Gordon Ramsay

Entree from Seb's parents' wedding

So a few weeks ago when I should have been studying, I was watching things on Youtube instead, namely Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares'. At first they were interesting just to know that there were restaurants out there that were truly nightmares behind the scenes, but soon it became clear that the US version merely overdramatised and made the show more about the drama happening in the restaurant than the actual cooking itself.

I set out to find the UK version of the show, which was a great find, because not only did it talk a lot about cooking and catering for local markets as well as haggling and hard work, it also explored the business side of things.

Just a couple of notes from the show, some of which no doubt are fairly 'general knowledge' when you think about it:

  • 86 gets used too often in this show (food being thrown out)
  • Raw food should not be placed next to cooked food, same with fresh and food gone bad (this can cross-contaminate everything)
  • Kitchens must been the cleanest place, or the kitchen can get shut down. But if the restaurant itself is dirty this will be a bad impression on customers
  • Fresh food is the most important, never use frozen. This is what customers are paying for. Don't make false claims
  • Keep it simple, keep the menu small. This allows the kitchen to work faster and more efficiently to get the food out more timely
  • Be vocal, make sure there is communication to all levels
  • Listen to your staff, receive their feedback
  • Date food in your fridge
  • Price should be reasonable, what type of people are in the area? Do your research on what type of people are in the area
  • Cater to the locals, they are your best bet. Use local produce and create friendships, this will be mutually beneficial financially
  • Serving size shouldn't bee too large
  • If the customers aren't coming to you, go to the customers, market to them proactively

But of course, the most obvious and most important, whether its cooking or marketing or life:

  • Don't be afraid to admit that you're wrong, to apologise and to make changes

This has been another pointless post from me...