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Ramsay 'Destroyed My Business,' Nashville Chef Claims

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Sure, Kitchen Nightmares is totally staged, but one chef claims the recovery promised by following Gordon's instructions is fake as well. John "Chappy" Chapman, chef of Chappy's on Church in Nashville, Tennessee filmed an episode of Kitchen Nightmares this past December and claims his business suffered for it. He isn't taking the disappointment quietly. The Daily Mail picked up the following quote from Chapman's print interview with The National Enquirer yesterday: "It was truly a kitchen nightmare for me. Gordon Ramsay destroyed my business."

According to Chapman, the producers approached him to do the show having learned that he had previously lost a restaurant during Katrina. In an interview with the Nashville Business Journal, Chapman explains that Ramsay's team assured him the restaurant would be a hit. "They said, 'Oh, your business is going to be great, people are going to be standing in line to come in, you are going to love it, you are going make a lot of money, everything is going to fantastic.'" Despite those promises, Chapman later told Fox 17 Nashville that the make-over "killed my business. We went down to almost nothing, down to one table in a night." Chapman also claims he had "no idea" they were going to completely gut the inside of his restaurant and get rid of the "New Orleans flair."

Chappy's on Church had been serving a New Orleans-influenced menu of dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. Chapman cites Ramsay's lackluster menu overhaul as part of the problem: "I couldn't believe that's the menu that he wants to put in. Hush puppies, fried chicken, hamburgers - give me a break." The restaurant brought back its original menu in mid-January, having kept Ramsay's menu for about four weeks. On the restaurant's Facebook page, Chapman credits his plan to reverse the changes of "the Michelin Chef" as a matter of "taking care of Nashville and responding to my local customer requests."

The episode is reported to be airing in April. In the meanwhile, check out Fox 17's dramatic coverage:

Video: Fox 17 News: Kitchen Nightmares Nashville

· Chef reveals his REAL Kitchen Nightmare after appearing on hit show [The Daily Mail]
· Chappy: 'Kitchen Nightmares' high on stress, low on reality [NBJ]
· Chappy's shuns Gordon Ramsay's advice, rolls back changes [NBJ]
· WZTV Fox 17 - Top Stories [Fox 17]
· Fox 17 News: Kitchen Nightmares Nashville [Vimeo]
· All Kitchen Nightmares Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Chappy's on Church

1721 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 37203