Bobby Flay is a critically acclaimed chef/restaurateur, award-winning cookbook author and television personality. However, his first priority is always his restaurants.
Flay started his culinary career at 17 and studied at the French Culinary Institute. After working at several NYC restaurants, he developed his own style of American southwestern food, incorporating ingredients such as chilies, avocados and beans. Flay took his innovative cuisine and opened his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, in 1991, earning widespread acclaim. Two years later he followed with Bolo Restaurant & Bar in the Flatiron District. That same year, Flay was voted the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year.
In 2004, Flay opened another Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and a year later, he opened Bar Americain, featuring his regional American cuisine. In June 2006, Flay opened his first steakhouse, Bobby Flay Steak. He is also the chef and owner of numerous Bobby's Burger Palaces.
In addition to his restaurants, Flay shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and cooking shows. His latest book Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction celebrates the flavors of wood smoke and true low-and-slow barbecue. He is the host of many shows on the Food Network – from the Emmy-winning Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction, Grill It! with Bobby Flay and Boy Meets Grill to the Iron Chef America series, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, and Food Network Star. His goal is to influence the way Americans view and taste food – making it bold, zesty and always fun.
Q: Tell us about your first cooking job. When did you know you were interested in a culinary career?
A: My first cooking job was at Joe Allen in the theater district of New York City. I was 17 years old and I was filling in for a busboy while he was on vacation. When he returned, the chef asked me if I would like a job in the kitchen. I said yes, he put me on the salad station, and I just kind of fell in love. From there I went to The French Culinary Institute and the rest, as they say, is history.
Q: What do you love about grilling and cooking with fire?
A: Cooking outdoors is fun and casual and lends itself to really good times. I also just love the aromas of food cooking on the grill and the taste and texture once it comes off.