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Throwdown with Bobby Flay staged?

I imagine those of you who watch this show by now at least have doubts as to the authenticity of the show. Are people really still surprised to have Bobby Flay show up unannounced on their cooking show pilot? Is it soul crushing to not really be featured, even if you do get a pseudo-feature? etc.

I came across this after the Pad Thai throwdown:

http://amandamc.blogspot.com/2009/03/...

The video doesn't say "throwdown" per se, but does refer to a competition. What to think? I never really knew, but of course, suspected. Still I feel a wee bit cheated, like they tried to one-up us. obviously, I do not know if this was always the setup.

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  1. Could be. a "Throwdown" in Sonoma County
    was announced beforehand in a local paper.

    1. It's highly likely that these throwdowns are filmed way ahead of time, then aired later. That way they can be edited to make the most "entertaining" half hour. I would bet that this particular throwdown was filmed many weeks/months ago, but that the paper was just announcing the fact that it would be shown that night (next day). You didn't think they were broadcast live did you?

      4 Replies
      1. re: PattiCakes

        no, that's not at issue. the link I posted has a video "audition" for the lady to be on throwdown.

        1. re: Icantread

          Ah. I'm wondering if it was an audition video for her to do a segment on Food Network, and not necessarily a throwdown? The show usually uses the premise of having the "victim" chef duped into doing some sort of regular show that features their cooking. Then, during the filming of said show -- OMG! It's Bobby Flay!

          1. re: PattiCakes

            From what I saw, she thought she was going to be on a show called Tasty Translations, about making foreign food for Americans. If she knew she was going to be on throwdown she is a great actress in addition to being a great chef.

        2. re: PattiCakes

          Your guess is correct - at least for the Throwdown that Bobby Flay did with one of our local restaurants on H Street NE in Washington DC.
          Granville Moore's kitchen is too small for a film crew so the Food Network arranged to tape a segment for "another FN show" a larger nearby restaurant, The Argonaut, and invited folks from the neighborhood to the taping. That is ALL that anybody knew including chef Teddy Folkman and the owners of The Argonaut or Granville's.
          It really WAS a surprise.
          They did a lot of taping beyond what they used for the Throwdown which was edited - of course.
          I didn't go so I don't know if they taped alternate endings or not.
          The date for the airing of the show was announced and made public in local message boards, local media, and IIRC on DCist.
          Of course, both The Argonaut and Granville Moore's had viewing parties to celebrate the show the night it finally aired.

          The Throwdown has been great for their business because lots of people now know about the terrific food at Granville's - and The Argonaut - as well as about H Street, NE, an up and coming entertainment district.
          Teddy Folkman is a terrific young chef and Granville's is a great place. The best mussels in DC, terrific fries with great dipping sauces, and a fabulous selection of Belgian beers. Locally sourced foods, a super bison burger.

        3. I recall seeing reports from earlier episodes where people definitely were hoodwinked (IIRC at least one person wasn't too happy). I also recall seeing reports where these days the people generally have a pretty good idea that Bobby Flay might be showing up just because the situation is always so similar.

          15 Replies
          1. re: jgg13

            I haven't watched in a long time but I remember one, the donut guy I think, that was really pissed. Came across as a really bad sport.

            1. re: billieboy

              Yeah, the donut guy was one that I was thinking of in terms of being angry, but was too lazy to go look it up.

            2. re: jgg13

              I definitely remember at least 2 people, one of them was REALLY unhappy.. Asking his buddy "what the hell is this?" and so on.. I guess that was the donut guy. The Buffalo wing guy also wasn't happy, if I recall correctly. The Pop Shop people definitely weren't happy either.. but thats probably after they lost

              1. re: duckdown

                The only person I've ever seen really angry about the whole thing was the donut guy, Mark Isreal of the Donut Plant in NYC.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  That man makes great donuts, but what a horrible sport! I didn't think I'd ever eat one of his donuts again. I believe that was season 1, however and I wonder if the formula changed as the deal went on.

                  On a side note, DOnut Plant has a store in Tokyo as well that has some of the worst donuts I've ever tasted, mostly due to wayyyyyyy to old grease

                2. re: duckdown

                  I keep hoping Nigella Lawson will challenge me to a throwdown :-)

                  1. re: billieboy

                    you're cute, billieboy! saw your gal this morning, in fact!

