Nighmares Chef Found Dead

Joe Cerniglia, who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares show three years ago, was found dead in the Hudson River on Friday. He apparently committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. In a strange coincidence, another chef, 41-year-old Rachel Brown, shot herself in 2007 after appearing on Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen.

Thirty-nine-year-old chef Joe Cerniglia (pictured below with Ramsay) owned the restaurant Campania in New Jersey and was featured in the first series of Gordon Ramsay's reality show, Kitchen Nightmares. On this hit reality show, Ramsay helps troubled restaurants by working with the owner-chef to figure out why the restaurant is failing and works to revive it. Ramsay isn't exactly known for his cuddly demeanor, however, and is often seen yelling, cussing and belittling chefs on his shows.

Gordon Ramsay and Cerniglia

A troubled chef

Cerniglia revealed on the show that he was deeply in debt. "I am financially in trouble. The debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming," he said. "My personal debt -- wife, kids, mortgage -- that's a lot of debt...I can't see us going on another year, and that's a really scary thought. And I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid that."

In Ramsay's typical harsh demeanor, he prophetically told Cerniglia:

"Your business is about to (expletive) swim down the Hudson."

At another point in the show, he asked Cerniglia: "Why would you decide to go into business if you haven't got a clue how to run a business?"

Ramsay releases a statement

Ramsay has since made a statement, expressing sorrow over the death of Cerniglia: "I was fortunate to spend time with Joe during the first season of Kitchen Nightmares. Joe was a brilliant chef, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends and staff."

Another chef's suicide

This isn't the first chef who has committed suicide after appearing on one of Ramsay's shows. In 2007, 41-year-old chef Rachel Brown shot herself after appearing on Ramsay's reality show Hell's Kitchen.

The two troubled chefs undoubtedly had serious psychological issues before working with Ramsay, but do you think he is too harsh on the contestants on his shows? Or do you think the chefs knew what they were getting into before appearing on the shows?

Gordon Ramsay plans to debut another reality series in the UK called Ramsay's Best Restaurant.

read on for More Gordon Ramsay

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Tags: hell's kitchen kitchen nightmares

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Comments on "Second Gordon Ramsay chef commits suicide"

Rob s. August 28, 2012 | 1:26 AM

Restaurant business is brutal, many people get into it thinking that they will make a lot of money and become popular or even famous. The show itself is an exaggeration but it does bring the owners and managers down to a tough reality of where they are and what needs to be done to get out of there, the problem is that many are not prepared to take the necessary steps, yes when the celebrity chef is there to motivate them in the end as he usually does, people tend to get excited about the new menu, new decor and everything, but after a few months reality checks in again and they usually go back to old ways as result depression takes over this time, because they know there will be no savior to rescue them this time. But it is not the show or the Chef's fault at all, they probably had serious problems even before the show.

becky reynlds August 15, 2011 | 6:36 PM

I wonder why people try so hard to find a "reason" for others problems? I dare say that if you took a poll of the families of the last 100 ppl that have committed suicide in any major city you would find many common things. I am sure that they have all eaten , say , Cheerios in their lifetime. SO would your head line say, " In an odd coincidence Cheerios found to be common denominator in suicide deaths" No, it is silly. These were people in a high pressure occupation that failed. It was their choice. Silly to try to blame Ramsay. He is who he is and makes no bones about it.

plum September 29, 2010 | 7:14 PM

By the way, I find some of the other comments here pretty worrying! Some people are implying that suicide is "selfish" or a sign of weakness. Where is that coming from!? A little sympathy people...

plum September 29, 2010 | 7:11 PM

I don't suppose that there's a direct correlation, but I do wonder when I watch the show, whether or not he's being too harsh. If someone is already having psychological problems, the last thing they need is that kind of treatment. And then for their humiliation to be broadcast to the nation! That'd make me pretty miserable.

Mandy September 29, 2010 | 5:43 AM

No he's not too hard on them, they know what they are up for when they sign up to be on one of his shows. How do you feel though trying to blame the deaths of two obviously mentally ill people on someone just because you want to rake some mudd and stir up some controversy. This type of article showcases what is wrong with America. It's the mentality that "Let's try to screw this up for the other person who has logged the hard work and crazy hours to become successful, Let's try to get people in an uproar. And Let's blame someone else for what happens instead of the individuals at fault."

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