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“Burger Kitchen” on Kitchen Nightmares exposed?

November 6, 2011

(Disclaimer: This blog does not make accusations. These are only mere opinions backed by sources. The ultimate goal is to let the reader decide for themselves apart from exercising the right to free speech.  All sources get links and/or credit).

3/2/12 UPDATE UPDATE: According to Yelp, Burger Kitchen is now CLOSED: http://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-kitchen-los-angeles

Curious about how much the Burger Kitchen menu changed after Chef Ramsay’s visit? Well didn’t change for too long: http://burgerkitchenla.com/

So on Fridays I set my DVR to record one of my favorite shows starring one of my favorite people. Kitchen Nightmares USA with one of my ultimate crushes: Chef Gordon Ramsay. A girl, a TV show, my crush Ramsay and what I perceive something not quite right.

Gordon Ramsay went to Los Angeles based  “Burger Kitchen” restaurant, a supposed haven of gourmet burgers. Gordon, however, was less than impressed. Upon meeting the owners you find that already the father, Australian immigrant Alan Saffron says that Yelp killed the business. Now what is Yelp? An online community of restaurants and business listings, along with customer reviews. Here the owner says that there is a conspiracy against his business. Alan also unashamedly told Gordon that he opened the restaurant by basically taking his son’s inheritance money, which added up to $250,000. The inheritance money from Alan’s father who also left Alan the same amount. Now, I will go back to the grandfather later because he plays an important role. Note that, Alan says that he had no money to open the business and therefore took his son’s $250K in inheritance money, discrepancy #1? Later on the mother says “over 250,000 dollars”  “”inherited some money”. “about 250k”. Hmm we shall see.

The family is miserable and their drama is worse than that of a soap opera on TV. The executive chef “David Blaine” has a big mouth problem and while he is entertaining to watch fight back, you have to wonder why in the world is he even working for these people? f you don’t like the owners you can leave, you know. Also this chef says he is the victim of the family’s scapegoating which he seems to be right about yet he allows raw meat to be served? The chef is not a major character compared to the Saffrons.

Back to the family. Here are the problems. The father, Alan Saffron opened a restaurant., his son unwillingly dragged into it. 16 months later the restaurant is not doing good and they are in debt. “Yelp” has a conspiracy against the Saffrons by supposedly erasing the good reviews and keeping the bad ones. Let’s take a look at Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-kitchen-los-angeles?sort_by=rating_desc&start=240

Please note that Yelp users accuse the Saffrons  to giving themselves good reviews and angrily reply to the negative reviews patrons leave.

Guess they are implying that Yelp is “blackmailing” into making them pay money in order to allow good reviews to  show…an accusation against Yelp. No word yet from Yelp on that one.

Later on Gordon reviews their burgers as terrible. The family gets in a huge confrontation with the chef who claims he’s working for free and is not allowed to do his own recipes. Gordon meets the son who expressed how he was dragged into the business since his father took his money to start it. Then you meet the drama between the family, yelling, the mother walks out, the chef verbally attacks the wife, threatens the son, all of which culminates in the chef being fired. Him demanding his paycheck and the family worried how they will afford to get $1,000 dollars for the paycheck. The father plugs his book, the book he wrote about his father who “backstabbed” him.  Then the show ends to next week

All this left me with a bad taste. Now, I love Gordon Ramsay but I started to suspect something fishy going on and personally I felt that some parts seemed kind of staged. So that’s when I decided to do a little research.

The Strange Discrepancies:

After the show, I was thinking that this must be the worst family in the world. A family that got a break from an inheritance and yet all is gone to hell in bickering, attacks and the family is in debt loosing thousands.

But overall there is a recurring theme of Alan’s father aka Daniel’s grandfather…the man who the Saffrons received an inheritance from. The man who Alan wrote the book about, that he plugs in the show and gives to Gordon as a gift. Alan tells Gordon that his father did not want him to leave Australia and instead stay to help run the business but Alan refused and left. Why is it so important that they keep mentioning him?

Turns out the show left out telling the viewers that the Saffron grandaddy was notorious Australian “crime boss” Abe Saffron, owner of strip clubs, “brothels” accused of bribery, suspected of being involved in a prominent murder in Australia (which he was never charged with) .  Abe Saffron also known as “Mr. Sin”. I don’t know if all that is true but I have to say after reading Abe Saffron’s story on Wikipedia, I rather like him as an interesting figure. Here’s a video on Abe Saffron from youtube.  A story of his passing. And on this one, you can see Burger Kitchen owner Alan making an appearance at 0:11

Here is the younger Alan with his father Abe

Picture courtesy of: http://www.theage.com.au/national/saffrons-son-spills-beans-on-nielsen-killing-20080726-3ler.html

We cannot blame the son for the “sins” of the father but what an interesting man Abe Saffron was! Whatever Abe did, however, is not relevant here.

If you Google Abe Saffron, you will find a series of articles about him and his family. In them you will find that the actual inheritance for all of the Saffron grandchildren was actually $1,000,000 million Australian dollars each.  Which would convert to (1,000,000 Assie Dollars = 1,036,930 USD) that is $1,036,930.00 million US dollars.  A cool million minus taxes, a far cry from the supposed $250,000 that the Saffrons told Gordon that Daniel and Alan got. In fact, the articles mention that all of Alan’s 5 kids (not just Daniel) are said to have received 1 million from grandpa Saffron. And as for Alan, news stories report that he actually received $500,000 dollars…also considerably more than the 250k he told Gordon about. One article mentioned that he cried when he found out his father left him so little money.  Was the different amount a deliberate omission of the truth? We cannot make the accusation because we don’t know the family’s side of the story. First keep in mind that the exchange rate may be off because the inheritance occurred around 2006 or 2007. We could not be sure what the exchange rate was at that time. Perhaps most of the money was lost to taxes, lawyer fees, court fees. Maybe they are getting the full million later, maybe it’s a settlement to be received in sections, maybe most of the money ran out and they only had 250k. Maybe they just omitted it from the show.

And here are the sources:

These are new reports from October:

Saffron Son Battles Executors over Inheritance  (by K McClymont)

Son Alan is After Abe Saffron’s Millions   (by V Carson)

This reveals how Abe Saffron left most of his money to his out of wedlock daughter and mistress. Alan says “I don’t think somebody born of my father’s mistress and her children should be beneficiaries,” well considering that Alan also accuses Abe of breaking into his home in the past …. that might reveal a strained relationship in which the father wasn’t too interested in leaving Alan a bigger amount. It is also interesting to see determined looking Alan Saffron dressed up in what appears to be a suit and tie. A contrast from his regular poor dad look from the Kitchen Nightmare show ; where Alan seems to portray a clueless, calm and somewhat goofy character.

The this article: http://www.smh.com.au/national/mr-sins-family-goes-to-court-as-more-millions-emerge-20110123-1a18q.html?from=age_ft  (K McClymont)

Here Alan, who looks sick due to a stroke says that he should get more money because he had a stroke and could not work. If Mr. Saffron had a stroke then I am sorry to heard this. This was 6-7 months before Gordon Ramsay went to Burger Kitchen to see Alan Saffron working in the restaurant. But no one mentioned  to Gordon how he’s too sick to work.

The article continues: “The will stated that his father had already provided financial support to his son’s family and business during his lifetime. The crime boss also stipulated that if Alan contested the will he was to receive nothing.

And then the article quotes Alan as saying  “‘I am the only legitimate heir” as if this was a battle over the right of succession or something.

Cool Update 1/8/13: This article is a gem: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/lawsuit-over-1m-saffron-bequest/2007/07/07/1183351516617.html
In this article, one can see the battle the Saffron family had to put up a court fight to receive the inheritance they said they were promised. If so, we can add lawyer fees to the list of items that might have depleted their inheritance. And here, the will executors allegedly had to repay the Saffroms 1 million from the estate of Abe Saffron: http://m.smh.com.au/nsw/saffron-executors-to-repay-1m-taken-from-estate-20120910-25oia.html
However, not the full amount of the inheritance which went to Abe Saffron’s daughter.

Daniel Dragged Into The Business? Maybe…Maybe Not

- The story about how Daniel never wanted to be involved in the business and got his $250k taken away by his father (which forced him to work at the restaurant). But why Daniel’s money? Considering that all of Alan’s children got their own inheritance not just Daniel. Also while Daniel says he never wanted to be part of it, this article claims that Alan and Daniel had planned to go into the burger business for a long time: http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/04/burger-kitchen-review-los-angeles-ca.html (D Gambuto. Seriouseats.com) Here is the screenshot:

What? Alan owned a steakhouse in Australia? That’s interesting considering that in the show, Daniel said he asked why would they open a restaurant since they know nothing about the restaurant business. Oh and there’s the “had notions of teaming up on a restaurant project for years” So basically this article says that Alan and Daniel planned on opening a restaurant.

And another question…if Daniel did not want to go into the business, how do you explain his reply on the website above? Take a look at the comments section and check out “Daniel’s” rebuttal to the review, by someone who replied under the name “Daniel Saffron”:

My dad and I poured our lives into this. If this fails, we fail, and it’s as simple as that. We don’t have any investors, just us. This isn’t a concept to make quick cash, this is something we want to do, and have a passion for.

