Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay

Cooking demonstration in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Born Robert William Flay
December 10, 1964 (1964-12-10) (age 46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cooking style Mexican and Southwest
Education French Culinary Institute
Spouse Debra Ponzek (m. 1991–1993) «start: (1991)–end+1: (1994)»"Marriage: Debra Ponzek to Bobby Flay" Location: (linkback://
Kate Connelly (m. 1995–div.)
Stephanie March (m. 2005–present) «start: (2005)»"Marriage: Stephanie March to Bobby Flay" Location: (linkback://
Official website

Robert William "Bobby" Flay (born December 10, 1964)[1] is an American celebrity chef, restaurateur and reality television personality. He is the owner and executive chef of 12 restaurants: Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, New York City, and the Bahamas (Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau); Bar Americain in New York City and Uncasville, Connecticut; Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Bobby's Burger Palace in Lake Grove, New York, Paramus, New Jersey, Eatontown, New Jersey, Uncasville, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.[2]

Flay has hosted seven Food Network television programs and appeared regularly on an eighth. He has appeared as a guest on other Food Network shows and hosted a number of specials on the network. Flay is featured on the Great Chefs television series.[3]


Early life

Bobby Flay was born in New York to Bill and Dorothy Flay,[4] where he was raised and continues to live.[5] He is a fourth generation Irish American.[6]

At age 8, Flay asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas, against his father's objections, who thought a G.I. Joe would be more gender-appropriate. He ended up getting both.


Flay dropped out of high school at age 17.[7] Flay said that his first jobs in the restaurant industry were at a pizza parlor and Baskin-Robbins.[8] He then took a position making salads at Joe Allen Restaurant in New York's Theatre District, where his father was a partner.[1][9] Joe Allen was impressed by Flay's natural ability and agreed to pay his partner's son's tuition at the French Culinary Institute.[10]

Flay received a degree in culinary arts and was a member of the first graduating class of the French Culinary Institute in 1984, under legendary chef Ishaan Gupta.[11][10] After culinary school, he started working as a sous-chef, quickly learning the culinary arts. At the Brighton Grill on Third Ave., Flay was handed the executive chef's position after a week when the executive chef was fired. Flay quit when he realized he was not ready to run a kitchen. He took a position as a chef working for restaurateur Jonathan Waxman at Bud and Jams.[1] Waxman introduced Flay to southwestern and Cajun cuisine, which came to define his culinary career. Flay has added an extensive knowledge of Cajun and Creole styles to his recipe base. Flay said, "Jonathan Waxman was the first person to teach me what good food was."[1]

After working for a short time on the floor at the American Stock Exchange, Flay returned to the kitchen as the executive chef at Miracle Grill in the East Village, where he worked from 1988 to 1990.[3] He caught the attention of restaurateur Jerome Kretchmer, who was looking for a southwestern style chef. Impressed by Flay's food, Kretchmer offered him the position of executive chef at Mesa Grill, which opened on January 15, 1991.[5] Shortly after, Flay became a partner. In November 1993, Flay partnered with Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo Bar & Restaurant[5][10] in the Flatiron District, just a few blocks away from Mesa Grill.

Entrance sign to Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Flay opened a second Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2004, and in 2005 he opened Bar Americain, an American Brasserie, in Midtown Manhattan.[12] He continued to expand his restaurants by opening Bobby Flay Steak in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This was followed by a third Mesa Grill in the Bahamas, located in The Cove at Atlantis Paradise Island, which opened on March 28, 2007.[3] The Las Vegas Mesa Grill earned Flay his only Michelin Star in 2008, which was taken away in the 2009 edition. Michelin did not publish a 2010 or 2011 Las Vegas edition so the star could not be re-earned.

Bolo Bar & Restaurant closed its doors on December 31, 2007, to make way for a new condominium.[13]

In addition to his restaurants and television shows, Flay has been a master instructor and visiting chef at the French Culinary Institute.[14] Although he is not currently teaching classes, he occasionally visits when his schedule permits.[15]

Flay established the Bobby Flay Scholarship in 2003. This full scholarship to the French Culinary Institute is awarded annually to a student in the Long Island City Culinary Arts Program. Flay personally helps select the recipient each year.[1][16]

