Amy’s Baking Company’s Grand Reopening: A Firsthand Account

We attended Amy’s Baking Company’s grand reopening on Tuesday night, in light of their recent PR nightmare, to get a firsthand account of whether or not a local business can rebound from overwhelmingly bad press.

Amy's Baking Company's Grand Reopening with Samy

Posing with Samy at the grand reopening of Amy’s Baking Company

Walking up to Amy’s Baking Company last night, the first thing I noticed were the rent-a-cops, about three or four of them, standing guard outside the entrance.

Clearly, Samy and Amy Bouzaglo were expecting some sort of confrontation from all the “haters” they so publicly blamed for bullying them online.

But, they needn’t have worried because there were only a few curious onlookers calmly watching from a safe distance, undoubtedly hoping to see a meltdown, or at least hear one coming from within the restaurant’s walls.

My co-worker Kendra Hillman and I initially did have a legitimate 5:15 p.m. reservation for Amy’s Baking Company’s grand reopening, which had been confirmed twice by Jason Rose’s PR firm, Rose+Moser+Allyn.

Then, in a twist on Monday night that we were not too happy about, we were told “all media-related persons, including bloggers,” were not allowed at the grand reopening and our reservation had been canceled.

Banning all media from your “grand reopening”? We couldn’t believe it. Nothing says, “We stand behind our food” like trying to prevent reviews of it.

Since we’d promoted our attendance heavily on Twitter, even making up our very own hashtag for the event, (#livefromamys), we thought we’d at least live tweet from next door to the scene at Pita Jungle, (which meant we had to change our hashtag to #livefromnextdoortoamys). After a glass of wine (or two) at Pita Jungle, however, we decided that live tweeting from next door to Amy’s was just not good enough. 

No Release Form, No Table

Amy's Baking Company

PR plants or real diners: You be the judge.

Instead, we thought, why not play dumb and act like we thought our 5:15 reservation was still good? That would never work, of course… but there’s no harm in trying, right?

The PR girl, Sara, who was handling the reservations at the door, seemed a little confused as to why we weren’t on the list. But when we showed her an email confirming our reservation, she didn’t question it at all and ushered us right in. (We ever-so-slyly didn’t show her the other email we had canceling that reservation.)

We did have to sign a release form before we were seated that granted Amy’s Baking Company the right to film us for “marketing material” that they plan to use on social media. They had a video crew there filming us as we ate, drank, and looked at desserts. Some of the crew members were also snapping pictures of people with Samy, who was more than happy to show the world his nicer, less-apt-to-shove-diners side.

For a grand reopening, I have to say, it was very controlled. Some might say contrived. We were the first customers in there and only one of seven tables for at least an hour and a half. At max, I think 12-13 tables were filled, and there were always at least one or two tables open.

They could have used this night as an opportunity to show their customers who they truly are as small business owners, chefs, and, ultimately, people. Instead, they unfortunately wanted to keep their reopening very small, private, unpublicized, and, potentially, full of “PR plants” as people on Twitter were surmising.

The Food: No Special Orders!

Amy's Baking Company 2

Our tasty, not soggy pizza!

But enough about the ambiance, let’s talk about the food. Kendra and I ordered the white pizza with goat cheese and we tried (unsuccessfully) to order the infamous red pepper ravioli that Gordon Ramsay said was the most confusing ravioli dish he had ever tasted.

But, since Kendra and I were sharing the dish, I asked if the bacon that came on top of the ravioli could be placed on the side. (I’m a vegetarian and she is not.) Our server went to give Samy our order (yes, he still inputs all orders), and we quickly watched (in admittedly excited delight) as Amy came out of the kitchen looking just a little too upset about my bacon-on-the-side request.

Were we about to watch one of Amy’s epic explosions? Not exactly. But I did hear her say, looking pretty irritated, “No special orders!” to both Samy and the server. Is this because she didn’t want to accommodate a special request or because the sauce was pre-made with bacon, making any special requests impossible?

Samy and the server then both came over to me and said that they cannot do the red pepper ravioli without the bacon because it would affect the “sweet and spiciness” of the dish, but could they interest me in the spinach ravioli instead?

So that’s what we went with and the food came out in a normal amount of time – there was no insane wait like we all saw on Kitchen Nightmares. Kendra and I both thought that the pizza was pretty darn good. If we wanted to be hyper-critical, we could say that the crust was very thin (no, it wasn’t soggy) and the cheese was very thick – but we both happen to be big cheese fans, so we were happy with it.

Amy's Baking Company 3

Spinach ravioli, our least favorite dish

The ravioli, on the other hand, was another story. It tasted like a store-bought item and reminded me of something you’d get from the frozen section at Trader Joe’s – and if that were the case, you’d probably be pretty happy with them. But it doesn’t quite work when they’re supposed to be homemade and don’t come with an affordable Trader Joe’s price tag. For $15, we were incredibly underwhelmed.

Of course, we had to get dessert, especially since it was the only thing Gordon Ramsay praised Amy for. All of her desserts on display looked nothing less than amazing and were beautifully presented. It was very hard to choose.

I went with the “candy bar” dessert and found it to be absolutely delicious. Kendra thought the same of her white chocolate coconut dessert. We asked Samy specifically if all of Amy’s desserts were homemade, and he replied simply with, “Of course!” If that’s the truth, desserts are an area in which Amy not only does well, but excels.

