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Bobby Flay: All Fired Up

May 19th, 2011

Bobby Flay may have originally lucked into his culinary career, but when this boy meets grill, lookout for culinary arts fireworks.

How Did Bobby Flay Get Started?

At 17, Bobby Flay lucked into a cooking job at the Joe Allen Restaurant in NYC. The restaurant management paid Bobby's tuition at the French Culinary Institute, but Southwestern cuisine, rather than French cuisine, became his culinary career forte. Aspiring to "put a new and colorful twist on southwestern cuisine," Bobby created innovative dishes that gained him a loyal following at the Miracle Grill. He opened his first restaurant, the Mesa Grill, in NYC in 1991. It earned him critical acclaim from The New York Times for its "sassy fare." His culinary arts career continued to rise with the 1993 launch of Bolo, dedicated to Spanish cuisine.

Why is Bobby Flay Famous?

His Food Network TV shows--Boy Meets Grill and Hot Off the Grill--should give you an idea why he's famous. Bobby also travels around the country in two other Food Network shows--FoodNation and BBQ with Bobby Flay. FoodNation takes Bobby on culinary arts adventures to cities across the U.S. He takes a closer look at regional culinary arts traditions and the local supporting characters. In BBQ, he searches for all things BBQ--from gadgetry to national and regional cook-offs to a Hawaiian luau, where he helped BBQ a 150-pound pig in an 8x8x4 foot pit.

What's Next in Bobby's Culinary Career?

An additional location of the Mesa Grill has recently opened at Caesar's in Las Vegas; Bobby Flay Steak is opening this summer in Atlantic City at the Borgata Casino; and Bar Americain, an American brasserie, opens in August in NYC. In his spare time, Bobby has written six cookbooks, is the food correspondent for The Early Show on CBS, and is a judge for The Next Food Network Star. He will once again compete on Iron Chef America and culinary buzz is that he will be hosting a new show on the Food Network later in the year.

Name: Robert William Flay
Born: December 10, 1964
Hometown: NYC
Training: French Culinary Institute graduate (1983)
First Job: Cooked at Joe Allen restaurant at 17 years old
Fun Fact: Alternate dream job is golf pro

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