Wikimess


cover_walesbench on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

I’m in my first editorial war on Wikipedia and it’s no fun.

A few days ago, I noticed from hits coming into this site from Wikipedia. I went over and found out that somone had added a section about Criticism to the WIkipedia Kitchen Nightmares page. Again – I didn’t add this link to site, some total stranger did. I have no idea who.

So I went over to correct a couple of things – there was a spelling error and an explanation of something was slightly wrong. Then today, I noticed the whole section was missing.  I undeleted it – and then it was deleted again. It’s one particular editor that I’m having trouble with – you can read the back and forth here-look for the Kitchen Nightmares section.

I’ve been editing Wikipedia stuff for a couple of years now. Not too much stuff but I understand editorial policy. I’ve worked professionally as a writer and editor for over fifteen years now. And now some dude from the Netherlands whose claim to fame is that he is into Doctor Who gets to tell me I’m not a reliable source when I spoke firsthand to people and related that on this blog? I don’t think so. We’ll see how it goes.

Update: Here’s how it went…

I want to strangle people. Wikipedia admins are little hitlers with no common sense.

Poor Jimbo Wales.

More Update: My lovely wife Lauren had a panic attack last night at about 3am and so I’ve been attending to her for the last 17 hours or so. She’s been puking up bile and sweating and miserable; panic attacks are really nasty, if you aren’t personally familiar with them. So, between cleaning her puke bucket out I’ve been going back and forth about what this policy is or what a guideline is or whether blogs are ever valid as cites and what counts as ‘original research’ and stuff like that.

Cleaning the puke bucket was more fun.

Poor, poor Jimbo Wales.

He started a religion! He didn’t mean to, but the admin side of Wikipedia is truly the biggest Gordian Knot Clusterfuck Of Epistemological Misunderstanding And Bickeing I’ve ever seen in my life. Byzantine in it’s construction and terminology and ruled by people who don’t actually understand the policies that they are enforcing. Bizarre. Yuck. And counter productive – no wonder the Kitchen Nightmares page sucks there. And that’s just for a dumb TV show! Glad I didn’t get into theology or Star Wars or something controversial.

Blogged with Flock

Live Blogging Kitchen Nightmares: Campania – 9pm East, 6pm West

Tonight’s episode should be interesting because as my preview of Campania said, it seems we have a chef who is very competent with a restaurant that’s busy. Will Fox stick to their script or bring a much needed dose of reality to tonight’s Nightmares? Your comments are or join the discussion on the Stranahan.com message boards.

UPDATE: I’m now convinced that Kitchen Nightmares just makes stuff up completely on a regular basis. Bill Pitcher from NorthJersey.com did a MUST READ blog that I mention and link to below. Great work, Bill.

I will have a overview post in the next few days detailing the mess of falsehoods and fakery that Kitchen Nightmares has become. It’s pretty pathetic really.

Now on with the show…

9:00 Opening shows empty restaurant ‘headed for disaster’, clueless chef owner…
9:02 Said Joe Cerniglia took over 18 months ago and ‘business seriously’ declined…more on this later…
9:03 People acting immature
9:04 Debt of the restaurant is overwhelming, as is personal debt. Is that scary looking ‘You better!’ guy for real?
9:05 Edited awkwardness….I doubt it really went like that….
9:06 Gordon tries the food – shock. He doesn’t like it!
9:07 Bad breath isn’t exactly the same as saying the food is bad, is it?
9:08 And didn’t like the chicken. But there’s a lot of editing going on.

Break: There’s another live blog you can follow, live from the restaurant here…

9:14 Joe is not an ‘inexperienced’ owner….that’s just untrue.
9:15 The lack of customers doesn’t jibe with any review I’ve read – but Fox has a script and that’s part of it.
9:19 More of the script – food is late and lame. But they keep bringing up the portion size so there may be something to that.

Break – Bill Pitcher is a very fast typist! He asks a good question “Let’s suppose for a moment that a customer just happened to do something so ridiculous and immature as to order a pizza from another restaurant. And let’s suppose that Fox just happened to have a camera on him. And let’s suppose that Fox just happened to have his phone wired up to record it. ” Yeah, just suppose.