But, with so much evidence to the contrary, it’s hard to believe, despite Samy’s insistence, that Amy has had any hand in the creation of those culinary masterpieces whatsoever.

Will the real pastry chef please stand up? Because we’d like to thank you, and order seconds.

Samy: A Gracious Gangster 

Amy's Baking Company 4

A rare Amy sighting (in the right-hand corner)

Samy, I must say, worked the room hard last night. He was a great host. Polite, nice, and always on top of what was going on. He even bought Kendra and I a glass of wine “on the house.” It was hard to believe, and almost sad, that this was the same Samy who pushed a customer for complaining about his pizza taking over an hour to be served.

The only possible hint of the Samy we saw on television came when the bell rang a few times (which means an order is up), and the server didn’t get to it fast enough. “You, you!!” he yelled, “The bell is ringing!” Which prompted the server to run over and take the order to the table.

Another interesting moment came when we (allegedly) saw a server or bus boy get fired mid-shift. We think we heard Samy complaining about a few things the guy had done wrong, then after a quick chat with him, the server walked out still wearing his apron.

We watched him walk to his car and he never returned during the nearly three hours we were there. We asked our server if he had gotten fired and she told us that he went home to take a shower and would be returning. That didn’t quite make sense to us… but, like I said, it was hard to hear in the restaurant, so we can’t say with 100% certainty that he got fired. Perhaps he truly did feel the sudden, undeniable urge to bathe mid-shift and returned to the restaurant fresh and clean some point after we’d gone home.

The Tips… What About the Tips!

You know we had to ask our server (before tipping her) if she would be the one keeping the money. She told us yes, that she absolutely does get to keep her tips, but that she would have to share a portion of it with the bus boys. She said she was head (and only) server working. The bus boys were there to refill water glasses and clear plates.

Overall, the new servers and bus boys were very nice, but very nervous. This could have been because it was their first night, or because the camera crew was constantly filming, or because of all the drama that has gone down at Amy’s in the last couple of weeks. Regardless, we have no complaints about them, as they were great and we hope they truly did receive the tip we left.

The Verdict

Amy's Baking Company 5

The delicious candy bar dessert at Amy’s Baking Company

Overall, Amy’s Baking Company’s grand reopening went well, but did seem very controlled by not only Samy, but the PR firm that represented them up until last night. (Rose+Moser+Allyn represented Amy’s for about five days total.)

The pizza was good, the dessert amazing, and Amy and Samy were on their best behavior (aside from Amy’s mild bacon tantrum.)

It was interesting that they banned media to try to prevent people from reviewing the opening, yet had their own camera crew there to document the night. It’s clear they wanted to tell their story on their own terms, and didn’t want any personal accounts getting out.

One of the PR girls even thanked us for not live-tweeting from the restaurant as one of the other diners had been doing. (We’d planned on it but didn’t want to risk getting kicked out.)

She even pointed the “live-tweeter” out to us as if he had been doing something wrong. It was a strange moment because, not only were they clearly monitoring Twitter for comments, but they were actually irritated that someone would be trying to let the world know what they were experiencing at the reopening.

I think if you’re ready to have a “grand reopening,” you should be ready to face everything, the good and the bad, and that includes all the tweets, Facebook posts, news articles, and blog posts that come along with it.

As we all know, Amy and Samy were very vocal about the “online bullies” who “bashed” their restaurant and food for what they claim are unjustifiable reasons. They even went as far to donate 10% of the proceeds of last night’s reopening to an organization that helps prevent online bullying, giving the impression that they were the victims in all of this, not the customers or the waitstaff.

But, didn’t Amy and Samy, in some way, become online bullies themselves by trying to prevent real reviews of their restaurant from hitting the internet?

Attending the grand reopening was fun and interesting – and we got a pretty good meal out of it – but, overall, it was unsettling. If you didn’t know the story behind Amy’s Baking Company, Amy and Samy would appear to be extremely passionate small business owners who work very hard at what they do.

Yet, with such negative publicity coming at them from all angles from their past crazy behavior, I have no idea if their restaurant can be salvaged. Will the public be able to forgive them enough to continue coming to their restaurant long after the curiosity seekers have moved on? More importantly: Do they deserve to be forgiven?

These are questions I can’t answer. For myself, though, I know I wouldn’t go again simply because I don’t want to support people who could treat their customers and staff that way. I wanted to attend the opening so I could report on it for our blog, which probably makes me reprehensible in some way as well.

I will admit, though, that the thought of never having that candy bar dessert again makes me die a little inside. Thankfully, half of it is still waiting for me in my fridge at home, a deliciously bittersweet testament to what is apparently a mystery chef’s talent, sadly overshadowed by Amy’s temperament.

Share: Would you have attended Amy’s Baking Company’s grand reopening?

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About the Author

Shannon Willoby

Shannon is the content marketing manager for Scott's Marketplace and has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. (Or crayon.) When she's not blogging, you can find her daydreaming that she's Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.

Comments

  1. Irene Lerner says

    It is strange that a restaurant that boast veget/vegan entries cannot control the bacon. I do not believe anyone thought this was a typical night either.Even the plants were making mild unfunny jokes about it.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Were you there too? I did find it strange that she wouldn’t take the bacon off. Seems suspicious but I know that some chefs won’t take away certain ingredients for customers bc it truly will change the flavor of their dish… so it’s hard to say which it was.

