(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: 7 | View All Season 7 Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: April 25, 2014
Mangia Mangia Address: 407 E Grace Ave Woodland Park, Colorado 80863
Mangia Mangia was a Woodland Park, Colorado restaurant featured on Season 7 of Kitchen Nightmares.
Though the Mangia Mangia Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in April 2014, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place in mid 2013.
It was a two-part episode that spanned Kitchen Nightmares Season 7 Episode 5 and Episode 6.
Note – the restaurant’s name is spelled Mangia Mangia – it’s not the Manja Manja restaurant or Manga Manga restaurant.
Julie Watson, the owner of Mangia Mangia Italian restaurant in Woodland Park, Colorado, United States had wanted to own a restaurant for a long time.
When a fast food restaurant was available for sale, she purchased it quickly to get into the food game.
Since most of restaurants in the town served only Chinese and Mexican food, the owner decided that she would serve Italian food to stand out.
However, she had not visited Italy and had less experience in cooking commercially.
When chef Gordon Ramsay of Kitchen Nightmares visits the restaurant, he finds that the takeaway window found in fast food restaurants is still operational at Mangia Mangia.
It’s so funny – you have the restaurant with a “fine dining” theme…but then there’s also a fast food service window sitting there!
Talk about clashing motifs.
To make the Mangia Mangia episode even more dramatic, Head Chef Trevor Peterson causes a lot of problems at the restaurant with his arguments, even sometimes intentionally cooking customers’ orders wrong or walking out during dinner service.
Spoiler – Trevor disputes this and talks about the misleading editing in the show, which I’ll share later in the update.
When Gordon arrives, he uses the drive through window to talk to Janelle Watson, who is the daughter of Julie, the Mangia Mangia owner.
Gordon orders the soup of the day, chicken soup, however Janelle, the daughter of Julie offers him the soup without a spoon.
However as the soup is sludge, a fork can be used for eating it. Not a good sign!
To check out the menu, Chef Gordon orders popular Italian dishes like spaghetti and meat balls, veal picatta, salmon, mushroom ravioli, lasagna.
The ravioli is covered with a white sauce, which he returns to the kitchen and asks for fresh ravioli to be prepared using the recipe he has prepared.
The lasagna is initially served on a dirty plate, and he also finds that it is frozen in the middle.
Though the meatballs are cooked they taste like foam.
The salmon also appears to be frozen in the middle, and the veal is also partly raw.
The chef Gordon returns for the dinner service and again finds that most of the food is of poor quality.
Speaking to the staff of the restaurant like Janelle, the cook Kevin, head chef Trevor he realizes that the restaurant has a serious management and food related problem as the staff have no formal training at all in making and serving Italian food.
The staff is not motivated, and are rude to Chef Gordon Ramsay when he complains.
The Mangia Mangia owner, Julie, is getting upset when Chef Gordon is criticizing her.
Janelle complains that the cook Kevin and head chef Trevor are not punctual and regular at work, often turn up intoxicated.
The head chef Trevor also has issues with drugs and addiction.
On the other hand, the staff complains that Julie is always shouting at them and the kitchen is stocked with more than 400 servings of precooked pasta, so that the food is served quickly when an order is placed.
To improve the restaurant, Julie is asked to fire the head chef Trevor and got a new chef Don from Denver.
Gordon taught the staff to make some basic and simple Italian dishes without using microwaves.
The menu of the restaurant is revised to include more fresh food and less precooked food.
Gordon also renovates the restaurant to make it look more like an actual Italian restaurant. For example, he gets rid of the old fast food style booths.
Julie is also told to modify her management style and take more control.
To advertise the makeover of the restaurant after the Kitchen Nightmares Mangia Mangia episode, Gordon had the restaurant host a family fun day.
On relaunch, customers seem to like the new decor and the food is both tasty and going out quickly.
In a funny final moment, Gordon Ramsay swings by the drive through window to collect the restaurant’s microwave so that they can no longer subject customers to the microwaved food.
Here’s a picture immortalizing this moment for all time:
So was the Kitchen Nightmares Mangia Mangia restaurant episode a long-term success?
Keep reading my update to learn what happened next and if this Woodland Park, CO restaurant is still open in 2024 and beyond.