Here is the screenshot:

“This is something WE WANT TO DO“. They key word is WANT TO, compare that to a crying Daniel on Kitchen Nightmares complaining about his money stolen and forced to work on Burger Kitchen against his will.

Who knows. Maybe the son was pushed into the business and now defends it like a good son. Maybe the father/son team actually planned this together but told Gordon otherwise.

Parts That Seemed Staged

Parts of the show seem staged. When Gordon visits Daniel, Daniel shows him a piece of paper that his father gave him as a business partner. He says it’s a worthless piece of paper and rips it up in front of Gordon.  So this paper is so “worthless” that he kept it all this time for 16 whole months. But just now that the cameras are rolling with Gordon, Daniel just decided to finally rip it up….in front of the cameras…for a reality TV show.
The part where the family is trying to figure out how they will afford to give the chef $1,000 for his last paycheck.  Then I got to wonder if the chef might have just been going along with the family. After all, who really works “in the spirit of getting paid” like Alan says. So they want me to believe that since the chef started working at this place he has not been paid at all! And yet when he demands his final paycheck it’s only a mere $1,000?  How long was he working there then, a week two weeks? Because the is the average pay of an executive chef in Los Angeles is this: http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Executive+Chef&l1=Los+Angeles. About $53,000 a year. Probably less if you work for the Saffrons. But it’s only $1,000.  Let’s say that an executive chef at the Saffron’s made minimum wage, it would have been over 3 weeks for him to be owed $1,000. So I should believe that from 1 to 3 half weeks, this man has been terrorized by the Saffrons, not being able to do his own recipes, grown to loathe and bully them. All in 1 to 3 weeks, huh.

 When the family is giving them his check and they all wonder how they will pay for it. Well, they’re not on Kitchen Nightmares for free! I’m pretty sure the guests get paid a certain amount, so the chef’s $1,000 check is the least of their worries. Also it doesn’t seem like the Saffrons are too worried about discounting any social security tax, tax withholding, medicare tax.. Nothing, so they basically paid him under the table on national TV :p

Maybe it’s was a publicity stunt to plug the dad’s book on national television. I mean if you look at the episode you just wonder how much of it could have been staged by the family. I don’t know how much of Gordon’s team knew about it but there is a possibility that they just interviewed this dysfunctional family and thought that they would make a good episode drama material. Since these shows do cast people before choosing on a candidates for the episodes. But the bickering, the discrepancies and then plugging the book just makes you wonder… if maybe this is a show-business family. But then you have this article:  Saffron’s son spills beans on Nielsen killing (L Carty http://www.theage.com.au)

In this article, Alan Saffron is described as a Los Angeles agent. A far cry from a struggling burger restaurant owner who has family drama.

Saffron jnr – a Los Angeles-based agent – is in Australia to launch his book, Gentle Satan,

Now, Mr Saffron is touting his family story as a film or television series.
Screenshots here:

A film or television series! BOOM there you have it!! All the bickering, all the drama, all the my father took my money, the we’re in debt, we don’t have enough money to pay the chef.  All of it on national television. An effort to have a film or television series? And how likely would it be if maybe the Saffrons put on their best act to get the attention of the Kitchen Nightmares show producers to appear on national television. To gain interest in the book, to get some publicity. Why plug the book then? Was it in hopes that a show producer watching TV would say “wow I’d love to make a show about this family, like Keeping up With the Saffrons“.

Although I will quote from Alan’s own LinkedIn profile (which I wont link to profiles but got a screenshot of it) he does write:

Wrote a best selling book, Gentle Satan, published by Penguin Books, Australia
My current goal is to continue talent management with a select few clients and to expand my restaurant into a small chain.
Finally turn my best selling book in to a movie.

And Gordon Ramsay’s show is the tool by which this could happen perhaps? Though I doubt it because this family has repulsed most of the Kitchen Nightmare audience. Of course, no one ever mentions to Gordon how the dad of the burger joint has a side venue of managing Hollywood talent. Quite the contrary, Mr Saffron seems quite immersed in the restaurant business full time. He is listed as either president or agent of some talent management companies and one of his clients is Tobin Bell, whom I just realized is the guy from Saw so that’s one positive thing. http://www.celebmagnet.com/2010/11/saw-3d-tobin-bell-jigsaw-box-office.html (P Michelle).

Overall you have to wonder… were the omissions on purpose? Did the family try to portray itself one way in order to gain the interest of the show, to be on national television and bring some publicity for themselves? Plugging the book and then realizing that the father wants to make a movie out of it. The inheritance amount, the drama. You be the judge.

I am, in a way tempted to try this place but I cannot support it considering that in my opinion it is very likely that the family reached out to Gordon for publicity and attention rather than to receive real help. Just my opinion. Also, the one time I made it to LA I opted for Kosher meals.  Although I must admit that Burger Kitchen is highly praised for its extensive beer collection, which is fantastic. Too bad I live very far away from this place. I wish them the best in their restaurant venue. Also, I do not have a personal vendetta against this family.

I have heard that a fellow blogger was accused of attacking the Saffrons because they are Jewish and that they take to responding angrily when anyone post anything negative about them. Well, can’t accuse me of being an anti-semite since I am semitic of Sephardic Jewish origin (hence my SuperJew blogger tittle). I am merely pointing some things that did not seem to match.  I  am extremely disappointed if I wait to see my favorite Gordon Ramsay show and find what I perceive to be a group of people who could have used him and his show for their own hidden agenda of self-promotion rather than being a poor family reaching out for to Gordon for honest help.

It seems, also that since 2010 when the restaurant opened, the family had Gordon Ramsay in mind, going back to Daniel’s rebuttal where he states:

Not everyone in the world is as rich or powerful as wolfgang puck or chef ramses.

No not everyone can be like “chef ramses” but at least you can audition to get into his show and plug the book that can become a movie, right?

Best of luck to the family and hopefully their business will improve from the Kitchen Nightmare experience. It is quite possible that there have been positive changes and it is up to the people of Los Angeles to go check it out for themselves. Also kudos on the beer collection that everyone raves about. As for Kitchen Nightmares and Gordon Ramsay, I love them and this is not intended to be against them at all. I believe that Gordon and his staff honestly had good intentions in trying to help what they believed to be a poor family and their restaurant. But you have to wonder, how much help did the Saffrons really need?

If anyone is interested in the book, check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Gentle-Satan-Father-Abe-Saffron/dp/071810496X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320573033&sr=8-1

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139 Comments
  1. That is very interesting. I did mention this episode on my blog. I wonder how much of it was staged?

    • That’s a good blog you have there FSK! Thanks.

    • Suzi permalink

      Was Daniel the food blogger that Bethenny Frankel palled around with on Bethenny Ever After?

  2. Reg permalink

    After reading this I thought Ill leave a comment since I know the Saffron family.
    Alan is exactly as he gets portrayed on the show.

    a clueless man on the brink of being a child, Abe has invested millions over the years in many many of Alan business failures in the past and actually bankrolled the family including schooling for and this includes the other grandchildren from Alan first marriage.
    Alan came to Australia expecting to be the sole beneficiary of the will and when he realized he was not he decided to write a book (all fiction) trying to make up for the $$ he thought he would have got.

    Daniel is really immature and was taken advantage of after Alan wasted his 500k , the daughter took her 1Mil and moved away as she was the mature one: Daniels girlfriend is actually nuts as well, the wife is oblivious I always felt they lived on a different planet like they did know know whats going on.

    I guess that’s what happens when you get an allowance your whole life….

    You can ask anything you want from Dave he is very much like Alan …
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=632010539

    • I am honored to have the comment of someone who knows more about this, Reg.
      One positive thing out of it is that I learned about Abe Saffron and I think he was a very interesting man with quite an amazing life!! As for Alan, it’s utterly stupid for him to think he is the only one allowed to be the beneficiary because as he said in an article “I am the only legitimate heir”. Well, Mr Abe Saffron did have other children and even though he wasn’t married to their mother it seems that he loved all his children. “Legitimate” or not, they are his kids, his flesh and blood and have 100% rights to the inheritance they got. it sickens me to see how Alan portrays himself as a humble poor dad on the tv show and then in real life he’s trying bump Abe’s daughter and her kids off the inheritance? Greedy bastard! He’ll never get his way.
      As for making his book into a movie? Well, I would LOVE to see a movie about Abe Saffron but I do not want to see a movie about Abe Saffron’s son. Because Abe Saffron’s son is just that…. his son, the real historical figure who accomplished so much in his life is and always will be Abe.

      • James permalink

        read below to see the truth

  3. mark permalink

    Nice work on this. Saw the show and was curious a bout the chef. Got way more info than I bargained for. It was a fun read. Thx

    • Thanks Mark :)
      It’s one of those things that you read a little and find out more and more about.

