Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Swear by Good Gord

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Swear by Good Gord

Article excerpt

Byline: By Beth Neil

Sausages from Luton, lemons from the cash-and-carry and courgettes courtesy of a London butcher.

Welcome to Lanterna, the least authentic Italian trattoria you're ever likely to come across.

So bad, it was losing pounds 1,000 a week. It was causing owner and executive chef Alex Scott, or "Alessandro" as he styled himself, sleepless nights. Alessandro, by the way, was from Letchworth and about as Italian as his Tesco Value mushrooms.

Enter Gordon Ramsay to whip things into shape. It didn't take him long to notice the filthy kitchen, chaotic management and virtually inedible food. And in typical fashion, he broke the news to them ever so gently.

"What the **** is going on here? It's a ******* joke," he chastised.

On noticing the number-plate on Alex's pounds 56,000 car (A1 6HEF), Ramsay was almost lost for words. But not quite.

"I want to take that numberplate and shove it up his a***. Sideways."

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is TV gold. Alex served Ramsay a three-course meal. The minestrone soup looked more like limescale from the bottom of a kettle. The tiramisu was still frozen in the middle. And as for the main course of Italian sausage, Ramsay described it as looking like poodles' privates served on parsley.

Increasingly desperate, Ramsay decided to put Alex and his pathetic maitre d's taste buds to the test. Alex fancied himself as a bit of a connoisseur, having been trained by "one of the top Italian chefs". Further investigation found that this renowned expert was, in fact, a Luton taxi driver called Mario.

So it was rather funny when Alex and Gavin, blindfolded, discarded the blue cheese pasta and the fresh herbs and olive oil pasta and instead chose the curry Pot Noodle as being the most delicious.

But somehow Ramsay turned it round. Within seven weeks, Alex had trimmed down the menu and was using only fresh ingredients. …

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