Amy's Baking Company, an Arizona restaurant owned by married couple Samy and Amy Bouzaglo, has become the internet's latest LOL target after being featured on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares -- and the hyper-defensive owners are not taking it well. Ramsay's visit to Kitchen Nightmares resulted in some of the craziest food-related reality TV we've ever seen.
On Kitchen Nightmares, Amy's Baking Company owners Samy and Amy were a mess. Every meal on the large menu was prepared exclusively by Amy in a small kitchen, which meant that food was served at a snail's pace. And though that would have been bad enough, the food was horrible -- undercooked pizza crusts, soggy burgers that squirted waterfalls of oil and juice when bitten, and frozen store-bought ravioli passed off as homemade.
Even worse -- well, better, really, if we're talking about entertainment value -- when customers complained, Amy and Samy flipped the heck out. A diner who had not been served after waiting for over an hour was told "Go ***k yourself," and at several points Samy and Amy looked like they were seconds from physically attacking patrons.
"Unfortunately, the majority of people in Arizona think that if you come to our restaurant we're going to yell at you and scream at you and throw you outside, and that is not who we are," said Amy Bouzaglo. But customers of Amy's Baking Company (along with video footage) told a different story. "You could hear Amy yelling in the kitchen and Samy was running all over the dining room," one told the Phoenix Times. "Other tables were complaining and people were leaving because they were waiting so long for their food. And when one customer confronted Samy ... he was told to 'go ***k yourself.'"
"He is my soul mate and we're in this business together," Amy said on Kitchen Nightmares. "And we stand strong together. And we have to because there's a lot of online bullies and haters and bloggers. We stand up to them and I think we're the only ones that ever have as restaurant owners. And they come and they try to attack us and they say horrible things that are not true."
Gordon Ramsay seemed struck speechless multiple times during the episode as he discovered bafflingly huge problems in the way Amy and Samy were running Amy's Baking Company. The first sign of trouble popped up when Amy and Samy told Ramsay that the restaurant didn't open without them on the premises. Before Ramsay could explain what was wrong with that business strategy, the Bouzaglos went on another tirade about their online haters and how they'd been verbally battling it out on Yelp, and about the lack of decent help in Arizona -- the couple had gone through more than 100 employees in a year.
The next bombshell came when Ramsay's server told him that the Samy Bouzaglo was taking all of her daily tips.
When Ramsay tried to point out where Samy and Amy Bouzaglo were going wrong, they became hysterically aggressive. Samy and Ramsay almost came to blows after Ramsay told customers that their tips for the server were being taken by the owner.
Finally, Ramsay could take no more. For the first time in the chef's television career, he called off the restaurant makeover, took down the cameras, and left.
After the Kitchen Nightmares episode featuring Amy's Baking Company aired on May 10, the internet went wild. Commenters swarmed Reddit, Yelp and Facebook to give Amy's Baking Company some feedback. "Its so sad to see how you insult your customers, staff and a world accredited and award winning chef. Gordon was there to help you!" said one commenter. Another chimed in, "Most people would KILL for the chance to have Gordon Ramsey give them advice for even 1 hour. You seriously squandered a huge opportunity, and you're too damn daft to know it. Sad, sad, sad."
Well, Samy and Amy weren't about to bow down to these haters, of course. Check out some of their posts on Facebook after the episode aired.
Ah, reality television. Ah, internet. What wonders of entertainment the 21st century has brought.