Friday, 13 May 2011

UK Season 5 - The Fish and Anchor - CLOSED


Chef Gordon Ramsay visit's The Fish and Anchor, Lampeter, Wales, where he finds ex boxer Mike running a bright blue sports bar with wife Caron. They constantly argue with each other and the customers, they even got in trouble with the police for arguing. They have a bad reputation and are are losing £1000 a week. Gordon arrives and is shocked at the ghastly blue exterior and realises that Mike really likes blue!

Gordon sits down to order some food and is shocked by the vast range of cuisines on offer, he orders minestrone soup, one of his own fish recipes and a chicken korma.  The soup is chunky and weird looking, the fish is nicely roasted but the shallots are raw and the chicken korma has welsh snot in it, he decides to skip dessert. Gordon talks to Mike in the kitchen and can see that Mike has passion but he is not a Chef, proven by the fact that he used Uncle Bens curry sauce. Concerned with the reputation of the restaurant Gordon turns to Google and finds many suspicious positive reviews, he confronts Mike about these reviews and he confesses that he wrote them.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, he has invited 4o locals to be able to see how the restaurant does with  a busy service. Mike is alone in the kitchen whilst Caron runs the front of house. Mike struggles to cook the cookbook menu and the food takes forever to leave the kitchen and when it does the customers aren't pleased. One customer comes into the kitchen to complain and is told not to bother to come back, a few minutes later another comes in and swears and is also asked to leave by Caron, Mike then personally escorts the customer off the premises. At the end of service, half of the customers didn't even get their food and Caron and Mike disappeared. Gordon realises that the problem is the menu and he tells Mike that even he wouldn't be able to cook the menu.

Gordon discovers Mike's Italian heritage and Mike tells him all about his Grandma's cooking. They visit a local farm where they pick tomatoes for an Italian special they are to add to the menu. Back at the restaurant, Mike cooks his Grandmothers meatball recipe, these can be cooked and preprepared so that customers can be served quickly. Gordon invites a local rugby team in to try the meatballs and they are impressed. The rest of the service takes a turn for the worse when Caron messes up an order and one diner doesn't get their dish, Gordon tries to resolve it but finds her outside having a cigarette. She then argues with Gordon about it and doesn't seem to realise that it doesn't just make her look wrong but them in the kitchen too. Gordon asks her to quieten down and she continues to shout at him, Mike then joins in the argument and Caron completely ignores Gordon before walking out the kitchen. Mike argues with Caron again outside. Gordon tells them both that they need to control their tempers or they will fail.

The next day Gordon goes into town to see the locals perceptions and the customers tell them that the atmosphere is bad, the owners are volatile and it is well known that there are arguments in the restaurant. Gordon also talks to Mike about his conviction for arguing with a customer and he tells them that they don't realise how bad the reputation is. Gordon plans to make the restaurant into an Italian restaurant, he brings in Kelly from a local catering college. He has created a new simple, rustic Italian menu, featuring just 6 starters and 6 mains that Mike can cook without having to flit around the kitchen. Gordon's next challenge is Caron, whom he describes as a welsh dragon. He invites some fake customers to test the customer service, the waitresses shine but Caron struggles at first. Gordon tells Mike and Caron his plans to revamp the dining room and they remove the sports memorabilia and the blue walls are repainted! They ride into town on a tractor to promote the restaurant with Mike handing out samples of his meatballs.

On relaunch night, Gordon presents Mike with a Chefs jacket for the service. The food flies out of the kitchen, the customers are impressed with the new food and Caron is successfully running the dining room. Mike is under pressure, the orders begin to stack up and Mike is getting stressed in the kitchen. Waitress Mena slips on the floor and is unconscious, the staff are shaken and the evening service is stopped whilst she is taken to hospital. 

