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Ex-eatery manager sues Gordon Ramsay over 'Kitchen Nightmares'

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/20/2007 

For a former Manhattan restaurant manager, the experience of being featured in an episode of Fox's upcoming Kitchen Nightmares reality series turned into a nightmare when he was reportedly fired from his position at the request of the show's host Gordon Ramsay. 

Now the manager is apparently trying to turn the tables and land the Hell's Kitchen star in hot water.

Martin Hyde, the former general manager of Dillon's Indian restaurant in Manhattan's theater district, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court requesting a judge block the broadcast of the episode he appears in due to the negative image Kitchen Nightmares depicts both he and the eatery in, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Kitchen Nightmares, an American adaptation of the Hell's Kitchen star's British Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares reality series, will follow Ramsay as he travels across America and helps restaurants in crisis.  It is scheduled to air as part of Fox's Fall 2007 primetime programming schedule. 

Dillon's was reportedly the subject of a Kitchen Nightmares episode that was shot in April, and Hyde was fired from his general manager position at Ramsay's request during filming, according to Reuters.

Hyde is claiming that "exaggerations" about Dillon's conditions will "destroy" the restaurant's reputation as well as the "good name" of the people employed there, Reuters reported.  In addition, Hyde reportedly alleges that Ramsay fibbed about finding rotten meat; hired actors to eat at Dillon's so it would appear the restaurant had grown more popular since the Kitchen Nightmares' intervention; and "unfairly targeted" him to capture a confrontation with the foul-mouthed culinary king on tape. 

While he was blamed for the faults found in Dillon's kitchen, Hyde said as general manager he had no control over the way it was run, according to Reuters.

A representative for Ramsay told Reuters the chef has yet to review the lawsuit, while Dillons' owner Muhammad Islam declined to comment on it but did say the restaurant "had improved" since Kitchen Nightmares filmed.

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