Mangia Mangia Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the episode, let’s talk about what happened after Gordon Ramsay and his crew left Woodland Park, Colorado.
After the Kitchen Nightmares episode makeover at Mangia Mangia, customers were mostly impressed by the new décor and improved fresh food.
The reviews of the Italian restaurant were mainly positive as the owner following the advice of Chef Gordon and incorporated the changes which he suggested.
However the Kitchen Nightmares makeover could not change the fortunes of Mangia Mangia and it would not last forever.
Is Mangia Mangia still open?
Mangia Mangia closed in November 2014, which is only five months after the Mangia Mangia Kitchen Nightmares episode aired on TV (though it was a little over a year after the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay).
At the time of its closure, reviews at the restaurant were mixed as it had just a 3 star rating on its Yelp page.
As of 2023, the old Mangia Mangia Colorado location is now occupied by a Jimmy John’s sub shop, so it seems like the building has gone back to its fast food roots.
So while it’s not exactly fine dining, you can at least grab a sandwich!
It’s a good thing Gordon Ramsay didn’t get rid of the fast food window at the Mangia Mangia building, as Jimmy John’s might be able to make use of that.
Here’s a picture of the Jimmy John’s that occupies the old Mangia Mangia Woodland Park location:
Why did Mangia Mangia close?
Part of the reason that the restaurant failed is that Julie decided to revert some of Gordon’s new menu changes and go back to a menu that was a hybrid of the original dishes and Gordon’s suggestions.
While I can’t say for certain that these menu changes are what led to Mangia Mangia closing, they probably didn’t help.
Of course, there is also always the issue of debt, which is true for a lot of the restaurants from the show.
What happened to Julie from Mangia Mangia?
Julie Watson was the Mangia Mangia owner who you saw in the episode.
After Mangia Mangia closed, Julie seems to have been working as a real estate agent in Woodland Park, Colorado, at least according to her LinkedIn page.
What happened to Trevor from Mangia Mangia?
Some people are wondering what happened to Trevor Peterson from the Mangia Mangia Kitchen Nightmares episode and whether he was able to overcome his issues.
According to a post from Trevor’s father on the Kitchen Nightmares Facebook page, Trevor went through a rehab program and was nine months clean at the time of his dad’s comment.
Trevor was also planning to enroll in culinary school to continue his career in the restaurant industry.
According to the LinkedIn page of Trevor Peterson, he’s employed as a sous chef at a Fort Collins restaurant called Sundance, so it appeared that his culinary school investment paid off.
In October 2023, there was a YouTube comment from someone claiming to be Trevor.
I can’t verify that this is indeed Trevor, but I’m including a screenshot of the comment below so that you can judge for yourself.
The comment does seem to be authentic given the level of detail that it has.
Trevor talks about his sobriety, as well as how he thought the Kitchen Nightmares episode was unfairly edited to tell a false story.
Hat tip to ZeroBlitz31 on Reddit for finding this comment.
Congratulations to Trevor on getting clean and continuing to work as a chef!
What happened to Janelle from Mangia Mangia?
Janelle Watson was the daughter of Julie, the Mangia Mangia owner.
After Mangia Mangia closed, she seems to have continued working in the hospitality industry, with jobs at places like Red Lobster, Red Robin, and other restaurants in the Colorado area.
What happened to Kevin from Mangia Mangia?
Unfortunately, I can’t find anything about what happened to Kevin, who was one of the chefs from Mangia Mangia episode.
I hope he’s doing well!
Final thoughts on Mangia Mangia
There was a lot of drama in the two-part Mangia Mangia episode, so it’s probably no surprise that the Mangia Mangia restaurant closed just a few months after the episode aired on TV.
While that sounds, it did survive for more over a year after the actual visit from Gordon Ramsay.
The old Mangia Mangia Colorado location has returned to its fast food roots and is now occupied by a Jimmy John’s.
Julie, the Mangia Mangia owner, seems to be working as a real estate agent.
Trevor, the Mangia Mangia chef, seems to have gone to rehab and is doing much better, working as a sous chef after going to culinary school.
And if you want to share your thoughts on the Mangia Mangia episode, you can do so using the comments section below.
This post already has quite a lot of comments and people seem to really like talking about the episode.
As always – thanks for reading!
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Last updated: 2023-12-19 04:33