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Nightmares of the Kitchen Variety

May 14, 2011
View of the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina taken...

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I managed to catch an episode of Kitchen Nightmares (the American version) yesterday.

For all intents and purposes, it was a typical example of the show.  Chef Ramsay takes it upon himself to help some folks tighten up their restaurant.  The restaurant owners act the fools.  Somehow, in the end, I think it all worked out.  I’m not really sure because I was cruising the dial and missed the end.

If you are not acquainted with what usually goes down, it usually involves a restaurant that is not living up to its potential.  Ramsay, a well-known restauranteur, attempts to give pointers and explain, from an outside perspective, where improvements can be made.  At that point, the restaurant owner balks, tells Ramsay he doesn’t know squat and we, the viewers, wonder why they brought him there in the first place.  Then the show redecorates the joint.  Tears are shed.  People hug.  The music plays them off, keyboard cat style.

The restaurant in question was Zeke’s in Metairie, LA.  Shrimp boils and the like.  In this case, frozen shrimp and week-old frozen lasagna as the “Special of the Day”.  Weak.  (full episode available online)

Now cut to around 2AM when, believe it or not, I was watching the Food Network’s “Unwrapped”.  An episode that aired in September of 2005 and featured finger foods.  The interesting bit to me was about crawfish (or crayfish, for us folks up here) and a place called Franky and Johnny’s.

Who do I see showing us how they cook the crawfish boil at Franky and Johnny’s?

Yup, the man who Kitchen Nightmares introduced as “the most deluded owners [with his wife] he’s [Ramsay] ever met,” who Ramsay described as having a “tiny mind,” and who answered questions about the frozen shrimp by saying he didn’t have time to get fresh at the market.  That’s right!  Zeke’s owner, Darryl Cortello.

This is our reality TV.  A person that has mysteriously been on TV before and is willing to act (emphasis on act?) the fool on national television.

Side Note:  The original owner of Zeke’s, the much-loved Zeke, died during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, after which, Darryl and his wife took over.

Bottom Note:  It was two in the morning, what the hell did you want me to watch?

Musical Note:  Why is a guy I only know as overseeing a game show about dumping slime on people hosting Unwrapped?

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