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Kitchen Nightmares.png "The team works overnight to remodel the restaurant."
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  • Vincenzo Cristiano, Owner/Co-founder (retired)
  • Inge Cristiano, Owner/Co-founder
  • Nino, Manager, Oldest son
  • Michael, Son
  • Carina, Daughter
  • Megan, waitress
  • Valentino, chef

Before Gordon's Arrival

Nino's Italian Restaurant is a family restaurant in Long Beach, California. It was opened in 1958 by immigrants Inge and Vincenzo. Inge is from Germany, while Vincenzo is Italian. Vincenzo worked in the kitchen while Inge served the guests. Due to Vincenzo's old age and dementia, he retired, and the restaurant was taken over by Nino, Vincenzo's oldest son.

According to Michael, Nino's younger brother and another son of Vincenzo and Inge, Nino is the worst employee and enjoys going up to customers to say "Hello, my name's Ninooo." Nino feels as if he owns the place, due to having the same name as the restaurant. He is hot-headed and argues with the customers. According to his mother Inge, Nino does very little and sits in the office to watch TV. According to his sister Carina, he is a 60-year-old man who acts like he's 12. She believes that he is going to run their parent's legacy (the restaurant) to the ground. Inge has been taking money out of her retirement to fund the restaurant.

Nino has an ill feeling about Gordon's visit, as Michael and Carina invited him without consulting Nino first.

First Impressions

The décor is old and makes Gordon feel as if he is back in 1958.

During Gordon's discussion with the family, Gordon asks them to rate the restaurant's food out of 10, they all rate the food at least 7/10. Michael explains that as he and his sister have careers outside the restaurant, they don't spend much time working at the restaurant, but they do pitch in often to cover for Nino. Nino tells Gordon that he took over control of the business after his father developed Alzheimer's. Nino goes in great detail explaining how he arrives at the restaurant early in the mornings and cleans the restaurant extensively every day.

However, Nino's family give a different version of the story. They tell Gordon that the restaurant is a mess and reveal that Nino does not help out in the kitchen or give direction to the staff. Nino blames the chefs for being adamant about keeping the kitchen to themselves. Inge and Carina reveal that Nino is only at the restaurant during lunch service, leaving his mother, Inge, to take care of the restaurant during dinner service. According to Michael, Nino eats lunch during lunch service, and spends a lot of time chatting with customers and watching TV in the office.

When Gordon opens the menu, he discovers a number of spelling mistakes. Once again, Nino reiterates that he arrives early in the morning to clean everything. It is at this moment when Gordon discovers that the bottom of his table is covering in chewing gum. He also finds that the walls are covered in cobwebs. Nino explains that he takes him months to clean from one end to the other end of the restaurant. Nino even hands Gordon pictures of him cleaning the restaurant to prove that he does. However, his family doubts his claims as the restaurant is dirty.

First Meal

Food Ordered

  • Chicken Piccata
  • Meatball
  • Eggplant Parmigiana

Impressions of the Food

Ramsay describes the Chicken Piccata as dreadful. The chicken is covered in raw flour and slimy. Ramsay asks Nino to touch the chicken, however, he refuses to, saying that he doesn't want to touch food in the dining room.

The meatball tastes 54 years old. According to Ramsay, it is "mush, disgusting and just dreadful". He questions Nino's 10/10 rating and tells him that the meatball is "soggy, bland and just hideous with a salty marinara sauce". However, Nino retorts that it is a matter of taste. Nino claims that the meatball was made 2 days ago, however, Gordon doubts this claim. Nino later learns from his chefs that it was made 5 days ago. Nino continues to argue with Gordon and refutes all of his criticisms.

Gordon talks with the family and criticizes Nino for being in denial and incapable of managing the restaurant. After Gordon leaves, the family argues.

First Dinner Service

Gordon goes into the kitchen and discovers lasagna from a week ago. He also finds a pan of dry and bland chicken that is being reheated for pasta dishes.

After dishes leave the kitchen, the complaints from customers are almost immediate. A customer complains that their spaghetti has way too much grease and is dripping in oil. Carina goes outside and finds Nino eating dinner with his parents outside, instead of working in the restaurant.

The restaurant is far from clean. Gordon goes into the freezer and finds frozen meatballs, meat and pasta that were all made a week ago. The ground is covered in produce. The salmon that the restaurant has been serving all night is not scaled. Gordon also finds rotten peppers.

Nino claims that he doesn't have the authority to assert himself because his mother doesn't let him, however, Inge refutes this claim. She later tells Gordon about the time when Nino had a relapse and almost died.



Remainder of the Visit

Gordon tells Inge that Nino is not committed to changing his ways because he feels as if the restaurant will continue to be funded by his mother. He is convinced that if Inge shows that she is fed up, Nino will wake up. Gordon has a plan to board up the front of the restaurant, so it looks as if it's closed. Gordon hopes that when Nino's mother tells him that she has had enough and is shutting down the restaurant, that he will finally show desire and step up. When Nino arrives and hears that the restaurant will be shut down, he initially seems nonchalant about it, but later shows willingness to keep the restaurant open and to work with Gordon. He commits to making the restaurant a priority.

Nino meets with Michael and Carina, and tells them of his commitment to the restaurant. His siblings have doubts him due to Nino previously breaking his promises, but they are willing to give him another chance.

Restaurant & Menu Remodel

The old furniture and bottles hanging from the ceiling are removed. The brown walls are repainted white. There are new light fixtures made from old apple baskets. There is a new sign that says "Nino's".

A room that was previously packed with 5 different tables is decluttered and replaced with 2 long hand-made tables. An old photo of Inge and Vincenzo remains on the wall.

Ramsay has created a rustic menu to complement the new design of the restaurant.

Final Service

Nino is in charge of running the kitchen. The siblings promise not to argue on relaunch night. The customers comment that the restaurant is much brighter with the new lighting. Nino steps up to the job to prove to Ramsay that he is capable of running the restaurant.

Food initially leaves the restaurant at a steady pace, but as more orders are places, Nino becomes overwhelmed and orders become messy. Michael goes into the kitchen to help. He pushes Nino out of the way and attempts to lead the kitchen, but he bickers with Nino and annoys the chefs by yelling orders at them without providing table numbers. Michael goes outside for some fresh air, and Gordon talks to him about controlling his emotions. Nino manages the rest of the dinner service well and Carina helps serve the customers.

During the debrief, Ramsay commends Nino for running the dinner service well and Nino commits to working hard. Michael, however, has nothing positive to say and describes the new menu and look as confusing. Gordon tells Michael that he is unconvinced that he wants to change, and Michael walks out.

After Gordon's Departure

In the following weeks, despite Michael distancing himself from the restaurant, the rest of the family stepped up to help out. Nino worked harder and took up more responsibilities. However, the task of running the business day-to-day still fell on Inge's shoulders. Despite Carina's full-time job, she spent more time helping out at the restaurant.

Production Notes



Nino meme.gif
  • The clip of Michael saying "Hello, my name's Ninooo" has become a meme.[1] The clip has been placed at the end of a number of Kitchen Nightmares videos on YouTube.


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