Owners Amy and Samy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Company — the Arizona restaurant that's now infamous for its Facebook freakout following a terrible showing on Kitchen Nightmares — just keep bringing the crazy in this interview with My103.9 in Phoenix. Fellow reality TV survivor Monti Carlo (MasterChef season three) leads the interview in which Amy and Samy rant their way through such sensitive topics as the hacking of their social media profiles, the ethics of keeping servers' tips, and why the Kitchen Nightmares filming was such a shitshow. Their reasoning is nothing short of bizarre.
On the subject of Yelpers, the couple continues to be completely defensive and paranoid. Amy says Yelpers were the cause of the meltdown during filming:
I saw how things were going, and how out of control it was getting, I told my husband, I grabbed the producers in the middle of filming, I said, "They are Yelpers. I know two of them for sure" ... My husband and I started to feel that we were surrounded by Yelpers, completely set up ... the people that my husband is screaming those obscenities at, they are not our customers. They are Yelpers ... All of those people, they went there with harmful, malicious intent. My husband and I said, "Wait a minute, we are not comfortable, you are endangering our lives...
Though many things on Kitchen Nightmares seem to be fake, it seems unlikely that the show conspired with evil Yelpers to create an unsafe situation for Amy and Samy.
Amy also speaks to the degree of bullying she and her husband have been subjected to online. She says following the episode, Yelpers and other online haters were sending terrifying threats on the couple, and also "threatening to kill our cats." The recent wave of online venom directed towards Amy's Baking Co. follows their Facebook explosion, which the couple claims was due to hackers. "I didn't even know what Reddit was until I saw the post," Amy explains of the insults hurled from the Amy's Facebook account. "I told my husband, what is Reddit, oh my gosh, I freaked out. I went online, here's the thing, I took pictures, of my computer screen, showing I couldn't delete those posts." And it just keeps getting weirder.
According to Amy, those Yelpers are what landed the restaurant on the show in the first place. She says that the producers asked the Yelp community who in Phoenix needed the show's help, and that Amy's Baking Co. was selected in that way. According to Amy, when the producers first reached out she and her husband "told them, as much as we would encourage the publicity, we didn't feel they had anything to come to us for." But come they did, and shouty chef Gordon Ramsay walked out on a restaurant for the first time in series history. They end the interview with an invitation to people who aren't "haters" to join them at tonight's "grand re-opening." Samy things the opening will go "the same" as previous services. Awesome.
Below are the seven segments of the interview, along with choice excerpts. Go, watch:
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 1 of 7
Amy: I'm not proud of my behavior on that show, and I'm very sad that the whole world had to see me have a meltdown against people that had been bullying me for three years. I'm not proud of that. This is no way to behave.
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 2 of 7
Amy, on being called "Crazy Amy": I think that it's unfortunate to be labeled crazy, because I stood up to online bullies who were trying to slander our business that we've had for six years..."
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 3 of 7
Amy, on how they got involved with Kitchen Nightmares: Kitchen Nightmares put something on Yelp, asking the Yelp community, who in Phoenix needs our help the most. It was overwhelming that we needed their help. So they contacted us and asked us if we would be part of the show. We responded by telling them we were huge fans of the show, we loved the concept of the show, and we told them, as much as we would encourage the publicity, we didn't feel they had anything to come to us for. We, my husband and I, we are very humble people. We work 18 hours a day in our restaurant, we don't think we're better than anybody else.
We told them the kitchen is extremely clean and the food is delicious we believe, we don't know what you would come here for. The only problem we've ever had negative, was with these online bullies, and with these people from Yelp. And there's no controlling it. And they told us they were coming to help. And we believed them. That's why we invited them into our kitchen. We had nothing to hide. We have nothing to hide.
It was very difficult to have Arizonans turn against us. I'm sorry because... we have not been able to get our story out there.
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 4 of 7
Amy: The Yelpers, that I knew about that, these people that consistently for three years had been badgering us and threatening to kill us, and saying the most horrific things, those people I knew they were going to come to the restaurant, because they were talking about it, and I was reading about everything they were talking about on Yelp talk. The whole time. And I knew they were gonna come just to set us up to make us look like we didn't know what we were doing on national television. And I started to notice a few people come in the restaurant that looked familiar to me. And as I saw how things were going, and how out of control it was getting, I told my husband, I grabbed the producers in the middle of filming, I said, "They are Yelpers. I know two of them for sure. I have their names and their profiles right here. And that's exactly what happened. My husband and I started to feel that we were surrounded by Yelpers, completely set up, we didn't feel we were going to have a true authentic way to show our product, and we were right. The people that were there, the people that we are screaming at, when I am screaming "call the police, call the police." And the people that my husband is screaming those obscenities at, they are not our customers. They are Yelpers. I can prove it. They even went on Yelp and talked about it after. And I printed it. All of those people, they went there with harmful, malicious intent. My husband and I said, "Wait a minute, we are not comfortable, you are endangering our lives..."
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 5 of 7
Amy, on what she did on camera: This is the most important thing I can say: We love our customers, we love the people that work for us. And when they put me on film, saying that the workers were dirty and lazy, I think that's one of the most hurtful things from everything that I've seen from my behavior on the show, that I'm so ashamed of, because I don't think I'm better than anybody, and I just want very high quality, qualified people who are clean and care about the food that they are serving to work in my kitchen. This is all I meant.
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 6 of 7
Amy, on the public's response to the tips: This is very important. They did numerous interviews with my husband explaining the tip situation, and there's a part in the filming where my husband gets into it with Gordon, at the register where they're bantering back and forth, and this is why my husband got so pissed of at him, he was saying, you need to really not make people think that we're capable to steal the tips. That was really detrimental to us. We received death threats, from people online because of this ... They called us last night at 12 o'clock, at 1 o'clock in the morning, threatening to kill us. All of the local authorities have been amazing, we are blessed to have them watch after us, we're so grateful for them...
Video: Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Part 7 of 7
Amy, on getting hacked: I would like to say that I own everything I've ever done. I'm not perfect, and I've made a tremendous amount of mistakes in my life, and I try to learn from those mistakes. Those things I didn't say, I was shocked, I was. I turned my phone on, and I started to get messages from myself, and tweets to myself, and mentions, and then I started reading it, I didn't even know what Reddit was until I saw the post. I told my husband, what is Reddit, oh my gosh, I freaked out. I went online, here's the thing, I took pictures, of my computer screen, showing I couldn't delete those posts. I contacted Facebook, hysterically, saying, 'My account has been hacked.' They did a lot of stuff there that was really terrible, our Yelp account is still completely hacked, they put pictures of people defecating.. it's disgusting, you know it shows the mentatlity of some of the people, and we don't want to go there with those people, but if I said those things, I would own it. I didn't say those things, I'm asking people to believe me. And I'm trusting the proper authorities to take care of this, I've filed all the appropriate paperwork. And all of this hate that was directed towards us, for our behavior on the show, what makes the people that are saying these horrific things, threatening to kill us, threatening to kill our cats, what makes them any better than the way that they perceived that we behaved on the show? If they hate us for our behavior, they're doing the same thing. We are real live people, you know, they hide, they know where to find us, they're hiding, they're hiding.
· Monti with Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ [YouTube]
· Kitchen Nightmares Restaurant Freaks Out on Facebook [-E-]
· Kitchen Nightmares Restaurant Will Relaunch Next Week [-E-]
· All Kitchen Nightmares Coverage on Eater [-E-]