      • steve says

        I’m a chef and I understand how a dish can be harmed by removing an ingredient. That being said, it says the bacon was on top of the ravioli, not in the pasta, or sauce. It should be no problem to put the bacon on the side. They could have handled the situation better stating the bacon was mixed in with the sauce, however they made a great suggestion showing Samy can keep his head clear. I would have to say, if Amy wanted to really shut everyone up and show social media the truth invite all the bullies into the restaurant and do 1 of 2 things, do a 24/hour live feed from the restaurant of her prepping everything from scratch and serving it, then posting it online after the reviews come in. second invite them all in and have a highly regarded chef do the cooking but tell everyone it was Amy, if the haters persisted she can prove they are unable to recognize real food and would automatically win.

        • Irene Lerner says

          A good chef knows how to take individual requests. In a restaurant that boasts vegan dishes, they have no excuse not to be prepared for such an order. Even if it ruins the integrity of the dish, a well run kitchen can handle such a minor task.

  2. Linda Calliope says

    Meh. I didn’t see anything in that kitchen in KN that would lead me to believe that desserts are made there.

    I’d want to see big mixers, eggs, sugar, bags of flour, chocolate, cake decorating accessories and supplies, pie molds, cake pans, cakes ready to be frosted, etc.

    Their fridge had only lettuce, cut up veggies, and packaged pizza dough. The food prep counter was full of metal containers with pizza and salad toppings.

    Further, it was clear that Crazy Amy was hoping to impress Ramsey with her niblet raviolis and her pizza, not with the cakes. She claims to make them, yes, but she hoped to wow him with the food that she actually makes, not the desserts that she claims to make.

    “Gracious gangster” is a physically violent man to his customers.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      The “gracious gangster” reference was facetious ;) But, I’d love to know once and for all who makes those desserts bc they were great. I do believe strongly that the ravioli was frozen and it’s possible she doesn’t make her own pizza dough. Thanks for your comment, Linda!

      • Tatiana says

        Culinary Specialties is the company, from what I saw. I’ve been in the business a good quarter century and recognize lots of the stuff from their catalog, like the triple layer mousse thing on Kitchen Nightmares. Pricey but good stuff, and they have lots of supplies for actual bakers too, like chocolate shells and cannoli shells and really awesome mousse mix and the like.

        There may be other companies doing this stuff, but that would be my guess.

      • Deb says

        Do you know if Amy’s is still open for business? I wonder if anyone has gone in there since the grand opening?

        • Shannon Willoby says

          Looks like it! Just read a review from last night that some people went there and found fruit flies in their vodka. After three times of finding the flies in their drinks, Samy asked them to leave and they didn’t get to try the food.

    • Irene Lerner says

      Look at it this way. Hitler marched into France without some much as a neveryoumind, but when Samy tries to enter the borders, they give that a big fat bowl of NO.

  3. Irene Lerner says

    My husband has been in wholesale (Bakery) food service for nearly 50 years. In order to have that amount and quality of pastry, it is necessary for an establishment to have a fulltime pastry chef, assistant, and their own area of the kitchen. They need special refridgerators as well. Pastry chefs often begin their day at 2a.m. to avoid the meal services. My husband met with them at 5 a.m. every weekday to fill orders. There is no earthly way that a head chef is also a four star pastry chef, all in the same day. Amy continues to lie about the one thing that nobody believes-that she made the desserts.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Yeah, that makes sense! I wonder why they won’t just admit that they don’t make their desserts in-house, if that’s the case? They’re delicious either way, and I can tell you that I wouldn’t care who made them, as long as I got to eat them…. so pretending you’re an amazing pastry chef if you aren’t just seems like a very pointless lie to keep up.

      • says

        She’s so nuts that she might have convinced herself by this point that she actually does make them. Regardless, it’s the only thing they have that people aren’t “hating” on so why would she stop the lies now? She’s already pretended to be other people (and gone to prison for it), why not pretend to be a pastry chef too?!

        • Irene Lerner says

          In her world, lies and truth might blend. But one thing is for sure, with all the other tip-confiscating scandals (Lydia’s Kitchen/Bastianich and Batali) that were sued for millions and had to pay, I will always ask my server if they keep their tip. If not, I will hand it to them under the table. Even Starbucks was sued for confiscating tips in one store. Bigger people than ABC have been caught doing this trivial theft and I intend to keep my mouth yapping about it until it stops.
          From now on, do not assume that the money left on the table went to the wait staff.

          • strider0075 says

            And that’s why I prefer to pay with my card. It’s all digital, with no money physically handled. Now while it’s possible for an owner to “rig” the system to get part or all of the tip digitally, it’s much easier to prove because it leaves a neat little paper trail if the owner is stealing tips from the servers.

          • RestaurantOwner says

            Strider0075…you’re doing just the opposite of what you think. It’s a lot easier to ensure that a cash tip goes directly to the server than a credit card tip. CC tips are credited to the owner’s bank account, who then is *supposed* to give that, in cash or check, to the server. The paper trail you think you’re creating is one that few, if any, service industry folks would ever take advantage of, for fear of losing their jobs, or worse, being blackballed in their community’s industry.

