Bobby Flay is a master chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and media personality. Flay discovered his culinary identity at the age of 17, working as a cook at the famed theatre district haunt Joe Allen's. His father, who was a partner in the restaurant, had arranged the job for him. After a short time, Joe Allen himself became so impressed by Flay's talents that he paid the young cook's tuition to The French Culinary Institute.
Following his graduation in 1984, Flay worked with restaurateur/owner Jonathan Waxman at Buds and Jams, where he first discovered the sweet heat of Southwestern ingredients. It was at these burgeoning restaurants that Flay met other icons of the era - Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower - whom he credits with spawning an entire generation of chefs. After Jams, Flay debuted as executive chef at the East Village's Miracle Grill, where he caught the attention of restaurateur Jerome Kretchmer. Kretchmer offered the 25-year-old the opportunity to create his own sensation at Mesa Grill, which opened in 1991.
Soon after, Flay teamed with businessman Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo in November 1993 in the Flatiron district. During Bolo's reign, Flay drew inspiration from the bravado and complexities of Spanish food, deftly blending the unique flavors of Spain with more familiar American ingredients. A decade later, its menu re-energized by the introduction of tapas, Bolo was awarded a rare three stars by The New York Times.
Flay brought his unique amalgam of innovative food and inviting hospitality to Las Vegas with the 2004 opening of Mesa Grill at the legendary Caesars Palace. The city's upbeat urban energy provides an ideal backdrop for Mesa Grill's lively cuisine.
At New York's Bar Americain, which opened in March 2005, Flay takes the intimacy of a midtown brasserie and injects it with authentic American flavors and style. Drawing exclusively from regional American ingredients, his dishes rejuvenate old classics and celebrate the abundance of America's diverse and delicious heritage. Bar Americain has received rave reviews from the press, including two stars from The New York Times. Flay opened his second Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in November 2009.
Bobby Flay Steak, which opened in July 2006 in Atlantic City, is Flay's first-ever steakhouse. Here, he presents classic steakhouse fare that he remembers enjoying as a child in New York City and on the Jersey Shore, as well as new dishes that incorporate his famous grilling techniques and signature Southwestern fare.
In March 2007, Flay brought Mesa Grill to The Cove, Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas and in July 2008, Flay opened his first Flay's Burger Palace (BBP) in Long Island and has since opened two in New Jersey, one in Connecticut and another in Philadelphia. At the BBP, Flay presents an array of burgers inspired by his extensive travels throughout America and love of the grill in a convenient casual setting.
Flay also shares his knowledge and enthusiasm for food through his cookbooks and cooking programs. Flay's 10th cookbook "Throwdown! More than 100 Recipes from Food Network's Ultimate Cooking Challenge" (Clarkson Potter) hit bookstores in October 2010. He is also the resident chef and lifestyle correspondent for "The Early Show" on CBS and "CBS Sunday Morning," where he regularly informs a national audience about seasonal dishes and ingredients.
Flay shares his culinary talents and passions with viewers every day on Food Network. His first show, "Grillin' & Chillin'," premiered in 1996, followed by "Hot Off the Grill" and "Boy Meets Grill." Along with participating in many holiday and seasonal Food Network specials over the years, Flay currently stars in "Iron Chef America," "Throwdown! with Flay Flay," "The Next Food Network Star," and "Grill It! With Flay Flay," the 2009 Emmy award-winning Outstanding Culinary Program.
Flay works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food - making it bold, zesty and always fun.