Netflix Pick of The Week: ‘Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares’

Gordon Ramsay brings something original and compelling to his hit show “Kitchen Nightmares.” It takes a real chef to be able up to work up enough energy about food to shout at any wannabe chef who disrespects his own food. Ramsay’s job is to help failing establishments make enough money for a month’s rent by improving cooking skills, as well as by getting rid of some bad habits.

Each episode starts with Ramsay getting to know the kitchen as well as the owners of the restaurants. The people he meets varies from those who are genuinely trying to make good food but are missing a few key steps to those who are trying to max profits by using frozen foods. Being an owner of several Michelin-star restaurants, Ramsay tries to spot what each restaurant is doing wrong in order to help it recover.

In the U.S. version of the show, Ramsay is shown yelling at workers and owners to inspire them to make their restaurants better. Rather than focusing on their willingness to improve, however, he seems to ignite and cause ruckus and drama wherever he goes. While it makes for good TV moments, the U.S. version just seems dull and uninspired.

By contrast, in the UK version of the show, Ramsay seems to genuinely want to help out the restaurants he visits by giving workers and owners tips on what they should do. It’s like seeing Ramsay in a different light as he attempts to relate to newer chefs by telling stories about himself when he was in their shoes.

At the end of each show, Ramsay comes back a year or so later to check on the restaurants. It’s interesting to see how some of the establishments still fail due to financial problems after Ramsay leaves, but it’s just as entertaining to see how well some of them have done after taking his advice.

The UK version of “Kitchen Nightmares” is a perfect representation of how a food show can be done right; the U.S. version is quite the opposite. Either way, Netflix offers both shows, so there are options if you’re in the mood to watch a top chef attempt to help others succeed.