Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: The Complete U.K. Series One (DVD Review)27 Feb, 2009 By: John Latchem
$24.99 two-DVD set
Stars Gordon Ramsay.
One can’t truly appreciate the force of nature that is Gordon Ramsay until one has experienced him in the original British.
In “Kitchen Nightmares,” master chef Ramsay (“Hell’s Kitchen”) travels to failing restaurants on the verge of bankruptcy and gives himself a week to turn things around. The show began in Britain in 2004 and has since been adapted for American TV.
Acorn’s first-season release of the British version includes four episodes, plus “revisited” versions that include a follow-up visit from Ramsay months later.
Ramsay usually traces the problems to cocky chefs, filthy equipment, spoiled food and negligent owners. These shows make you wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes of your favorite restaurants.
The British version of the show is much more about the process of cooking and the ins and outs of running a restaurant than the American version, which, typical of stateside reality-TV, puts more focus on familial discord and emotional strife.
Ramsay himself seems much more calm and collected, coming across as a true professional and almost polite, a far cry from the ‘F’-bomb anger of his American shows (though he’s still as foul-mouthed as ever, and the DVD is completely uncensored).
The content here comprises the same four episodes available on the first disc of VEI’s first volume of the show released in Canada in 2007. Those discs offered only the new portions of the revisited episodes as an extra with the original, making them a bit easier to navigate.
Acorn’s American DVD release offers the revisited versions as full episodes in a separate section of the menu, with an option to watch just the revisited part. As complete episodes, there are subtle differences between the two versions. The Acorn set also includes a text biography of Ramsay.
Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is among several Ramsay-based DVDs hitting the market. VEI released the first season of the American “Hell’s Kitchen” last year, and the second season of Ramsay’s British cooking show “The F-Word” streets March 17 from BFS.