In July of last year, Gordon Ramsay, the caustic chef and FOX TV food personality whose standard vocabulary -- at least on his shows -- is predominantly a string of F-bombs, typically flung in the fearful faces of chefs who seemingly don't know the difference between scalding and sauteing, touched down in Denver, along with a film crew, to document the kitchen calamities of Pantaleone's Pizza, a Denver institution that has long insisted its pizza is "Denver's Best."
The season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares, which airs this this Friday at 7 p.m. on KDVR-FOX31, begins with a follow-up segment to what is quite possibly the most memorable -- and not in a good way -- episode ever on Kitchen Nightmares: the saga of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, a restaurant that racked up a shitstorm of insults from enraged viewers after Ramsay, for the first time ever, kicked the restaurant to the pavement after the owners refused to heed a single word of Ramsay's advice.
The second half of the two-hour season premiere is devoted to Pantaleone's and its owners Pete and Paulette Fafalios, the adorable husband-and-wife team who have run the joint for decades. And not surprisingly, Ramsay is quick with the jabs, insisting that the duo is "truly stuck in the past." And while Pete tells Ramsay that his family owned-and-run restaurant makes Denver's best pizza, those claims, notes Ramsay, are "based off a review from the 1980s." And when Ramsay invites diners in for a taste test, and (gasp!) a store-bought pizza is preferred over Pete's version, "It's clear the Denver community disagrees with that claim," notes Joanna Wolff, entertainment publicist at FOX Broadcasting, adding that the deflating news "doesn't give Pete the wake-up call he's expecting."
Ramsay is equally disenchanted with Pantaleone's linguini with clam sauce, the plate of which is delivered to his table by a server who responds to Ramsay's "Thank you" with "No problem." Except...there are problems, tons of them, and in the video clip below, provided exclusively to Westword, you'll get a bitter taste of what Ramsay thinks about the pizzeria's take on an Italian classic.
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And Ramsay, reveals Wolff, "decides to trigger a few major surprises, including an impromptu trip to Rao's in Las Vegas, leaving the family speechless." It's one of the "most heartfelt episodes of the season," adds Wolff, but you'll have to tune in on Friday to see whether or not the Fafalios appreciate Ramsay's advice...or spit on his noodles.