What happened next: Gordon revisits a month later, Mena was in hospital overnight and has recovered. As he approaches he sees the building has been repainted white! The business has doubled and they are starting to break even. Gordon takes a flick through the reservation book and calls a few to make sure they have not been arguing, the customers loved the atmosphere and food. Gordon witnesses a dinner service and he sees that Mike has gained control of the kitchen and has mastered his menu. He tells Caron that there is a big change in both Mike in the kitchen and her in the dining room. He presents Mike with a Fish & Anchor cook book to write down his recipes to replace all the cook books he once had.

 The Fish and Anchor closed in 2008 and was sold in 2009. Previous customers say that after Gordon left things started slipping again and the reputation didn't really recover as the locals were still put off. It appears that the Fish and Anchor has reopened but under new ownership. 

Extra Reading

31 comments:

  1. Understand "FLEMING'in Miami, closed. Believe was season 3. They seemed to have gotten it all together. Had new stoves, menus, etc. Please advise what happened?
    Thanks.

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  2. I'm really sorry to see this. I thought they would be able to keep going but of course we don't know everything that's going on with the people who have been on this show. I just hope they both are OK physically. I lost my elder brother last year. He was terribly overweight and Mike reminded me of him. It was instant and all because he wouldn't stay away from junk food and sitting at a computer for too many hours a day. Wouldn't listen to all who loved him. Anyone know how these people are? I grew to like them very much and would like to know. :) Songs

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    1. You grew to LIKE these awful people? They're loud, volatile, combative and completely repellent!

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    2. Ami did your parents never teach you if you haven't got something nice to say then don't say anything at all. these are real people this isn't some book review your opinion counts for less than nothing Thank you :)

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  3. Got some new info here:http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/mtdblog/fish-and-anchor.html

    Apparently Caron is now living in the next door farmhoue, no word on Mike though. The Fish And Anchor is open again and is now being run by a new couple, reviews have been pretty good so far.

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    2. They always did live next door in the farmhouse...

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  4. Those two awful people truly deserve each other. I don't believe in reincarnation, but if it were real I'd swear that the harpy wife used to be some sort of hyena, and the man a squawking macaw.

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    1. You have reincarnation backwards.

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  5. These two were destined to fail. You can't treat your patrons like filth and expect to succeed in an industry that revolves around customer service! And here those two are sitting there and wondering out loud why they're not getting any business!

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  6. Mike seemed like a truly decent sort but Caron was so insecure I believe she brought the place down. I don't think either was a bad person, they just had old habits.. long term counseling might have helped them, she especially needed that. I wish the best for both of them.

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  7. The service industry is not for everyone, that's for sure. Good luck to them.

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  8. WHEREVER GORDON GOES RESTUARANTS CLOSES .IT'S CALL THE RAMSEY CURSE

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    2. Blaming Ramsey for failing restaurants is like blaming psychiatrists for crazy people.

      Having seen the entire 11 season series multiple times, it surprises me when one does succeed.

      For example "The Campaign for Real Gravy" is still running, but they moved to the Ship Inn, instead of the Fenwick Arms, so if you look at one of the "ramsey failure" lists on the internet, it shows up as "closed", when it really should say "moved"

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    3. No, that's not entirely true. Even Ramsay's only real success in the series, Momma Cherri's, ended in bankruptcy and closure.

      I personally know how hard this line of business is. Been there, done that. However, still, 5% of all restaurants eventually succeed. If you look at the Kitchen Nightmares record, it's below 5%. Way below. I think the last time I've read a tabulation of the record, it was around 1% that were still open at the time of the tabulation. Anyways, you can justify this by saying that Ramsay is dealing with the worst of the worse, and people see this as him turning around the 1%. But, no, I don't agree. I think Ramsay's show brings a sort of freak show like interest in these places. Just peruse Yelp and look up every restaurant that is still around that was featured on KN. You will see reviewers mention KN, and go there just to gawk and write terrible reviews. It just brings out the wrong crowd, and I think it's bad publicity, bad marketing. After all these seasons and failures, I don't understand why ANYONE would want to feature their failing restaurants on that show. It's a sure fire way to find the wrong customers.

