Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 3 Episode 11: Fleming, Miami, Florida

Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 3 Episode 11: Fleming, Miami, Florida - CLOSED

UPDATED : 26 December 2019

In this episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon visits Fleming, Miami, Florida. This Danish restaurant in Florida is owned by Andy and his wife Suzanne. Fleming used to be the busiest restaurant in town, it has dwindled to nothing except a few loyal customers. Andy and Suzanne bought this restaurant 8 years ago, they do not know anything about Danish cuisine, so they have hired a Cuban chef. In introduction part Andy tells that chef has a lot of ideas for change, but, Andy is reluctant to make any changes. The prime customer base is old people. Server Julie tells that once a popular restaurant, now they can not fill the restaurant even during weekends. Suzanne also suggests changes but Andy does not want to make any changes.

Fleming Miami Florida in Kitchen Nightmares
Fleming Miami Florida in Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon hopes to find Danish people in the restaurant and comes prepared with a dictionary. Gordon meets Andy and Suzanne. He is surprised to see a Danish restaurant, owners are not Danish, the chef is Cuban, Danish have left the building. Andy tells Gordon that nothing has been changed since they bought the restaurant. Gordon is bugged to see desserts at display next to the washroom. The waiter Julie serves him Cru d’ete, which surprises Gordon. Julie tells Gordon that only staff is the changing factor in the restaurant in over 15 years.

Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 3 Episode 11
Restaurant Name: Fleming, Miami, Florida
Filming: June 2009
Air Date: 7 May 2010
Restaurant Close Date: October 2010
Current Status: CLOSED

Is Fleming, Miami, Florida closed?

Yes, Fleming restaurant closed in October 2010.

Food Sampling:

Gordon orders Salmon Gravlax, Frikadelle, and Grandfather Duck. His first order arrives, which does not taste exciting and is overdone. Gordon finds a dead fly on the plate. Julie brings in Frikadelle, Gordon finds it mushy and bland, he sends it back. Gordon is surprised to see foil swan at the other table and asks Cindee to teach him that. Cindee shows Gordon how to make foil swan. Julie brings in the last dish, Grandfather Duck, Gordon does not find it fresh, it is not moist and Gordon sends it back.

Gordon goes into the kitchen to meet the chef Orlando. Gordon gives him the feedback and asks him why does he serve bad food. Andy comes forward in chef’s defense and says that the food is dated because they have not changed anything. They are afraid of change, he adds.

For the dinner service, the restaurant is full for the first time in years. Thirty minutes into the dinner service and many orders are out in dining room, meaning, speed is not the issue here. Despite getting the food fast, customers do not like the food at all, complaining that food does not taste good or it is bland. Almost all the orders are finding their way back into the kitchen. Andy tries to pacify the customers into trying something else.

Storage Inspection:

Gordon, after seeing the bad dinner service, goes into the walk-in freezer. Gordon sees cooked duck placed with raw meat, he calls Andy, Suzanne, and Orlando to show the hole in their storage process. Gordon instructs the staff to stop serving duck. Andy says that the food they are serving is not contaminated, Suzanne is surprised that Andy is unaware of it. After the dinner, Gordon sits down with Suzanne and tells her that Andy needs to wake up. Suzanne agrees with his statement and she feels let down by Andy.

The next day, Gordon goes out in the neighborhood to see what people think about the restaurant. People are shunning the restaurant because the restaurant has nothing new to offer. Gordon gathers staff and asks chef, waiter, and Suzanne to share their inputs with Andy. After listening to everyone and everything, Andy acknowledges that the change is long overdue and it is time to do something drastic. Everyone is surprised and relieved to hear that from Andy.

Gordon asks the chef Orlando to come up with few dishes that encapsulate the vibe of Miami. He asks them to forget about Danish roots, ‘Make something that looks good and trendy’, he says. In next 30 minutes kitchen comes up with 3 dishes and Gordon presents them to the front of the house. Everyone likes the food. Suzanne thinks that the new dishes encapsulate and relate to Miami.

Relaunch:

Gordon’s team gives a makeover to the restaurant overnight, removing old dull interior colors and add a fresh warm look. Gordon takes the staff and the owners inside the restaurant and everyone are happy with the decor changes. Staff members are happy to see Andy and Suzanne in a happy mood. In order to attract and promote the restaurant to younger clientèle and to market the restaurant’s relaunch, Gordon organizes a local swimsuit fashion show. Gordon also gives Andy a makeover.

Before the relaunch, Gordon shows the new dishes to the staff. Everyone is sold on the looks of the new food, Gordon explains each and every dish and then asks them to taste the dishes. Gordon updates Suzanne that the Miami Heat basketball players are the special guests. Andy is taking charge and staff is happy to see Andy excited and full of the energy. Customers start to arrive at the restaurant and many complement Andy about the new and fresh looks.

Gordon with the staff and the owners of Fleming Miami
Gordon with the staff and the owners of Fleming Miami

Customers get to choose the salad, however, the chef in the kitchen is putting the wrong ingredients in the salad, Gordon has to take salad back from the customers due to that. The staff, the owners, and, the customers are getting impatient as the kitchen is backed up by salads. 45 minutes into the service, kitchen starts to send salads and food out, however, an old cooker stops working and they try to adjust it and get it to work. That tinkering causes a fire across the whole hob.

 

As the smell of burning enters the dining area, Gordon comes back in the kitchen and puts out the fire. The kitchen and Andy pull together and food starts to leave the kitchen again, customers are happy with the food. The dessert trolley is a hit and staff is happy to see the restaurant busy. The relaunch is a success. Gordon is happy with the efforts everyone put in the relaunch, however, he is afraid that they will not succeed with current equipment in the kitchen. He makes an emergency call and gets them a new oven, fryer, and hob. Andy and Suzanne thank Gordon for all that he has done for the restaurant.

What happened next?

In the days that followed, Andy and the restaurant stuck with Gordon’s changes and the menu and were on right track. However, after the May 7 airing of the episode, Andy came out to tell his loyal customers that Fleming is a blend of old and new (Link to the press release in the resources).

Andy said -

“Fleming is still your favorite restaurant. We’ve changed, but we haven’t changed so much that our longtime clients won’t recognize us. It’s important to remember that the show was taped nine months ago. We ran with the new menu for about two months and quickly found out that our clients still wanted many of the traditional favorites.”

Few of old dishes were back on the menu, they also returned to serving crudites, soup of the day and they bought back the dessert bar. Yelp reviews after the relaunch were mixed, regular loyal clients did not like the changes done by Gordon. Miami Herald TV writer Glenn Garvin was there anonymously during the filming of the relaunch night. He reported how fake the whole drama is (Link in the resources).

Fleming closed in October 2010.

Andy (Andrew Hall) is currently Associate Director of Resident Dining at Chartwells (as per his Linkedin Profile).

Is Fleming, Miami, Florida closed?

Yes, Fleming restaurant closed in October 2010.

 

Resources:

  1. IMDB episode info
  2. Fleming, Miami on Yelp
  3. Andy's press release after the episode aired
  4. Accusations of a foodie regarding fake nature of Kitchen Nightmares

 

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Episode Related Info:
Kitchen Nightmares (US) Season 3 Episode 11
Restaurant Name: Fleming, Miami, Florida
Filming: June 2009
Air Date: 7 May 2010
Restaurant Close Date: October 2010
Current Status: CLOSED

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