|"The team works overnight to remodel the restaurant."
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Leslie Bazzini-Owner/Paul's wife
Before Gordon's Arrival
Paul Bazzini is an experienced chef who was renowned over a long career in Manhattan. But when he opened his own place in New Jersey, it was more of an adjustment than he expected. His wife is worried that he's lost his passion. He's also in a place with a lot of competition.
Gordon walks up to the restaurant, only to find it's not even open for lunch. An hour later, Paul arrives and calls Gordon, who returns. Paul greets Gordon warmly. Gordon likens the decor to a doll's house. He tells Paul to decide what to make him.
Fettucini Pesto, Chicken Milanese, Mushroom Risotto, Tilapia, Carrot Cake
Impressions of the Food
Fettucini Pesto-Gordon says it is cold and bland
Chicken Milanese-"That's not normal for a chicken to be so hard"
Mushroom Risotto-Gordon sees that it doesn't move and jokingly hangs it on the wall. He tastes it and declares it too mushy
Tilapia-"It's just so bland, honestly"
Carrot Cake-Gordon actually likes it
First Dinner Service
Gordon relays his criticisms to Paul who just makes excuses. Gordon challenges him to show more effort. Gordon sees that the crab cakes are pre-seared and implores Paul that they should be made to order. Sure enough, the customers complain the crab cakes are burned. Paul even admits that's not the right way. Gordon also finds a disconnect between the kitchen and wait staff. Food sits on the pass. Paul starts to blame him team, saying dishes don't come out if he doesn't make it. Sharyn is particularly getting annoyed at him for his attitude and constant complaining. Gordon intervenes and shuts down the kitchen. Even Leslie declares that Paul had a horrible service. Gordon talks to Paul. Paul insists he can do better. Gordon pleads with him to show some passion. Paul says he has a hard time going home to his wife and kids. Gordon challenges him to be his best the next day.
Gordon feels as though Paul has given up
Remainder of the Visit
The next day, Gordon challenges Paul to make a pasta dish in just 15 minutes. Paul makes pasta by hand, he makes a capellini with puttanesca sauce with shrimp. Gordon gives positive feedback, and asks Paul what pasta means to him. Paul gives a passionate response, and Gordon can see a new energy. Gordon decides to open Bazzini for lunch, and tells Paul later. Gordon agrees to help Paul in the kitchen, with Sharyn and Leslie running the front of house. Sharyn struggles at serving. Paul and Gordon work very well together in the kitchen, and Paul clearly enjoys the experience of cooking with Gordon.
Restaurant & Menu Remodel
Gordon's design team remodels the restaurant, including a new facade. Gordon redesigns the menu, reducing the menu to just 15 items, featuring fresh pasta.
Paul is excited and ready to go. But the first calamari come out raw, and Al starts to panic. Paul starts to struggle to communicate. Gordon fears Paul is giving up again. The wait staff starts to push back with the kitchen. Al walks out and Gordon goes to find him. Sharyn, though she's the pastry chef decides to help beyond her usual responsibilities. Gordon also pitches in. The kitchen recovers and the service ultimately is a success. Gordon compliments Sharyn for her help. He sits down with Paul and Leslie. Gordon tells Paul that he's not sure that he's changed enough. He reminds him that he himself had to help him recover, which he doesn't usually do. His parting words to Paul are "You say all the right things, but you need to do the right things".
After Gordon's Departure
Paul hired a new sous chef, but Sharyn left to start her own dessert business. Bazzini closed in 2010, but Paul is still a chef