      • Tatiana says

        And yeah, there’s no shame in a restaurant getting their desserts elsewhere. Most of them do…but then they don’t claim it’s made in house. They may dance around it a bit, saying “baked in house” for cookies or brownies or muffins that came as frozen pucks or buckets of batter, but there are loads of places that even specialize in doing wholesale desserts for restaurants.

        What really sticks in my craw (and I really am a pastry chef) is not only did Ramsey not call her on it but not on the “boulangerie” tag either. Lying about desserts is bad enough, but I saw no bread at all…never mind loaves she could have lied about.

        I still can’t decide if Ramsey didn’t realize because he primarily doesn’t bake or if he didn’t want to kick her when she was down.

        • BloggerB says

          I think he was going to get to that point about the desserts, eventually.
          Absolutely impossible for Amy to make all of those delicate desserts fresh daily and then also be the “chef”, even if all of her food was frozen.
          She did admit on her facebook that she “reslled” the desserts.

          • Ronnie says

            I think she later claimed that those Facebook posts were not hers and were posted by someone else when it was “hacked”. She is on record in her later interview with Monti Carlo saying that she personally makes all the desserts!

        • Irene Lerner says

          When Ramsey asked if she made the dessert, he sort of asked her a couple times. He had no proof to the contrary so he let it go, I agree with your comment, he would have gotten to it eventually. Like I said, not to be monotonous, my husband was in the biz for 50years before retiring. Even bakeries that say ‘baked on premises’ are fudging the truth. Almost every single bakery product is available premade or frozen. Some bakeries buy bread dough, then bake it in the oven. So when they say ‘baked on premises’ they aren’t lying. Some bakeries even sell to other bakeries. One bakery might make fantastic cookies, and the other makes great apple pie. So they buy and trade from one another.
          Either way, someone made it, but it wasn’t Amy.

        • catlikescake says

          In a town where I used to live, there is an amazing bakery that does to-die-for desserts. A few of the brew pub-type restaurants in town not only get their desserts from this place, but put it right on the menu, because hey, they know the bakery has a reputation and people will totally buy it. So you go to the restaurant, get good microbrewed beer, pub food, and dessert from another local business and everybody’s happy. Totally no reason to lie about it if you angle it right!

        • says

          I’ll bet he was planning on calling her on it.

          Notice how he asked her multiple times about the pastries.

          Ramsay REALLY wanted that sound clip of her clearly claiming that she made every single pastry from scratch.

          They could have edited that together beautifully with a clip of her trying to make a cake while Ramsay watches and failing hilariously.

          Too bad filming ending before they got that far.

          -KF

      • Deborah says

        Shannon,

        I was your server that evening. It was a pleasure waiting on you and your co-worker. I was a little nervous that evening as it was my first night working. First, I want you to know that I did get my tips that evening and every evening since I have worked there. The first few evenings, Sammy did enter the orders into the POS system, only because I had not had a chance to learn their system. I now enter everything into the POS myself. I hope that once the media dies down that you and your friend will return and see for yourselves without cameras around that you will enjoy the food just as much as you did the first evening. Second, there is another part of the kitchen that was not aired with all of the big mixers and the sinks which no one saw either. I can honestly say that Amy does make all of the desserts herself. During the past week I have assisted in bringing in ingredients in from the trucks and there are or were no pre-made desserts brought into the store.

        • Annah H says

          Ok.

          I have to reply to this. The comment about you helping her get the dessert ingredients into the kitchen is an outright lie.

          1. My friend was a waitress there a year ago. Those desserts come in truck orders every Wednesday.

          2. I ate there. I know where at least four of those cakes come from and they aren’t Amy’s.

          Amy does not make those desserts. Stop lying for her.

        • Shannon Willoby says

          Hi Deborah!

          Understandable you were nervous but Kendra and I think you did a great job! Very glad to hear you’re getting to keep your tips. Thanks for the comment!

    • says

      Hi, This is Amy,
      I do make all of the desserts 100%, none of them are bought from anywhere. Kitchen Nightmares did not show my entire kitchen. Hate all you want, but no one can take the fact away that I am the only one who makes our desserts. And if you don’t believe it get ready for our reality tv show. You will all be able to see me do it, and perhaps learn a thing or two.

      • Susan says

        No, you don’t Amy. Quit lying and just be honest for once. You’d never have time to make them. Also, all of the pictures you have on your website (of your desserts) are stolen from other websites. If your food is soooo crappy, no way you’d be able to make fabulous desserts. Peace.

      • MARY says

        Hate to be on Amy’s side because I think she treats people horribly, but if she did note bake the desserts herself or if there was not a separate area where the baking is done, Gordon Ramsey would have brought it up on KN. he didn’t show the baking area to make Amy look bad. and make people doubt she Baked the desserts. Amy forget Ramsey follow DR. Phils advice.

        • MARY says

          darn I scrolled down saw where the stole pictures of desserts my bad. on the bright side turns out I don’t have to defend Amy yeah.

  4. Lou Ann says

    I watched the episode with Chef Ramsey. He couldn’t even help them straighten out their “issues”. And, there is no way that I would ever walk through those doors into a restaurant that does not respect their customers or their employees. They act as if they are god’s and need to be worshiped. Amy is not what she appears to be. Perhaps she is bi-polar. I don’t know but something is obviously wrong with her as well as her ranting husband.