  4. adam saffron permalink

    ~ very nice blog, good on yha mate as for my dad his always been a hot shot for a hot spot, ( my name is adam saffron btw ) I love gordon ramasy cooking and his shows, that kitchen burger one was two staged for me and way out line with my dad and gen as usual, I have not been in touch with him for along time due to him ignoring my feelings and famliy with many reasons …I will say again very nice blog if u wont to know anything about me or ask ???? for your blog feel free to ask https://www.facebook.com/agsaffron
    thank you and take care :)

    • Anonymous permalink

      Excuse me
      But I’m nothing like my father
      D

    • Thank you Adam. By no means do I mean any disrespect towards you or your family. I admit that I have started to feel a bit guilty afterwards. It is easy to watch a show and write about it and forget that the people on the little screen are actual living people. I just had many questions about it after watching the episode. I actually have become very interested in Abe Saffron and his life. He was a very interesting man, very brilliant to build an empire like he did. His memory will never be disrespected on my blog.

      Thanks again. Take care.

    • I you are ok Adam.. this family is toxic and the farther you stay away (saddly) the better off you wil be….

  5. Inanely silly permalink

    You do understand that this is entertainment right? Maybe that’s why the chef stayed there? Because the shows producers are paying him a bucket? No? Did you ever think it’s entertainment and that’s why he let raw meat go? So people would want to keep watching? Right?

    • Thank you for gracing us with your comment. However the fact that this is entertainment is not at issue here. Of course everyone knows this was entertainment we’re not morons. To ask us if we are aware of it is redundant.
      We are bringing to light other issues of the family that were not discussed in the show. If you just want to focus on the entertainment aspect then please by all means just watch the episode be entertained and don’t ask questions about it.

      Have a nice day.

  6. James permalink

    First everyone has recieved thier inheritance. The eight grand children recieved $1,000,000 each, the mistress Terri recieved about $4,000,000 in cash and property, the illigitimate daughter, Melissa recieved over $4,000,000 in cash and property. Alan, as the only son, recieved only $500,000. A residual remains and Alan is sueing for that as he had a stroke and feels he was unfairly treated in the original will. Furthermore Alan has offered ann extremely fair settlement to avoid the draining of the estate, and where all 8 grand children are included in the settlement. The Executors of the estate took over $1,000,000 in commission without court approval, similar to stealing. I am sick of everyone attacking Alan, I am a close personal friend.

    • Anonymous permalink

      “I am sick of everyone attacking Alan, I am a close personal friend.” said Alan, like a weirdo.

  7. James permalink

    Additional to the above. The show was filmed over 7 days and highly edited. Example Alan mentioned his father was a crime boss but was not included. The book was not for promotion but interest only as Gordon saw it on the office desk and asked about it. Daniel mentioned that he invested and was glad his father forced him into the business but this was edited. Alan had a stroke in December and has hardly been in the restaurant’ , since the show Daniel is the sole operator. Shots of Alan were done so as not to show his severe limp and almost no use of his left arm. he mentioned to the show he had a stroke and had to sign a health waiver .

    • Sooo Gordon just casually glanced at the book and took a keen interest so he decided to stage Alan gifting him the book. Aka Gordon faked/staged that particular moment and told Alan something like “pretend you’re giving me the book as a gift and I’ll quote from it in the next episode”. This basically admits some staging. Naturally show producers need to suggest and add things to make things more juicy for the viewers.
      I do wonder if Gordon would have the same opinion of how this particular event happened though. I just believe that Mr Saffron wants to turn the book into a movie, plus it is written in an article that he was looking to turn it into a tv series or movie. And then there’s his LinkedIn profile in which Alan writes “to turn my best selling book into a movie”. Who knows. Also this blog was based on the first episode. I lost interest in the second episode since I just felt this was overly-staged with drama.
      Lastly, if Alan got 500k in the inheritance, that is what Abe felt he deserved. And an article mentions that Abe warned that if Alan fights it, he would get nothing (link posted on the blog above). I do feel for Alan, had my father done the same to me and giving most of his money to an out of wedlock child I too would have felt betrayed and saddened. So I feel for Alan. I wish him the best.
      I just feel that this particular Kitchen Nightmares episode with this family was just so much different than the other families. I do know that producers put casting calls for these shows, interview potential guests and the families. And in turn, the families need to capture the interest of the casting agents.
      It just so happens that Mr Saffron is a talent agent with connections to Hollywood and aspirations to turn his book into a movie. And I happen to see how this person and his family do not just get to be on Kitchen Nightmares but get 2 whole episodes whereas everyone else just gets one. And Gordon, who is mostly very vocal and involved in his shows, kind of just stands back and lets the Saffrons do most of the talking, fighting, and what I perceive to be acting for the cameras.
      Overall I felt this was not the same show I came to love.

      • agreed. It seems vastly different than other shows, and 2 shows, which seemed more like a Dr Phil show.

        Strange stumbling into all this.. heck, everything here feels staged too ;)

  8. scott permalink

    full abe saffron story here, http://www.smh.com.au/tv/show/mr-sin/the-abe-saffron-story-20111025-1mhnw.html

  9. Anonymous permalink

    There’s a reason why this is a blog and not journalism. I stopped reading when you said they received 1.1 plus million in american dollars. That would be true if the money was distributed today, but it was distributed to the saffrons (living in america that is), when the Aussie dollar was very weak to the american dollar.

    I would surmise that the saffrons living in the states only received about 700,000 total. If you factor in a 240,000 plus investment into a restaurant, (and probably a lot more, as it is assumed Daniel is the one covering all the bills and rent in the episode, so let’s jack that up to 300,000), then you are left with 400,000 dollars.

    If you take the seven years time it took to get to this point (from when abe saffron died), that is a living cost of 57,000 dollars a year.

    I do not know Daniel’s life, nor Alan’s, but if I was to gather anything out of this, Daniel got screwed by Alan, who in turn screwed himself over royally by his past actions.

    • with all due respect, sir, I think you actually stopped reading at the disclaimer where I made it clear that this is a BLOG of OPINION. If you want journalism please refer to the links I posted from actual jounalists. Second I have no idea where you get 1.1 million it was just 1 mill. And I did state that I don’t know the families side of the amount plus that it was probably less due to taxes or settlements. And I did mention how it was $1 mill in 2007 money. But of course you “stopped reading” at that point. Unless you somehow have solid proof of the actual inheritance amounts then your
      “calculations” are just opinions just like mine
      are. Fact of the matter is that we were not there so all we can do assume for ourseves and I do invite the readers to make up their own minds. My suggestion is, if you stop reading something then maybe stop commenting. It is strange for me to see how one would boast about not bothering to read my blog yet leaves a comment. Well if my blog is not important enough why should I even bother with someone’s comment at all? For the
      record I don’t beieve Alan actually stole money from Daniel since I feel most of the
      show was staged. It is my opinion just as others have a right to agree or disagree. So far Daniel’s brother and someone else who knows the Saffrons personally commented on my blog and did not dispute any amounts even though we don’t agree on all of my opinions which naturally have a margin of error. Also
      this is just an opinion blog

      • although most of this is interesting, and a bit strange, it seems YELP says the food still sucks.

        Most of the time, I check after the show, and sadly the places Gordon “helps” are out of business. I “felt” sad for the greek family from a recent show as the place closed.

        This is the first time, I was expecting it to be closed, and now I actually hope and pray it does!..

        still, it seems to be still around ??

        food sucks tho.. the son’s placed looked like crap which explained if his father was taking advantage of him. If it was not staged, the chef, tho making many mistakes, was right about the mom.

        Overall, you can discount all this crap, and I thought the book thing was cheesy, and now it makes more sense.

        At least, the family is screwed up but now in the way we saw on the show–that makes me a feel a little better.

        I will check back in few months on YELP, and hopefully Part 3 closes this place.

  10. Rob permalink

    One glance at the family and you can tell they are part of the tribe known historically for their crime and general treachery and dishonesty.

  11. I can tell you right now, I know Alan personally, and this episode of “Burger Kitchen” is absolutely correct–in fact, he’s even worse as a human being. This show portrayed him in a much more fair light than I would have. For example, he made some girls applying for waitressing jobs slip down to their underwear. He’s more chauvinist and arrogant than this show could ever capture.

    I understand it might be hard for a normal civilized person to watch this show and believe people can be this dysfunctional, but trust me. He is.

    • Anonymous permalink

      I did notice that the servers were all attractive… There was one scene where all of the staff and family was lines up in a row and I got a bad vibe from Alan. I know that sounds ridiculous but I can reasonably believe what you said.

    • Do you know where Alan, Gen or Daniel are today? Do you know where they live?

      • Steve–

        Do you know if this is where he lives now? Does he live with his wife and Daniel? His wife did say she was thinking of leaving him on the show

        Do you have a phone number too?

  12. D. Faoro permalink

    Actually if you watch the episode neither person ever says they ONLY received 250k, Alan only says he used that much of his money and he took that much of his sons money. Watching the show I assumed he received more than that because Daniels parents continue to ask him for more money and if he’s not getting paid a salary from The Burger Kitchen where would that money come from? In fact when the chef is fired they ask Daniel if he can deposit the $1,000 into the account so the check will clear and during another part Daniels girlfriend says the parents use the restaurants money to pay their rent but Daniel has to pay his out of his own pocket. I don’t think this show is stage at all. I don’t know why people think this. The reason people still fail after the show leaves is because their egos emerge and they start to believe they know best again even though they have been handed a recipe for success.

    • lot of it seems stages, and even admits in the fast fine print it is to some extent: scenes are put in out of real time sequence, and people know they are being filmed for the episode.

