‘Hotel Hell’ manager now a Guantanamo prison supervisor

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 9:52 EDT
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Guantanamo supervisor John Imhof in Fox reality show appearance
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The man in charge of the Pentagon office that runs the military tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay prison was once featured on a Fox reality show that highlighted his mismanagement of an upstate New York hotel.

According to The Huffington Post, John Imhof, current head of the Office of Military Commissions, was the subject of a 2012 episode of “Hotel Hell” in which he revealed that he had run his hotel, the Cambridge Inn, into $750,000 worth of debt since buying it in 2007.

Imhof was also called out by the show’s host, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, for a slew of errors, including botching the recipe for the hotel’s famous apple pie.

“The apples are raw, not even baked,” Ramsay said at one point in the episode. “I could scream when I see that. This was invented here. Thousands of restaurants across the globe have copied what you originated. Have you any idea how lucky you are? And it resolves to that: soggy, undercooked, soaking wet.”

But Imhof, who worked as a lawyer and a military judge before taking over the hotel told the Post he didn’t regret the experience.

“Working with Gordon Ramsay and his crew was a unique experience,” he said in an email. “To watch all that goes in to making a one hour ‘reality’ show was extremely interesting. I try to take any experience, be it pleasant or unpleasant (there were certain parts of the show that were each) and learn from them.”

Imhof’s current position requires him to take care of requests from the prison’s convening authority. He took the position before the show aired last August, by which point the property was about to be foreclosed. But he told the Albany Times-Union at the time that the foreclosure had nothing to do with his leaving.

“I’m not running away, but rather accepted a job I felt was important for my country,” he told the newspaper via email. “I know many folks will think Tina and I are leaving because of the failure of the Hotel [sic], but the opposite is true.”

Imhof said he hoped to leave the hotel in the hands of his daughter under a renegotiated interest deal.

Ramsay’s encounter with Imhof did produce at least one happy ending: The newspaper reported that Ramsay and his producers went on to pay for a culinary scholarship at a nearby community college for Donald L. Telford III, a culinary intern at the hotel.

Imhof’s appearance on “Hotel Hell,” originally aired in August 2012, can be seen below on Hulu.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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