|"The team works overnight to remodel the restaurant."
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Before Gordon's Arrival
Giuseppe "Joe" Borgia-Owner/Chef
Kathy Borgia-Owner/Joe's wife
Salvatore "Sam" Borgia-Chef/Joe's son
Joe and Kathy owned several successful Italian restaurants in Michigan. Their son Sam convinced them to come out of retirement and open Giuseppi's, for him to eventually take over. Joe doesn't believe Sam has what it takes, Sam doesn't think his father gives him a chance, and Kathy is sick of being caught in the middle between her husband and her son.
Kathy picks Gordon up from his hotel so she can talk to him alone. Kathy tells Gordon the plan, and while she admits Sam is disappointed, she seems to agree that he doesn't have what it takes to take over the kitchen and restaurant from Joe. She also says their house has been foreclosed upon and her marriage might be in danger, too, if the restaurant fails. Joe is present in the kitchen, but Sam will make Gordon's meal with the help of Brian. Sam is not confident that Gordon will like the food, Gordon says the restaurant decor is reminiscent of the 70s.
Octopus salad, potato skins, Eggplant Rollatini
Impressions of the Food
Octopus salad-Gordon says the octopus is like rubber, Dawn agrees
Potato skins-Gordon says the cheese is hideous
Eggplant Rollatini- Gordon can tell it's been microwaved, but before he can offer further opinions, he hears the fighting from the kitchen. Joe is already blaming Sam
First Dinner Service
Joe tries to motivate Sam and Kathy. First Gordon wants to talk to them about his lunch. Brian admits the Eggplant Rollatini was microwaved. Gordon questions why they have Potato Skins. Gordon blasts their food quality. Once again, Sam and Brian are running the kitchen. They put out orders fast. Brian isn't happy to use the microwave, but Joe tells them to, thinking speed is more important. A lot of orders are being sent back. Joe continues to criticize Sam. Finally, Joe throws Sam out of the kitchen, even though he was just doing what he told him to do. Joe takes over control of the kitchen, starting to cook dishes himself.
Gordon says they're fast, but too fast for their own good. He also says that Joe's constant instructions are not helping, and that he treats Sam and Brian like dirt. Gordon sits them all down. He criticizes their use of the microwave. Sam says he hates doing it, and hates admitting it's his food. Gordon asks Joe point-blank if he thinks Sam is a good chef. Joe refuses to say it, only that "he likes to cook". Gordon asks him to explain why he feels this way. Joe says he's not committed, and compares him to himself. Sam says he's been trying to prove himself to him since he was 13.
Remainder of the Visit
The next day, Gordon sits down with Joe. Joe talks about his struggles with diabetes. Joe knows he shouldn't be putting the time in that he does, but he doesn't trust Sam. Gordon decides to pit Joe against Sam in a cookoff, with the wait staff to judge blindly. Gordon lays out fresh ingredients for the challenge. Sam makes salmon, while Joe makes a stuffed pork chop. Joe ends up winning, but Gordon decides both dishes are worthy of being a special. Gordon asks Sam to write a letter telling him exactly how he feels about Joe. Gordon has Joe expedite, while Sam cooks, but Joe decides Sam isn't doing it right, and takes over again. Joe admits his blood sugar is up, but they can't get him off the line. Finally Gordon forces him off. Sam and Brian rebound and the service finishes strong. Gordon asks Joe to write a letter to him telling him exactly how he feels about Sam.
Restaurant & Menu Remodel
Gordon's design team redesigns the restaurant. They love the new decor, especially Kathy. There are personal touches, like baby pictures of Sam. Gordon organizes a Bowl-a-thon for diabetes. Gordon implements a new menu. Everybody approves.
Once again, Gordon wants Sam to run the kitchen and have Joe expedite. Joe still can't help himself, so Gordon again has to force him out. Sam and Brian start bickering, Sam doesn't think Brian is working hard enough. Gordon starts yelling at them, and Brian blames him. Gordon isn't getting through to him, and Brian leaves. Joe has no choice but to get back in the kitchen and work together with Sam. Luckily, they were able to work together well, and the service ends on a high. Gordon has them read their letters to each other. Sam's letter says that he has always looked up to him and that he feels like he's disappointed him. Joe's letter says he's come to realize that Sam is ready and that he's proud of him. Gordon notes that they're a really good family, they've just forgotten it.
After Gordon's Departure
Giuseppi's closed in 2009, as the economy of the time especially hit Michigan hard.