What happened to Lela's after Kitchen Nightmares?

What happened to Lela's after Kitchen Nightmares?

When Gordon Ramsay stepped into Lela's, he found a restaurant that looked the part but fell disastrously short in every other way that mattered. The chic décor of Lela's in Pomona, California, couldn't hide the tasteless truth of its culinary catastrophe.

Episode Recap

Ramsay, with his sharp expertise, didn't mince words. The food? Uninspired. The kitchen? A nightmare of neglected hygiene. From the stale spices to the wilted greens, it was clear that Lela's had lost its way.

One of the most memorable moments is the meat tasting contest orchestrated by Gordon Ramsay. Chef Ricky, who had been responsible for Lela's menu, was pitted against Chef Lex in a blind tasting test of various meats. The test was simple yet revealing: identify the type of meat just by taste.

Chef Ricky, already feeling the pressure of the failing restaurant on his shoulders, was about to face a test that could undermine his credibility even further.

As the contest commenced, it became evident that Chef Ricky's palate was not as refined as one would expect from someone in his position. His guesses were off the mark; he stumbled through the test, incorrectly identifying meats, much to the dismay of everyone present, including Ramsay. The other chef, with more experience and a better-trained palate, managed to outperform him significantly.

This failure was not just about misidentifying meats. It cast doubt on the quality of the menu items that Ricky was serving and raised questions about the level of expertise in preparing the dishes.

Gordon Ramsay, never one to mince words, expressed his concern about Chef Ricky's culinary skills and understanding of fundamental cooking principles. 

In another incident, the staff member known as Buzzer was caught in a particularly compromising situation: stealing food from the restaurant. This revelation added to the already mounting issues that Gordon Ramsay had to confront.

Buzzer's actions were symptomatic of a larger problem within Lela's: a lack of oversight and accountability.   

In the heated heart of the kitchen, Ramsay unearthed more than just culinary missteps – he found a team teetering on the edge of culinary chaos. The outdated decor wasn't just an eyesore; it was a metaphor for the restaurant's stale approach to dining.

But Ramsay isn't one to shy away from a challenge. His approach was direct and transformative. He dove into the menu, stripping it back to essentials, focusing on dishes that sang with quality and passion. He rolled up his sleeves, leading the charge in a top-to-bottom kitchen clean-up, instilling a new creed of cleanliness.

The walls of Lela's got a dose of modern charm, setting the stage for the delectable drama that Ramsay's new menu promised. And as for the team? Ramsay became the unexpected coach they never knew they needed. Through fiery team-building exercises, he broke down barriers, fostering a spirit of unity and a newfound zeal for their roles.

The staff’s initial skepticism was palpable. They bristled at the critique, defensive about their routines. Yet, as Ramsay’s changes took root, their eyes opened to the potential of what Lela's could become.

By the final act, Lela's had transformed. The flavors on the plate were vibrant, the ambiance inviting. The staff, once disjointed, now worked with a harmony that echoed through the dining room. Ramsay's touch had rekindled the spark Lela's had lost.

In the end, Ramsay left behind not just a restaurant reborn, but a team reinvigorated with purpose and pride. The true measure of his impact would be the test of time – would Lela's hold true to the path Ramsay set them on?

In the hustle of Pomona, where once there was a culinary nightmare, there now stood a beacon of hope – a testament to the magic that happens when one dares to dream, and work hard to turn that dream into a reality. This is the legacy of Lela's, a Kitchen Nightmare turned into a dream.

What happened to Lela's after Kitchen Nightmares?

After the "Kitchen Nightmares" episode featuring Lela's, the restaurant unfortunately did not last long and closed a few months later. It had been open for only about eight months prior to Gordon Ramsay's visit. The struggles of Lela's were too significant to overcome, despite the efforts made in the show. The owner, Lela Guillen, who was new to the restaurant industry, had invested her retirement and savings into the restaurant and also borrowed a substantial amount of money to keep the business afloat. The location where Lela's was situated has since been home to other businesses, including a music venue called The Haven which opened in 2021

Where is Chef Ricky and Chef Lex?

After the "Kitchen Nightmares" episode at Lela's, Chef Ricky was initially demoted to sous chef and Lex was promoted to head chef. However, Chef Lex could not handle the pressure and left. Chef Ricky stepped up, impressing Gordon Ramsay, and was promoted back to executive chef. Unfortunately, despite these changes and a successful relaunch night, Lela's closed a few months later due to the debts it had incurred. Chef Ricky moved on to become the executive chef at The Corner Butcher Shop and later worked at Hollywood Park Casino. There is no current information on what Chef Lex went on to do after the show or the current status of Lela's owner, Lela Guillen​