9:25 Going to visit the wife….oy
9:26 I am willing to believe that Joe may have needed help running the business – but I don’t believe that it was that bad, really and I know they are portraying the owner wrong
9:28 Gordon says he goes to Sicily for meatballs – but the name of the restaurant is CAMPANIA, which ain’t Sicily is it?
9:29 Those T Shirts and hading out meatballs is totally cheesy – AND – that is not the kind of restaurant Campania seems to be – the menu is more upscale, fine dining.

Break : Bill Pitcher is my hero. I’m just quoting highlights, but he’s there on the scene and boy – the show just lies about stuff. No other way to put it.

Pitcher says…
““With the aid of Gordon’s recipe, Joe and his staff are now armed with outstanding meatballs,” the narrator just said.

Wow, that’s a blatant lie. That’s not even close.

The recipe is not Ramsay’s. It’s Cerniglia’s. And it’s so guarded, he once told me he’d share any recipe “except that.”

(snip)

The show has yet to mention a certificate that Campania has New Jersey’s best meatballs, a copy of which is posted here in the restaurant. We suspect that’s what Ramsay’s holding in his hands in this photo, taken by Tyson Trish at the restaurant’s reopening. (It hasn’t been aired yet.)”

9:35 The logo is better, yeah.
9:36 And the free makeover is really the only reason I can see to let Kitchen Nightmares come in and lie about you.
9:38 And – we had Gordon cooking for about 30 seconds…
9:39 This thing about selling the whole menu is Actually Interesting – good idea, very interesting….MORE of THAT, please

Break

9:44 Think about it – how would a new menu pack a restaurant instantly? The producers packed the restaurant….
9:45 The complaining ladies – my bet – paid ‘customers’
9:46 Why would Gordon talk to a customer that way? Why? And why let Fox make him look like a total asshole?
9:47 Hey – it’s time for someone to walk out isn’t it?
9:48 Orders are backed up – why? Because it’s about 48 minutes into Kitchen Nightmares. But – I predict a turnaround!
9:49 Yes – when the producers overbook the restaurant, orders go out late. Every fookin’ week, in fact.

break

9:52 Ah, New Jersey – love the drunken yelling in the parking lot.
9:53 Bill Pitcher says joe left because Gordon told him to – but we have to have a walk out…and noooooow…
9:54 The turnaround!
9:55 Cue the upbeat music….
9:56 Everyone had a app, entree, and dessert because the food was free…
9:57 Read the reviews – the food was always known for quality…
9:59 Wow. Fox just follows the same script no matter what, don’t they?

Kitchen Nightmares Preview: Campania


Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, Blackpool on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

I’ll be live blogging Kitchen Nightmares on Wednesday at 9pm Eastern, 6pm West. Come back and comment and also check out our Gordon Ramsay category for a ton of info about Kitchen Nighmares.

Next up on Kitchen Nightmares – Campania, an Italian restaurant located at 15-17 Broadway in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.


View Larger Map

Campania is named for the Campania region of Italy, home of Naples and the original pizza. Chef / Owner Joe Cerniglia seems like one of the first U.S. Kitchen Nightmares chefs with a real restaurant pedigree. He even seems to be something of a minor ‘celebrity chef’…

Joe Cerniglia began his restaurant career at the famed Gallagher’s Steak House in NYC at the age of 23. A self-taught chef, Cerniglia soon became the executive chef of the landmark steakhouse Gallagher’s. From there, he became the vice president of operations, both nationally and internationally.

During his time with Gallagher’s Steakhouse, Cerniglia soon became known as a guru for all things concerning grilling, making regular appearance on national and local television shows such as the Fox News Channel, Good Day New York, WOR 11, NBC and a host of other radio and print productions.

(snip)

Cerniglia regularly gives live cooking demonstrations at Chef Central in Paramus and Macy’s at Herald Square in New York City.

ZoomInfo Web Profile: Joe Cerniglia

And the reviews of Campania that I’ve found are all good, although one or two do mention slow service, but not in a complaining way. Here’s a review from over a year ago – so there’s no ‘pre-Nightmares’ BS – but recent reviews are just as excellent.

