Sunday, 19 May 2013

Kitchen Nightmares - Amy's Baking Company - CLOSED

Kitchen Nightmares Amy's Baking Company

Episode Recap

Chef Gordon Ramsay visits Scottsdale, Arizona, to help turn around Amy's Baking Company. Opened in 2006 by Samy and wife Amy, Samy runs front of house and Amy runs the kitchen. Samy spent over $1 million opening the restaurant for wife Amy with her passion for cooking. Things have not gone smoothly with scathing blog reviews to which Amy says they lied by saying her food was disgusting and as a result of these reviews she has lost business. Samy is defensive of criticism of his wife's cooking and if a customer makes a complaint Samy asks them to leave and tells them not to come back. Amy's attitude to the customers is that are not always right. The server describes Amy as nuts, she makes pizzas over spicy so it hurts them, she says she will hurt someone if they send back her cake and has regular tantrums. She also says Gordon is wasting his time, they will never change.

Before Gordon arrives Amy and Samy prepare for his visit by doing a big clean up. We discover that Miranda, the only server in the restaurant isn't allowed to input the orders, serve wine or handle the cash, Samy does these. Amy only cooks one ticket at a time so the diners are waiting a very long time to get their food. A pizza is sent back as undercooked and Amy says she will send it back burnt. One customer has enough of waiting for his pizza, goes to counter to ask about pizza, is given a tirade of abuse from Samy and Amy with so many bleeps and tries to leave. Amy threatens to call the cops and Samy tries to stand in their way to stop them leaving! The customers start leaving and Amy has some kind of teary rant as she storms back into the kitchen.

Gordon arrives the next day unaware of the previous evenings disasters. He praises the d├ęcor and how great Amy's pastries on display look. He is taken on a tour of the kitchen and sees a clean kitchen and a walk-in so clean it is like a sterile doctors surgery. Gordon sits down with the couple and samples a slice of Amy's cake while they talk about the restaurant, they tell Gordon that they have gone though hundreds of employees, as they can't find staff that aren't dirty and lazy and want to work hard. They say their problems are from scathing reviews from internet bullies. Amy tells Gordon that she replies to them and are the only restaurant owners to stand up to them calling them morons and more. Gordon asks if they have children and they say no they have cats, Amy reveals she speaks cat and Gordon tells them both that they are nuts.

Gordon sits down to sample Amy's dishes and is told by the server that she is on a regular hourly wage and doesn't receive tips, Gordon is astounded. Gordon orders the pear and fig prosciutto pizza, blue ribbon burger, salmon burger and red pepper ravioli. There is a doorbell for the potwasher to come collect dirty plates. The pizza is very sweet with raw dough, it's send back and Samy tells Amy that there was nothing wrong with it and after an hour wait he is still waiting for the rest of the food. The blue ribbon burger has a soggy greasy bun and is not cooked medium rare, it is overcomplicated and is dripping in liquid. The ravioli smells weird and is the most confusing dish he has ever tried as it is both sweet and spicy. It is also not homemade as he was told, it is store bought. The salmon burger is overcooked and is like eating dried cat food. Gordon talks to Amy about the food and tells her that it was longer than expected and that after an evening service he will sit down with her and raise all his issues.

Gordon arrives to witness a dinner service, he is in the kitchen and Amy tells him Christine does the salads and she does the pizzas. Amy is in denial that her pizza was undercooked, the combination of flavours on the burger doesn't work and that the burger is not good dry as she claims the customers love it dry. Real customers love the taste of the frozen ravioli so Gordon takes them into the restaurant and the customers say they are okay for them to be removed from the menu. Amy can't take the criticism and says to 86 the burgers too and people can only order cake. The chaos continues, Samy has left a pasta dish off when he input the order from the written ticket and Amy wants to send Katy home for simply asking a question. Amy tells the staff to ignore everything Gordon is criticising. A full plate of food untouched goes back to the pot washer and is not taken back to Amy. Amy ignores it and continues on working. A customer leaves a $10 tip and Gordon asks if it is going to go to the server and he says no. Gordon asks the customer if they would leave tips knowing it's not going to the server and only going to the owner. Samy starts arguing with Gordon and Amy closes the kitchen. Amy sacks Katy for no reason at all other than asking a question and Samy tries to stop Amy from firing her, she says she is quitting as she has had enough, Amy calls her a poisonous viper and is totally unfair to her! Gordon sits down with the owners and is astounded by their responses to him and they remain to be in denial about the quality of their food. Amy tells Gordon that she is going to do things her way when he tells her to keep an open mind for change.