    • Mike says

      She’s an ex sex-worker that got religion.

      That’s after being caught up on federal charges for fleecing her elderly clientele.

  5. says

    Re the desserts:

    Before the posts were pulled down off of their original FB page, one of them posted that they did, indeed, buy their pastries and desserts and went on a rant about how WalMart doesn’t make the electronics they sell and that’s the way businesses did things. Also there is a page somewhere (I didn’t bookmark it and I can’t find it now) where you can see the images that were on their website matched to the places they stole the images from – dessert images from Martha Stewart, Bakerella, 101 Cookbooks, and other very well known bakers and cook/bloggers. If she is making those in house, then why would they steal photos from other people’s web pages to represent them?

    I’m highly skeptical that they actually did bake the desserts they’re selling, both because of the stolen images, and because of the reasons @Irene Lerner mentions above.

      • Star says

        The pictures on Facebook were much worse than that, and went back far before all of the problems. Some of the ones he says are unidentified were identified on Facebook. Amy specifically said that the items in the pictures were her own creations on some posts. One of them was actually a flower arrangement, but she claimed it was a cupcake. She made that comment on her personal facebook page and answered a question about whether it was really a cake. I find this aspect of things somewhat hard to explain away.

  6. bardgal says

    Brava Shannon!

    The only reason she balked on the bacon is because the sauce is already pre-made with it, and she didn’t have the ingredients readily available separately to make a fresh one w/out bacon for you.

    All of the photos last night only show about 7 seated tables at any given time. That is not a restaurant in the weeds. That’s one station.

    I’d love to talk to the waiter who “left” last night, just to get the back of the house scoop on what’s pre-made and what isn’t.

    As for the pastries: There’s no way she makes those desserts ALONE, AND is head chef, AND runs the back of house/kitchen of a regular restaurant with 65 menu items. There isn’t enough hours in the day.

    The kind of pastry chef who makes those desserts HAS A STAFF, and doesn’t do anything else.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      All great points — and I do think you must be correct. After the whole nightmare they’ve experienced, to think they’d actually deny as simple of a request of bacon on the side says to me it was done bc she didn’t have any other choice… it was in the sauce. Agree about the desserts — that case had so many phenomenal, perfectly presented desserts in it — it would seriously have to be her full-time job. Dying to know who really made them if it wasn’t Amy. Will the real sweet genius please stand up? ;) Thanks for your comment!

      • Irene Lerner says

        The real supplier would be foolish to come forward since they probably sell to fine restaurants all over the country. Dry ice makes it possible for blintzes made in L.A. to make it to Las Vegas while they are still fresh, etc.

      • bardgal says

        I used to be a server at TGIFridays. Trust me. I know how restaurants work – front and back of house. And my aunt was a professional cake “creator.” :D

        • Irene Lerner says

          Amy and Samy probably have invoices for expensive bakery ingredients as to assist their money laundering and reduce their taxable income. do not be surprised if (when are allowed to see the numbers) that it appears that she is a pastry chef. As I said earlier, before my husband retired, he was a wholesale salesman with a very large bakery distributor. He met his clients at 5a.m. because pastry chefs work from 2a.m. til about noon. If Amy made those desserts, it would mean that she left the dinner service around 11P.M. and came back around 2A.M., baked all the desserts, decorated them, and put them in the display. Then she began to prepare the lunch service (65 entrees) and work through til the following 11P.M. If you worked at Friday’s then you know that a truck came and delivered many of the desserts and entrees (even if from a central kitchen for Friday’s exclusively). Amy thinks we are idiots. A true cake creator takes lots of time and skill. It is disgusting that she took credit in photos and in the pastry case for the hard work of others.
          The ‘plants’ insist that she made everything. All this on less than 3 hours sleep per day.

      • Jadewarlock says

        I have to agree with Irene, the real person who made the candy bar probably won’t say who they are out in public for protection of reputable restaurants. That said… they may decide to e-mail you quietly and say – with an agreement of confidentiality – who they are and where you can also get the dish.

        • Shannon Willoby says

          Well… about that dessert I loved so much… When I ate the other half that night when I got home, something weird happened. It was as delicious as I remembered until I suddenly hit this part that just tasted awful.

          The filling turned into this weirdly tasteless, yet strangely horrible-tasting chocolate mush. I can’t even describe it. It was almost like it had gone bad in one portion of the dessert, while all parts around it remained good. Gordon Ramsay said the sweet and spicy raviolis were confusing. Well, let me tell you, a disgusting and delicious dessert is even more confusing.

          Not sure if it just wasn’t all that fresh or what, but I do still stand by that amazing cookie crust. It was the best part of the entire dessert!

  7. Kika says

    A problem I predict them having to face, in regards to survival, will be the monitoring of customers. Will the hand-picked customers be able to provide enough patronage to keep them wading? Personally, discrimination is what I see happening … In fact, on a few different levels.

    • Irene Lerner says

      Samy and Amy are just scrambling now for dollars. I wouldn’t trust them with my credit card info or anything like that===they are desperate. Once he leaves, he has so much in the computer, he can ruin a lot of people’s credit. And try and find him (them) if they are not in the country!!!
      Right now they need to pay lawyers and mortgages on the house and the failing restaurant.
      I suppose they will do like many failing businesses did to my husband, and flee without paying the bills. They will not leave with everything tidy and tied in a bow.
      They are desperate people who are not above stealing. They steal ideas, photos, intellectual property, real property, tips, personal identities and money from waitresses.
      People who go in there, nonchalant and hand over their debit card are sitting ducks.

