A Batemans Bay restaurateur clashed with Colin Fassnidge on Wednesday night’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares Australia when the celebrity chef suggested the owner was using the show for promotional purposes only.
Colin, who is tasked with revitalizing ailing restaurants on the Channel Seven show, found that all was not as it seemed at Cooks @ Corrigans.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Colin Fassnidge calls out owner over alleged PR stunts
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Before arriving at the restaurant for the first time, Colin watched the promotional video that had been sent to the producers.
The main issues for the restaurant seemed to involve manager Andrew and the fact that the restaurant used frozen seafood despite being in a prime location for fresh fish.
Andrew said in the video he was dealing with “a traditionally angry chef,” while chef James said he and Andrew “have massive arguments at times.”
One waitress, Sasha, also spoke out in the video, adding that she often “stepped on eggshells.”
Colin thought he was welcoming employees into “a world of pain.”
So he was shocked when he actually met Andrew, who told him his relationship with James was “good”.
“I’m somewhat at odds with what’s going on here,” said Colin.
“[The video application]was a very different Andrew than the one I just met.”
The confusion continued when it was revealed the restaurant was selling its seafood as “fresh” when it was actually frozen.
Colin was shocked by what he described as a “lazy” choice, considering Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales is “a chef’s dream for the freshest seafood”.
“I think there’s more to it than meets the eye. I need to do a little research because we’re not getting the whole truth here,” he said.
After trying one dish, Colin described it as “boring” and “very depressing”.
He learned that although the restaurant had fresh seafood just 200 meters away, it imported shrimp and fish from Vietnam and lobster from Brazil.
At the Seafood Tower meal, a $159 meal, Colin found that the fish was frozen and the oysters were pre-shucked — a method in which an oyster is shelled and washed under running water before it arrives at the restaurant.
“The best thing about an oyster is when you shell it, you have the freshness of the sea…how lazy is that,” Colin said.
Colin confronted Andrew about the menu’s description of the fish as “fresh,” and he replied that it wasn’t wrong because the food was technically “frozen fresh.”
Unable to understand what “freshly frozen” meant, Colin ranted on camera.
“My bulls*** alarm tells me it’s not James’ fault… (I) don’t think we’re getting the real story,” the celebrity chef said.
“I’m starting to think Andrew invited me over here to get his fists for a free ad.
“If he wants publicity, I’ll give him publicity. I call cops ***.
“I think Andrew thought I was here to showcase him and his business and how good his resort and restaurant is and I think the cogs in his head are starting to click and he’s in a world of pain. “
Colin rallied the team to “force some honesty” on them.
“The PR stunt stops here,” he told the assembled staff.
“The way it works is that we’re here to help you. We’re here to fix a few things, to tell a few truths.
“Let me show you the problem we are not addressing. For me it is the elephant in the room.”
Colin showed the staff the video that had been sent to the show’s producers.
In it, Andrew said the “only reason” his executive chef is still employed is “because we can’t replace him.”
The comment sent shockwaves through the room because James apparently had no idea he’d been spoken about in that way.
“That’s why I came here,” said Colin.
“But since I’ve been here, Andrew, do you think I’ve seen the real Corrigans?”
James said the comments in the video made him feel “pretty shit”.
Colin told viewers: “Now the cat is out of the bag”.
“The reason we’re p***** is because we’ve been (asked) to come here and do some sort of PR stunt or whatever, (show) the place in a bright light,” he said on behalf of his Kitchen Nightmares team.
“That’s cops ***,” Andrew said.
“If you want to pull the show, we’re going to be upset … it’s going to be devastating, but the agenda remains the same,” he continued, referring to the restaurant’s mission to improve.
Despite saying he was “happy” to be leaving the restaurant, Colin said he didn’t want to let another chef down and promised to help James in any way he could.
“Chef James basically had his eggs taken away,” Colin said in one piece on camera, explaining that James is not allowed to order food for the restaurant, which is “degrading”.
Colin later asked Andrew if he noticed how “down” his chef was, forcing the manager to really listen to how James was feeling.
Colin stated that if James could “take back control of the kitchen, the restaurant could have a real future”.
For the Cooks @ Corrigan result, watch Kitchen Nightmares on Wednesday at 7:30pm AEST and 7plus on Channel 7.
https://7news.com.au/entertainment/kitchen-nightmares-australia/colin-fassnidge-slams-restaurateur-over-unexpected-pr-stunt-p-off-c-8732898 Colin Fassnidge slams restaurateur over unexpected ‘PR stunts’ at Kitchen Nightmares: ‘P***** off’