Can Mill Street Bistro owner survive round two on "Kitchen Nightmares'?

Joe Nagy takes a beating on the Fox TV show.
Joe Centers
Mar 5, 2013


EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is an excerpt of Joe Centers' column, which was published in Tuesday's Reflector.

The late, great former Norwalk mayor Louis Frey was a very colorful man who liked to say what was on his mind.

He really didn’t care too much what people said about him or what was written about him. He used to like to say something like this: “I don’t care what you write, but make sure you put it on the front page and spell my name right.”

A lot of people think front-page news is all that matters when you are in the promotion business. And Louis Frey liked to promote what he called the “finest damn little city in Ohio.”

Norwalk is on the big stage right now as the Mill Street Bistro is being featured in a two-part series on Fox’s “Kitchen Nightmares.”

If last Friday’s first part is any indication, this could be another long week for owner Joe Nagy and the restaurant. The second part airs at 8 p.m. Friday on Fox.

To read all of the story, pick up a copy of that issue or subscribe to the e-paper (a complete digital replica of the entire issue) for less than $1 per week and read it now.


Swamp Fox

Mike stick by Joe he might buy you plastic gloves for the dish water.


After the Claridge's closure, the chef will still be operating 26 restaurants around the world including in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, the Qatari capital Doha and the Savoy in London. 26 restaurants .. thats still a success in my book.


Obviously DiamondGirl he didn't read my post so hopefully he will read your post and see the light...I doubt it tho..have you ever felt that you were talking to someone that just doesn't understand? Like the wheel turning but the hamsters dead? Or like a six pack missing the plastic rings that hold them together? Yap..pretty much like this Mike guy. But we would miss the hamster.

Kottage Kat

Love taters
Irish / Appalachian

Kottage Kat

Let me know when Joey does as well
You are a joke and a bad one
He had a 12 SUCCESSFUL years
Joe wouldn't make a pimple on chef's butt
Nice try
I am still giggly over your trying to compare
apples ( gourmet ) with Joe's frozen fish

Kottage Kat

Where is catering by design located?
Thank you


next to Hammer Hubers


I am going out on a limb here...I am going to say that Kottage Kat, DiamondGirl, Swiss, Doc, Me,and 99% of the others that have posted on here- have no idea what FARK is. I personally just went to the website and looked. I am a little dumber now because of seeing this website. Are you kidding me? Really? You get your news from this? See Mike or whoever you are- we are way more intellegent than getting our news from a 5th hand piece of garbage site like that! It is no wonder people are calling you god man. WAKE UP!! You are a lost soul. I feel sorry for you if that is your main news source. Try some local stations or something...holy cripe...that explains a lot of the spruge you have been spouting. Wow..had some hope for you there for 1 or 2 posts but that one there from stop while your only so deep in stupidity sh*t. You keep going you won't be able to dig


The real story here is that Joe has no idea how a fine dining or any other restaurant should work, period! He has to cut everyone else down just to make himself feel better, it's the only way he knows. He want's to cut down a restaurant like Berardi's when in fact, they've been in business for 30+ years and do more business in a week than he does in 2 months! The sad truth of it is that Joe is just a petty little man who will never be able to climb out of his own delusions. Do us all a favor Joe, go back to the farm and save us from your poor excuse for fine dining!


(alls quiet on the western front....)

Sitting In The ...

My favorite part was when this gentleman decided it would be a good idea to babble on on national TV about his relationship with the goat. The only thing dumber then that is Micheal's producer conspiracy theory. I suppose the producer had those employee's say that right? Let me guess that wasn't his freezer right?


Decided to move my little story to this page, the other one isn't trending anymore. I've been writing this for a few days, not because I have an ax to grind or even care what people think. I feel the need to say what I think about how things were at the bistro, I really do now that ole Joe has decided to speak about it. You can rest assured that Joe will tell a tale that will stretch the truth about most everything that actually happened. After all, you saw it on the show, all the BS he tried to feed Chef Ramsey! Read what I write or don't, I don't care, but, I'm not exaggerating or sensationalizing the whole ordeal, the truth speaks for itself.