        • Irene Lerner says

          A couple years from now, after Samy has sold the credit card numbers (with the codes on the back) to someone out of the country, and you receive a strange purchase for some electronic equipment from, lets say, Radio Shack, I doubt that you will trace it back to the day you handed a drug dealer/extortionist your card. These two people think nothing of ruining other lives for their quick fix of some ready cash. Remember not only is this money you worked for, it is your reputation, the years YOU spent paying down your bills, the things YOU denied yourself so that the creditgods would smile upon you. You would never hand your credit card over to a felon who sells drugs or extorts money from people. You would never hand your private credit information over to someone who steals social security numbers. But, for some reason, no one minded handing over their reputation to a couple who would ruin your reputation and make it impossible for you to buy a home, get at job or even rent a car.
          Think. Then think again.

      • Apryl says

        That is why I paid cash on Tuesday night!!!! I didn’t want him having my debit card information – he seemed flustered that I did pay using cash!

  8. Karine says

    it’s really foolish to think that, Amy who can barely cook any real good food let alone desert…They are bought deserts. She has none of the equipment required in order to bake such desert. And even if you bold out the waiters get to keep their tips line, i do not believe it one minute. I think i am going to stick to Gordon’s review and never go there, as my husband’s grandfather live in Arizona. And why wouldn’t she have a bacon tantrum. That’s how she is. She can’t handle stress at all. So she wouldn’t take any special order on a grand opening stressed night. I am 100% it will only takes a couple of days for them to lash out again lol. And you believe that boy went home to take a shower ? Please. Who go home to take a shower in the middle of their shift. They haven’t changed one bit.

    • Shannon Willoby says

      Haha, well, there is a little bit of sarcasm in my blog post… not sure if it was caught. Doesn’t matter to me who made the desserts — bc they were delicious regardless. But if it’s not Amy, that person or company deserves credit and Kendra and I want to buy more from them! Hopefully the truth comes out soon. Thanks for your comment, Karine!

  9. TamaraK says

    Take heart, Shannon–those desserts will be available long after ABC disappears from our memory. Once we see the audit, we’ll know where she buys them. :)

    • Scottsdale Bubbe says

      TamaraK — What makes you think we (the public) will EVER see the audit? Do you work for the IRS? Do you work for ABC’s CPA or tax attorney? In any event, except in a criminal complaint in tax court, all that information is confidential.

  10. mike h says

    Great article, and it kind of proves how that other couple were probably plants since they were only spinning positive things about the place.

    I was there, my reservation was at 830, but I arrived at 7 to see if any drama was going on. Surprisingly they had open tables available, so we got in at that point. We were approached by two wait staff and then the waitress; initially we didn’t know who was who as we gave drink orders several times. It took 15 minutes and two confirmations to get my mom’s wine. The food arrived in a decent amount of time. we got the Pear Salad which was delicious, and the Garlic Chicken Mushroom pizza which was really good, but I thought it had too much flour on the bottom, and mom thought it could use more garlic. We asked for a dessert menu, but the waitress brought us a regular menu. We didn’t see her for another 30 minutes, and at that point we just asked for the check. She was nice. I didn’t notice any drama going on other than two girls being chased down in the parking lot by security; they were in front of us. Apparently Samy thought they didn’t pay, but I saw them pay…. maybe they left their card or something as they left after a few minutes with the hostess. All in all in confirms my friends visit a couple months ago; good food, but slow/bad service.

  11. Irene Lerner says

    Amy was an identity thief. She thought nothing of stealing SS numbers and ruining a person’s credit for years and years. These victims often never recover. The credit score companies feel no urgency to straighten out errors and this victim could have lost their house, or found themselves unable to buy a car or put their kids in school. Many job applications look at credit scores. This person could have been deprived of a livelihood as well. So, to steal credit for making a cupcake is no big deal for Amy.
    One more personal note: My mother was a waitress in local diners in NY. those nickels and dimes fed us and put a roof over our head. I watched her pay for groceries with change that rattled in her pocket. When she came home from work, she would collapse on the couch. Sometimes she would soak her feet in Epsom salts to ease the pain. She needed two new knees probably because of the walking and the excess weight of carrying trays.
    So when I see someone taking a waitress’s tips, you can imagine that I see red.
    Left to their own devices, Amy and Samy have (and would) do things that most of us find reprehensible. They are bad people. short and simple. And where else but the wild west for them to be run out of town!!!

    • Star says

      Yes someone did a very trivial identity theft fraud on me and 13 years later I still cannot get store credit anywhere, bank loans or god knows what. I assume that basically I am blacklisted although technically it was sorted out, reported to the police, and I got an apology letter from the firm that was defrauded. I am still being chased by debt collectors and put through stress. In America credit ratings are even more important. I am lucky that I don’t need to worry about renting a home as people are also expected to pass credit checks just to rent a room these days even in the UK.