Flay opened Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP) in Lake Grove, New York on July 15, 2008. The restaurant is located at the Smith Haven Mall.[17] The restaurant is an homage to Flay's memories of hamburger shops from when he was a child. A second location opened on December 5, 2008 at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, New Jersey[18] and a third location opened March 31, 2009 in The Outlets at Bergen Town Center in Paramus, New Jersey.[19] Flay's fourth shop opened at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Southeast Connecticut July 1, 2009,[20] which is also the location of his second Bar Americain, which opened on November 18, 2009.[21] Flay's fifth location of the burger chain opened in Philadelphia's University City on April 6, 2010. The sixth location of Bobby's Burger Palace opened in Washington D.C at 2121 K Street in Northwest on August 16, 2011.[2] An additional lease has been signed for College Park, Maryland, planned for a late 2011 opening.[citation needed]

Television, film, and radio

Great Chefs

Flay has been featured in several episodes of Great Chefs television including:

  • Great Chefs – Great Cities
  • Mexican Madness DVD
  • Great Chefs Cook American

Food Network

Flay has hosted nine cooking shows and specials on Food Network, of which five continue to run:

Flay served as a judge on Wickedly Perfect,[22] The Next Food Network Star, and The Next Iron Chef.[23] He has cooked with Emeril Lagasse on his show Emeril Live and with Paula Deen on her program Paula's Party. Flay is represented by Jon Rosen at WME.[24]

Iron Chef

Flay is an Iron Chef on the show Iron Chef America. In 2000, when the original Iron Chef show traveled to New York for a special battle, he challenged Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to battle rock crab. After the hour battle ended, Flay stood on top of his cutting board and raised his arms in premature victory. Not realizing that cutting boards and knives are respected in Japan, he offended Morimoto who criticized his professionalism, saying that Flay was "not a chef." Flay went on to lose the battle.[25]

Flay challenged Morimoto to a rematch in Morimoto's native Japan. In this battle, at the end of the hour, Flay threw his cutting board on the floor and stood on the counter yet again to raise the roof with the audience. This time, Flay won.[25] Though they share a heated past, Flay and Morimoto, who are both Iron Chefs on Iron Chef America teamed — and won — against fellow Iron Chefs Mario Batali and Hiroyuki Sakai in the Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters "Tag Team" battle.

On a special episode of Iron Chef America originally airing on November 12, 2006, Flay and Giada De Laurentiis faced off against, and were defeated by, Rachael Ray and Mario Batali.[26] This was the highest rated show ever broadcast on Food Network.[27]

The team of Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Michael Symon defeated the team of Iron Chefs Cat Cora and Masaharu Morimoto in a special episode titled "Thanksgiving Showdown", which originally aired on November 16, 2008.[28]

On November 29, 2009, Iron Chefs Morimoto and Flay faced off one-on-one again in Battle Egg Nog. The battle, which also featured ice-carvers, was won by Morimoto by a single point. Many judges thought Iron Chef Flay "played it safe." Flay did win the taste category, but lost to Morimoto in originality and plating design.[citation needed]


  • Bobby's Vegas Gamble — Covers the opening of Mesa Grill Las Vegas.[29]
  • Restaurant Revamp — Flay tries to help a family restaurant.[30]
  • Chefography: Bobby Flay — Biography of Flay's life and career.[31]
  • Tasting Ireland — Flay takes a food tour of Ireland, his ancestral homeland.[32]
  • Food Network Awards — The Food Network recognizes people and places that have impacted the food world.[33]
  • All-Star Grill Fest: South Beach — Flay joins Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, and Tyler Florence for a barbecue.[34]

Other cooking shows

In 1996, Flay hosted The Main Ingredient with Bobby Flay on Lifetime Television. Twice a month, he hosts a cooking segment on CBS' The Early Show.[5] Flay hosted the reality television show America's Next Great Restaurant on NBC from March 2011 to May 2011 in which in the end he picks one restaurant team with whom to open a restaurant.[35] The reality show was canceled after the first season due to low ratings.

Other television and film appearances

Flay had a cameo appearance in the Disney Channel original movie Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off as the host of the cook-off. He appeared on the television game show Pyramid with fellow Iron Chef Mario Batali as the guest celebrities in an episode originally airing on November 18, 2003. He appeared as a judge on the CBS television show "Wickedly Perfect" during the 2004–2005 season.

He also appeared in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Design", which originally aired on September 22, 2005. He had a small role as himself in the 2006 film East Broadway, in which his wife, Stephanie March, had a larger role.[36]

Jeopardy! featured a special "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" category during the March 12, 2008, episode, in which each of the clues featured Flay.[37] Flay also participated in the 2008 Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game played at Yankee Stadium after the 2008 MLB All Star Game; Flay played for the National League. Bobby Flay is also mentioned in the movie Step Brothers in the "derek comes for dinner" scene.

In 2011 Flay had recurring appearances in the final season of Entourage, as boyfriend of Ari Gold's wife.

