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 and things have not gone smoothly with scathing blog reviews.  Samy is defensive of criticism of his wife's cooking and if a customer makes a complaint Samy asks them to leave, Amy's attitude is that the customers are not always right.

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 cash, Samy does this. Amy only cooks one ticket at a time so the diners are waiting a very long time to get their food. 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 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 it is as clean as a sterile doctors surgery. Gordon sits down with the couple and samples a slice of Amy's cake, they tell Gordon that they have gone though hundreds of employees, as they can't find staff that aren't dirty and lazy. They say their problems are from internet bullies and Amy tells Gordon that she replies to them. 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 doesn't receive tips, Gordon is astounded. Gordon orders the pear and fig prosciutto pizza, blue ribbon burger, salmon burger and red pepper ravioli. The pizza is sweet with raw dough and after an hour wait he is still waiting for the rest of the food. The blue ribbon burger has a soggy greasy bun, is not cooked medium rare and is dripping in liquid. The store bought ravioli smells weird and it is both sweet and spicy and the salmon burger is overcooked like eating dried cat food. Gordon talks to Amy about the food and tells her that it took longer than expected and after 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 about the food and customers love the taste of the frozen ravioli so Gordon takes them into the restaurant and they are 86ed. Amy can't take the criticism and says to 86 the burgers too so people can only order cake. The chaos continues, Samy has left a pasta dish off when he input the order and Amy wants to send Katy home for simply asking a question. Amy ignores the returned food and continues on working. A customer leaves a $10 tip and Gordon asks the customer if they would leave tips knowing it's not going to the server. Samy starts arguing with Gordon and Amy closes the kitchen. Amy sacks Katy for no reason at all but Samy tries to stop Amy from firing her. She says she is quitting as she has had enough, Amy calls her a poisonous viper. Gordon sits down with the owners and is astounded by their responses and they remain in denial about 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 but when he arrives Samy and Amy aren't at the restaurant. Instead, he meets former staff members Jessica and Henry. Jessica worked there for a year and a half and was hired as a runner. She was only allowed to pour glasses of water and begged to go into the kitchen. Henry was a busser and said Samy wasn't professional and made him wash his car for him! Gordon returns to the restaurant where Amy wants to clarify a few things. Gordon tells her the way he screamed at Katy, or the "kid" as Amy refers to her, and she was out of order for firing her. Amy has an explosion about drinking a glass over water and threatens to go home. She is insulted and tells Gordon that he disrupted her service and blames everyone else for the problems. He 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 to end the show. Gordon tells her that he can't help people that can't help themselves and take criticism and if they aren't willing to change he isn't going to continue. The restaurant is not normal to go through that amount of staff and run such a huge menu from such a small kitchen. 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. 


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 has female kitchen staff as the kitchen is too small and men are rubbish at cleaning. There is footage of an argument over pre packed gnocchi and the tips where Amy tells Gordon that the servers don't deserve the tips as they 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 restaurant has since become a tourist site with people coming to see if the restaurant is as shown on the show. A couple is interviewed and their dining companion had flies in their drink, they were accused of putting them in themselves and 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 Samy wants money. They believe they were set up and the episode was not fair. She believes the restaurant was filled with Yelpers and says they were just defending themselves. She claims that since she has been plagued by rogue customers browsing or placing fake cockroaches in the restaurant and she has to stand up to these people. She says that the initial Facebook comments were not them but because of  trolls they are now reacting. Samy says that they are now giving the waitresses tips 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 cutsomers 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. Details of Amy's past including a criminal conviction for social security fraud 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 but 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 for Amy 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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