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Bobby discovered his culinary identity at the age of 17, working as a cook at the famed theatre district haunt, Joe Allen’s. The job had been arranged by his father, who was a partner in the restaurant. After a short time, Joe Allen himself became so impressed by Bobby’s talents that he paid the young cook’s tuition to The French Culinary Institute.
Following his graduation in 1984, Bobby worked with restaurateur and owner Jonathan Waxman at Buds and Jams, where he first discovered the sweet-heat of Southwestern ingredients. It was at these burgeoning restaurants that Bobby met other icons of the era – Wolfgang Puck, Jeremiah Tower – who he credits with spawning an entire generation of chefs. After Jams, Bobby 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, Bobby teamed with businessman Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo in November 1993 in the Flatiron district. During Bolo’s reign, Bobby 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 reenergized by the introduction of tapas, Bolo was awarded a rare three stars by The New York Times.
Bobby 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, Bobby 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.
Bobby Flay Steak, which opened in July 2006 in Atlantic City, is Bobby’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.
Since debuting on Food Network in 1994, Bobby has continuously hosted programs that bring cooking tips and information on American regional fare to a national audience. His first show, Grillin’ & Chillin’, premiered in 1996, followed by Hot Off the Grill in 1998 and Boy Meets Grill in 2003. Along with participating in many holiday and seasonal Food Network specials over the years, Bobby currently stars on Iron Chef America (premiered 2005), Throwdown with Bobby Flay (premiered in 2006), Grill It! With Bobby Flay and Food Network Star (both premiered in 2008). In Fall 2010, Bobby debuted Brunch @ Bobby’s.
Bobby works tirelessly to challenge the way Americans view and taste food – making it bold, zesty and always fun.