Shouty chef Gordon Ramsay has been waltzing into run-down restaurants and using verbal abuse to turn them around for years, but soul food, it seems, falls outside his realm of expertise. Ramsay recently attempted to rehab Sandra Dee’s Bar-B-Que & Seafood in Sacramento, reports the Bee, but owner Sandra Dee has rejected the changes.
The problem: Ramsay wanted to take an establishment dripping with character and transform it into the kind of modern, run-of-the-mill restaurant that might be found in any rapidly gentrifying neighborhood across America. Ramsay’s updates included a fresh coat of paint and new interior design, and he stripped down the menu to eight items, dropping seafood, ribs, tri-tip, and hot links, according to the Bee. The celebrity chef also wanted Dee to tone down the spice in her food, because it may have been too much for his timid palate.
Ramsay instituted his changes over the weekend. By Tuesday, Dee switched back to her old menu. “My customers don’t want me to change the menu,” Dee told the Bee. “As to changing to his menu, I will not be doing it. I’m Creole and I don’t know how to cook without spice.”
The revamp-gone-wrong was filmed for Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell & Back, which is in the works for Fox. Dee claims she wasn’t aware who would be hosting the restaurant-renovation show she agreed to appear on, and Ramsay showed up disguised as a construction worker — “complete with a fake beard and round belly,” per the Bee — before revealing himself.
There’s no telling when Dee’s episode of Hell & Back will air, but it sounds like it will be must-see TV.