(keep reading to learn what happened)
Season: UK | View All Season UK Episodes
Original Episode Air Date: May 11, 2004
The Walnut Tree Inn Address: Llanddewi Skirrid Abergavenny NP7 8AW United Kingdom
The Walnut Tree Inn was a Llanddewi Skirrid, Wales, UK restaurant featured on Season 1 of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares in the UK.
Though the Walnut Tree Inn Kitchen Nightmares episode aired in May 2004, the actual filming and visit from Gordon Ramsay took place earlier in 2003. It was Season 1 Episode 3 on the UK version of the show.
The Walnut Tree Inn is located in Llanddewi Skirrid, Wales. It’s probably the most famous restaurant that has ever been featured on Kitchen Nightmares, so this is a very interesting episode.
It is a Michelin star restaurant and has been in business for many years.
As far as I’m aware, it’s also the only Michelin star restaurant to ever make an appearance on Kitchen Nightmares.
The famous Italian chef, Franco Taruschio, owned the restaurant for more than 30 years.
He was considered to be one of the first celebrity chefs.
Francesco Mattioli bought the restaurant.
He lost his Michelin star head chef, took over his spot, and cooked in the kitchen.
Working in the kitchen is an issue because he is not a cook.
The kitchen is overstaffed, and there are no customers in the dining room.
Francesco does a lot of things by himself and does not trust his staff.
Gordon Ramsay tells Francesco that he needs to get out of the kitchen even though they sell good wine.
He asks the kitchen to cook him their three best dishes.
The mussels Gordon ordered are not clean, and there is dirt and grime on the dish. It’s definitely not the quality that you would expect from a Michelin star restaurant.
He enters the kitchen to give feedback.
Gordon meets with Francesco the next day and tells him he needs a new head chef.
The first interviewee cooks them raw pasta—the second cooked below-average food.
Francesco is banished from the kitchen.
Gordon even puts down a line to stop him from entering. G
ary and Stefano are the sous chefs. Blake and Spike are the trainees, and Kevin is the waiter.
Francesco tells Gordon that out of the two sous chefs, Stefano has the most experience.
Stefano is in charge of the lunch service; where the customers will be Franceso’s family.
The lunch ends up being a disaster.
As a result, Gordon swaps out Stefano and puts Gary in charge.
Next, Gordon needs to do some research about why The Walnut Tree Inn isn’t working as well as it should be.
To do this, Gordon walks around and talks to the locals.
They tell him they don’t visit because of the high prices and poor quality food.
That’s definitely a bad combination – you can have one or the other and still make it work, but not both at the same time!
Gordon and the staff look over the new menu.
Gordon also suggests making one of the sous chefs a head chef, but Francesco wants someone new.
Gary and Stefano both cook dinner for Francesco and his wife.
Stefano continues to cook and prep for the meal service. Francesco approves of both dishes.
Gary cooked oysters, and Stefano cooked ravioli.
Francesco is stubborn and ignores Gordon’s advice to promote the sous chefs.
He also doesn’t want to lower the menu prices.
Chef Spencer Ralph interviews for head chef and is hired after both Gordon and Francesco taste his food.
The restaurant is renovated and is more warm and cozy.
Gordon adds a family picture of Francesco and his wife.
The relaunch falls on the 40th birthday of the restaurant.
Gordon thinks Franco, the original owner, needs to be invited.
The food is a big hit, and everyone is impressed.
Gary is fired that night as two sous chefs are unnecessary.
The Walnut Tree Inn Update - What Happened Next?
Now that we’ve recapped the Walnut Tree Inn Kitchen Nightmares visit, let’s talk about what happened to this restaurant after Gordon Ramsay left Wales.
Gordon returns one month after his initial visit and discovers that business is going better and Francesco is keeping away from the kitchen.
However, there was bad news – The Walnut Tree Inn had lost its Michelin star at the time of that visit. Spoiler alert – they manage to get it back later.
On his second visit, Gordon notices that business is going back down, in part because people find it too overpriced.
Gordon tries to show that they could adjust the recipes to lower prices without sacrificing quality, but Francesco just won’t have it.
Things would eventually turn around, though there were some twists and turns at The Walnut Tree Inn. Let’s talk about the most important question…
Is The Walnut Tree Inn from Kitchen Nightmares still open?
As of 2022, The Walnut Tree Inn is still open and serving customers in Llanddewi Skirrid, Wales. This gives it the distinction of being the oldest restaurant from Kitchen Nightmares to still be open – quite a feat!
It did close for a brief time in early 2007. However, chef Shaun Hill reopened the restaurant in late 2007 and it has been doing well since then.
It’s more than just “open”, though, it’s thriving.
First off, it has regained its Michelin star in 2010 and is still one of the most famous restaurants in Wales.
It has over 1,300 reviews on TripAdvisor with a 4.5 star rating across all of those reviews.
While it’s certainly not cheap, a lot of people seem to think it’s worth the money.
Overall, it’s cool to see a restaurant from Kitchen Nightmares still going strong almost two decades after Gordon Ramsay visited.
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Last updated: 2022-02-18 06:14