Last night’s episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” featured Gordon Ramsay visiting Giuseppi’s Restaurant in Michigan. A family owned restaurant for ten years, parents Kathy and Joe had planned on opening something that they could pass on to their son, Sam. But the restaurant was failing miserably, and much of the reason was the poor food quality and the fact that Joe, who has diabetes, is working more than he needs to.

Ramsay arrived and as he always does, sampled menu items–he ordered octopus salad, potato skins and the specialty, eggplant rollatini. He complained that the octopus was rubbery, the potato skins and eggplant were covered in disgusting cheese, which as it turns out was microwaved. He sits down with Sam, Joe and sous chef Brian, and tells them that their food is “crap.” And all along, Joe had no idea the food was that bad. But it’s revealed that he won’t let Joe cook fresh food as he wants to, and instead they use the microwave to push food orders out quickly, but not efficiently.

Ramsay’s biggest challenge here is getting Joe and Sam to communicate and for Sam to allow Joe to have his cooking talent shine through with fresh ingredients. So once that’s established, Ramsay also updates the decor, which is badly out of style, and he challenges both Joe and Sam to make one dish for the staff with fresh ingredients–Sam chooses salmon and Joe a double pork chop. The staff prefers the pork chop, but barely, and mostly they recognize that fresh is the way to go.

But still, customers wind up complaining at the dinner service, because not only are they still using the microwave too much, but Brian is joking around and not working. Also, Joe is still trying to bite off more than he can chew, and not letting Sam lead in the kitchen. Once Brian quits, though after confronting Ramsay, father and son work nicely together and finish getting the orders out. Afterward, Ramsay has Sam, Kathy and Joe each read a letter they had hand-written out loud to each other, to voice feelings they had all been holding back. This more than anything brings them together.

So this time there was no cockroach infested kitchen or moldy food or hot head owners. But just a family that needed to know they were all there for each other. And more than anything, a father who recognized his son had become a man and was ready to take over the kitchen.

See you all next week, when we are promised a two-hour episode with two different restaurants.