Kitchen Nightmare Executive Producer David De Angelis talks return of the show

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES: Gordon Ramsey (R) with the owners and crew in the season premiere “Bel Aire Diner” episode of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES airing Monday, Sept. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). ©2023 FOX Media LLC. CR: Jeff Niera / FOX.
KITCHEN NIGHTMARES: Gordon Ramsey (R) with the owners and crew in the season premiere “Bel Aire Diner” episode of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES airing Monday, Sept. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). ©2023 FOX Media LLC. CR: Jeff Niera / FOX. /

After almost a decade of being off the air, Kitchen Nightmares is set to make its return to FOX on September 25. Ahead of the series returning, we caught up with Executive Producer David De Angelis to talk about what’s in store for the newest season.

Kitchen Nightmares follows Gordon Ramsay as he attempts to revamp a restaurant in crisis. From health code violations to staffing issues to undesirable menus, restaurants call on Ramsay to help them before their places close for good.

The first episode of Kitchen Nightmares premiered on Sept. 19, 2007 on FOX. The series ran for seven years before concluding on Sept. 12, 2014. In May 2023, FOX announced they would be bringing back the series after a 10-year hiatus. Shortly after the announcement, Ramsay and his team were spotted all over New York hunkering down in restaurants.

With the series set to premiere on Sept. 25, 2023, De Angelis shares what’s ahead for viewers, why they decided to bring back the show now, and what it’s like working with Gordon Ramsay.

Kitchen Nightmares Executive Producer David De Angelis on the return of the series

Hidden Remote: Let’s rewind just a little bit, how did you and Gordon Ramsay meet?

David De Angelis: I met Gordon when I started working on Hell’s Kitchen back in season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen. He and I did seasons 11 through 18 together. Then I officially unofficially retired from Hell’s Kitchen and moved on to Next Level Chef, and I have done that with Gordon since season one. We will go shoot season three in just a couple of weeks. So that’s what put me into the Gordon universe.

Hidden Remote: After a ten year hiatus, Kitchen Nightmares is making its return, why now?

De Angelis: That’s the question we all asked, is why now? And I think the best answer is it’s probably the best time for Gordon to come back. You know, the pandemic wiped out more restaurants than we can count, and Gordon as a restaurant owner, was not immune to that. So now that the dust has settled a little bit, I think Gordon desired just to get back out there and see if he could throw a lifeline to those restaurants that were able to survive through the pandemic and able to at least just get by.

Hidden Remote: What’s the biggest misconception of Gordon Ramsay?

De Angelis: That he’s just mad to be mad. The thing people love about Gordon Ramsay is his anger, which feels justified because he has such high standards and Gordon cares so much about feeding people. That’s why he has so many restaurants. Gordon takes the responsibility of hospitality very seriously. That’s one of the things that Gordon really believes is that it is a privilege to do this as a business, to serve people. It pisses Gordon off when people don’t take it as seriously as he does.

The other thing I think that’s probably the biggest misconception about Gordon is he’s just mad all the time. Gordon is very, very laser-focused about where he directs his anger or frustration, and that never bleeds over. He’s so gracious when he’s off camera, and he’s as good or better a producer, television producer than anyone in the business. He’s gracious, always on time, and he knows how to do this. That carries over to the crew as well. Everyone has a little bit of extra pride when they’re working on a Gordon Ramsay show because they know what his standards are, and those standards carry over into production as well.

Hidden Remote: What’s the process like of scouting out locations and finding the right places for Gordon to attempt to work his magic?

De Angelis: Good question. Our passing process was long and arduous in that because we had a couple of things for on the production side. We wanted to stay in one location if possible to stay cost-effective. So we chose the New York and New Jersey area and thought we could get the most variety of restaurants there, which thankfully, we were able to do. East Coasters have great personalities when it comes to being open about their emotions and how they go about things.

We make sure that they know what’s going to happen and how it will go down because it’s a lot for a restaurant, you know? Obviously, these restaurants are on their last legs, but it’s hard to have a mirror held up to your faults, especially by someone like Gordon Ramsay, and then be able to accept the help. We wanted a variety of restaurants, and we have Indian restaurants, Puerto Rican restaurants, bars and grills, and a wide variety of diners this go around.

Hidden Remote: What can viewers expect from the upcoming season of Kitchen Nightmares?

De Angelis: Viewers can expect all the things they love about Kitchen Nightmares, which are, you know, wild and insane staff, out of touch owners, maniacal chefs, disgusting kitchens, terrible food, and amazing transformations. I don’t want to say a new and improved Gordon because that’s not true, but Gordon in 2023 was a different Gordon than ten years ago. We should all be so lucky to have evolved as much as Gordon has evolved in the last ten years, and I think it’s all for the better.

So he’s got this breadth of experience and knowledge that he brings that I think makes it even more of a rich experience for the viewers because you get to see Gordon in a way that’s, you know, that people call him Gordon. That’s one of the things that’s different about this show, every show. It’s yes chef, no chef, Chef Ramsey here, and people are just saying, Gordon, can you help me? And that’s really special about this show, just how human Gordon really is.

Gordon gets into some very relevant subjects. Staffing in restaurants nowadays, food being more expensive, changing diner habits, social media and how it affects restaurants these days, and most importantly, mental health in the restaurant industry. That’s something Gordon takes very seriously in his own organization. And it’s something that comes into play in several episodes, I think where Gordon really sees how hard it is, which helps us to understand how hard the restaurant business can be mentally. It’s not just cooking good food, it’s being in the right mental space to be able to do it.

It’s a tough business, with the smallest margins of any retail businesses, restaurants. Why people would even want to get into it is beyond me. But people do, and Gordon wants to be there to make people better at it and sometimes make them realize that this is not the business for them.

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Kitchen Nightmares will kick off Monday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. EST on FOX