Gordon arrives the next morning to start to help them change but when he arrives Samy and Amy aren't at the restaurant. Instead, he goes off to meet former staff members Jessica and Henry. Jessica worked there for a year and a half and was hired as a runner, despite going to culinary school as those who had been to culinary school didn't know anything. She was only allowed to pour glasses of water and begged to go into the kitchen. Henry was a busser and said Samy was always in a bad mood, isn't professional and made him wash his car for him! Despite Henry's obvious poor experience at the restaurant he hopes that Gordon can help them. Gordon returns to the restaurant where Amy wants to clarify a few things. Amy is defensive of her ravioli after Gordon was told it was home made. She is manically defensive over the burger denying that Gordon had told her anything was wrong with the burger, he told her many times it was soggy. She says he told her the salmon burger was dry but wet, it is unbelievable and he tells her that he is never confused about food. He also tells her the way he screamed at Katy, or the "kid" as Amy refers to her, did was out of order for firing her for asking if she was sure about something. Amy tells Gordon to prove that over 50 people have been fired, Samy says actually it is over 100. Amy has an explosion about drinking a glass over water and threatens to go home. Amy is insulted and tells Gordon that he disrupted her service and blames everyone else for the problems. Amy tells her she is delusional and that in "Amy's world" everything she sends out and touches is perfect. Amy doesn't want to hear any more but Samy tells her to listen to Gordon and let him finish.

Gordon tells her she is too far gone and says lets end the show. Gordon tells her that he can't help people that can't help themselves and cannot ever take one ounce of criticism and if they aren't willing to change he isn't going to argue, scream and butt heads. The restaurant is not normal to go through that amount of staff, run such a huge menu from such a small kitchen, the level of animosity in the restaurant and outside. They have the right to run their restaurant how they want but he is going to do what is right and what is right is to walk away. He wishes them good luck and leaves. Amy says she doesn't need his help and things will continue without him. He says for the first time in over 100 Nightmares it is his first to walk away as he cannot help and any changes he would have made they would have undone so there is no point continuing.


The episode goes through the social media outbursts and interviews with Buzzfeed and Huffington Post writers talking through the media surrounding the show. Gordon introduces new footage including more meow footage and Amy explaining that she only has female kitchen staff as the kitchen is too small so the staff bump into each other and men are rubbish at cleaning. An argument is shown with Gordon criticising the dinner service and the frozen ravioli. There is also footage of an argument over pre packed gnocchi and the tips, Amy tells Gordon that the servers don't deserve the tips as the staff don't work as hard as her husband. Gordon shows their submission video which features Amy criticising Samys customer service skills, the walk in being "a mess", Amy explaining there has been a few incidents with customers and that she has been retaliating to Yelp reviews.

The staff talk about what happened since the episode, they fired everyone and then begged the staff to return. One waitress was caught taking a $5 tip from a customer and this started an argument. The waitress left as she was not happy. The restaurant has since become a tourist site with people coming to see if the restaurant is really as bad as it was on the show. A couple is interviewed and their dining companion had 3 fruit flies in their drink, they were accused of putting them in themselves and then asked to leave the restaurant. They have tried to cash in on the notoriety of the restaurant by selling t shirts with slogans from the episode.

The couple is interviewed by Ana Garcia, Amy initially says that she has no time for an interview and Sam wants money. They believe they were set up and the episode was not fair. Amy says they were look psychotic and look crazy. She believes the restaurant was filled with Yelpers, she claims to have proof of this. She says they were just defending themselves and have tried to improve on the negative. She claims that since she has been plagued by rogue customers just browsing or placing fake rubber cockroaches in the restaurant and that she has to stand up to these people. She says that the initial Facebook comments were not them but because of the trolls they are now reacting with insulting comments. Samy says that they are now giving the waitresses tips and as they are taking this approach that the waitresses are being paid less as the restaurant is empty. The ravioli is still frozen, there is more abuse at Gordon and Samy still believes Amys food is excellent. Amy ends with saying that if you come to attack them they will throw them out. 

What Happened Next? 

They temporarily closed the restaurant and reopened on 21st May 2013. Miranda was fired for taking a tip that a customer had hidden for her and is now working for Cracker Barrell. Negative comments were responded to with a tirade of abusive and insulting posts but the owners claimed that their Facebook, Yelp and other accounts were hacked and they never posted the messages. Details of Amy's past including a criminal conviction for using someone elses social security to obtain credit have surfaced. 

The owners claim they have received death threats and hired PR guru Jason Rose to help them with the media backlash. They cancelled a press conference and were dropped by the PR company, after legal threats from Fox. They reopened the restaurant and customers had good and bad to say. They began selling merchandise with phrases from the tv show episode and appeared on Dr Phil. 

They closed the restaurant in September 2015 to focus on an online cookery school.

Extra Reading

Amy's Baking Company Yelp Reviews

Amy's Baking Company Is Selling Catch-Phrase T-Shirts

EXCLUSIVE: Amy's Bakery owners recount their 'Kitchen Nightmare'; say they weren't behind Facebook attacks

Customer: Amy’s Baking Company 'more intense' than shown

Amy's Baking Company co-owner faces deportation

Katy Answers Questions

Amy's Baking Company Cancels Press Conference After Legal Threats From Fox

Kitchen Nightmares: Amy's Baking Company plans grand re-opening to address social media meltdown

Amy's Baking Company Freaks Out Online After Epic Meltdown On Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares'

Kitchen Nightmares Restaurant Freaks Out on Facebook

Arizona restaurateurs who were DITCHED by Gordon Ramsay in disastrous show face ridicule for their 'social media meltdown'

Amy’s Baking Company hiring up to 30 workers
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