is making homemade desserts and pasta from scratch. Alex managed to clear a lot of his debt as well.
In a June 2005 interview with St Albans Review, Alex told them that he had gone from losing £1,000 per week before Kitchen Nightmares to making good money.
He had this to say about working with Gordon Ramsay:
I always knew he would give me a hard time but I told myself whatever he says, do. He is one of the best chefs in the world.
He was also happy about the Kitchen Nightmares publicity bump:
A lot of people eat out in Hitchin but wouldn’t think to come to Letchworth for a night out. This has put us on the map.
However, the good times would not last and business quickly dropped from the Kitchen Nightmares peak.
Is La Lanterna from Kitchen Nightmares still open?
La Lanterna closed for good in July 2005, just about three weeks after the La Lanterna Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV.
The La Lanterna restaurant closed because its profits had dropped and the owner had to file for bankruptcy and put the La Lanterna building up for sale.
As of 2022, the old La Lanterna Letchworth location is now occupied by a health facility called Garden City Surgery.
So, it appears that there will be no more food served at the old La Lanterna address.
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Last updated: 2022-02-05 05:22
4 thoughts on “La Lanterna Kitchen Nightmares Update – Open or Closed in 2022?”
All comments are the sole opinion of the commenter and are not endorsed by RealityTVUpdates.
Once an “Italian chef” can’t tell the difference between home made pasta with herbs, thinks sharp blue cheese is pesto and lights up when given a crappy pot-noodle… that would be the moment to stop filming the episode…
I hear the vending machines at Garden City Surgery sell great Italian food, so the place did not fail completely.
We’re told early in the story that Aldona uses the microwave to cook. She won the pizza making contest, which is quite an achievement because it’s hard to make pizza in a microwave.
Now Alex has more free time to play golf, so the experience was not a complete failure.
Most restaurants where the employees are friends and girlfriends of the owner seem to fail because nobody is working hard.
The chef was a tool. He should have been working at the kitchen of a gas station, making sandwiches and heating up burritos.