      • Irene Lerner says

        Just think, Star, night after night, Samy and Amy have other people’s credit cards in their hot little hands. People use debit cards like it is nothing, but we are old, we pay cash 99 percent of the time. If I had been to ABC, and used a card, I’d be looking extra hard at my statements for the next couple years. One little purchase somewhere goes unnoticed. But Amy did it big time, she ruined a person’s entire reputation and their future. Samy, well, he just pushed drugs on society. It all makes taking the tips seem trivial.
        I know the trouble you are having. Lots of people on ebay buy luxury items from anonymous dealers at discount prices only to find out that they item was purchased full price using a stolen credit card. Then the card is disgarded and the real owner of the card gets to argue with the companies and have his reputation destroyed because someone bought their card number. One little purchase and you are ruined. The purchaser gets some nice perfume at 50 percent off and the seller pockets it all. It is rampant.
        I wouldn’t use a credit card at ABC. Two years from now when you see a weird purchase, you will never trace it back to them. And who else handles that computer in ABC? No one but Samy.

        • Jax says

          ” Lots of people on ebay buy luxury items from anonymous dealers at discount prices only to find out that they item was purchased full price using a stolen credit card. Then the card is disgarded and the real owner of the card gets to argue with the companies and have his reputation destroyed because someone bought their card number. One little purchase and you are ruined. The purchaser gets some nice perfume at 50 percent off and the seller pockets it all.”

          Or they’re shoplifted. I worked for a year at a retail store in the apparel/cosmetics department and SO much of our items like perfume were lifted. It was really sickening.

      • Brad says

        Identity theft happened to me as well 10 years ago. It was a nightmare. Someone used my social security number to open a line of credit for two cell phones, direct tv, electric bills, and a credit card. The companies who were owed the debt and the debt collectors could care less that my identity was stolen, they just wanted the money. I was turned down for several loans, could not purchase a house or a car, and my credit line was reduced to less than $1000 because I was considered high risk. It has taken years, countless hours, traveling to fill out police reports, and a lot of frustration and money to repair my credit.

        Amy is one of these crooks. She is scum in my book. She is a con and she knows it. The only thing I see when I look at her is a hateful sociopath. She has gotten what she deserves with all the negativity directed at her. I really have no respect for the lady.

    • Shane_H says

      “Left to their own devices, Amy and Samy have (and would) do things that most of us find reprehensible.”

      This is a profound statement, and I wish everyone would keep this fact in mind. I enjoyed this blog as an genuine breath of fresh-air compared to some of the other posts to come out of the grand-opening.

      Amy and Samy continue to decieve people to this day. Miranda, the server on KN, was interviewed by a radio host, and said she was fired for keeping a $5.00 tip handed to her under-the-table by a patron.

      Kitchen Nightmares recieves critism for the drama being manipulated by the producers, but Miranda and Katy both said everything depicted on the episode was what actually happened. The behavior we witnessed from Samy and Amy was genuine.

      Even if the food was spectacular, I would never support these people by eating at that establishment. (I don’t blame Shannon for going in this circumstance.) There are plenty of fine restaurants run by good people who are far more deserving of my hard-earned money.

  12. says

    Shannon — Can’t say for sure why I have a perverse desire to follow this twisted story but I do. I always try to find 5 minutes to read your writings but today nothing could get in my way. I feel as though I saw first hand what’s been talked about for days without taking the time or spending the money. Thank you for feeding the nosey demon in me. Also see a handful of blog spin off topics coming from you… and anxiously awaiting them all!

    • Irene Lerner says

      It is not perverse, Tammy. It is just that, rarely do we ever get a news story that is so clearly cut between good and evil. Yes, say the word, folks, evil. Selling drugs, stealing from innocent victims and extortion (a systematic practice of terrorism against victims commonly used by the mafia and organized crime) is something we do not abide. It offends our sense of brotherhood also that people who work for very little are victims of theft. No one is interested in following up on what happens in many restaurants, namely the taking of tips from wait staff. A simply google search will reveal that it is widespread.
      Also, oddly enough, while the rest of the world assumes that people lie, Americans cannot tolerate a liar!! In Europe they find our indignation at a lying politician to be naïve, but we are who we are. We have ideals and expect people to live up to them. In this country, it is a tough road back to success once the people catch you lying.
      But the hits keep coming with Amy, who lies while she is sleeping. Funny how no relative or close family friend has come in front of a microphone to defend them. Yes, they even had to pay ‘plants’ to lie about the food, even though, it appears that is wasn’t that bad.
      Samy is the real criminal here, and has physically hurt his victims. Let us not all put it on her shoulders. And let us stop taking pics with his arm around young girls. Come on.

  13. In cyberspace says

    Surprising Sam and Amy could restrain themselves from blowups and meltdowns but I think even they knew it was a do or die situation….fake it till you make it. That will only last so long eventually they will no longer be able to contain their naturally crazy selves and they will split at the seams letting all the angst, anger and insanity pour out again, shouldn’t take too long. Sort of reminds me of the old Beavis and Butthead episode when Mr. Buzzcut bans them from laughing, then proceeds to give a lesson on Sex-ed. Beavis and Butthead turn Blue trying to restrain their laughter until they can bust out of school at the end of the day and break out laughing uncontrollably till after sunset.Same thing is coming in Scottdale and sooner rather than latter, especially once the hand paicked customers and security people are gone.

  14. G says

    I wish you hadn’t said the name of the girl who let you in. You could’ve gotten her in trouble :-\

  15. says

    Some people including customers love controversy, drama, violence, etc.

