Gordon Ramsay, the famously blunt restaurateur and TV chef, recently came to the aid of a Bay Ridge eatery.
South Brooklyn Foundry was his target in the Nov. 27 episode of Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” on which the blustery chef travels the country to help struggling restaurants.
At the start of the show, Ramsay complained to Foundry co-owner Agnes Kelly about the food, prices and wait times.
“That was a very tough experience for me to sit there,” Ramsay said. “That was painful. The food was mediocre. The timing and waiting was ridiculous.”
Kelly and co-owner and chef Rey Martinez argued about the business being in debt, with Kelly having taken much of the financial risk.
Ramsay observed the restaurant’s operations one night and criticized Martinez’ work and commitment, which led him to quit. He then hired workers to renovate the Foundry’s interior and provided temporary cooks.
“Gone are those awkward tables and are replaced by amazing high tops,” he said. “We’ve gone up by nine seats. Gone are the hideous sunflowers by the windows. Now customers can identify this as a very cool neighborhood restaurant.”
Ramsay also helped the restaurant create a new menu and connected Kelly with a representative who helps small businesses with loans.
“I wanted to revamp and give you a new identity with some delicious food,” he said. “Because this kitchen is tiny, we need to be efficient and get dishes out quickly.”
Martinez returned two months after filming, dedicated to making the business successful.
“We aren’t perfect,” Kelly explained. “We are like a big dysfunctional family sometimes but I feel good about the future of South Brooklyn Foundry.”