Owners of Amy's Baking Company, Restaurant Featured on 'Kitchen Nightmares,' Show How Not to Use The Internet
The season finale of "Kitchen Nightmares," which aired Friday, featured a groundbreaking event in the series: Gordon Ramsay walked away from a fix-up project when the owners proved to be too immovable even for him.
The restaurant was Amy's Baking Company, a cafe-bakery in the posh Phoenix 'burb of Scottsdale, and the owners, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo are precisely the kind of certifiable nutjobs who make for perfect reality TV fodder. Sadly, in the aftermath of the show's airing, the pair have proven that in this case, there was nothing phony about reality television: The reality is, these two have no grip on it, as a Monday night online meltdown by the owners affirmed.
To rewind a little, the restaurant—a vanity project for Amy and her cakes and her self-proclaimed God-given culinary talents financed by her self-proclaimed "gangster" husband—signed up for Ramsay's TV help because they wanted a professional chef to affirm that they were doing a spectacular job and serving delicious food. The affirmation needed to happen because a couple of years back, a local blogger (said with a sneer, natch) had dared malign them on...wait for it...Yelp.
Back in 2010 when this happened, the Bouzaglos went the classy route: They insulted the citizen reviewer right back on Yelp, and mounted a campaign of hate against his hate. It was pretty ugly, as chronicled by Phoenix's Chow Bella site.
When the KN crew hit Amy's in December, it was a shitshow, and when the production vans pulled out of the parking lot after just a couple of days, and everyone with reservations for the "relaunch" dinner got cancelation calls, the theory was the show would never air. Oh, but air it did, and it was jaw-droppingly good.
Turns out Amy, who speaks cat ("Meow!"), not only can't cook, but can't take criticism about how she cooks, instead sulking, yelling, whining, arguing, or just walking away in the face of objection. Her husband lords over the register, and pockets all the tips left for their servers, since, you know, they get paid by the hour. The couple tell someone unhappy with being made to wait an hour for a pizza to go fuck himself, then call the cops when he refuses to pay.
By the time the show hit the airwaves, Amy's Baking Company's Yelp page was so jammed with one star reviews from viewers some poor intern must have sprained a finger trying to keep up with the moderation (well, not that Yelp moderates all that much).
On Monday night, the Bouzaglos got wind of a little website called Reddit, who had linked to the ABC Facebook page. As Consumerist observes: "A more savvy business would shut down their Facebook page. This is not that business." It was indeed an epic meltdown of nasty proportions.
Amazingly (or, maybe not surprisingly, considering the level of nutso-cuckoo here) all of the posts were still up until Tuesday afternoon:
Oh, but by Tuesday afternoon Amy and Samy wanted to let everyone know all their accounts across multiple platforms and sites had been hacked, and it wasn't them! Obviously. Because, you know, they'd never argue with people on the internet.
It still seems even the show airing has not stopped the madness, and their restaurant remains open, five months after Ramsay's failed visit. (Usually the more inflammatory owners end up shutting their doors after the Ramsay rehab, like L.A.'s Sebastian's.)
As a curious talking point, it's been discussed online that both Amy and Samy Bouzaglo have criminal records, with Mrs. B (real name: Amanda Patricia Bossingham) serving time a few years ago on charges of bank fraud and misuse of social security numbers. Meow, meow, indeed!
At the very least, the folks of AZ's Amy's Baking Company are demonstrating how not to run a restaurant, and how not to conduct "customer service" online. Oh, and Samy, if you're reading this, I look forward to getting my summons! I've not spent enough time in Arizona.