Poor Amy. Let’s avoid saying anything incendiary here about chef and restaurateur Amy Bouzaglo, who as of today has officially become the target of a great deal of scorn and Internet chatter after her appearance, with husband Samy, on Friday’s episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Scottsdale residents already knew Bouzaglo after a 2010 incident in which she went after a Yelper who gave a negative review to her restaurant, Amy’s Baking Company. Gordon Ramsay’s producers discovered her, and it seems the high-strung, criticism-averse chef lacked the self-awareness to know that appearing on television was going to be a huge mistake.
The Phoenix New Times reported back in December about the day of shooting, in which Bouzaglo and her husband went totally ballistic on a customer who complained that he’d been waiting two hours for his food. (A commenter also noted there that Bouzaglo may have formerly gone by the name Amanda Bossingham, and served some jail time for felony fraud and identity theft a couple of years back.)
We now see that on the show, Ramsay gave up when trying to coach Bouzaglo on how to save the restaurant. While it all makes for terrific television, and great fodder for a swarm of eager Redditors, there’s not much to this story except a lot of laughter at the expense of a woman who might have some serious issues, but ultimately just wants to keep her business afloat.
Now that she’s gaining nationwide notice for her behavior, Bouzaglo has, predictably, taken to Facebook to defend herself and her restaurant in a series of all-caps rants. She or someone associated with her has even taken a screenshot of a Reddit thread in which she’s being mocked, and Photoshopped a comment onto the bottom that says, “Please everyone we need to stop. The police have called me they will be calling you too.” (The comment is clearly in a different font and size, and this has only spawned more chuckles.) It was posted with the warning, likely from Amy, saying “SEE! WE WILL GET YOU!”
The trouble is, Bouzaglo was unprepared for this notoriety and cannot avoid taking this criticism personally, just like she couldn’t take Ramsay’s, arguing with him until he walked out and took his crew with him. She has even gone so far as to declare, “I AM WONDER WOMAN,” and to insist, “WE ARE NOT FREAKING OUT.” She really should never have gone on television, and we’re looking at an example of when that fifteen minutes of fame we’re all eligible for can really bite you in the ass. We wonder how Ramsay’s production team chose to go ahead with the show if they’d actually researched or met this woman, and it kind of calls into question the ethics of the show’s purpose — are they there to help a restaurant get on its feet, or is this really about Schadenfreude, in the end?
Update: A number of the all-caps Facebook comments have been deleted as of this afternoon, and Amy’s Baking Co. has put up a new statement saying, “Obviously our Facebook, YELP, Twitter and Website have been hacked. We are working with the local authorities as well as the FBI computer crimes unit to ensure this does not happen again. We did not post those horrible things. Thank You Amy &Samy.;” Either they’ve employed a publicist, they’re realizing the futility of their defenses, or there’s some truth to this. But we’d bet on the former.
Update 2: The Bouzaglos have definitely hired a PR firm, and they’re hosting a “Grand Re-Opening” and press conference on May 21. This should go smoothly.
Watch Gordon Ramsay Give Up on Delusional Restaurant Owners in Kitchen Nightmares [Eater]
The Folks at Amy’s Baking Company In Scottsdale Have Gone Insane [Tucson Weekly]
Related: America’s Thirteen Most Abusive Restaurants