                  2. re: duckdown

                    The guy from Izzy's ice cream in St. Paul didn't even know who Bobby Flay was.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: duckdown

                      In the first season, it was either jerk chicken or jambalaya and the woman was clearly pissed - Bobby even mentioned as much in his narration and there were clips of her giving him lip. There was a split decision between the judges so the final verdict ended up being given to a random 11 year-old. This woman looked like she was going to strangle the kid if he didn't choose her dish - seriously, the kid looked scared!

                      Some people seem to think the show isn't fair to Flay's competitors but if anything the odds are stacked against him. The dishes are judged according to "authenticity" which usually ends up meaning that Flay loses because he tweeks the dish, regardless of how it tastes (hot peppers in arroz con pollo - no, not that!), and the judges are probably pressured by the crowd to give it to the hometown hero. I've often wondered whether the winner's dish was really better than Bobby's - matzoh ball soup, fried chicken, moules frites, etc. He even lost to Paula Deen because he used cream gravy on his chicken fried steak! In the first season he only won 3 times (and tied once), with one of these times being for burgers. Note that this is one of the only times Bobby had the more traditional take on the dish. His competitor made a Greek style burger - I wouldn't be surprised if the judges thought it was Bobby's!

                      1. re: joeyz

                        jambalaya was a guy, so if it was a woman it'd have to be jerk chicken. i don't remember her name.

                        also, the scoring categories aren't always the same - if you watch carefully, it's always set up such that if everything was on the up & up that it'd favor Flay (e.g. your authenticity point), but they do vary.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          Hmmm, jambalaya was a man, and there was a jerk competition with a West Indian dude just outside of NYC in Mt Vernon...maybe that wasn't chicken?

                          The first episode I saw involved beef and the military -- the US military guy clearly had inferior everything to work with, especially the meat. That's where I formed my first impression of unfairness. It's waaaay more fun when Flay's up against a masterful specialty operation, like industrial-sized jambalaya.

                          1. re: pitu

                            The jerk guy outside of NYC was jerk ribeye

                        2. re: joeyz

                          I don't remember this one... it couldn't have been jambalaya cause i just watched it the other day and don't remember that... never seen jerk chicken one

                          1. re: duckdown

                            As I recall, the donut throwdown guy was the crankiest of them all, upon finding out he'd been fooled. He was visibly upset, and then got bitchy once he agreed to the throwdown.

                            1. re: FabFrugalFood

                              Yes, he was really pissy. But, damn, his donuts are unbelievable!

                    2. I have a recurring daydream that Bobby is filming one of his shows, showing people how to make chili rellenos or some such thing, when Rick Bayless marches on the set and challenges him to a throwdown.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: sku

                        Wasn't the chocolate throwdown a reverse one?

                          1. re: paulj

                            great idea: "reverse throwdown."

                            1. re: alkapal

                              There was a "reverse throwdown" last December where the challenge was a Buche Noel (sp?)... aka a yule log.

                              François Payard vs Bobby Flay

                              1. re: dave_c

                                I believe that one and the chocolate one from season 2 were both reverse challenges. The Buche de Noel Throwdown I think was a way for Bobby Flay to pay homage to Francois Payard. He acted surpised, but I think he set this up himself. If I remember correctly Payard was actually a little nervous about losing this battle.

                            1. re: sku

                              Didn't Bayless do Iron Chef once? I don't recall if he challenged Flay, though.

                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                If my memory serves me right, it was battle buffalo and Bayless won.

                                1. re: gmk1322

                                  It was battle bison but Bayless lost to Flay.

                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    ICA-to me that show seems to be fixed in BF's favor. How many times can someone use the same two or three ingredients the same way and still be praised for his creativity and innovation.

                                    Are smoked habaneros really that necessary for every dish?