      YELP stated they did not have the cool POS system or even the new menu…

      POS system seemed obv a gift.. unless they sold it ;)

      • Some good points J thanks for the input. This episode did make an impression on a lot of people, we’re all still talking about it because it was just so dramatic. I kind of wish I could go in person to check out the place. I think I might just to add it to my blog.
        And to D. Faoro, thanks for the reply.
        My thing is that in the show, they made it seem like Daniel was forcefully dragged into the business by Alan- and yet a few months before the show, Daniel was online posting about him and his father planed about opening the place, and how they have a passion for burgers. Then Alan, the talent agent goes public about trying to get a reality TV show and/or movie. It just all seemed fishy to me.

      • bchez permalink

        By the time the show aired, there was already a new company running it. The Libertine group took over in September. I am assuming they took the POS with them/sold it etc.

      • Bchez–

        What is the POS? They sold the business in September? It was open in January. Does this new company own alot of restaurants in town?

  13. Scarlett Begonia permalink

    I just saw the episode last night and it was disturbing to say the least. The Mom was just out of this world and Alan, unreal. I don’t know how anyone could work for or with these people. I Googled Polaris Entertainment

    http://www.polarisent.com/cprofile.html

    And the company profile says Alan is a Manager and has been a talent manager for the past 12 years. Proves the man is a liar. If I were a client of his and saw Kitchen Nightmares I would be finding different representation and fast. Both Alan and his nutbar wife are clearly unethical people. Why anyone would want someone like Alan representing them in the entertainment industry is beyond my grasp. I hope their Burger place closes down.
    I don’t really like the US version of KN. The UK version was much more real. The US version only proves that most of the owners want Chef Ramsay’s help so they can sell up or be on tv.

    • I agree about the UK version being more real. The US version is full of tears and screaming.

    • The restaurant was closed before the show aired. I went there about 3-4 days before valentines day, and the new owner were already in, opening a new Italian restaurant. They were gone before the show aired, how sad.. they might have made money with the aftermath of it all.

    • Polaris Inc closed years ago.— It is not in business.

  14. Anonymous permalink

    Fascinating. I usually don’t watch the show and don’t even like to watch conflict, but this one kept me watching. I think all of the family members were strange, the chef had some sort of anger problem (who’s forcing you to serve nasty burgers), with Daniel coming across as the most normal. I could see how Alan had had a stroke–I couldn’t place what was off about him (apart from the obviously odd personality). Frankly, the most irritating person was the girlfriend. Sheesh.

    • According to Yelp- Burger Kitchen is now closed… http://www.yelp.com/biz/burger-kitchen-los-angeles

  15. Steve permalink

    I didn’t put my name in the one above, please delete it, Thanks

    Hi Millie,
    Great blog… I don’t think his stunt, if it was, worked.. the joint is closed.

    It says he worked for Army Intelligence in Aussie-land, I’m calling B.S. on that.
    His dad was a MAJOR crime boss over there, they wouldn’t touch this guy… Also, he talks too much to have worked in that position.
    Who is their right mind is going to put it out there on national TV that he embezzled monies from a trust that he was trustee of? That’s a major felony, (one at least), “IF”, in fact there is any truth to it, you know?

    I wouldn’t trust this guy or anything that comes out of his mouth, as far as I could through him.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this with us… very good read.

    • Thanks Steve!! I sure would love to see a picture of Alan in his Army uniform. You’re right to be in military intelligence you have to be at the top of the clean list. With Alan’s dad (who I actually find him to be a fascinating figure) the “crime boss” rep and as Alan claims that Abe put him in a mental hospital, the government would not like to touch him for a top intelligence job.
      I am actually curious about the Gentle Satan book but honestly I think that Abe Saffron was not as bad a father as Alan claims him to be. His other daughter from a “mistress” seemed to have been close to him and never says how “abusive” Abe was. My take is that Mr Alan exaggerated about having a bad father and there is a reason that Abe didn’t feel like he needed to give his son more than 500k dollars. Not to mention that Abe had already invested in all of Alan’s “business” like his failed 1990’s toy store business here: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-02-02/news/we-27315_1_toy-empire In the end, Burger Kitchen is just another failed business for Alan. Although all he has to worry about is his Hollywood talent agency (he does represent the guy from Saw) and trying to make his family get a reality TV show or trolling for a production company to invest in a movie about him being the suffering son of Abe Saffron.
      As for Daniel, the internet has records of him saying how both his father Alan and him planned on opening a restaurant and how both of them have a passion for burgers and wanted to do this…a far cry from Alan stealing his money and forcing Daniel to work at the burger joint like they claim on the show.
      In the end, I would love to watch a movie about Abe Saffron because I think his story is fascinating but I do not want to watch a show or movie about Alan and his USA family who I feel just try to exploit a free ride on Abe Saffron’s fame. Abe’s other kid and Alan’s Aussie kids are ok. It’s the USA Saffrons I don’t want to hear about.
      Anyways thanks for the comment :-) Have a good one.

      • Well the toystore is still open but is owned by someone else now after Alan left. http://www.toydirectory.com/monthly/article.asp?id=3091

      • Joe permalink

        Well just the fact that Danny was saying how he was opening it with his father and that he had passion for burgers in no way proves he wasn’t dragged into it. Of course he is going to say something like that when trying to launch a new business, that whether he wanted to or not, he is a part of now. He isn’t going to advertise it by saying “My SOB father stole my money and dragging me into this business”.

        Plus his girlfriend and parents both admitted to taking the money from him, and dragging him in…

      • Well he sure had no problem showing how he was dragged into it in front of the cameras for Chef Ramsay’s show.
        The parents can admit to anything but judging on how nothing they say can be trusted they’re just words for a show that the dad is trying to get a show/movie about. The more drama the more potential. Staged enough for the cameras, they can say and admit to anything they want

  16. Steve permalink

    Read this article, this Alan Saffron is looking to really piss off some people.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/saffrons-son-spills-beans-on-nielsen-killing-20080726-3ler.html

  17. Millie– I know a little more about this restaurant than the average joe, and it made me laugh……. thank you for that on a Monday morning…

    I hope for anyone who ate at this place, at least enjoyed the quality of some of the items. I know the bakery who provided the buns is an amazing place, and their products are really good. They are a wholesale bakery who sells to a local market in my neighborhood.

    If you like the bread, maybe you can contact them to see where you can buy it… http://www.thecadorobakery.com

    You mentioned that these owners could not pay the chef…. that is not the only people they could not pay. Alan, Jen nor Daniel have not paid the vendors who provided the products to make their meals. My friend told me they have been stiffed by them for $6,500 and is upset because they are a small business, and now no where to be found.. That is really sad in this economy.

    I don’t think Chef Ramsey could have fixed this mess….. it was chaos. These people disappeared overnight between the first and second week of February, and a new restaurant was going in….. If Abe was who he was, it is not surprising to learn that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

    Millie, thank you for all the research…. I at least got one good laugh from all the drama.. and for those who think Alan should have gone to jail, well I think Daniel was in from the start, and the only one who can prosecute Alan is Daniel… and you know Daniel is not going to do that. His hands are as dirty as his father’s.

    By the way for parking in this area, all the restaurants on that block have valet attendants to park your car…. parking is a real issue in this area. I saw a lot of nice restaurants in that neighborhood when I drove by recently.

  18. bobdablob permalink

    Umm, you do know that “reality tv” is not REALITY, right? Using piles and piles of rough footage they create an interesting story in the editing room. Although it is not traditionally scripted, it is still “written,” with planned scenes, themes, character arcs, and so forth. They decide who will be the hero and who will be the villain, and manipulate them into saying bits of dialogue that will support these roles. They piece together a work of FICTION by using whatever out of context bits support the story they want to tell, and stage scenes when necessary to complete the story. A few years ago the uncredited screenwriters for reality shows picketed for the right to join the WGA and be paid union rates. They lost, because producers want to keep churning out ultra-cheap reality instead of paying fair wages for traditional shows.

    • Yes, I do. I think the wonderful or not so wonderful part of the whole thing is that without ANY effort… which makes your job easier, these people are this crazy to start off with…. they are LIKE this —-

      This show must of had the rating high for this night cause this is just too funny —- no one could make up a situation like this… it is over the top..

      I hope there are re runs of it!

      • Steve permalink

        It’s available right now on Hulu… I actually have it posted on my Facebook page.. boy did people respond to that.

        Remember the show “Wife Swap”… remember that lady that thought everyone and everything was possessed by the devil? Talk about OVER THE TOP… this lady was beyond being “Cuckoo For CoCo Puffs”!

        …but she ended up being interviewed on TV stations. Had to really grab the ratings the night the repeat was on.

      • Hulu.. what is the site… I know we are going to want to see this again now that we know the story!

      • Steve permalink

        http://www.hulu.com

  19. Steve permalink

    Here you go…

    Part 1.
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/296774/kitchen-nightmares-burger-kitchen-part-1

    Part 2.
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/299206/kitchen-nightmares-burger-kitchen-part-2

    Enjoy!!

  20. Steve permalink

    Curious,
    In retrospect I shouldn’t have posted the address but I did and you saw it.
    As far as are they there now, probably… the house hasn’t been sold in a long time.

