Kitchen Nightmares returned to FOX for its seventh season on April 11. A two-hour "Mangia Mangia Pt. 1/Mangia Mangia Pt. 2" episode will air from 8 to 10 p.m., Friday, April 25. Here's how the broadcast company has advertised the episode:
"Chef Ramsay heads to Woodland Park, CO where he is tasked with saving an Italian joint with an identity crisis. But the atmosphere, food and service prove to be the least of its problems ... the restaurant has an incapable head chef and fiery staff ..."
We exchanged a few questions via email with the show's executive producer, Lindsay Kugler, for a little more insight into our hometown episode. Here's what she had to say:
I understand that not every restaurant earns its way into a second hour of airtime — Mangia Mangia being one of two this season. What can you say about why it demanded the extra treatment?
They are all so compelling, and there is so much that we document while we are there — and most shows could definitely fit in the two hours. But in this one, Julie faced some challenges that not all other restaurants have, and she was at her wit's end. Although all restaurants face obstacles, Julie had a unique situation at hand. The episode is very heartfelt and we feel that viewers will really connect with Julie and want her to succeed.
To get all Tolstoy on it, there's the famous opener, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Translating that to your show, I'm sure each featured eatery has a unique problem — that you've never quite run into the same thing twice when it gets to the heart of what's not working. Saying as much as you're allowed to ahead of airtime, can you describe the heart of Mangia's problem?
The heart of the problem always starts with the owner and the ways that she operated her business. Until Chef Ramsay showed her some of the bad practices she had, Julie was unaware and unwilling to see the issues.
What should we order for dinner?