Publication date December 14, 2023

5 Kitchen Nightmares moments that are definitely scripted!

If you are a fan of Gordon Ramsay then you surely love watching Kitchen Nightmares. I love the show, each episode moves forward with such finesse that you might think the show is scripted. But we all know it’s a reality show and not one of those scripted “reality” shows. Or is it? Is Kitchen Nightmares scripted has been a topic for debate in the online space for a long time. While I am a huge fan of the show, some Kitchen Nightmare segments make me think that they are segmented. So today I will talk about Kitchen Nightmare moments that I think are definitely scripted.

“Refrigerator Nightmares”

Kitchen Nightmares fake moments

Source: The Mirror

One of the segments I look forward to on the show is when Gordon Ramsay inspects the refrigerators. It never ceases to amaze me how disgusting a restaurant refrigerator can be. But then again I’m left to ask a question, who would leave a mayonnaise jar in the fridge which expired 3 years ago? That is not all Gordon Ramsay has found outrageous stuff from Refrigerators from plastic cheese covered in mold to dead vermin in refrigeration units. That really gets me thinking, is this even real? Reality tv producers are notorious for pulling stunts to get more eyeballs on their episodes so I strongly believe the most outrageous refrigerators Gordon Ramsay has walked into might be scripted to make it a more interesting watch.

The impromptu “Food Poisoning”

Over the years Gordon Ramsay has had some really bad food while shooting Kitchen nightmares or that’s what he claims. But I always found it funny when he would rush to the washroom and that was followed by the loud noise of him hurling. Whenever I saw that I just cracked up laughing. One of my favorite episodes is when Gordon Ramsay goes to try a soul food restaurant and orders the chitlins. He might have had two spoons full of the dish and ran straight to the bathroom and started hurling. Well, let’s just say the kitchen staff was not the only ones laughing that day. Although it’s always fun to watch Gordon Ramsay’s over-the-top reactions, I really think Ramsay’s ability to conjure up “food poisoning” is scripted.

Is it fresh, frozen, or “Fresh Frozen”

Kitchen Nightmares fake moments


If you have followed the show as religiously as me then you will know a lot of arguments revolve around the fact that the ingredients used are frozen. Our loud-mouth British chef hates frozen ingredients and on Kitchen Nightmare he has been served frozen food many times and he was not impressed not even once. But one thing that baffled him every single time was when someone served him something which is called “Fresh Frozen”. Now if you are like Gordon Ramsay and do not know what “Fresh Frozen” is, it is used to label food items that have been frozen while they were fresh. Now if you are a chef or a restaurant owner serving exotic dishes whose ingredients are not readily available you might resort to frozen ingredients. But the episode with Jack’s Waterfront really baffled me. Jack’s Waterfront was a restaurant on the water that claimed to specialize in seafood but they were serving frozen fish and artificial crab meat. Now either Jack’s Waterfront was owned by the world’s most stupid restaurateur or the entire episode was rigged for views. What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments. 

Delusional much!

Kitchen Nightmare in its tenure has showcased a lot of restaurant owners and many chefs. Some chefs were certainly more memorable than the others and not in a good way, but one chef and his creation live rent-free in all of our heads. I am talking about chef Jorge who served Gordon Ramsay the iconic grilled caesar’s salad. At a first glance, nothing seemed off to me. But I stumbled upon a Reddit thread that got me a bit intrigued. The thread mentioned grilled lettuce was not something crazy and apparently is yummy. One Reddit user also said Gordon Ramsay had grilled lettuce on his menu too so now I don’t know how to feel about the situation. In the episode, the chef of Park’s Edge was portrayed as someone who is delusional and doesn't know what he is doing but the Reddit thread really got me thinking was it the “Reality” or it was all scripted for our entertainment?

Everything is horrible!

Kitchen Nightmares fake moments

Source: Ranker

In the restaurant business, customer feedback is very important and that is why Kitchen Nightmares showed customer feedback before and after Gordon Ramsay has done his magic. The feedback shared by the customers during the first dinner service when Gordon Ramsay is just observing is always very negative but positive comments start pouring in after Ramsay takes over. Now I know those restaurants were not doing well and that’s why they were on the show but still one is left to think how much narration is set by the editing team. Whenever I saw the customers give feedback about the food I always ended up thinking about how much manipulation the post-production team may have done. So, the vox pop of the customers will always be a scripted segment for me. 

So, Is Kitchen Nightmares scripted? 

In 2007, the British chef started a new reality TV show, which showed the outspoken chef helping struggling restaurants across America. Gordon Ramsay and his term would retrain the staff members, remodel the business, and help the restaurant wonders take back their eatery. But, one of the surprising points of the show was when Gordon would butt heads with staff members and fight with stubborn owners, but was it real or scripted? 

