The story of this episode of Restaurant Impossible is all about a son, Chip who has failed to be a leader and a family who is fed up with it. You know it's bad when you have a mother making chopping motions and neck slicing motions throughout the show. How has Pier West restaurant fared since Robert's visit. Let's look at the challenges and the recipes before we dive into the current situation.
Pier West | Check out their website
Problems Robert Had to Address
1. Manager by a guy who knows nothing about the business including how to lead it
2. Confusion in the front and back of the house
3. Extremely slow service partly due to the sever not knowing where to serve the food
4. Shortcuts taken with some food (ribs cooked too quickly, fries are frozen)
5. Staff does not respect management
6. Tons of turn over in the kitchen resulting in several menu changes
The guy running this place doesn't know what he is doing. Over the course of the show Robert does help to re-ignite his passion. But I wonder or not if he still needs training. Just because you get your passion back doesn't mean you automatically gain the tools for the job. Decor wise in this show all they needed to do was some updating from a bland space with a beautiful outdoors to one that was beautiful inside as well.
Lesson for Home
Patience. To make better food sometimes you need patience. You need to cook those ribs low and slow to come out tender and juicy. You need to take the time to cut your own fries instead of settling for frozen junk you just have to throw in the oven. I think a lot of restaurants take shortcuts because they don't think they have the time or money to make things from scratch. Making from scratch is cheaper in most cases (as well as more tasty) and as for the time you just need to be organized. If you want to cook ribs, cook them on the day you are home from work, so that you don't feel pressured to cook them in a short amount of time.
Ribs | Print recipe
Slowly cooked ribs with a spice rub on top, covered in plastic wrap. You would think he is nuts for putting plastic wrap in the oven but the low temperature is ok in this case.
Smoked Trout Dip | Print recipe
A dip made of smoked trout, mayo, sour cream, parsley, Old Bay, white pepper, lemon juice, and chives.
Follow-Up I figured this place would still be running. The father promised to keep it open for 9 months, which hasn't expired as of this writing. But are things getting better for real? It's always hard to tell from Food Network's follow-ups. They said sales are up 25% which is to be expected due to publicity. However a couple things I read concern me. It seems that they was quite a bit of turn over of employees. Why is this? I am hoping it was more because they couldn't handle the positive changes not because they didn't have any more faith in Chip. The second thing that concerned me was the mention of a thought of opening another location. To be even thinking that right now so soon is ridiculous. Shouldn't even cross his mind yet. I am hoping the increased business is not going to his head. I still want to give him the benefit of the doubt.
If you want more Robert Irvine recipes, here are some of his available cookbooks:
This cookbook contains 111 recipes many with complete timelimes and several that are gluten free. An example of the kind of recipes you will find are Lime-Cured Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Porcini-Dusted Pork Chops with Cremini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins over Horseradish-Scented Potatoes.
In this book Robert shares his personal stories (including cooking for First Lady Laura Bush) and cooking philosophy. There are also recipes to be had like Black Angus Beef Tartare with Toasted Brioche and Fried Quail Egg, Roasted Duck with White Bean Ragout.