I'm sorry about this everyone, but, I have a story to tell, not because I'm disgruntled, but, because, I can't help but tell it! I'm starting from the beginning here. It has to be one of the most bizarre experiences I've ever had! The show was filmed at the beginning of June of last year, the whole hollywierd scenario started around june 7, I'd only been there for a little less than a month. Theresa quit after about 2 1/2 weeks after I started. You already heard her reasons why, hell, who could blame her! But what she showed ole Ramsey was true, I re-packaged something similar a couple times!! They were there for about 6 days including set-up and tear down. He thought that he was the man because Ramsey was coming to him and they were going to revamp the whole show around how he was doing everything right!! He thought that the show would be excellent publicity and that they would give him a new kitchen, he really wanted some new equipment! He was truly shocked that Ramsey didn't like anything!! After all, you saw it!! He would place his food up against any restaurant in the world!! He's way to cheap for that to ever happen! This is the first installment of my story, and I can't say much until after tomorrow night. But, the saga isn't over! I couldn't give a s*** about what anyone thinks, it was a sad and extraordinarily funny saga, at least to me it was! stay tuned


Well, here we go again, the continuing saga of the Bistro, the rest of the story>> You all saw how Joe seemed humble about the things the staff said about him and the restaurant, well, after the filming was done that day, he started making comments to most of us about how he couldn't believe what we said. He particularly went out of his way to tell me that he thought I was a bit harsh about his food. After all, you saw what he said about me preparing some of the dishes that were served to Chef Ramsey, even though they were his so called creations and he was telling me what I should do....hilarious!! Thanks go out to Chef Ramsey for not wanting to hear about it, he definitely knew what was up! Anyway, he came off all ready to keep himself out of the kitchen and be the upstanding restaurateur! But, it was very short-lived! Brian, the dude from the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, worked the re-launch at the bistro that night, It was the only night he actually worked there. He was a consultant hired only for that night and to give advise on how to accomplish the new menu and to tell Joe how to revamp his kitchen and staff to where it would function better and properly. He came back once after the taping with a couple of kitchen designers that laid out a new plan for the kitchen. The estimate was a little steep, but, it would have meant Joe would have to give something up. I can understand that for sure, but, if you have a chance to be successful at what your doing, make a good name for yourself, and make yourself better by doing so, would you? So, Joe in his infinite wisdom, chose to ignore most of everything that was told to him by all of the people that were involved with this whole production. Anyway, young Brian recommended a very young man, fresh out of culinary school to be his New Chef. I was cool with this because I told Joe right from the git-go, that I was not looking to run another kitchen, just wanted to do my thing. I have to say, the dude was energetic, enthusiastic, and totally ready to give it his best. He committed! But, with Joe being Joe, he just couldn't relate to someone younger than him knowing more than he did. Needless to say......oh h**l! Forgot things jumped ahead tonight!!! Guess I'll have to write another chapter!!


I promise that this will be it. So, this talented young chef, we'll call him "Jack" was hired by Joe to run the bistro kitchen. He came right in and got straight to work on creating a new menu and organizing things as best he could in the closet sized kitchen. I told him that I would do anything I could to help him deal with the changes and Joe Nagy. Things were going fairly well for a little while, but Jack soon realized that Joe was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. What he put that kid through was something I wouldn't wish on anyone, if Ramsey could have witnessed it, he would have bought the place just to get rid of Joe! Meanwhile, my hours started going down, because, Joe had another body in the kitchen and he started creeping back in to "educate" Jack on how to do things the Nagy way. When I did work, I was so fed up with what was going on that I couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore and started standing up to good ole Joe. Well, that didn't sit well with Joe and it wasn't long that Jack told me he was thinking about firing me. At this point, I didn't care anymore. Jack went to work that day, it was the start of a new week, it was the first week of August 2012. I ended up getting a call from Jack shortly after he went in, he told me he was quitting. We had talked about it the week before, that if he quit, I was going to quit also, even though I'm not one to burn bridges behind me. After all, it was a bridge to nowhere! That my friends, is the real reason Joe Nagy is back working in the kitchen! The menu that Chef Ramsey put in place when he was here walked out the door the moment that Ramsey did. The menu that Jack created for him is the one that is being used to this day, with a couple of exceptions, i.e. shrimp pernod, just say NO!! Now that Joe has decided to come out of the closet and tell the world that he is....oops...why he's back in the kitchen. Whatever Joe says in his little coming out party in todays paper, the real reasons are what I've written here, and he can't get anybody with skill to work for him. You should take whatever he says with a bucket of salt, because, after all, you saw how delusional this guy is! What I've written is how things actually went down and I'd swear to it in court if I had to! It doesn't matter to me if you believe this little story or not, but I sure feel better about telling it. Take it for what it is or not, I'm sure Jack would agree!! Thanks all.....bye!


Thanks for the inside look, Tommy. I'm from out of state and just watched the episodes, and all I can say is you guys must have a lot of patience putting up with that absolute nutjob of a boss.

He needs a shrink, not a chef.