According to a Reddit user @mikethewalrus who attended a before of New Orleans-based restaurant, it was very little was staged. "I was expecting there to be a larger production team in there, but it was mostly ceiling-mounted cameras and 2 small camera crews, who were non-invasive. We were told to call the producer over if we wanted to send anything back, but were otherwise left to our meals,” he added. The Reddit user also wrote that he did not see actors being used, adding, "Everything that I witnessed was the real deal & was shown on the show, including him shutting down the kitchen mid-dinner service." He also stated that people who were there for the meals were actually charged and it was not paid by  Kitchen Nightmare’s production. 

The User said “The meal wasn't that great, but wasn't the worst I've had. ... The worst part was that we had to pay for it, though the dinner service was shut down, the patron claimed that he/she tried to get the meal for free, but the waiter only gave the group a round of free drinks.” Continued, "The scene where Ramsay shuts down the dinner service actually happened right in front of me. It was intense."

Aside from this Reddit user, an editor for wrote about having his dining experience filmed for a 2013 episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Greg Taylor stated that there were cameras everywhere in the restaurants capturing everything. As a reality television show, he knew that there would be, but he was not sure how natural it would feel, and it was quite unnatural. However, the writer added that what happened on the show was not fake. He said: "This behavior that you see (or will see) on the show is 100% true to form and not doctored for TV." 

So now it wouldn’t be wrong if I say that the show is a mix of real and scripted elements.  

Unfortunately, even after Ramsay’s Magic, several 'Kitchen Nightmares' restaurants closed.

In 2018, Mashed reported that only 15 restaurants out of 77 that Gordon Ramsay “fixed” on his TV series were still open.

A spokesperson for the chef told The Daily Mial in 2014 after the show ended, "You don't ask to take part in a show called Kitchen Nightmares if your restaurant business is booming and therefore it is not surprising that many of the restaurants which Gordon has visited over the ten years are now closed.” Well, it appears like some problems just can’t be fixed. 

In 2017, in an interview with The New York Daily News, chef Gordon said that he ended the hit series after seven seasons because he was facing a lot of negative comments after restaurants he fixed kept closing. And then, one morning he just woke up and he thought “f--k it, I'm done,” he explained. 

So now we know the reason why Kitchen Nightmares ended but what do you think about reality, do you think it’s a 100% real show or do you think there is some fiction mixed with the truth, comment down below.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Is Kitchen Nightmares fake?

Not all aspects of Kitchen Nightmares are true, the show undoubtedly uses some reality TV tricks to make it more dramatic and engaging, however, the core struggles of the restaurants and Ramsay’s interventions are probably real. So this show, like any other reality show is a mix of real and staged elements. 

Q. How much of Kitchen Nightmares is staged?

It’s a little tricky to tell the exact percentage of staging in Kitchen Nightmares. While the restaurants and their situations are mostly real, not everything on Kitchen Nightmares is completely true. Like any other reality show, this show uses clever editing, fudging details, and even hamming things up to make it more dramatic. 

Q. Did Kitchen Nightmares actually help?

The show had a mixed track record of helping restaurants. While each episode of Kitchen Nightmares represents struggling restaurants receiving Ramsay’s expertise and guidance to turn business around, the actual success rate of these establishments depends on many factors. It’s also important to highlight that not every restaurant featured in Kitchen Nughmares experiences long-term success. 

Q. Is Kitchen Nightmares considered reality TV?

Yes, Kitchen Nightmares is considered an American reality TV show, known in the U.K. as Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA. The TV series was originally broadcast on the Fox network, in which the well-known chef, Gordon Ramsay is invited by the restaurateurs to spend a week with a failing restaurant in an an attempt to revive the business.

Q. Is Kitchen Nightmares real?

While the restaurants featured in Kitchen Nightmares and their situations are mostly true, not everything on the show is totally real. There are some tricks their team uses to make the show more dramatic and engaging. 

Q. What is Gordon Ramsay's success rate?

As of March 2023, the Kitchen Nightmares success rate stood at 19% with the closure rate of featured restaurants was 81%. In simple terms, out of the total number of restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares, 85 have closed their doors, while there were still 20 restaurants that remained open. 

Q. What are the worst Kitchen Nightmares episodes?

The show Kitchen Nightmares was famous for its host Gordon Ramsay’s over-the-top persona, but not even he could save these 10 terrible episodes: 

  1. Revisited #9 (Season 7, Episode 10)
  2. Bella Luna (Season 7, Episode 9)
  3. Revisited #7 (Season 5, Episode 11)
  4. Revisited #8 (Season 6, Episode 6)
  5. Zayna Flaming Grill: Part 2 (Season 7, Episode 8)
  6. Mama Maria's (Season 6, Episode 3)
  7. Levanti's Italian Restaurant (Season 6, Episode 8)
  8. Fleming (Season 3, Episode 11)
  9. Kati Allo (Season 7, Episode 4)
  10. Revisited #6 (Season 5, Episode 5)

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