    Millie, sorry for posting the address.

    • No worries.

  21. Steve permalink

    You can always tell people that have become wealthy with no idea how to handle that money.
    Doing a little further checking I found some addresses for Daniel in Bel Air , Ca. the riches area in L.A.
    When you get ‘new’ money, you need to learn how to handle it wisely. A million $$ is not that much money anymore…after inheritance taxes etc I’m not sure what you are left with.

    ….whatever it is, PaPa Saffon took a quarter of the million, IF THAT’S THE TRUTH?

    Personally I don’t believes anything much that comes out of their mouths.

    • Anonymous permalink

      I think this guy wants you to think he is wealthy…. my research suggest that these addresses are just that, addresses. My guess is that they dont have a pot to piss in.. but they keep the saga up to defraud people……. that is how they survive..

  22. I am an Australian, I know what a meat pie is and that sir was no meat pie. Wars have started over lessor insults! 8-)

    Interesting episode.

    • He would not know a meat pie if he saw it!

  23. James permalink

    First, my compliments to your blog sight as it is the fairest that I have read.
    I never stole one dollar from my son and we both jointly agreed to go into Burger Kitchen together. All the company minutes and stock certificates, from the day we openened varify this and it has been further confirmed by Daniel’s lawyer. The restaurant is closed and I found a buyer who will return all of Daniel’s money first before i see a penny.
    There is much more to the show than meets the eye as it was highly editited and i was deliberately potrayed as the villian. Under no circumstance would i hurt any member of my family and only wish them all the best.
    The book has been out for four years, was a best seller in Australia, and my idea to make it in to a movie or TV show has long passed. Ramsay genuinely saw it on the desk in the office and the producers decided to use it. There is so many more things that I could say, but everyone has already formed thier opinion, and the haters far outweigh everyone else.

    • Mary permalink

      so was this a partnership or was this a corporation… or maybe a partnership in a corporation…. this gets better all the time…..

    • zbestwun2001 permalink

      Then who’s the liar… you or your son?
      You said you took the money and now you said you didn’t.
      You can’t keep your stories straight, which is what happens when all you do is lie.

      You’re a con and an unsuccessful one at that.
      You’re money management skills rival those of an imbecile.

  24. James permalink

    I don’t no how the last post came up as james as it is me, Alan Saffron

    • Sandy, Dublin, Ireland permalink

      It’s from back in November when you pretended to be someone other than yourself, and you wrote the following:

      “First everyone has recieved thier inheritance. The eight grand children recieved $1,000,000 each, the mistress Terri recieved about $4,000,000 in cash and property, the illigitimate daughter, Melissa recieved over $4,000,000 in cash and property. Alan, as the only son, recieved only $500,000. A residual remains and Alan is sueing for that as he had a stroke and feels he was unfairly treated in the original will. Furthermore Alan has offered ann extremely fair settlement to avoid the draining of the estate, and where all 8 grand children are included in the settlement. The Executors of the estate took over $1,000,000 in commission without court approval, similar to stealing. I am sick of everyone attacking Alan, I am a close personal friend.”

      Your computer has remembered your ID and has “outed” you as “James”.
      I have to say I feel very sorry for your son Daniel, it was heartbreaking to see how he was treated by someone who should care for him. I hope at least he got his money back from the sale of the restaurant.

  25. gen hoeme permalink

    Millie Its 2am your facinating comments have kept me at the edge of my seat… i say you are better than the show itself :)

    This is a good blog. I wonder what gordon made of it all, after the fact

    • Thanks so much Gen! :)
      I’d be curious to see what Gordon would say.
      -Millie

  26. ian permalink

    this family is insane… this blog and responses are great.
    the chef was as fake as you can get. i thought i was watching gerry springer show

    my advice to alan he should go back to aussie and follow in his father footsteps, if he is so upset with the money

    • Thanks Ian. Sometimes I’m still in disbelief of the family. :)

  27. Anonymous permalink

    I don’t know if you’ve ever worked in the service industry, but it’s completely plausible to hate your boss after 1-3 weeks. I worked a holiday job as a waiter for 4 weeks once, and by the end I loathed the manager and her boyfriend. I say it’s completely plausible.

    • You’re absolutely right. I’m not questioning his dislike of the owners but I am questioning how can an executive chef, an adult who has to worry about bills etc.. work “in the spirit of being paid” meaning that all the time he worked there he had not gotten paid at all. Then his paycheck was only $1,000 dollars which makes me wonder how long DID he actually work there to only get 1,000. That’s the part that seems weird to me. An executive chef in LA is supposed to make much more according to the city average. They never really say when he started working there, only that they went from chef to chef. That is if he really was their long term chef, who knows this episode just seemed off and staged.

      • Anonymous permalink

        I know it is easy to “hate” or dislike someone after a few weeks of working with them.. I tried to work once for someone I had know for years, only to find out they were a whole different person in a work environment….

        This is totally insane… first we have a husband and wife partnership.. that then brings in a son, and now it is sort of a corporation maybe because of stock issued, etc…. the executive chef quits… yeah we have been in a recession and people are willing to do whatever it takes to make a buck, but sometimes it is so bad that you HAVE to just give up and move on…

        Now Alan is not only on this show, but he is on this site trying to explain how it really goes as James, and I have NO clue what is real and fake…

        Will the REAL Burger Kitchen please stand up!!!

  28. zbestwun2001 permalink

    If that in fact is really Alan, I have a few words for him.

    You son has you by the cajones right now, I guess you don’t understand the duties of a trustee?
    I am not going to enumerate them to you.. you can Google them, but know this… your fiduciary duties as a trustee is accountable to the courts. Fraud, embezzlement, (which is what you did to begin with) is not just frowned upon, they throw your ass in PRISON for it.

    If I was Daniel, you bet I would be at an attorney’s office and hire him to recover my funds because I learned this, you are just a greedy SOB.
    I also know your did knew this because of how he handled his will.

    See, I respect your dad… not for being a Gangster but for being smart enough to get away with most of the stuff he did, serving at the most 18 ms. Also for taking care of all his kids. But YOU Alan Saffron are a joke.

    I’m in the entertainment business her in the Hollywood area and I know a bit about you.

    In a nutshell, you’re a thief and a dumb one at that. Yet, NOW… you’re going back to Australia to try and get more money that wasn’t left to you.

    att: Millie, sorry for the strong language but I have strong feelings on this.

    When You Look In The Mirror Alan, what do you see? How do you sleep at night knowing your stole a quarter mil from you son of all people, that’s what I want to know.

    • Everyone has freedom of speech here :-)

    • Of course I don’t think Alan really “stole” anything, since in articles it was posted that Daniel and Alan had planned on opening the place for some time.
      But I was not there :-) Only Daniel and Alan would know. Everyone can decide for themselves.

      • Anonymous permalink

        I have done extensive research of my own, and this saga is even crazier than you can believe… I feel bad for Daniel cause I think he got railroaded in, but he is was in from the beginning, and he did sign his name to official documents, but he did sign… I am not privy to go into the details right now.

        I also want to note that while the (grand) children were given $1,000,000.. each.. it was Australian dollars, which was about .4 or .6 to a dollar, about $500,000— so the facts have to be put into perspective. This estate was not THAT big!!!

        Alan is either VERY dumb, or he is very slick.. not sure which right now….. and there is still a lot that does not add up.

      • Kingster permalink

        Anonymous, if it was .4 or.6 AUS$ to the US$ as you state, the inheritance would actually be worth MORE than the AUS$ amount.

        You are right, there is a lot that does not add up, but in your case, I feel that in your case, it has more to do with your cretinous, imbecilic grasp of basic mathematical principles than anything else.

  29. Nu, I would like to again say that I am not responsible for the opinions expressed in the comments. But I do believe in freedom of speech for all. (less it contains dox or racial attacks which have not taken place here so all the comments are cool).

    For Allan, all I have to say is Hag Pesach Sameach

  30. John Parker permalink

    Stop reading as soon as I saw your calculation of currency exchange. You don’t know when they converted the money from AUD to USD, if you bothered to research currency, you’d notice that over the last few years, the dollar has lost a lot of ground to the AUD but this was not always the case. On that point alone, you have invalidated your whole argument. Next time, think before you write!

    • I did no calculations. I got the amounts from an actual article and used a conversion tool AND put a disclaimer that the amount could be very different because of the time (it was a few years ago), taxes (which I see that you’re so smart you didn’t even mention how taxes would affect the amount) and because it was foreign currency. I think you might need glasses because you totally missed that. It’s funny that the Saffron family themselves have looked at my article and replied and none of them have any problem with the amounts I wrote (since I have the disclaimer and do mention that it could have been very different). They have no problem with it, it’s only weirdos who troll around the net who have a problem with it. And hey, if the Saffrons have no problem with it, I wont be bothered if some random guy from London has a problem with it
      I have an idea, why don’t YOU do the research and find out exactly how much the total inheritance was. Pop out a couple of court documents and tell everyone the exact amount, do your research- can you do that “John Parker”…?
      You must be real smart to come into my blog and think you’re going to talk down to anyone. I don’t think so, if you don’t like what my blog says then go away, no one made you come here and no one made you write here. Don’t like it then why even bother with it if only to be a jerk about it. How about NEXT TIME think before you write and don’t bother to look at the disclaimer and think twice before you write to people with rudeness and contempt, who do you think you are, the editor in chief of News of the World, whatever man!
      It’s ok, there wont be a next time, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want in it. Hows about that, JOHN.