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    4. Like you said, maybe 5% have long term success. Those 5% are not the ones that call in Ramsay to start with - these are the bottom 20% that are about to die. It's like judging a doctor's record if his work is entirely concerned with trying to save patients who are minutes from death. Chances are that doctor will have a lot of patients die on him.

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    5. Out of 82 restaurants in seasons 1-5 UK and 1-5 US plus the two UK special episodes (not counting season 6 US because it hasn't been long enough for the restaurants to really shake out), 28 are still open. 28 / 82 = greater than 5% (it's 34.15% for those without a calculator available). So, the Kitchen Nightmares record is better than some commenters here seem to think. However, to be fair, two of those restaurants are under new ownership, so really only 26 out of 82 should count as a KN success, but that is still a success rate of 31.71%. That means that roughly 1 out of 3 restaurants he helps, restaurants that started out on the ropes, turn around and become relatively successful. That seems like a pretty good rate of success to me.

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    6. The 5% success rate number people like to throw out there as "common knowledge" is wrong, too. It's more like a 59% failure rate in the first three years, so 41% success(the failure rate increases to about 70% after ten years, so those first three seem the most crucial). Those rates are also on par with new small businesses across all industries. So really, a 30ish% success rate with restaurants that were on their last legs before Gordon Ramsey assisted them is quite good.

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  9. Identify yourself you fiend! How dare you curse the great RAMSAY! We prefer the blue building. Overall we rank this an 8.5 on the Official Kitchen Nightmare Index Scale Rating System.

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  10. Sure! Ramsey's Curse. don't bother to mention that these restaurants are all on their final leg by the time Ramsey's attempts to help. sometimes it is too late to save something. don't blame Ramsey for the owners failures at business.

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  11. Caron reminds me of my ex mother-in-law. She was clinically insane too.

    Spooky.

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    1. And you chose her daughter to marry?? Spooky.

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  12. I'm still worried about mena.

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  13. This couple was hilarious. It was obvious the couple was under so much stress they only had each other to turn to. I felt for Mike, his heart is so big. He put up with the kitchen and the real nightmare was his wife. All in all he loved her. His enthusiasm to be a "chef" is comendable. I was very happy to see the change the "Emperor" Chef Ramsay had on both the restaurant and the couple's marriage (a twist for The Emperor, marriage counseling?) So sorry they closed the restaurant, they seemed to be in the right track after Chef Ramay left. By the way, just finished watching this episode (had to wait for Nexflix, LOL) and I am wondering, could this couple be related to the owners of "Amy's Baking Company") in the USA? That would explain a lot! If you have not seen this episode you must, The Emperor will surprise you. Thank goodness for this blog, keep it up. PS: for the critics on this particular restaurant blog, take your %s and calculations to another blog, please. We are here to address a particular episode of KN! thank you!

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  14. Loved both Mike and Caron, I thought they were wonderfully entertaining.

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  15. This resturant was awesome

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  16. I liked Mike and Caron. She was so funny.

    When Chef Gordon was coaching her with the customers she reminded me of a waitress that I encountered in Suffolk. I was so uncomfortable I never returned.

    I'm sorry to hear that success eluded them. I hope they are doing well.

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  17. wow...after watching a repeat of the show.....I cannot tell you how happy I am that they closed....what a woman........I can't believe these two were in business. Total joke.

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  18. My late husband and I visited this place in 2996, when touring Wales. We didn't expect a floor show with our(substandard) meal. When I saw Chef Ramsey trying to rehabilitate the place it made me happy. Mike, the "cook" seemed to be trying. So was his hag of a wife. Very trying, but nit In a good way. When I return to Wales next year, I'll have to find another place to eat. Damn, those meatballs looked good;

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    1. Did you take the DeLorean or the TARDIS?

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