Kitchen Nightmares is back and episode two is already better than the original

Kitchen Nightmares is back and episode two is already better than the original

Gordon Ramsay’s visit to Bask46 will go down in Kitchen Nightmares history, because fans have been able to follow the drama in real time.

There is absolutely no denying that over-the-top-drama-loving reality television fans rejoiced at the news that the notoriously sharp-tongued Chef Gordon Ramsay would be returning for another round of Kitchen Nightmares show-downs, starting September 25, 2023.

But even though only a handful of episodes from this newly-rebooted series have grazed our television screens thus far, episode two – which featured the New Jersey-based Gastropub Bask46, has already proved that the celebrity chef chose the right time to bring Kitchen Nightmares back.

Let us be honest, most Kitchen Nightmares fans tune in to watch Ramsay dish out his signature not-so-subtle insults to the unsuspecting owners, chefs and wait-staff at the establishments who subject themselves to being on the show, instead of the ‘celebrity chef helps struggling small business’ notion, which the show tries to push.

And this new episode has proven exactly how the persistence of social media has only fed into Kitchen Nightmares’ hunger for drama.

If you missed it, season eight episode two sees Ramsay travel to Bask46, a struggling restaurant owned by Steve Baskinger.

Baskinger is an experienced restaurateur who just cannot get on the same page with his executive chef, the self-proclaimed “culinary gangster”, Bobby Fortunato.

Maybe the proof of the pudding is in the sharing

However, what truly helps to solidify this episode as one of the best in Kitchen Nightmares’ history is not all of the drama between Ramsay and this foul-mouthed chef during the episode (although this was entertaining too), but the social media frenzy after the fact.

The Kitchen Nightmares franchise has certainly always had its fair share of behind-the-scenes drama, but since most of the drama in the first seven seasons happened well over a decade ago, this is the first time that audiences have really been able to follow along on their own, as the Bask46 drama unfolds in real life.

Kitchen Nightmares season eight so far

When Ramsay spoke to Variety about Kitchen Nightmares returning for season eight, he admitted that returning to the show after so long was challenging, stating “Each and every restaurant is different, and each and every family is different”.

The first few episodes from this season have already done a great job showcasing just how unique these small businesses can be.

The show switched from a decades-old family-run business, to a young and modern pub, to a golf course bar, in the blink of an eye, as follows:

Episode First air date Restaurant name Restaurant location
Episode 1 September 25, 2023 Bel Aire Astoria, New York
Episode 2 October 2, 2023 Bask46 Woodland Park, New Jersey
Episode 3 October 9, 2023 In the Drink Wayne, New Jersey

The drama with the “culinary gangster”

The confrontations between Ramsay and Fortunato during the episodes were entertaining enough, but the subsequent social media tirade from this “culinary gangster”, is on another level.

Not only did Fortunato take to Instagram and TikTok to advertise his “Chef and Restaurant Manager” skills after being fired from his $100,000 position at Bask46, but he has also started a seemingly one-sided internet-feud with Ramsay – complete with a freestyle disstrack, which he filmed himself in his car.

What Bask46’s owner had to say about the show

Baskinger told Tap into Pacific Valley that he had agreed to be on the show because he “saw it as a great opportunity to address some of [Bask46’s] challenges.”

However, it now seems like Baskinger may have changed his mind. Baskinger started berating Ramsay via Facebook after the celebrity chef left his restaurant, saying “His food does not compare … and he is a complete asshole”, and later following it up by stating that Ramsay was “horrible”.

Baskinger has not clarified exactly what changed his opinion about the show, but he certainly did try to capitalize on the drama and even introduced a special Kitchen Nightmares Tasting Menu’ for the episode’s viewing party.

There is more to come in season eight of Kitchen Nightmares

It is difficult to imagine that any of the restaurants still to come on this season of Kitchen Nightmares will be able to top the juicy, behind-the-scenes drama of Bask46 (or Fortunato’s excellent The Godfather-type posts to social media).

But Ramsay has confirmed that the rest of the season will be chocked-full of big personalities.

Although we do not know the official episode schedule yet, Ramsay will also come face-to-face with social media stars, the Gigante brothers, in an upcoming episode, and will even have to get in touch with his caring side for a young couple in Saugerties.