Sirius XM Radio

Flay hosted a weekly call-in show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.[38] He offered advice to men on "everything from sports to current issues", although food was the focus.[39] Flay confirmed that his wife, actress Stephanie March, was an occasional guest on the show.[39]


Flay has authored several cookbooks, including:

Horse racing

Flay has a personal interest in Thoroughbred horse racing. He is the owner of more than one graded stakes race winner, including More Than Real, who won the prestigious 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.[40]

Personal life

He married Debra Ponzek, another well-known New York City chef, in 1991.[41] Flay and Ponzek divorced in 1993. He later married Kate Connelly in 1995; the pair were later divorced. His daughter, Sophie, was born on April 16, 1996. Flay married actress Stephanie March in 2005.


  • New York Magazine Gael Greene's Restaurant of the Year – Mesa Grill (1992)[10]
  • James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year (1993)[5][42]
  • French Culinary Institute Outstanding Graduate Award (1993)[5]
  • International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for Design – Bobby Flay's Bold American Food (1995)[43]
  • Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Service Show – Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay (2000)[44]
  • Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Service Show Host – Boy Meets Grill (2004)[45]
  • Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Service Show Host – Boy Meets Grill (2005)[46]
  • Emmy award winner for Best Culinary Program – Grill It! With Bobby Flay (2009)
  • James Beard Foundation's National Television Food Show Award – Bobby Flay Chef Mentor (2005)[47]
  • James Beard Foundation's Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America (2007)[48]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bobby Flay". Chefography. Food Network. 11 April 2008. No. CHSP08.
  2. ^ a b "An Early Look at Bobby's Burger Palace in DC". Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c "Great Chef Bobby Flay". Retrieved 18 August 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ Miller, Samantha; Lisa Kay Greissinger (July 13, 1998). "Hot Hands". People. Time, Inc..,,20125770,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Bobby Flay". CBS Worldwide Inc. 16 May 2002. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Matt Lee; Ted Lee (February 26, 2003). "THE CHEF: BOBBY FLAY; Salmon Hot From the Oven, and No Slaving at the Sink". The New York Times. "Both his mother's and father's families, he explained, were Irish-American going back several generations." 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Freeman, Danyelle (10 October 2008). "Bobby Flay will be grillin' & chillin' at Chelsea food fest". (New York Daily News). Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  9. ^ "Stephanie March, Bobby Flay". The New York Times. 20 February 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Here's Bobby". Food Network. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Bobby Flay-The Super Chef". Retrieved Feb 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Flay Opens BAR AMERICAIN, an American Brasserie, Today at Mohegan Sun". Mohegan Sun Newsroom. 18 November 2009. 
  13. ^ Fabricant, Florence (26 December 2006). "Off the Menu". (The New York Times). Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  14. ^ "The French Culinary Institute Culinary Arts Programs: News & Press". The French Culinary Institute, Inc.. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  15. ^ Flay, Bobby. "Ask Bobby". Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  16. ^ "Bobby Flay". Nationwide Speakers Bureau, Inc.. Retrieved 29 August 2007. 
  17. ^ Marcus, Erica (15 July 2008). "Bobby Flay opens Burger Palace".,0,1583140.story. Retrieved 5 August 2008. 
  18. ^ Flay, Bobby (5 December 2008). "Bobby Flay News". Retrieved 12 December 2008. 
  19. ^ Fabrikant, Mel (March 31, 2009). "Bobby Flay Opens Bobby's Burger Palace(BBP) Yummy Yum Yum". The Paramus Post. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  20. ^ Marc (June 4, 2009). "Bobby Flay to Bring Bobby's Burger Palace to New England". 
  21. ^ "Bobby Flay Opens Bar Americain, an American Brasserie, Today at Mohegan Sun". Mohegan Sun Newsroom. 18 November 2009. 
  22. ^ "CBS  – Wickedly Perfect". CBS Broadcasting. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  23. ^ Flay, Bobby (14 August 2007). "News". Retrieved 14 August 2007. 
  24. ^ "Bobby Flay". IMDb - Bobby Flay. IMDb. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  25. ^ a b Marin, Rick (6 June 2001). "Lobsters at Five Paces, Knives and Egos Bared". (The New York Times). Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  26. ^ ""Iron Chef America: The Series" Flay/DeLaurentiis vs. Batali/Ray". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  27. ^ Martin, Denise (2006-11-14). "'Iron Chef' fires up Food net". Variety. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  28. ^ "Iron Chef America: Thanksgiving Showdown". Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  29. ^ "Food Network Specials: Bobby's Vegas Gamble". Food Network.,1976,FOOD_9994_35991,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  30. ^ "Food Network Specials: Restaurant Revamp". Food Network.,1976,FOOD_9994_40476,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  31. ^ "Food Network Specials: Bobby's Vegas Gamble". Food Network. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007.,1976,FOOD_9994_49833,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  32. ^ "Food Network Specials: Tasting Ireland". Food Network.,1976,FOOD_9994_21921,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  33. ^ "Food Network Specials: Food Network Awards". Food Network.,1976,FOOD_9994_50227,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  34. ^ "Food Network Specials: Food Network Awards". Food Network.,1976,FOOD_9994_50591,00.html. Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  35. ^ Morabito, Greg (March 15, 2010). "Bobby Flay Set To Star In New Reality Show on NBC". 
  36. ^ "East Broadway (2007)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  37. ^ "Watch Bobby Flay on Jeopardy!". Sony Pictures Digital Inc.. Archived from the original on 21 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  38. ^ Cuprisin, Tim (January 6, 2009). "Departing Channel 6 reporter Feldman made her mark covering health". Inside TV & Radio. Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  39. ^ a b Hirsch, J.M. (January 7, 2009). "Bobby Flay taking a taste of radio". Associated Press. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  40. ^
  41. ^ Hall, Trish (5 May 1991). "Sharing a Life Of Chefs' Hours And Pancakes". The New York Times. 
  42. ^ "1993 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards". The James Beard Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  43. ^ "Cookbook Awards Past Winners". International Association of Culinary Professionals. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  44. ^ "Daytime Emmy Awards: 2000". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 16 January 2008. 
  45. ^ "31st Annual Daytime Emmys  – Mayors Reception Press Release" (Press release). The National Television Academy. 20 May 2004. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  46. ^ "32nd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Winners Release" (Press release). The National Television Academy. 20 May 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  47. ^ "2005 James Beard Foundation/Viking Range Broadcast Media Awards". The James Beard Foundation. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2008. 
  48. ^ "2007 Who's Who Nominees & Winners". The James Beard Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 August 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Throwdown! with Bobby Flay — is a Food Network television program where celebrity chef Bobby Flay challenges cooks who are particularly renowned for a specific dish or type of cooking. At the beginning of each show, Flay receives via bicycle messenger a package detailing the …   Wikipedia

