John “Chappy” Chapman, chef of Chappy’s on Church Street in Nashville, Tenn., filmed an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares” in December 2012. He claims that his business suffered for it. During a magazine interview, Chapman said, “It was truly a kitchen nightmare for me. Gordon Ramsay destroyed my business.”
According to Chapman, the producers approached him to do the show after learning that he lost a restaurant during Hurricane Katrina. In an interview with the Nashville Business Journal, Chapman explains that Ramsay’s team assured him the restaurant would be a hit. “They said, ‘Oh, your business is going to be great, people are going to be standing in line to come in, you are going to love it, make a lot of money. Everything is going to be fantastic.” Despite those promises, Chapman later told Fox 17 Nashville that the makeover killed his business. “We went down to almost nothing, down to one table in a night.” Chapman also claims he had “no idea” they were going to completely gut the inside of his restaurant and get rid of the “New Orleans flair.”
Chappy’s on Church had been serving a New Orleans-influenced menu of dishes like jambalaya and gumbo. Chapman blames Ramsay’s menu ides as the main source of the problem, “I couldn’t believe that’s the menu that he wants to put in. Hush puppies, fried chicken, hamburgers — give me a break.” The restaurant brought back its original menu in mid-January after having Ramsay’s menu for about four weeks.
After complaints on the restaurant’s Facebook page, Chapman reversed the changes that Ramsay suggested and decided to “take care of Nashville and respond to my local customer requests.”