    It is really a shame. I side with Gordon Ramsay. I have a feeling that Amy’s Baking Company is not going to last long.

  16. Uri says

    There is something important that Americans need to know about America: It is unbeliveably easy to make money when owning any retail business. Know why? Because Americans would practically buy anything.
    You see, I’m from Israel and at the beginning I thought the troubles originated from Samy, being an israeli version of worst kind of “white trash” – a small time felon who cares about nobody but himself (denying tips from the staff is UNFORGIVABLE!). But after seeing the entire show I see that Amy is the worst kind of human being I’ve ever seen on TV. There’s one thing about treating yout customers like crap, but using your power as boss to humiliate young innocent waitresses is too much.

    In Israel, this “restaurant” wouldn’t last more than a day. Please take that into consideration.

    • LuckyStar says

      I agree that Americans might buy anything, but we aren’t keeping her restaurant open. The whole point of them contacting KN was because the “haters” and “online bullies” drove the business away, leaving only Samy’s money to keep the restaurant open.

  17. Katy says

    My dad is a professional pie maker. The only thing he makes that isn’t traditional pie is a plain New York style cheesecake. That’s it. Nothing fancy or largely time consuming like a decorated cake. That man is in his shop at 4:00 AM every morning, and all he does all day is make different kinds of pies. He puts in 14-16 hour days for six to seven days a week.

    There is no way that this woman can put in all the work that goes into cakes that look like that and run a restaurant on the side. The baking alone takes a large amount of time, never mind the task of icing and decorating it.

    • Mike says

      I worked for many years in restaurants, eventually ending up running a kitchen.

      I made my own desserts – two of them. A very nice chocolate cake and a passsable crumble (with whatever was seasonal).

      The chocolate cake was decorated with ganache – because it’s easy and looks good.

      That was an hour out of my very busy day, every day, between the market, morning prep and clean-up, before lunch.

      Having professional-level equipment certainly helps, as does a staff to peel, chop, melt, mix and prep tinware. but, the results are worth it – a large cake can net 16-24 slices and making two is as easy as one. There’s some fine profit in a freshly-made cake. But… the other 16 dessert items were bought in from speciality Italian (from Italy, Italy not Joisey) and French (ok, they were from NY) bakeries and I was proud of them, I never tried to pass them off as my own work.

      I have also worked with some talented pastry chefs. They were the ones starting at 6am and finishing at 11pm (with a break, of course). They started off with the breads, the pastries and worked their way through to the delicate fillings and frostings. It was a full-time job with a dedicated work area – have you SEEN what chocolate can do to a kitchen? It migrates! And cream is especially nasty as a harbinger of bacteria so you need to observe strict handling regimes and a separate cleaning system.

      I don’t doubt that Amy may make some of her desserts, especially pies or large sliced cakes, but those exceptionally-fiddly cupcakes and gold-dusted creations are hours of work.

  18. J. Gallagher says

    As one of your respondents suggested, a quick look at ‘Culinary Specialties’ website reveals a lot. Looking at their list of customers, which include some major hotel chains and restaurants, shows that professional kitchens rely on such 3rd party suppliers to help fill their menus and keep their labor costs low. Although ABC wasn’t listed, such suppliers are all over the country. I agree that for a restaurant to offer 65 items plus a dessert case, especially when it is run so poorly, is impossible without buying it off a truck.
    Secondly, Culinary Specialties offers RAVIOLI! Lots of different kinds, which may explain why there are ‘no special orders,’ or substitutions. It comes frozen and complete, and can’t therefore, accommodate any deviation. They also supply pizza dough, and a surprising number of items.
    Thirdly, if you are presenting a 65-item menu, with very little help in the kitchen, using frozen and pre-packaged items from a supplier is the only way you can do it. Unfortunately, Amy and Samy are dishonest enough to claim Amy does it all. Apparently her penchant for FRAUD is still very much with her. Some people never learn.

  19. Lara says

    This was a very fair and balanced article. I know that my local grocery store makes a cake almost identical to the one you had. It’s a tart called Toffee Candy Cake…

    As for the fact that they resell-they admitted to reselling sweets and pastries.

    I personally love to cook, and I cook with intention. I believe that people put their energy into the food they cook. All that yucky, screaming, horrid attitude is in her food. That’s worse than not filling special orders….I’ve walked out from restaurants where the cook(s) or wait staff are having bad days. I don’t need that energy!

    I always put love, prosperity and happiness into what I cook. Just sayin’

  20. says

    I don’t understand why Amy has a problem w/ just sticking with her sweet cakes and pies? Some people can’t make good pizzas and burgers and therefore you will have to cater the things your customers love.

Trackbacks

  1. Amy’s Baking Company’s Grand Reopening: A Firsthand Account…

    We attended Amy’s Baking Company’s grand reopening on Tuesday night. Get all the exclusive dirt on the food, staff, and Amy and Samy right here!…

  2. […] At the end of the day, a public relations consultant must have clients who are based in reality if that consultant is going to be of any use. That important element seems to have been absent in the Amy’s Baking Company scandal. The owners failed to take responsibility for their role in their PR disaster. They spouted off on social media, then claimed their accounts had been hacked. They hired a PR firm, but the two parties split after just five days. However, the PR firm helped launch an odd grand reopening in May, which Shannon Willoby attended and wrote about. […]

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