In this episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, we were brought in to make the wainscoting look like wood, and to gild the walls in the bar area. It was a long night with the typical pitfalls and challenges that come with a time sensitive job like this. This was one of my favorite shows that I have worked on. My friend Nancy Hadley, who was the art director of the show, called me in to work on the project; I always love working with her. It was the middle of winter which, because of the extreme cold, limited us to what we really could bring. The flurry of activity and lack of heated storage space meant we had to be careful to avoid letting our supplies freeze!
We arrived around 10pm and started working immediately. The white panels at the lower half of the wall needed to be wood grained, which is a multiple layer project. First, the area needs to be base coated with latex paint. This dried quickly enough but midway though the night I found the second layer, or “graining” layer, was still damp and not drying. We brought in heaters to force it to dry but this kept blowing out the circuits and shutting the cameras off (whoops) so we had to move on to something else and let it dry naturally. By the time we finally finished up the toning (3rd) layer at around 8am, we were all was exhausted. In the last hour my friend Nancy was battling it out with a nail gun which was certainly a sight to see!
After getting home and taking a nap for awhile I was back up and dressing for dinner. We got the invite to dinner that night at the filming and re-opening of the restaurant. During dinner, Gordon Ramsay came up to our table and I think my wife was about to leave me. He was extremely charming and witty. On Part 3 0f 3 on the videos below, you will see me at the 6 minute mark saying, “Phenomenal!” and enjoying dinner with my wife, sister and brother in law. It was a lot of fun working on Café Tavolini!