                            2. Justa side note. Many of the "victims" have said that their businesses are almost too busy since their Throwdown appearances. I forget which battle it was (something like chicken parm or eggplant parm, not sure. But one guy said his businness was starting to falter, and after the show, he had his best year ever. He said, he was initially unhappy wirth the surprise and totally caught off guard. he said what he served wasn't what he nomrally puts out, but said, Bobby Flay not only does the competition but pushes the audience to eat at these establishments.

                              like him or not, BF is recognized as one of the leaders in pushing the restaurant business and getting young people involved in cooking.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: jhopp217

                                The interview with BF on Chef's Story (currently playing on PBS CreateTV) touched on his involvement with the FC Institute and encouraging students.

                                Another chef interviewed on that program (O'Connell) said that when a food critic from nearby Washington DC ate at his new restaurant (The Inn), the critic asked him whether he was prepared for a significant surge in business. He knew from experience that a favorable review of an upstart can result in some difficult growth pains.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  The Inn at Little Washington is 30+ years old, hardly an upstart and doesn't need any more publicity to thrive.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    But even The Inn had a start. This was in the days when it was a converted gas station and meals cost $5. That early very favorable review was part of what made it thrive.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Meals were never $5 at the Inn. My first husband was one of their original employees.

                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                        I ate there back in the day, and the idea of $5 meals is ludicrous. The Inn was upscale from the git go, serving local, organic (pricey) foods.

                              2. I can't believe you are asking this question -- of course they're staged, down to the last minute and grimace.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: pikawicca

                                  and to think in the TV biz they have the g'nads to call it "reality TV"!

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I'm willing to believe there are some contestants that aren't aware it's Bobby Flay. After all, why would you admit you didn't know who he was? But I am certain that the FN blocks out every shot, and that after the "throwdown" is made known, that the contestant gets ample time to prepare themselves.

                                    Despite his protestations, the grumpy donut guy somehow managed to come up with boxes and boxes of gorgeous looking donuts, and you can't just pull those out of inventory.

                                    1. re: brendastarlet

                                      As I recall, the doughnut guy did just that - pulled the doughnuts out of inventory from his store.

                                      One of his major issues, and I don't blame him, is that at the venue where they were holding the showdown, he could not replicate the deep fryers from his store.

                                      In this case, he held his ground, didn't make the doughnuts and had boxes of assorted doughnuts brought to the venue.

                                      My criticism is that some people on the show are at a distinct disadvantage, while others aren't. (For various reasons.)

                                      I still catch an occasional show, not to watch Flay (count me in as a non-liker) but to see the locals in action.

                                  2. What gets me is that a lot of the competitors in BF's throwdowns have apparently been told they're doing a pilot for a possible Food Network series. If I had been told that and then found out that I'm simply a victim for Flay, I'd be more than a little ticked off.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: lscanlon

                                      Well, the pad thai lady was very happy to see Bobby (probably knowing that she'd crush him, as she in fact did), and actually commented (I don't think this was aired) that she wished she was much younger. 8>D

                                      1. re: lscanlon

                                        I have the impression that some (most) are told it's just a feature, not a full series, like the chicken pot pie queens who were being "featured" on a show called "Home Cooks," so if they're just expecting one episode, well, they still got one episode in a series. I don't watch it enough to have a good sense of all the setups. But yeah, the whole bait-and-switch thing is asking for trouble, IMHO!

                                        1. re: momjamin

                                          You are correct momjamin but it is not just some or even most, it's all of them. They are told they are being featured in one segment or episode on some new, fictitious series or special the FN is filming. I have never seen a throwdown where the subject is told they are getting a series on FN.

                                          1. re: kmcarr

                                            That was the first season, they stopped doing that and now just say they're getting a feature.

                                            1. re: kmcarr

                                              The puffy taco lady was like "you mean I'm not starring in a new series called South of the Border?". Seriously, making people think they were going to have their own SERIES is just harsh. Bobby Flay isn't Sacha Baron Cohen - getting these people pissed off is not good for his show!

                                              1. re: joeyz

                                                From what I've heard all but one contestant said that their appearance catapulted their careers, so I think they usuaally get over it. Most since season 1 are aware they are being tricked.

                                          2. re: lscanlon

                                            Don't you think that more people are likely to watch a show with Bobby Flay than some local store owner? The publicity that these people get is unreal. And if you watch the show, Bobby Flay does nothing but praise these people and their communities.

