Big-time television has arrived in my humble neck of the woods. Everyone’s been talking about the arrival of Gordon Ramsay and his team from the new series, Hotel Hell, which will begin filming this week at the Cambridge Hotel in Cambridge, NY.
Having seen episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, and having worked in the hospitality industry, I’m not sure I would be as willing to subject myself to public humiliation on national television, but in a recent conversation with some of the staff at the hotel, I got a better idea of what was really behind the decision to seek out Mr. Ramsay’s advice on how to save this struggling hotel and restaurant.
Hotel Hell will be travelling across America, performing much-needed makeovers on hotels, inns and B&B’s. If you believe what you see on TV, it will be accomplished in a few days’ time with much yelling and spitting out of food. That’s for the cameras.
The truth is, some of the best and brightest in the hospitality industry have been visiting the hotel for months, watching how the hotel operates, assessing what needs to be changed and taking a look at the total picture including the village of Cambridge and the surrounding area.
Of course there will probably be a fair amount of restaurant scenes, since that’s Mr. Ramsay’s area of expertise, but the entire hotel is under scrutiny.
The last time I dined at the Cambridge Hotel was last summer, right after our Open Studios biennial, when I arrived with last-minute reservations for a group of 10 French-speaking Quebecois friends from Montreal. The staff was incredibly accommodating with our rather boisterous group, but I must admit – I’m looking forward to experiencing what Chef Ramsay can do to bring the menu up to top-notch level. There’s a fair amount of work to be done and I’m curious as to how exactly he’s going to do it. And whether or not the hotel can maintain it long after the cameras have left.
I’m really hoping this works. I’ll be returning after the filming to see what’s been done, and I’m definitely looking forward to the show, which is scheduled to air in the spring.
We’ll all be tuning in to see if Chef Ramsay can save the official home of Pie à la Mode. It’s going to be a good story.
4 West Main Street
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