    • Hey Parker-
      What’s your problem?
      Even ”IF” those calculations were wrong, remember that’s ”IF”, how would it in anyway invalidate any other points that were made in this blog. You’re ridiculous…In the realm of things nothing changes. We are still dealing with a Lower Level Unsuccessful Conman that will screw over his kids… and then cries when it’s stuck to him by his dad in his will, contests it and wants more.
      DOES THE AMOUNT REALLY MATTER Johnny BOY? If it was less, would that make it OK then? Talk to me, tell me what you think, I’M INTERESTED?

      Would it be OK if it was only $1,000? We’re talking about a Trustee appoint by the courts to protect Daniel’s money and he stole it plain and simple. I hate thieves, but as far as you are concerned… it’s more important to get the math calculations correct than to discuss this guys lack of morality.

      I could go on and on but in respect for Lillian I’ll say, “Talley Ho” for now….

  31. Anonymous permalink

    There’s nothing wrong with London…

    • Of course not, London is a lovely city, being part English myself. Still, if people want to correct something or are displeased with something I wrote that’s ok. It depends on how they say it though. There is a difference between giving polite constructive criticism or being nasty about it. It has nothing to do with being from London, I apologize if this was wrong on my part.

    • Englishman permalink

      Well apart from being 60% uninvited foreigners, many of them european crooks, such as Romanian and nigerian fraudsters, Russian protection racketeers, polish trafficers (although the romanians specialise in child sex trafficing) , and lithuanian prostitutes. And the good old EU completely prevents us from throwing any oif them out. No, dont come to London, the rest of us avoid it like the plague

      • Englishman, I feel what you mean. Truth is I love England, my grandmother was English and I am very proud of that. But what you are saying is something I completely understand. :(

  32. Once again I would like to state that I have no problem with the Saffrons. I just watched an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and felt something was off and headed to my blog to vent. Sure I was upset when I wrote it but since then I’ve calmed down and actually realize I have no problem with the Saffrons or Kitchen Nightmares. I mean it’s just a show right?
    I apologize if any of my writings were insulting to anyone. I hold no ill will to the Saffrons and I’m sorry if they are getting attacked. I actually do NOT believe Alan stole any inhertance money since once again it was stated online that both Daniel and Alan planned on opening the restaurant. I mean if they both planned it..
    But anyways I can understand how passionate people can get over it and I respect that. I just didn’t mean for it to get this much attention.

    • Anonymous permalink

      Wow I just tried to find the burger restraunt on yelp to see how they were doing and stumbled into this! Very good blog and loads of interesting info here. Just in response to Englishman posts I to am english who grew up in london both north of the rive in Kilburn and south in Bermondsy/Rotherhithe. My dad is Irish and came to London during the period when he still needed a Visa for entry and he couldn’t go into pubs along with dogs and black people. My mother is Scottish of german heritage. I get kind of fed up with people who forget that London, along with the majority of european capitals, have always been centres of immigration. Indeed in a recent DNA sampling of East Anglia it was found that 75% had scandanvian heritage.

      I’m not saying that by any means immigration doesn’t bring problems or create tensions as it can do but its a part of life and the way the world is developing will become an even greater aspect of large city living. Much of what you talk about is highly organised crime that operates at a international level and as such is very had to tackle. I think its also pretty naive to think that at any point in time was London any different, I point you to a book by Gamini Salgado called ‘The Elizabethan Underworld’. Whilst there may not be many nigerians kicking about in Elizabethan London there was quite a varied mix of european and local rascals dealing in chid prostitution, brothels, drugs, fraud and robbery etc. In fact your response is pretty much what was popular at the time with much of the ills of the nation blamed on others. Anyhoo great blog and what a shame they closed down in the end the burgers looked awesome.

      • Anonymous permalink

        To the person(s) from the UK.. I am an american product of my English Immigrant families, but I have to tell you…. this guy is an embarassment to not only to the European Traditions, to Australia but to his total family! He is a schame artist at best! I was curious, so I have been doing some research, and this guy does not hold a candle to the European Culture and Beliefs that we have been exposed to.. he is a total disgrace. I wonder why his wife has not divorced him.. maybe she cant!

      • here is a new one! chef Ramsey is going to open a restaurant at the GROVE, less than 1/2 a mile away from Burger Kitchen!

  33. Brandon permalink

    I just kind of stumbled on this blog and i must say that I am very impressed Millie. You were able to get people off FACEBOOK for a minute :D. Fascinating information here. Some of the authors of these post who feel like attacking your blog or the comments here should consider using a spell or grammar checker. Contrary to popular belief, ignorance is not a gift. Again, nice work Millie. It’s nice to find a place where people can exchange ideas and opinions freely. The 1st amendment is still protected here. And as for my opinion, I don’t think the “James” here is Alan Saffron. Judging from Alan’s inability to express himself on the show, I don’t think he could write so eloquently, unless his ignorance was also staged.

  34. ian permalink

    Hi Millie

    you are great, i love your blog to bits and your comments are very inspiring to me personally
    Someone that can be so passionate is wonderful. Keep up the great blogs.

    I think Gordon is great, but i wish he had ditched this fake episode, just makes him look silly when he is a smart man. Is rating really everything.

    Ian

    • to the person who wishes Gordon Ramsey had not done this show, I dont think they knew what they were getting themselves into. I know others like the Saffrons, but once into their life style it is mind blogging. I have to tell you that your initial impressions of Mr. Alan Saffron are correct… stick with it, because as I do my own research and see what is going on behind the scenes, I am blown away. I am not at liberty to say what I know now, but let me tell you, it get worse.. this man is either mentally off and believes he is doing the right thing, or he is terribly slick….. and I dont know which one it is yet.

      • Genny permalink

        Please tell all, i would love to know. This episode has really messed with my head in wanting to know why and what did they archieve and what are they doing now

      • Genny, I will disclose it when I can, right now I can’t….. all I can say is that it is really juicy.

  35. Ollie permalink

    This episode has just aired over here in England. And fuck me there where some problems with the way it was run. His old man spent his cash Without him knowing!! after i watch a episode i always look the restaurant up to see how its doing now. They did the right thing selling they didn’t have a clue what they where doing so take the money and run mate!!!

    • I am sure glad you said that. I know there was a burger kitchen in the UK.. and it puzzled me how this guy came up with the same name. This guy is something else, and I fear he is a scam artist far worse than the show even protrayed.. It was a pretty unbelieveable show wasnt it. We do not do things in America this way, trust me..

  36. Anonymous permalink

    Puzzle Zoo Santa monica, another place these losers managed once
    treated staff there well too!! not as i am one of them
    i hope they lose all their money

    • Millie, how many hits has this blog gotten since it was posted?

      • I think around 17,000. But it’s been in different stages. A lot of hits when the episode aired in the US. Then it re-aired again and I got a lot of US hits. Then it aired in Europe and I started seeing lots Scandinavian hits then it aired in the UK and Ireland and my latest hits are from there.

    • I liked PuzzleZoo.. kind of a kinky kind of place I always thought… let me tell you the start of the Gordon Ramsey show.. it is all correct. … Alan probably took the money because there are records to show Daniel came in after….

      How about this article though…

      Son Alan is after Abe Saffron’s millions

      Vanda Carson
      The Daily Telegraph, Australia
      October 05, 2011 12:00AM

      Increase Text Size

      4
      Alan Saffron Assets chase … Abe Saffron’s son Alan / Pic: Melanie Russell Source: The Daily Telegraph
      Abe Safftron

      Underworld figure … Abe Saffron, with daughter Melissa Hagenfields / Pic: Stephen Cooper Source: The Daily Telegraph

      UNDERWORLD identity Abe Saffron has been dead for five years but a dispute has erupted over the right to $8 million in assets the executors of his estate didn’t know about at the time of his death.

      His son, Alan Saffron, has told the Supreme Court that he deserves a share of the recently discovered assets from his late father’s illegal gambling, sex and sly grog empire.

      In a pre-trial hearing on September 23, Mr Saffron’s lawyers told the court that a discretionary trust called the Marshin Trust held $8.2 million.

      But the executors say there is only $2 million in net assets left in the Marshin Trust and that Mr Saffron is not entitled to any of it.

      Mr Saffron, who lives in Los Angeles, has taken action against the executors of his father’s will in an attempt to claim part of the trust.

      He received $500,000 from the $23 million estate after his father died, aged 86, on September 15, 2006. But the 63-year-old is claiming this was “manifestly inadequate”.

      Alan Saffron also argues that since he had a stroke and can’t work full-time in his hamburger restaurant, he should receive a larger sum.

      Most of his father’s estate went to his mistress Teresa Tkaczyk – known as Teri – and Melissa Hagenfelds, his daughter by another mistress Biruta, known as Rita. Other beneficiaries include Melissa’s three children and Mr Saffron’s five children.

