Kitchen Nightmares: Finn McCool’s

Gordon Ramsey
This week, Gordon Ramsey travelled to The Hamptons to visit Finn Mc Cool’s, an Irish Pub. It’s run by Buddy and his sons Jason and Brian. Brian is the head chef. Jason is the bartender.

Right from the start, everyone at the restaurant says that Brian is arrogant. Gordon tries “Irish Springrolls”, Salmon, and Shepard’s Pie. None of them go over very well. Buddy even thinks Gordon didn’t even like the water. The Shepard’s Pie ended up sending Gordon running for the bathroom.

I have to stop here and ask: What the heck is in an “Irish Springroll”? Corned beef and cabbage?

Anyway, Gordon goes out to find out from the local fire department why they’re not going to Finn Mc Cool’s. The fireman think there’s a bit too much fried food, but Gordon invites them to dinner.

The next day, he does a kitchen inspection, and it’s pretty filthy. Gordon said it was a “Kitchen Disaster”. The only thing he found that was “clean” was a copy of his own book!

Gordon talks to Buddy, Jason and Brian, and tells them they really need to get that kitchen cleaned up, and they do that. The family is surprised at Gordon’s pronouncement about how dirty the kitchen is, but they all pitch in and clean it up.

That night, the firemen arrive and order. Gordon watches what’s going on in the kitchen. In one of the many one-on-one interviews they put into the show, Buddy explains his nickname for Brian, “Chef Shortcut” because he cuts corners. Brian doesn’t like Gordon watching him and asking questions.

The firemen get their food, but it’s not what they hoped for. Gordon brings out Brian, and the firemen explain what they thought. The corned beef sandwich was dry, the fish was frozen, and the pie wasn’t warm enough. Brian’s reaction? He didn’t think they had the right to critique the food, since they don’t cook for a living.

Back to the kitchen, we witness on camera something (a chicken wing, I think) hit the floor, and the sous chef tosses it right into the fryer. Gordon questions this, and the sous chef says putting it into the fryer will sterilize it. (Yikes!)

On day three, we find out the the place is in big trouble. They’re losing $20,000 a month, and Buddy isn’t paying himself. If the place closes, the whole family will be in big trouble.

Gordon shows Brian how to make a Shepard’s Pie. The whole staff tries it, and loves it. Brian says he thinks he ends up looking bad, and is really mad about it.

That night, Brian and his father have a confrontation. Buddy tells Brian to stay in the kitchen and work instead of running out to be with his friends. Brian agrees, but doesn’t like it when Buddy hangs around to watch him work. Brian finally gets fed up, and leaves the restaurant.

Buddy is now forced to run the kitchen, which doesn’t go very well. He has trouble with orders.

On day four, Brian comes back. Both Buddy and Jason think that Brian has a lot harder job than either of them thought. Now that Gordon witnessed the dinner service without Brian, he realized what Brian was dealing with. Brian himself says he wants step up his game.

The restaurant transformation makes the whole place look better. The whole staff is pretty surprised how much nicer it is, and they even have a nice new sign for the front of the restaurant.

The menu was always overhauled, with 2/3rds of the menu tossed. New menu includes a Guinness pub burger, his family recipe for Shepard’s Pie, and Fireman’s Chicken. He also wants to introduce table-side service, where the chicken will be carved at the table.

That night, after a pep talk, the restaurant is fully booked. Even the firemen are back. Even the local food critic is there, so it’s a big big night. The kitchen is overwhelmed, the people in the dining room is waiting, and the whole staff is really working hard. The local food critic is pretty upset about not getting a table. The fire chief ends up leaving. Gordon finally stepped in, and everything starts flowing.

The food critic is finally seated, and orders. The food is delivered, and they really like the food. They declare “It’s almost worth the wait”.

The night ends successfully, and Gordon congratulates them on a job well done. After he left, Gordon said that a lot of these kitchen revamps are a pain, but this one was a joy.

….And shock of all shocks, they did a follow-up! Two months later, things are going well. Jason and Brian support each other, and Buddy finally cashed his first paycheck.

At the end they displayed the message:

“If you want world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey to try to turn your KITCHEN NIGHTMARES into the restaurant of your DREAMS…

Go to or call 1-866-226-2226”

Now a few thoughts about the show:

I was very happy to see they finally did a follow-up on how things were going with the restaurant. It was good to see that this place got turned around and was doing well. People watching what happens at these restaurants want to know how things turn out, not be left hanging. I hope they continue with the follow-ups.

If a restaurant doesn’t get turned around, we want to see that too.

I still wish they had Gordon narrate the whole show.

One thing they’ve done on the British version of the show which would be interesting would be to see how all the restaurants are doing well after the show ended. Are the chefs still there? Is the restaurant even still in business? Have they returned to their old ways?

2 thoughts on “Kitchen Nightmares: Finn McCool’s”

  1. i have just finished watching the show , and i must admit it brought me too tears, What a wonderful family expecially the father, He came across as a humble and proud man, who could have lost everything , to protect his grown kids and put food on their tables. The poor chef , hes only a young lad who was so transparent,who had a great deal of emotion written on his face, but was so much in termoil he became numb to contradiction , critics and even himself and his feelings , i can relate to that , you get so low. that you give up .my father is a chef de cusine and never taught me a thing, but i ended up in the same trade, he always made me feel i wasnt good enough and never achive his standard, i am 41 years of age and never classed myself as a chef i am a cook, i know i am good at what i do but because i got to that place were that young lad was, i gave up, biggest mistake off my life and i regret it , he was lucky he had his family support but i didnt and i am so glad that the family pulled together and buissness is on the up and i wish them all the best for the future, if i get the chance to travel to the usa i definetly will be paying them a visit, i will keeping a keen eye on the progress GOOD LUCK GUYS !!!!!joanna xxx

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