                                          3. I was at the mac & cheese throwdown with Delilah Winder. Bobby won and to be honest, his mac & cheese was MUCH better than hers. Although I found out after I watched it on TV that he used pork fat in it, which I thought was slightly like cheating. As Delilah said, "I don't use ham, if you use ham it's a casserole not mac & cheese"

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: lawgirl3278

                                              No such thing as cheating when it comes to deliciousness. ;-)

                                              ~TDQ

                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                That's the truth TDQ...I wish I could have that mac & cheese again!

                                                1. re: lawgirl3278

                                                  Hey lawgirl:)
                                                  I believe the recipe is online. You should get some friends together and make it for them!!! :P

                                                  1. re: jessicheese

                                                    Really?I just may do that :) The hubby would be so excited.

                                              2. re: lawgirl3278

                                                I felt bad for her. She was on the "rematch" show too and ended up making the exact same vegetables Bobby did, with apparently much less success!

                                              3. It may be staged, but I believe the intention of the show is to showcase various types of chefs and restaurants around the country.

                                                I have to say Throwdown is the show that converted from from a Flay hater to a Flay lover. His sense of humor comes out more on this show, and he seems to enjoy when the "expert" he has challenged wins.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: LJBTampa

                                                  I think that this was the whole point of the show, to resurrect Flay's image from that of an arrogant prick to a humble, friendly guy. This way, you get the viewers that liked him to begin with, and the viewers that just like to see him lose.

                                                  1. re: Vladimir Estragon

                                                    I haven't followed Bobby Flay much over the years. But have to say when I was at a "Throwdown" filming recently that his behavior was gracious, quick witted yet good natured, open and friendly. He was a very good sport with the hordes that wanted a photo or a moment to speak with him. No sign of an arrogant prick!

                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                      as i've said in other threads, i don't know bobby flay, but i USED to think he was a jerk. i think he changed, and i NOW like him very much. i second the characterization of meatn3. i converted during "food nation" or "boy meets grill." (p.s., bobby, don't wear those knit shirts....it's not a good look for you).

                                                      meatn3, can you tell us what was the throwdown? in tampa or north carolina? come on, girl, dish!

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        NC
                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/603559

                                                        They each cooked ribs, BBQ sauce & beans. The audience enjoyed healthy portions from each chef!

                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                          yummmm. thanks! i miss good smoked Q.

                                                  2. re: LJBTampa

                                                    I feel exactly the same way. He seems much more human and likeable now. I always thought he was a bit of an egomaniac before, which he still may be in some respects, but he's at least demonstrated his ability to be humble.

                                                  3. He also told the Pad Thai lady right at the end "Heres some advice.. start making it now" regarding the amount of traffic she's about to get

                                                    1. Nooooooo is it?!?! I think everyone knew Iron Chef America was, and I always suspected the beefy army guy from the impossible dinners or whatever- but Flay's people always seemed to be quite surprised. I dearly love the cheesesteak episode with Tony Luke (who I wanted to throw my arms around his neck and have him whisper 'rib eye' in my ear...)

                                                      1. I recently responded to a local Craigslist call for audience members for a Food Network filming. The FN folks explained that this was going to be part of a week long special on grilling or BBQ. They were highlighting a well known local BBQ fellow, Ed Mitchell. I don't know Ed personally, but I have seen him numerous times, spoken with him on several occasions and observed his public manner. Probably an hour into the filming Bobby Flay approached. Ed definitely was surprised and momentarily thrown by his appearance. That part was not staged, IMHO. The entire filming with the audience was 4 hours. It sounded as though the crew had spent the day before with Ed at his restaurant. Lots of hours of film to edit for a 1/2 hour segment!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                          You're in Wilson, NC, right? Is Ed Mitchell back in business? My family visited his old place a few years ago. It was late in the day and he treated us like family, giving us a guided tour, etc. We were very sad to read that he lost that place. He is a great guy and I look forward to watching him battle it out with Bobby!

                                                          1. re: Bob W

                                                            Actually I'm in Raleigh. He has re-opened here and the food is great. The atmosphere is a little fancier than your usual BBQ, but I don't find that a distraction!

