The Kitchen Nightmares restaurants that made Gordon Ramsay throw in the towel

The Kitchen Nightmares restaurants that made Gordon Ramsay throw in the towel

There have only been a few times in Kitchen Nightmares history where Gordon Ramsay walked out in the middle of an episode.

Tensions are usually high when Chef Gordon Ramsay and his Kitchen Nightmares team show up to a failing restaurant.

So it is really no wonder that the occasional family-troubles and disgruntled employee(s) often end up rearing their heads during this chef’s last-ditch attempts to turn these businesses around.

The moments that made Gordon Ramsay reconsider it all

However, while Kitchen Nightmares has certainly never shied away from a melodramatic squabble or shouting match, there have only been a handful of occasions throughout the history of Kitchen Nightmares’ now eight season-run on television that Ramsay himself had to walk away from a project.

And whether it was because of a particularly stubborn owner, an arrogant chef, or simply a disastrous service that drove Ramsay to this point, these low points undoubtedly make for incredibly entertaining television.

All the Kitchen Nightmares episodes where Gordon Ramsay left

Restaurant Kitchen Nightmares episode Reason for leaving How did the episode end?
Sebastian’s Season 1, Episode 6 Ramsay walks in on Sebastian bragging that he “won” their fight and decides to leave the restaurant Ramsay eventually returned to finish the intervention
The Secret Garden Season 1, Episode 10 Ramsay leaves briefly after an explosive fight with chef Michel on re-launch night Ramsay eventually returns to the restaurant to finish the final service
Hot Potato Café Season 2, Episode 1

 

Ramsay leaves after a disastrous service, as the Hot Potato Café staff failed to show him the passion and drive that he wanted to see. Erin, Kathryn and Claire convince Ramsay to return to the restaurant
Oceana Season 4, Episode 14 Ramsay storms out of the restaurant after the owners lie to him about the food being fresh Ramsay returns the following day for the service
La Galleria 33 Season 5, Episode 1 and 2 Ramsay resorts to telling Lisa that if she walks out, he walks out, after an awful service Lisa and Rita eventually convince Ramsay to return
Amy’s Baking Company Season 6, Episode 16 Ramsay claims that leaving is the “right thing” for him to do Ramsay never returned to the restaurant
Pantaleone’s Season 7, Episode 2 Ramsay leaves the restaurant for some fresh air after the owner refused to acknowledge the issues with his restaurant Ramsay returns after conducting a public taste-test

An honorable mention

We cannot discuss Kitchen Nightmares restaurants that had Gordon Ramsay pulling out his hair without mentioning Ramsay’s now-infamous attempts to revamp the Black Pearl.

Technically, Ramsay did not storm out of this restaurant until after its re-launch, which is why it did not quite make the list above. But this restaurant certainly still qualifies as one of Ramsay’s most frustrating makeovers to date.

The “Black Pearl” episode ended with the celebrity chef recommending to Greg that he should buy out his fellow partners and take full control of the restaurant, if it is to have any hope of succeeding.

The time that Gordon Ramsay kicked Peter out of his restaurant

While it is apparently quite rare for the struggling Kitchen Nightmares restaurants to drive Ramsay to the point of giving up, there is one trope on the show that is even rarer.

If you watched the “Peter's Italian Restaurant” episode from Kitchen Nightmares’ first season, you are in luck, as you have witnessed the only instance in the show’s history (so far, at least) that Ramsay chased a restaurant’s namesake from his own kitchen.

Ramsay, who had challenged Peter and his father to try to run their own kitchen for a service, got so fed up with his bad attitude, that he told Peter to leave about an hour in.

This was before the dishes had even started arriving at most of the patrons’ tables.

Are any of these restaurants still open?

Ramsay may not be known for his sugar-coating or the subtle art of softening a critique, but there is no denying that his instincts are spot-on.

As of 2023, not a single one of the restaurants that Ramsay almost walked out on (or the one that he completely walked out on) are still in business.

In fact, most of these businesses closed down within months of Ramsay’s visit, as outlined below:

Restaurant Initial air date Closure
Sebastian’s November 7, 2007 Closed in January 2008
The Secret Garden December 12, 2007 Closed in March 2010
Hot Potato Café January 29, 2010 Closed in August 2010
Oceana May 20, 2011 Open
La Galleria 33 October 26 and November 2, 2012 Closed in November 2018
Amy’s Baking Company May 10, 2013 Closed in September 2015
Pantaleone’s April 11, 2014 Open