Amy’s Baking Company keeps delivering drama, entertainment after Kitchen Nightmares

This season of Kitchen Nightmares delivered what was easily the series’ best episode, and since that aired, there has been a lot of off-camera drama thanks to owners Samy and Amy Bouzaglo–and viewers who responded strongly to what they saw. Their restaurant, Amy’s Baking Company, has received threats from the show’s producers and had a re-opening yesterday, in addition to being subjected to hacking and parody, including the mock ad below.

After the episode aired, the restaurant’s Facebook page was flooded with all-caps comments lashing out at viewers, much as they had lashed out at customers on the episode. Eater archived all the posts, which are hilarious as performance art or parody.

The restaurant’s owners later said they’d been hacked, though even that post seemed weird, because it insisted “our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked.” Yelp hadn’t been hacked, it had just been flooded with negative comments (though Yelp’s policy is to delete those if they’re from non-patrons) just like their Facebook page.

Earlier, the server who quit during the episode did an AMA on Reddit and insisted what was on TV was 100% real and confirmed she’d received hourly pay of $8/hour, higher than a typical server. But several people pointed out this Department of Labor guideline that says employers are “prohibited from using an employee’s tips for any reason other than as a credit against its minimum wage obligation to the employee.” She also revealed that Gordon Ramsay left a $20 tip.

Meanwhile, Samy, whose full name is Salomon Buozaglo, may be deported; The Arizona Republic reports that he “is involved in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement case to revoke his residency status, his lawyer said Tuesday. Scottsdale immigration lawyer David Asser said the case against his client started two years ago and was the subject of a removal hearing Monday.” It is apparently unrelated to the TV show.

As a result of the negative publicity from the show, the restaurant planned a Tuesday night relaunch, for which they hired new employees who hadn’t watched the show. They promised “a portion of proceeds will benefit a charity organized to bring awareness to cyber bullying” and insisted, “Customers will be able to decide who is correct: a famous celebrity chef or the marketplace that has supported the small, locally-owned business for six years.”

But despite saying they had 1500 reservations, only “a thin crowd” showed up.

A representative for Amy and Samy announced the grand opening in a press release, and in it, Samy said, “We are very upset by what has taken place, apologize about the acrimony that has ensued but now must fight back to save our business. We hope and believe much good can result from what has transpired. We ask the public to keep an open mind as we begin to tell our side of the story.”

But the owners cancelled a press conference and barred media from entering the restaurant after being threatened by the show’s producers, ITV Studios America, whose lawyers sent a letter [PDF]:

“If you disparage the show, its host, or its producers, you will breach your obligations under Paragraph 10 of your Personal Release and Paragraph 14 of your Participant Agreement. These agreements prohibit you from speaking publicly about Kitchen Nightmares, other than to acknowledge ‘the mere fact of your participation in the Series in personal publicity relating to yourself.’ Your conduct exposes each of you to liability for liquidated damages of $100,000.”

Of all the stupidity that has transpired during and since the production of the episode, that has got to be the stupidest. Threatening them and essentially preventing them from talking accomplishes nothing except making it seem like Samy and Amy have valid claims about how the show misrepresented them and/or their restaurant, making them look stupid.

Amy’s Baking Company was doing just fine doing that on their own.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.