                                                            http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/

                                                        2. EVERYTHING ON TV IS STAGED!
                                                          and then edited to look as controversial, gripping, and dramatic as possible, that's why we watch it!
                                                          I would say some food shows are more honest than others as far as actually being about food. Most of the people are on those shows because the camera likes them. They are entertainers not cooks. The only show that comes close to what cooking for a living is really like? kitchen nightmares.

                                                          that said, I will watch throwdown over a lot of other food shows, they do showcase a lot of great regional food, and they have given exposure to some great places. I just dont think mr. flay tries very hard to win

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: silverbullet69

                                                            I think you've hit the mark! The best of the throwdowns are the ones that highlight regional foods. They are a pleasure to watch, the cooks are often local characters who are funny and entertaining in their own right, and they're likely to win because they're cooking to local tastes for regional specialties. Flay doesn't even seem to try to beat them and cooks with good humor and a sense of fun.

                                                            1. re: MakingSense

                                                              I think he goes and has fun. You are right, he doesn't seem to really try to beat them. He always encourages them and few time he does win he always points out how good theirs were. I think it's good for their business too. Kind of like when the "ghost hunters" go to an inn or someplace like that.

                                                              1. re: RDavidB

                                                                It's my feeling that the throwdown is statged, in that they know it's going to be a throwdown and I hate it when he wins. You can tell he's not comfortable with the win as well. I seen episodes where they look really surprised when he walks in but most often it's like they were expecting it.

                                                          2. This is kind of a nonsequiter but did anyone see the meatball show? The competitor was this really funny New York Italian guy who kept talking about how Bobby was making "Irish sauce" - even though it was shown earlier that they were actually making one of his assistants' grandmother's recipe!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: joeyz

                                                              That was one of the best shows. The guy was ripping Bobby every chance he got. I think he even joked about Bobby putting peppers in his sauce about two seconds before Bobby did just that.

                                                            2. It is, after all, a "reality" show. If we haven't yet figured out how "real" they are, I guess it would be possible to be surprised that one might be staged. I have yet to be convinced that ANY "reality TV" show is NOT staged, to whatever degree.

                                                              1. I was invited to a Throwdown two weeks before it happened knowing it was going to be a Throwdown. So, I can tell you it was staged about a year ago. Don't know about before or since.

                                                                9 Replies
                                                                1. re: amysuehere

                                                                  Did you know or just suspect it was a throwdown? And if you knew, tell us how you knew.

                                                                  1. re: chipman

                                                                    We knew. It was a friend of mine who invited us who was a regular at the restaurant, so I don't know the source of the original invite. However, he invited us a good two weeks before (may have even been a month, but it's been several years ago, so I can't remember). He said, "Bobby Flay is coming for a Throwdown at the end of the month. You wanna come to it?"

                                                                    I can not say whether the Throwdown-ee knew ahead of time or not. We went and they looked surprised, but I really doubt that many people knew and someone didn't let the cat out of the bag, if they weren't in the know already. At the time, I didn't care one way or another whether the surprise was staged or not.

                                                                    As a matter of fact, when we were initially invited, he even talked about the two specific dishes that Bobby was going to throwdown against and we even speculated on how he was going to "Southwesternize" them.

                                                                    1. re: amysuehere

                                                                      Just wondering. Which Throwdown did you go to? Does your friend have some sort of insider at the TV Food network?

                                                                      1. re: mike1823

                                                                        I went to the Flip Happy Crepes throwdown in Austin, Texas. Nope, no connections to FN. In fact, I'm the biggest foodie of our group. Honestly, I have no idea how they found got their invite. I just didn't think enough about it to care. I just wanted to go and watch. We didn't stay long enough to see the vote, though. Had to go out of town. Our friend live out of town now, but I'll email him and see if he remembers anything more.

                                                                        1. re: mike1823

                                                                          From my friend's email:
                                                                          Re: Throwdown at Flip Happy with Bobby Flay

                                                                          "There is no surprise that I know of. I recall that the women who own Flip Happy knew that they were going to be on Throw Down and going to compete. They selected their favorite sweet and savory crepes for the competition and made a bunch of them for the crowd. We were invited because we had been going there since they opened and had gotten to know them."

