I think I have heard this story before on the show. A man returns from serving this country and wants to open up a resturant. It's a nice story, except that it doesn't go as planned. The owner needed a serious kick in the pants. The place was a mess. Investations, dirt, grease, was all over the place. They negelected to clean their kitchen. It seems like they were just going through the motions in a defeated way. With the owner being a military man, he responded well to Robert's military style manner. I think both the owner and the cooks were really affected. Sometimes we just need that motivation.
This episode featured a couple unique things for a RI show. Robert brought in some HGTV kitchen designers "Kitchen Cousins" to help make over the kitchen, which had to be re-worked from scratch. Another surpising thing was the lack of equipment they had. Robert tried to do a cooking demo with them, but didn't even have enough tools to do a demo with just three people. They had to head off to a kitchen supply store.
Greens Stuffed Roasted Chicken | Click here for the recipe
Robert found a way to bring a soul food twist to roasted chicken. He inserted mustard greens and peaches into the cavaity of the bird. A nice healthy alternative to doing soul food (ok he smearead the skin with butter, so maybe it's not as healthy as it seems.)
I try to guess now if a resturant is still in business or not after the episode. This place because of the owner's genuiness and humility I figured this was one that would still be around. And I was correct. Mama Lee's is still in business. Sales are up 15% since the makeover. I read a lot of positive reviews about the joint on Yelp. People are enjoying the food. The only thing they seem not to be enjoying is the chairs and the bathrooms. Apparently the bathrooms were never even touched during the show, so they are as dirty as ever. Seems like the owner is still missing that detail. The problem I have read about the chairs is that they are too small for some constumers.
If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:
Impossible to Easy: 111 Delicious Recipes to Help You Put Great Meals on the Table Every Day
Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy