Kitchen Nightmares (US) S05 E10: El Greco, Austin, Texas

Kitchen Nightmares (US) S05 E10: El Greco, Austin, Texas - CLOSED

In this edition of the Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay visits El Greco in Austin, Texas, Atlanta. This restaurant is being run by a Greek mom-son team. El Greco is owned by Jake Konstantinidis and his mother Athina. Athina always wanted to have a Greek restaurant so she brought her sister Kiki from Greece and Jake trained as a chef.

The business was good for initial 8 months, after which footfall declined. Athena have put all her money in the restaurant, but, as per her, Jake does not work properly. Staff also confirms that the infighting between the family is the main reason that restaurant is going downhill.

El Greco Austin Texas open or closed
El Greco Austin Texas open or closed

 

Gordon arrives at the restaurant and meets Jake and Athina. Athena blames Jake for no helping her out in the kitchen. Gordon learns that Jake is a professional chef but shows up late everyday. Gordon talks to the manager Anthony who tells Gordon that Jake comes to the restaurant for 3-4 hours every day.

Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 05 Episode 10
Restaurant Name:
El Greco, Austin, Texas
Filming:
September 2011
Air Date:
20 January, 2012
Restaurant Close Date:
January 2012
Current Status: Closed

Is El Greco, Austin, Texas closed?

Yes. As the debt was too large and that became too much for them to over come. El Greco closed in January 2012.

 

Food Sampling:

Gordon orders stuffed zucchini, lamb shank and moussaka. He laughs at the first dish, stuffed zucchini looks like grenades and presentation is very poor and tastes very bland. lamb in the lamb shank looked anaemic and too salty. Moussaka sticks to the dish and looks like dog food.

He meets the chefs and learns that his food was made by chef mike a.k.a the microwave. Jake still is in denial and defends his food. When Athina tries to confront him, he asks his mother to stop nagging and leave. Gordon tells Athina that he might not be in position to turn this restaurant around because of her son’s attitude.

 

Dinner service and kitchen inspection:

Gordon observes the dinner service. As food just have to be reheated it leaves kitchen very fast. Gordon is amazed to see every plate going into microwave. There are gas stoves but not one dish is being cooked on stove. Gordon meets Diego, the line cook, who also thinks that this is nonsense. Gordon questions Jake, but Jake defends use of microwave. As per Jake there is no big difference in taste once it is reheated in the microwave.

The next day, Athina and Kiki are at the restaurant at 6 A.M. preparing for the lunch and dinner. Jake who told Athina that he will be in the restaurant by 10 A.M. reaches after 12 P.M. that upsets Kiki and Athina. Jake, Kiki and Athena gets into another nasty fight just before Gordon arrives.

They still keep on throwing tantrums at each other in front of Gordon. Jake mentions that this is the reason he does not show up on time because they keep on yelling at him all the times. Gordon asks Jake to respect his mother and Aunt and tells Kiki & Athena to tone down it a bit for Jake. Jake confirms that he will be more involved and will work to turn around the situation. To mark this realization, chef Mike is thrown out of the window.

Jake admits that he has lost his passion over time. Gordon teaches him some Greek dishes that will feature on their new menu.

 

Restaurant makeover and relaunch::

Gordon’s design team revamps the restaurant overnight, giving it a Greeky / Mediterranean look. Gordon also introduces them to the new menu. Everyone love the new decor and food. With a fresh energy and in absence of chef Mike, kitchen starts strong and sends out initial orders fast. However, after some time Jake stops to communicate and starts to control each order himself.

El Greco Austin Texas kitchen nightmares
El Greco Austin Texas kitchen nightmares

 

Gordon steps in and asks Jake to start delegating the work among team. Once the delegation gets sorted, orders again start to go out of kitchen on time. Customers love to food and new decor of the place. El Greco team marks this successful launch by breaking plates which is customary in Greece and signifies ending bad habits.

What happened to El Greco, Austin, Texas after relaunch?

The closing act of the episode shows that Jake and Athina continued to work together and they are heading towards the right direction.

However, as the debt was too large and that became too much for them to over come. El Greco closed in January 2012. There was a huge coverage and discussion over the closure as locals thought that Gordon dumbed down the menu and the restaurant lost its exclusiveness and exoticism. Reviews after the relaunch were mostly negative across all review portals.

There were also reports of staff getting out of the restaurant claiming that Jake is too controlling and degrading to work with. There is also a thread on chowhound which kind of blames on Gordon for the fate of the restaurant. This restaurant closed down before the episode aired on Fox network.

 

Is El Greco, Austin, Texas closed?

Yes. As the debt was too large and that became too much for them to over come. El Greco closed in January 2012.

 

Resources:

  1. IMDB episode info
  2. El Greco Austin Texas on Yelp
  3. El Greco employees reports on relaunch
  4. Chowhound discussion on How Ramsay ruined El Greco

 

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Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 05 Episode 10
Restaurant Name: El Greco, Austin, Texas
Filming:
September 2011
Air Date:
20 January, 2012
Restaurant Close Date:
January 2012
Current Status: CLOSED

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