      Two of Mr Saffron’s children have had personal troubles. Son Adam, 34, had a serious drug problem and son David, 38, was a gambling addict, Alan Saffron said in his affidavit.

      He was upset that his half-sister Melissa was a beneficiary of the trust.

      He referred to a conversation he had with the executor Victor Bogan.

      “I don’t think somebody born of my father’s mistress and her children should be beneficiaries,” he said.

      In an affidavit filed with the court, Alan Saffron said his father “was secretive about his assets and his property assets in particular”.

      “In my opinion it is more than likely that the deceased held other assets which will be identified and realised in the future.”

      He said his father “liked to have $1 million in cash in various currencies on hand at all times” and “those moneys were kept in safes in three locations”, the majority at his “business premises” on Bourke St in Surry Hills.

      Mr Saffron said “no cash was declared” when an inventory of assets was filed by the executors.

      “I am aware the deceased was the beneficial owner of shares or interests in real property, especially where those properties housed illegal brothels, and that his interests were protected by blind trusts which may or may not have been known to the defendants.

      “Consequently it came as no real surprise to me when [executor Victor] Bogan told me in late 2010 that a further property had been found and realised, contributing at least another $1 million to the estate. I also believe that there may be an unrealised asset of $2 million being monies due and owing by Mr David Baffsky to the deceased out of dealings regarding the redevelopment of Luna Park,” Alan Saffron’s affidavit states.

      Mr Baffsky, who now runs hotel chain Accor, denied he has ever had any association with Abe Saffron.

      “That’s rubbish, there was an exhaustive inquiry into the allegations that found there was no basis,” Mr Baffsky said.

      Abe Saffron was the bagman for the disgraced premier Sir Robert Askin. He channelled much of his profits into property.

      At the height of his power Abe Saffron had interests in an estimated 100 brothels and 50 nightclubs.

      Alan Saffron used the court case to accuse his late father of arranging a break-in of his home in an attempt to steal the will of his late mother Doreen and stymie his inheritance. He said that between May 2000 and August 2002 his Los Angeles home was broken into but nothing was stolen.

      • POLARIS ENTERTAINMENT, INC.
        Entity Number: C2811594
        Date Filed: 11/28/2005
        Status: SUSPENDED

      • SAFFRON MANAGEMENT, INC.
        Entity Number: C2495137
        Date Filed: 01/27/2003
        Status: SUSPENDED

        and then THE BURGER KITCHEN….. IN 2009

        THE BURGER KITCHEN, INC.
        Entity Number: C3259568
        Date Filed: 11/12/2009
        Status: ACTIVE
        Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
        Entity Address: 8048 WEST THIRD STREET
        Entity City, State, Zip: LOS ANGELES CA 90048
        Agent for Service of Process: ALAN SAFFRON

        CONVERTED IN 2010 TO (and after Daniel’s money was taken…)

        BURGER KITCHEN, L.P.
        Entity Number: 201002000003
        Date Filed: 01/15/2010
        Status: ACTIVE
        Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA

      • Wow…great find!

      • This guy is like his father…. a crook!!!! and there is a lot more.. this is just the tip of the iceberg!!!!

  37. zbestwun2001 permalink

    Just found this artivcle form 2010 where it says,

    “17 years ago, entertainment entrepreneur, Alan Saffron was the first to introduce Power rangers to the retail market at puzzle Zoo in Santa Monica, now with his son Daniel; he brings a whole new brand of hamburgers to Southern California this Halloween. Exceptionally rated by LA’s top food critics, the Burger Kitchen has over 34 different burgers, Australian meat pies, gourmet sandwiches, 24 craft beers and over 30 wines.”

    So maybe it WAS Daniels idea … hmmm ???

    http://beverages.einnews.com/pr_news/56740834/la-news-the-burger-kitchen-halloween-special

    • Alan Saffron opened The Burger Kitchen, Inc.in 2009…. Daniel was brought in in early 2010… at least that is why my solid source shows, and Alan is orchestraing it all…. but there is more……..

      • zbestwun2001 permalink

        are we being a bit passive/agreesive here….?

      • NO, but I am limited on what I can say..

      • Very interesting stuff there.

      • Anonymous permalink

        You’re annonymous… you can say anything you want.
        I don’t believe you know squat… in addition, I think you’re borderline trolling.

      • Anonymous permalink

        Alan couldn’t orchestrate out of a wet paper bag.

      • Anonymous permalink

        To the person who thinks I am boarder trolling…..not sure exactly what that is, but you are anaonymous too.. so what are you quacking about now??? Think what you like..

      • Whisper permalink

        To the comment about trolling: Being anonymous does not mean you can release confidential information. Internet anonymity can still be traced by those who really want to do such, which means releasing any such information wrongly can still come back to bite you really hard. Not posting such, is a wise means of self protection.

  38. james permalink

    hi millie

    great blog u have started here, glad u did it

  39. Anonymous permalink

    Hi, Daniel didn’t just inherit $250k as mentioned, not ALL of his inheritance was put into the business. This is why his dad and mom asked him to pay $1k into the account for the executive chef. Daniel had, if my memory serves me well, about $150k left over of his own money. The furniture and ornaments in his small apartment looked like inherited heirlooms.
    Daniel came across as a nice guy, he obviously wanted the burger business to work out as he, as you know, had been hoodwinked into being part of the business. But his dad.. what a scoundrel. Not for one second did I believe anything that he said “from his heart”. It seems after the show he couldn’t close the business down any quicker than he did. I also don’t think Daniel’s partner was helping his cause too much either. Money and power can corrupt and this was a good insight into a family torn by greed and deception. I hope Daniel gets a good job somewhere and forgets about ‘free money’ that he inherited… easy come, easy go!

  40. So many opinions; but lets face it- the show Kitchen Nightmares is not investigative journalism but entertainment. And I assume, that nobody trusts the facts 100% as reality. If the Saffron family [or Alan] managed to orchestrate the whole thing – hat tip to them – this then was quite impressive. Overall it showed the abyss of characters, was thrilling – good entertainment.

    This should be it… even though you don’t like Alan Saffron [or David] – you just would give him more attention, if you are going on raving about him…

    Lets move on…

    • Well this was from last year, when the episode first aired in the US. I was a little angry at first but then I felt bad for the Saffrons and forgot about it. Then it re-aired in the US, then a few months later in some parts of Europe like The Netherlands and Italy, then in the UK, the Ireland and most recently (apparently Belgium). It’s been several months, by now I am most definitely not angry at either the show nor the Saffron family. I think it depends where it airs and is freshest which would indicate who would have the most recent emotions about the episode. It’s funny because I always know where in the world the episode aired based on where the viewers come from :p
      Thanks for the comment, have a fabulous day!

  41. Anonymous permalink

    Pulled this from http://www.quora.com/What-restaurants-on-Kitchen-Nightmares-have-closed for anyone interested

    S01E01 – Peter’s – Babylon, NY **closed**
    S01E02 – Dillon’s – New York, NY **renamed Purnima, closed**
    S01E03 – Mixing Bowl – Bellmore, NY **closed**
    S01E04 – Seascape – Islip, NY **sold** **Closed**
    S01E05 – Olde Stone Mill – Tuckahoe, NY **Sold**
    S01E06 – Sebastian’s – Toluca Lake, CA **closed**
    S01E07 – Finn McCool’s – Westhampton, NY **Sold**
    S01E08 – Lela’s – Pomona, CA **closed**
    S01E09 – Campania – Fair Lawn, NJ **sold, then closed** 3 years later
    S01E10 – Secret Garden – Moorpark, CA

    S02E01 – Handlebar – Mount Sinai, NY **closed**
    S02E02 – Giuseppe’s – Macomb Township, MI **closed**
    S02E03 – Trobiano’s – Great Neck, NY **closed**
    S02E04 – Black Pearl – New York, NY **closed**
    S02E05 – J Willy’s – South Bend, IN **closed**
    S02E06 – Hannah & Mason’s – Cranbury, NJ **closed**
    S02E07 – Jack’s Waterfront – St. Clair Shores, MI **closed**
    S02E08 – Sabatiello’s – Stamford, CT **closed**
    S02E09 – Fiesta Sunrise – West Nyack, NY **closed**
    S02E10 – Santé La Brea – Los Angeles, CA**closed**
    S02E11 – Cafe 36 – La Grange, IL **closed**

    S03E01 – Hot Potato Cafe – Philadelphia, PA **closed**
    S03E02 – Flamangos – Whitehouse Station, NJ **renamed The Junction** **closed**
    S03E03 – Bazzini – Ridgewood, NJ **closed**
    S03E04 – Mojito – Brooklyn, NY
    S03E05 – Lido di Manhattan Beach – Manhattan Beach, CA
    S03E06 – Le Bistro – Lighthouse Point, FL
    S03E07 – Casa Roma – Lancaster, CA **Closed**
    S03E08 – Mama Rita’s – Newbury Park, CA **closed**
    S03E09 – Anna Vincenzo’s – Boca Raton, FL **closed**
    S03E10 – Fleming – Miami, FL **Closed**
    S03E11 – Sushi-Ko – Thousand Oaks, CA **closed**

