As we previously reported, the maniacal restaurateur and “he-yells-because-he-cares” TV chef, Gordon Ramsay, has finished filming his show Kitchen Nightmares right here in our fair city.
Ramsay took on two local restaurants while he was in town last November and on March 23rd, South Philly’s family-owned restaurant, Chiarella’s, will be profiled in the popular, Fox TV show.
When producers first reached out to owners Dina and Tommy DeFino, the couple was (understandably) nervous. “Everyone was like, ‘They’re gonna make you look like an idiot,’ ” Tommy told Philly.com. Eventually, the DeFino’s agreed that the potential benefits of a Ramsay makeover were worth the risk of a possible national embarrassment.
A week later, on March 30th, Zocalo, a Mexican Restaurant in West Philly, will showcase its presumably drastic transformation. Owners Greg and Maria Russell admitted that they were in desperate need of the reality star’s help ever since the onset of the recession. Greg told reporters, “We needed financial help, redoing the dining rooms, tweaking the menu. For me, [the show's] an hour-long national TV commercial for Zocalo.”
While the word is still out on whether said “commercial” will serve as a positive or negative ad, both restaurant owners have noticed a larger flow of customers since taping wrapped last year; the owners of Chiarella even reported a 20% sales increase.
Source: Philly.com | Photos: Fox Channel