Gordon Ramsey was in Sacramento this past weekend, and I’m sad I missed him. I have a weird crush on him. Anyway. The celebrity chef was flipping Sandra Dee’s on 15th for a new Fox reality show. Since filming wrapped, The Sacramento Bee caught up with the owner and a few loyal customers and not everyone agrees on the makeover.
Sandra Dee Johnson told the newspaper she’s rejecting his menu changes. In fact, she didn’t seek the show out. Networks had been contacting her over the years and finally agreed to one after deciding her place needed to be remodeled. She didn’t know Ramsey was hosting until he arrived! He actually showed up in disguise and ordered as if he was a customer.
“It was an emotional experience,” Johnson said.
Which says to me he was the “Hell’s Kitchen” version of himself.
“My customers don’t want me to change the menu,” she added. “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.”
Ramsey had stripped the menu down to 8 items. There was noticeably less seafood, and it lacked her signature ribs, tri-tip and hot links. As for the decor? Johnson doesn’t seem fond of the walls of natural wood planks and new pig art elements.
“I just wanted it to be more vibrant,” she said.
“They made it a little too hipster,” a regular customer Paul Imagine said. “They tried to make it something that it’s not. Not a huge fan of the makeover.”
Ouch. Some people like it!
“I think it’s awesome,” another regular customer Douglas Chiappetta said. “It was starving for it.”
Regardless of anyone’s thoughts and feelings, we’re all talking about it. I have no doubt the show will bring in more business. I’ve never been, but now I want to go! Like, this week. And I’m not the only one. Even if Johnson doesn’t use all of Ramsey’s suggestions, I’m sure something was learned in the process.
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