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Rich-Consulting Chef

Before Gordon's Arrival

Two sisters Claire and Kathryn and their sister-in-law Erin opened a restaurant in Philadelphia, the Hot Potato Cafe. They underestimated how hard owning a restaurant would be, and an early poor review has made matters worse. With a bad reputation and a lack of experience, they need Gordon's help badly.

First Impressions

Gordon knows about the bad review. He walks in and the sisters happily greet him. He asks them what the problem is and they honestly don't know what to tell him. He asks who the chef is, and he is amazed to find out it's their niece who is only 21.

First Meal

Food Ordered

Hot Potato Soup, Potato Skins, Shepherd's Pie

Impressions of the Food

Hot Potato Soup-Gordon declares it a mess and an embarrassment, and like glue

Potato Skins-Gordon calls them dreadful, and learns they are not only 3 weeks old, but don't even contain potato anymore

Shepherd's Pie-"I've got one third mashed potatoes, and two thirds minced lamb. That's not the Shepherd's Pie I know"

First Dinner Service

Gordon talks to Danielle and learns that not only is she very young, she has no formal experience. They admit to Gordon everything is frozen, and Gordon decides the scathing review was actually kind. He sits down with each owner. They are in a large amount of debt. They tell him they had high hopes, but now morale is now. Gordon challenges them to show some fight for dinner service. The cafe is full for service as they know Gordon is there. The kitchen is disorganized, and they have no established procedures. Claire is expediting, but not well. Kathryn is doing very little, but Danielle is working hard. Gordon chews the staff out. He praises Danielle for her work ethic and focus among the chaos. He asks Claire and Kathryn where their spirit and motivation are. Gordon thinks they've given up, and he can see it on their faces. He calls them zombies and questions their passion. Gordon decides to walk out, and announces he's leaving and advises the camera crew to walk out with him. Claire, Kathryn and Erin start to cry and walk after him, and beg for him to help. Gordon tells them they don't care. They plead that they do care, they just feel lost. He continues to question their passion and he says he can't give them that. They continue to plead with him. Gordon is moved by their pleas, but he says they need to start helping themselves, and if they do, he'll stay.


Gordon still questions their passion, but he's willing to give them another chance.

Remainder of the Visit

The next day, Gordon challenges the three owners and Danielle to make a new potato-based menu item. Claire makes a baked potato with sour cream and chives. Kathryn makes the same thing, but more boring. Erin makes one with garlic and green onions. Danielle makes one with peppers and parmesan cheese. Gordon declares Danielle's the best and puts it on the menu. Gordon teaches Danielle his recipe for Shepherd's Pie. Both Danielle's special and Gordon's Shepherd's Pie are well received, but everything else is not well received and to make matters worse, the portions are out of control. Gordon says they need a lot of change. To make his point, he brings out 30 to-go containers, each signifying the amount of to-go meals they gave away. He has the whole staff follow him out the door. Behind the restaurant, he hands each person a plate which they throw against the wall and break.

Restaurant & Menu Remodel

Gordon and his design team remodel the restaurant, starting with the sign. The interior is also overhauled and a lounge area has been added. The sisters and staff all like the new look. Gordon has also redesigned the menu, and has hired a new chef to train Danielle, which moves her to tears. The new menu is smaller and stars potatoes. Gordon also announces that for 3 months, the Idaho Potato Commission will supply them for free.

Final Service

Gordon invites the same critic who wrote the "spuddy hell" review. Danielle and the new chef Rich work well together. The food critic, Brian McManus arrives. He orders the potato soup and pierogies. He tries the soup and says everything is different this time. He enjoys the pierogies as well. Danielle particularly shines. After the service, Gordon tells Danielle he believes in her and that he wants her to believe in herself. He advises them to "stick with it".

After Gordon's Departure

Gordon did some local TV publicity for the restaurant and the reviews were much improved. However, soon after Rich's period of training Danielle expired, Danielle left the restaurant too, and the restaurant closed in 2010. Danielle never worked as a chef again, and is now a nurse.

Production Notes





  Kitchen Nightmares US - Restaurants
Season 1 Peter'sDillon'sThe Mixing BowlSeascapeThe Olde Stone MillSebastian'sFinn McCool'sLela'sCampaniaThe Secret Garden
Season 2 HandlebarGiuseppi'sTrobiano'sBlack PearlJ Willy'sHannah & Mason'sJack's WaterfrontSabatiello'sFiesta SunriseSante La BreaCafe 36
Season 3 Hot Potato CafeFlamangosBazziniMojitoLido di ManhattanLe BistroCasa RomaMama Rita'sAnna Vincenzo'sFlemingSushi-Ko
Season 4 Spanish PavilionClassic AmericanPJ's SteakhouseGrasshopper AlsoDavideDown CityTavoliniKingston CafeLa FriteCapriZeke'sOceana
Season 5 Blackberry'sLeone'sMike & Nellie'sLuigi's D'ItaliaBurger KitchenThe Greek at the HarborMichon'sEl GrecoPark's EdgeSpin-A-Yarn SteakhouseCharlie'sCafe HonChiarella'sZocalo
Season 6 La Galleria 33Mama Maria'sMs. Jean's Southern CuisineBarefoot Bob'sOlde Hitching Post Restaurant & TavernLevanti's Italian RestaurantSam's Mediterranean Kabob RoomNino's Italian RestaurantMill Street BistroYanni'sProhibition GrilleChappy'sAmy's Baking Company
Season 7 Pantaleone'sOld NeighborhoodKati AlloMangia MangiaZayna Flaming GrillBella Luna
Misc Revisited