    S04E01 – Spanish Pavillion – Harrison, NJ
    S04E02 – Classic American – West Babylon, NY
    S04E03 – PJ’s Steakhouse – Queens, NY **closed**
    S04E04 – Grasshopper Also – Carlstadt, NJ
    S04E05 – Davide – Boston, MA
    S04E06 – Down City – Providence, RI **Closed**
    S04E07 – Cafe Tavolini – Bridgeport, CT **closed**
    S04E08 – Kingston Cafe – Pasadena, CA
    S04E09 – La Frite – Sherman Oaks, CA
    S04E10 – Capri – Eagle Rock, CA
    S04E11 – Zeke’s – Metairie, LA
    S04E12 – Oceana – New Orleans, LA

    S05E01 – Blackberrys – Plainfield, NJ
    S05E02 – Leone’s – Montclair, NJ
    S05E03 – Mike & Nellies – Oakhurst, NJ
    S05E04 – Luigi’s – Anaheim, CA
    S05E05&06 – Burger Kitchen – Los Angeles, CA **closed**
    S05E07 – The Greek at the Harbor – Ventura, CA
    S05E08 – Michon’s – College Park, GA
    S05E09 – El Greco – Austin, TX **Closed**
    S05E10 – Park’s Edge – Atlanta, GA
    S05E11 – Spin-A-Yarn Steakhouse – Fremont, CA
    S05E12 – Charlie’s – La Verne, CA
    S05E13 – Cafe Hon – Baltimore, MD
    S05E14 – Chiarella’s – Philadelphia, PA
    S05E15 – Zocalo – Philadelphia, PA

    UK
    S01E01 – Bonapartes Restaurant – Silsden, England **closed**
    S01E02 – The Glass House – Ambleside, England
    S01E03 – The Walnut Tree Inn – Llandewi Skirrid, Wales **closed**
    S01E04 – Moore Place – Esher, England **sold, now Esteem**

    S02E01 – La Lanterna – Letchworth, England **closed**
    S02E02 – D-Place – Chelmsford, England **closed**
    S02E03 – Momma Cherri’s Soul Food Shack – Brighton, England
    S02E04 – La Riviera – Inverness, Scotland **renamed to Abstract**

    S03E01 – Oscar’s – Nantwich, England **sold**
    S03E02 – The Sandgate Hotel – Sandgate, England **sold**
    S03E03 – Clubway 41 – Blackpool, England **closed**
    S03E04 – La Gondola – Derby, England **sold**

    S04E01 – La Parra de Burriana – Nerja, Spain **closed**
    S04E02 – The Fenwick Arms – Claughton, England **sold**
    S04E03 – Rococo – King’s Lynn, England **closed**
    S04E04 – Morgans – Liverpool, England

    S05E01 – Ruby Tate’s – Brighton, England **closed**
    S05E02 – Piccolo Teatro – Paris, France **closed**
    S05E05 – The Priory – Haywards Heath, England **sold, now La Capilla, a tapas bar**
    S05E06 – The Fish and Anchor – Lampeter, Wales
    S05E07 – Curry Lounge – Nottingham, England
    S05E08 – The Granary – Titchfield, England **closed**

    Great British Nightmare
    S01E01 – The Dovecote Bistro – Devon, England
    S01E02 – The Runaway Girl – Sheffield, England

    • Anonymous permalink

      season 1 7/10
      season 2 11/11
      season 3 8/11
      season 4 3/12
      season 5 2/15

      Ramsey getting better, althought last 2 seasons i would say wait 2 years to really know

      millie what do u think

      • WOW!! This is an amazing find, Anon! Most restaurants do close but after these stats from the Kitchen Nightmares are very interesting indeed! Thank you soo much for sharing!

    • Whisper permalink

      Just don’t be like most internet trolls and say such of Ramsay ruining them by them being on the show, or his help not being enough – such people seem to love to overlook how much these places were quoted as being in debt already, and the fact that there’s been a recession going on for quite the while that’s gonna devour people and places with that kind of debt outstanding.

  42. Anonymous permalink

    Mike and Nellies are also closed now. The chef/father started a new business..

  43. Anonymous permalink

    The episode has just aired in South Africa – what a bunch of nutcases !! Including the “pastry chef/executive chef” How the heck does that work ?? Having a pastry chef and a master baker in the family I dont think either of them would take a job running a kitchen in a burger place ??? Interesting that we didnt actually get to see him come up with his creation either – thank goodness for cellphones that can Google huh :)

    • steven permalink

      The mother was a complete nut, have never seen someone with such disdain for so many people. I would’ve clipped Alan on the ear for leaving his station. Pity they closed down. Would’ve loved to have popped past when I travel there later this year. Wonder how many South African restuarants are as bad as the US one’s?

    • Steve permalink

      Hello So. Africa!
      He’s a piece of work that’s for sure, the whole famn damily is a piece of work.

  44. Hi there! Thanks for such an interesting and insightful blog. (I confess I haven’t finished reading it, partly because it’s so long, and partly because i’m on my phone/tired.) Still, I’ve read some of the comments and thought i’d comment.
    At the time I watched this episode I wasn’t sure if itbwas staged or not. At times Gordon’s reactions did seem to me quite genuine, and I could imagine some of the cast being genuinely crooked simply by their persistence that problem wasn’t in their court but always someone else’s. Nevertheless you’ve got to ask what a tv company stands to gain – surely as they’re the ones putting it together they would want some say as to what happens infront of the camera. In addition, if I was responsible for a television series like this I’d want a background check on the family so as to know what I’m dealing with – who can say what nasty suprises might be lurking? Anyway, if you can do it then it can’t be hard for someone on a budget/with resources.
    You also uncovered a lot about the life of Abe and his trials and tribulations. To a filming company, wouldnt this be tempting and potentially rewarding to star a family with links to such a notorious character?
    Anyway, these are just my personal views. Thanks again for the blog

    • Thanks for the reply 4thmadhatter. I think a film about Abe Saffron would be very interesting because I find him to be an interesting character. A show about his Alan and his family…maybe not so much. I just felt like Alan and his family wanted to ride on Abe’s fame. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong though.

  45. Anonymous permalink

    Hi millie, great blog, very interesting. Im an Aussie and very interested in Australian organized crime, so i couldnt quite believe it when i watched this episode! You might be interested in this book if you havent seen it already: http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Sin-The-Saffron-dossier/dp/1741752205
    Cheers,
    Cal

    • Awesome! I will check out the book. Thanks :)

  46. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s weblog link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do same for you.

  47. Dan permalink

    Hi Lilian,

    Interesting piece, thank you… The only obvious flaw I can see is that your financial calculations are based on recent conversion rates from the Aussie Dollar to the US Dollar expect that they were VERY different back in 2006 at he time of the inheritance. Since then the USD has devalued and the Aussie Dollar has strengthened markedly 500k Aussie Dollar back then would have converted to around USD 350k, if there wre any incidentl costs or taxes this would potentially have brought the inheritance down to the USD referenced in the show. Obviously that would still mean that 1 Million Aussie would equal roughly 700K USD, so there remains a discrepancy, but not as great as you have indicated.

    Enjoyable piece though. Thanks !!

    • You are quite correct, Dan. The conversion is off. I am not sure how I can get the conversion rate for the year the Saffrons received their inheritance.
      Not to mention that there could have been taxes that might have taken off a piece of the total amount. (Maybe even probate fees as well)
      The Burger Kitchen episode only spoke about the inheritance that Alan and Daniel received. But, the other Saffron grandchildren also got their share. Unlike Daniel, however, it appears they did not choose to get into this business venture. So that leaves another question. Did Alan choose Daniel and chose to sacrifice his inheritance by forcing him into the restaurant? Or did Daniel choose to open the join with his father as a partner (as suggested by the some of the links above). This certainly is a story that keeps unfolding.
      Thank you so much for your reply! It was a pleasure to read.

  48. To be fair, it was said that the father took $250k of his inheritance, not that he took ALL of his inheritance of roughly 250k .I did notice, however, that the family would dodge the issue of precisely how much money both Daniel and his slimy father got. The whole family is FUBAR, and I understand that being the son of an Australian crime boss can’t lead to a healthy father/son relationship, but that man has serious mental issues. He obviously wants to be famous just for being famous, and will try any low-down, sneaky, slimy means of doing so. I’m sure the producers of KN did some strategic editing, but I think the brunt of the discrepancies come from the family themselves, trying to make things up for the sake of garnering attention to themselves.

    • Agreed, Amy. Well said.

  49. Juice permalink

    This is the first episode I have looked up to see what happened after. I must say that Alan made me want to grab a mallet and smack him over the head. If it really is Alan posting on here, Alan I hope your son hits you on the head with a mallet, and then his jittery cracked out girlfriend hits your wife with a mallet, and then her heart beats like a hummingbirds and explodes. I do enjoy this blog and the comments

    • Uncle Z permalink

      Juice, I think that it’s obvious that Alan has been hit on the head one to many times by that mallet.

  50. ian permalink

    Hi Millie

    Love he blog and your great comments. Is that really you in the picture.
    Think ramsey is awesome nutcase!, i would personally be scared to go and this when there kitchens full of knives

    ian

    • Hi Ian, thanks so much. No, the picture is of 1940s actress Gene Tierney, who was a great beauty in her time. I hope you are having a nice weekend.

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