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Kitchen Nightmares Recap: Season Premiere!

January 13, 2012 08:20 PM by Shayla Perry

Gordon Ramsay is back with an all new season of FOX’s Kitchen Nightmares. This week, the celebrity chef takes on Georgia’s Michon’s. Can he help this family-owned BBQ joint before their dreams go up in smoke? Find out after the jump.

It’s an all new season of Kitchen Nightmares!

This week on the season premiere of the FOX reality show, Chef Gordon Ramsay travels to College Park, Georgia to rescue Michon’s, a family owned and operated BBQ restaurant that has all the makings of a quality smokehouse, but lacks the proper leadership.

Michon’s is currently being managed by Natalie, whose father started the business with hopes of passing it down to her. But with little experience running a restaurant — at least not a successful one — the business is starting to weigh heavily on Natalie and her relationship with the staff…and her family.

During his assessment of the restaurant, Chef Ramsay is blown away by the food he’s being served — and not in a good way. (Seriously, how does that still surprise him after all these seasons?!) After a tour of the kitchen, he learns that the meat being served at Michon’s is getting smoked days before it’s served — in some of the very best smokers money can buy; but you wouldn’t know it by tasting the dishes, which are essentially leftovers, microwaved minutes before they hit the table. The result? Dry, often cold food that leaves diners disappointed and translates to thousands of wasted dollars for Michon’s.

At the root of the problem — there’s no leadership, and everyone on the staff agrees.

But can Natalie step up and be the owner that Michon’s needs…and does she even want to?

In a heart-to-heart with her family, Natalie says that she can be trusted to get the restaurant where it needs to be, and a proud Gordon asks her to trust him to help her along the way.

The first thing Natalie needs to do to get Michon’s on track is to assign a leader in the kitchen, so she designates Terrence. Now, they need to know what they’ll be cooking in the kitchen under Terrence’s leadership. For that, Chef Ramsay brings in a consultant to introduce the staff to the new menu.

No more stale chicken wings! Instead, Michon’s will now serve their smoked meats (fresh!) with classic, Southern-style entrees, like catfish nuggets. Each table will also have bottles of Michon’s signature sauces for patrons to try with their meals.

Everyone is thrilled about the new menu, including Natalie, who says that she’s proud to serve the dishes.

At re-launch, Chef Ramsay creates an extra challenge for Natalie and the Michon’s staff, inviting a party of BBQ experts to dine at the restaurant.

How will the crew fare with all of the changes?

Natalie is extra confident, enjoying working the dining room and talking to the customers, but in the kitchen, Terrence and the rest of the cooks are having a hard time adjusting to the new menu and the large crowd. Plates are stacking up on the line and frustration levels are rising.

Chef Ramsay, seeing that the situation is getting out of hand, pulls Natalie aside and lets her know that she has to talk everyone through this. Immediately, she gets Terrence’s attention, helps him focus, and pulls the group together, having them finish the dishes that have already been started, before working on another ticket.

With the back-up in the kitchen causing customers in the dining room (and their stomachs) to grumble, Natalie quickly decides to take the V.I.Ps outside to show them Michon’s smokers and buy the kitchen staff some time.

Luckily, the plan works. The BBQ-lovers not only enjoyed their mini-tour, but Terrence and the rest of the kitchen crew pulled it together and were able to start getting plates out to the hungry customers.

All-in-all, Chef Ramsay is pleased with the turnaround; especially with Natalie’s progress, and it looks as though Michon’s will be around for years to come.

Tell us, what did you think of tonight’s season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares?

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Photo credit: FOX

Topics: FOX Reality TV Shows, Gordon Ramsay, Kitchen Nightmares |

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