Gordon seems to be craving some California sunshine this season, because on this week’s Kitchen Nightmares he’s back in the LA area, telling folks how it’s done at Nino’s Risorante. Owners Inge and Vincenzo opened and ran the restaurant together when they came to America about a billion years ago, and according to daughter Carina, things were great until Vincenzo’s retirement. He’s not young anymore, and is suffering the onsets of dementia. Aw. Unfortunately for the business, things got left in the hands of his eldest son, Nino. His younger (translation: you’re not inheriting a damn thing, kid) son Michael thinks Nino sucks shit at the job, and it’s not just envy speaking. He’s definitely not the only one who notices something off about Nino’s work ethic.
If by “off” you mean “nonexistent,” which Michael and I do. I should add that Michael looks a bit insane, so make of that what you will.
Nino appears to be the typical crappy manager, who mainly sits in the office and watches TV while Carina and Michael run the place and resent Nino more and more every day for what he’s putting their mother through. Even Inge admits that if Nino weren’t her son, she’d have pink-slipped him ages ago. However, the blood bond seems to be strong, because she’d rather keep funneling her retirement fund into the restaurant instead of kicking Nino out on his lazy bum ass. She’s a nicer mother than I am.
But Gordon is not! And here he comes! He immediately does not care for the décor or the crapton of empty wine bottles suspended from the ceiling, but is his usual charming self as he meets Inge and the siblings. I dig the cut of Michael’s jib already, because he knows Nino is full of shit and that Gordon will sniff it out.
When asked, Nino claims the food rates 10 on a scale of 10, which is Kitchen Nightmarese for “looks and tastes like something scraped out the inner rim of a dance club toilet.” We learn that Michael and Carina both have other careers and basically spend their spare time helping out and picking up Nino’s slack, which explains why they have very little trouble calling him out when he claims that he arrives at eight o’clock sharp every morning to spend hours cleaning the restaurant and overseeing all the minutiae. Carina flat out says that Nino doesn’t do any of that stuff and he needs to be in the kitchen expediting things instead of dusting all the surfaces. Nino says he doesn’t go to the kitchen because the chefs don’t want him in there. I’d like to see any chef at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant inform the owner he wasn’t welcome behind the scenes. They could make a whole new series off just that concept.
We could call it Choose the Manner of Your Imminent Death, and it would be a hit on at least two continents. I’ll do the recaps!