Chef Gordon Ramsey Shoots TV Show at Waterbury Restaurant, Dines at Another
It's not too often that the national culinary spotlight turns to Waterbury.
My friends Jeremy and Nicole Braddock of Oakville's Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes are currently in LA filming a new televised food competition, and the biggest news of the week, celebrity chef and professional A-hole Gordon Ramsay brought his show 24 Hrs to Hell and Back to Vasi's on Watertown Ave.
In the show, Ramsey, the celebrity chef known for his over-the-top aggressive personality, attempts to change the way an entire restaurant operates within one day.
According to a post by rep-am.com, Ramsay screamed his way around Vasi's for the purposes of the show, bullying and intimidating the mortified staff, berating innocent bystanders and generally made everyone uncomfortable. Well, I'm just kidding, that's just my interpretation of what happened, and I wasn't there.
I'm sure it was just for television that Gordon Ramsey found Vasi's to be outdated, the staff lazy, the menu boring and there was nothing that could be done to increase the dinner crowd, because I've been to Vasi's many times over the years, and it's a nice place. I've always found the food to be good, if not great.
Sometimes, however, it takes an outside eye to make things better, and what better way to do that than with a celebrity chef on national television? I'm interested to see what a world-class chef did to a very successful local restaurant, that, to me, was very successful.
Every night of the week, it's tough to find a parking spot outside of Vasi's. So how do you increase an already successful business? Portray them as a struggling failure, slap a fresh coat of paint on the building? Pave the parking lot? Add Kale to the Bruschetta a La Romano? Who knows? But that's why Gordon Ramsay makes the big bucks, and I'm here picking apart reality shows.
I'm sure it will be months and months before we see Waterbury represented in the national spotlight. They've got to chop out 90% of the boring stuff that they've filmed to get to the good 5% of drama that makes up these programs.
So, that said, I've always been a big fan of the Kaloidis' family cooking. I will stand up and say right here, right now, that Spartan's pizza is the best pizza in the city of Waterbury, I've been faithfully eating it since the 80s. I don't need Gordon Ramsay to tell me that my Escarole and White Bean Soup is good, I know it already. Good luck on the show, Vasili, I hope you get a nice renovation out of this process.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it totally worth noting that Vasi's wasn't the only local dining spot the Hell's Kitchen star visited this week. Ramsay was spotted enjoying his dinner another Waterbury institution, Diorio's. While this particular night out in the "Dirty Water" wasn't for the purposes of TV, both the owner, Mario Grasso, and the General Manager, Sarah Boilard Izzi said Ramsey was very nice to the staff and they were "grateful for the visit." Check out their photos:
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