By far the best Italian food in New Jersey!: The food here is absolutely outstanding. My fiance and I had heard about it a few months ago and first visited on a Saturday night – the (young) chef/owner is absolutetly brilliant at pasta – we had his homemade raviolis filled with braised veal and sage in a mascarpone brodo – heaven! A couple sitting next to us knew the owner personally and told us that he makes his own fresh mozzarella and pasta every day, along with a huge variety of seasonal dishes. We’ve since been back quite a few times and the food is just as exciting on each visit. If you like fish, the chef always highlights an exotic and totally fresh fish preparation – I had a piece of halibut baked under parchment paper with mussels and clams. The waiter presented it to us tableside and removed the parchment – this may have been the best piece of fish I’ve ever eaten (the parchment allowed the fish to steam and absorb the flavors and aromas of the herbs). The menu is extremely varied with an emphasis on food from the Campania regiion in Italy. Hint – this place gets packed on the weekends – go on a weeknight if you like a quieter dinner.

Campania Restaurant, 17-15 Broadway, Fair Lawn, NJ on Yahoo! Local

Huh. Packed house, great food – not much of a Nightmare really, is it? It will be interesting to see how they portray the restuarant. I think it actually could be pretty positive, unless Fox sticks to their stupid script. The preview videos on Fox’s website show Ramsay actually defending the chef – by attacking a customer. Bet she was paid…

Here’s an interesting related video and hey! It’s Chef Gordon Ramsay actually making food, something we rarely see in the U.S. It’s Ramsay milking a buffalo and making the first true Buffalo Mozzarella in Scotland. (Think water buffalo, not bison.) The clip includes fast driving, thick accents and the word ‘knackered’. Brilliant…

Live Blogging Kitchen Nightmares: Lela’s – 9pm East, 6pm West


Feb 19 2007 015 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Blogged with Flock

The live blog is complete but the discussion continues…and read our other Lela’s posts here and here if you haven’t….

Haven’t done this before, let’s see how it goes. Please comment in comments (duh) or on our new discussion board.

9:01 – Intro – It makes Pomona look quaint, really. Aspiring artists, students and car enthusiasts..
9:02 – Oh, and the homeless…that’s more the way I remember Pomona….
9:03 – There’s an ‘A’ on the window in the background….so it’s probably clean. Right?
9:04 – Gordon arrives…the place is empty. That sounds totally accurate.
9:05 – “All I know about Chef Ramsay is that he yells a lot.” Thank Fox for that. He can cook, too.
9:06 – Ramsay ordered the lamb with chocolate sauce! I knew it!
9:08 – “That’s why they call them nachos.” Huh?
9:09 – That lamb is $25. That little frozen lamb.
9:10 – The part about the brownies – they make it seem like ‘Buzzard’ ate them, but on the YouTube page there’s a ‘recreation’ of Buzzard eating brownies. Hmmm….I think they were just out but they wanted to edit it to make it more interesting.

Commercial Break – So far, there are real restaurant problems…arrogant chef with a bad, poorly thought out menu. Also seems like a weak owner, a real common problem on the UK KN. This episode seems like it sucks less than the rest of the series so far. A little.

9:14 – Sorry, $27 for the little frozen lamb.
9:15 – Oh, Gordon HATES chefs with the words ‘executive chef’ on a business card, license plate or sewed into something.
9:17 – An ‘A’ doesn’t mean clean, I guess.
9:18 – I never would have guessed the backwards baseball cap tattoo dude didn’t eat fine dining.
9:19 – Meet the crew. I sense a hiring problem.
9:20 – Buzzard is caught with wine and then storms out. The edited seemed a little squirrelly there to me. Probably more there then meets the eye.

Break – The New York late news will have a story from Ramsay’s head chef about Turkey Mistakes. Nice tie-in!

9:25 – Finally, I see BRIAN! Maybe I missed him earlier.
9:26 – This ‘confront the chef’ scene is one of the big differences from the UK version.
9:27 – Buzzard is fired…seems right, I think…hard to say for sure.
9:28 -The blind taste test….a Ramsay standby but I still like it. I wonder how many Ricky actually got wrong, though.
9:30 -More wacky editing – will Lex really walk out? Was Ricky really talking about Gordon?

Break – halfway through the show – LET GORDON COOK, for fook’s sake.

9:34 – I don’t know if a makeover is really what the restaurant needs.
9:35 – Ummm…the feel of Pomona? In my mouth?
9:37 – A catering truck?
9:39 – And he waves his magic wand…and a makeover. Sad it won’t last through the summer.
9:40 – The chef switch – another Ramsay standby, but effective.

Break – They really blow right past the cooking, don’t they? I could use 10 more minutes of cooking and 10 less minutes of bullshit.