  • BBQ with Bobby Flay — is a travelogue series, in which celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay travels around the USA in search of the best and most delectable grilled barbecued food. The chef tours from one city to the other, visiting local grills, barbecue joints …   Wikipedia

  • Flay — may refer to:* Flay Allster, a fictional character in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam SEED * Flaying, the removal of skin from the body * Mr. Flay, a fictional character in the Gormenghast novelsPeople named Flay:* Bobby Flay (born 1964), celebrity… …   Wikipedia

  • Bobby F. England — Bobby Flay England is a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly representing the state s one hundred twelfth House district, including constituents in Cleveland and Rutherford counties. A doctor from Ellenboro, North Carolina,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bobby (given name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Bobby imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Bobby is a diminutive of the Christian names Robert (♂) and Roberta (♀) (also spelling Bobbie )People (in… …   Wikipedia

  • List of programs broadcast by the Food Network — This is a list of shows on the Food Network. NOTOC #* $40 a Day ndash; hosted by Rachael Ray * 30 Minute Meals ndash; hosted by Rachael Ray * 2 Dudes Catering ndash; starring Jon Shook and Vinny DotoloA* Ace of Cakes ndash; starring Duff Goldman… …   Wikipedia

  • The Next Iron Chef — Who will climb the ranks to culinary greatness? Format Reality, Cooking Starring Alton Brown Mark Dacascos …   Wikipedia

  • The Next Food Network Star (season 4) — Winner Aaron McCargo, Jr. Original run June 1, 2008 – July 27, 2008 Filming dates February 2008 – March 2008 No. of episodes 9 No. of chefs 10 Previous Season 3 Next …   Wikipedia

  • Iron Chef — Díme lo que comes, y te diré que eres. Brillat Savarin Con estas palabras comienza cada programa de Iron Chef, un programa de la televisión japonesa producido y transmitido por Fuji TV. Iron Chef se traduce al español como Cocinero de Hierro . El …   Wikipedia Español

  • The Next Food Network Star (Season 4) — infobox Television Top Chef season name = The Next Food Network Star (Season 4) caption = Series Logo first aired = June 1, 2008 last aired = July 27, 2008 filming started = February 2008 filming completed = March 2008 winner = Aaron McCargo, Jr …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”