9:44 -Hey, he didn’t invite the homeless!
9:45 – My god – the mayor of Pomona! They HAVE pulled out all the stops – or the mayor of San Dimas or the queen of Diamond Bar were booked.
9:47 – Yes, we know – the producers overbooked the restaurant so it’s a rocky start.
9:49 – Yes – overbooked, orders go out late, wrong table – I can copy and paste this for the next episode.
9:50 – Lex, dude…you never had a chance. They OVERBOOKED you, man…
9:51 – If Lex whips off those glasses – watch out!

Break – If you overbook a restaurant to cause chaos, chaos will ensue.

9:54 – Ricky is back and the MAYOR OF POMONA is waiting.
9:55 – It’s the meal for any Pomona Day? Like…Tuesday?
9:56 – Huh – why am I suspicious about Lex leaving?
9:57 – ‘Rocky Start” is trademark, Gordon Ramsay
9:58 – BRIAN!
9:59 – Cue happy music – everything improved and the restaurant made money and everyone loves everyone and the mayor of Pomona is happy!
9.59 and 40 seconds – Oops – five months later, it closes….get through those five seconds quick….

And that’s it – more live blogging next week!

Lela’s Update Part 2 And Ramsay News


Feb 22 2007 009 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

LIVE BLOGGING The Lela’s Episode at 9east, 6West

As I said in part one of my Lela’s preview, we know how this one ends and it doesn’t end well. Is it just me or does that picture remind of you the last shot from the movie The Shining?   Everyone smiling, all doomed. We’ll see if learn tonight exactly WHY the restaurant closed.

Former employee Brian also has a few pictures of Lela’s closing on July 9th, 2007.


July 9 2007 025 on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Gather Your Scraps

In other Ramsay news, here’s how you can prep for a job interview with GRrr..from a New York magazine article about the book Chefs To Know from StarChefs.com

Of course, we can’t open any book of chefs without seeing if our hero, Gordon Ramsay, is glowering back at us. Gordo takes the opportunity to plug his new Royal Doulton oven, but we like his interview approach: He asks candidates “to cook something from a selection of scraps and leftovers that I give them.”

What to Expect on Your Job Interview With Gordon Ramsay – Grub Street – New York Magazine

Blogged with Flock

Television Without Pity (Or Sense) [Or Me]


on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

So, I just found out I was banned from the site Television Without Pity because of ‘site pimping’ for discussions I was having there about Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

I first got a warning on that site when I posted a link to my article about the interview I did with Buddy and Brian from Finn McCool’s. I only posted the link there because 1) I’d noticed hits from TWoP coming into my site after someone else posted a link about all the Sebastian’s stuff I’d written about and 2) because that article is original, interesting information about Kitchen Nightmares that I thought people would want to read.

So, posting that link to a good article got me a TWoP warning. Then I got a second warning for mentioning the first warning.

Then after Finn McCool’s ‘restaurant critic’ Samantha posted here on this site, I mentioned it (with no link or mention of my URL) and I quoted a large chunk of what Samantha wrote. This morning, I got this for TWoP Nikita, the facist idiot who polices TWoP…


Site-pimping isn’t just providing a link to your site. It’s advertising it yourself on TWoP in any way, and you’re still doing it. Banned.

I honestly don’t know how I could have mentioned what Samantha said without also mentioning where or how she said it. She did, in fact, post on my blog. How can I quote her without sourcing the quote – which in this case happened to be me? Was I just supposed to blurt out “Samantha said this somewhere, maybe…”

I have no problem with rational forum moderation – what TWoP is doing is just stupid and I had a bunch of TWoP readers email me privately to say they hate the overzealous policing there. I can totally understand banning someone for spam. I can understand that if someone is just posting their link over and over, that’s not cool. But everything I posted was good, solid and original content that added to the discussion and would be of total interest to the readers of TWoP. I didn’t just link and run, either – I was an active forum participant engaged in relevant discussions. And the internet is about links.

I could care less about TWoP. There is nothing technically interesting about their site at all. (A forum? Wow! Impressive in 1995.) There are however a lot of smart people over there who had interesting discussions about Kitchen Nightmares. Any of you are welcome to comment here (and even link to your own site!) or tell me another site to go where the Kontent Kops like TWoP Nikita aren’t drunk with their own power.