                                                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                                                            It really sounds as if the friend made a lucky guess speculating the show was actually a throwdown. The show has been on for a few years now, so it is not any secret . If you're picked for some show on the food network, and the premise is basically what most of the Throwdown shows are, there is a chance some will speculate correctly.
                                                                            I really don't think there is any funny business.

                                                                            1. re: chipman

                                                                              No. The one thing I remember clearly was that we all knew we were going to a Throwdown episode well in advance. The invite wasn't for a FN show but Throwdown. My friend didn't watch FN and asked me what "Throwdown" was. We talked about the two crepes and speculated on how BF was going to "southwestern-ize" them. My question is, does it really harm the show that the people know in advance? It's still a throwdown and they're going to cook it the way that made them famous in the first place; right?

                                                                              Also, let me point out that the judges (at least for the most part) are local celebs or chefs from the area, so it's pretty much "rigged" for the local guys to win anyway. Again, the fun for me is watching the yummies and seeing how BF spins it.

                                                                              1. re: amysuehere

                                                                                Well, it sure sounds as if it is somewhat less of a surprise then what is portrayed, especially the judging aspect of the show. But if what you say is true, and I do believe you, the local participants are great actors with their reaction of complete surprise when Flay suddenly makes his appearance.

                                                                                And yes, you are correct, it doesn't really make a difference if they know what the show is beforehand.

                                                                                1. re: chipman

                                                                                  I suspect it started out as a surprise and they got some unexpected bad reactions and decided against it at some point.

                                                                  2. did bobby win or lose the charleston coconut cake throwdown?

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Bobby won it. The contestant looked like he'd been hit in the gut.

                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                        I think Bobby looked really distressed that he won (as I always think he does when he wins.) He is a real fan of that cake and fully expected to lose, I think.

                                                                        I felt really sad for the contestant.

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                    2. nahhh... they wouldn't do that would they? On a reality show! Please, tell me it's not true!

                                                                      This and all the dumb "contest" shows on Food Network is why I watch Create TV for food shows... IMHO Food net work is totally boring now. How many ten foot high cakes falling over does it take to entertain the public?

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JRCann

                                                                        >How many ten foot high cakes falling over does it take to entertain the public?

                                                                        Approx. 562. Unfortunately, they are only on #97.

                                                                        1. re: LStaff

                                                                          L Staff, I never knew that... tell me its not true.... LOL

                                                                        2. I never liked the premise of this show, esp with Bobby Flay. They should change the name to Be Humiliated by Bobby Flay Live! It doesn't even matter if he loses, the arrogance of this man is disgusting.

                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                          1. re: care2

                                                                            I say take-it-or-leave-it with regards to the show, but I don't think BF is in it to humiliate anyone. And, plenty of times when he wins, he actually seems very humble, and surprised, giving lots of credit to his competition. Maybe that's just me though.

                                                                            1. re: care2

                                                                              I like the show despite Bobby Flay, who seems not arrogant but slick and facile to me. But he really can cook. But what I like is being exposed to small, independent and often artisan purveyors. He did one about an Austin truck serving, I think, Asian-influenced tacos and it showed how to find out online where the truck is every day. The food looked ridiculously good and the next time I'm in Austin, I'm THERE.

                                                                              Someone can make a bundle if they figure out a way to index all these regional type shows. Business travelers would probably pay a buck or two to view all relevant shows about their destination. After you travel for a while, the idea of even considering eating in a hotel restaurant is so repulsive. It's all frozen food, butter and dull food from Sysco. Unless, of course, you're at the really great hotels.

                                                                              For instance, the Athenian Diner in Pike Place Market in Seattle has dish called clam hash. I'd love to see Bobby try to beat it.

                                                                              Anyway, he gives exposure to people who would not get it otherwise. And I think that is the main goal of the show (apart from ratings, of course). And they're timeless. They can be rerun for as long as the restaurant or cook is in business.

                                                                              I don't see any downside to this show. You meet some charming and creative people and see the techniques they use to create delicious food.

                                                                              1. re: Pete Oldtown

                                                                                Asian-influenced tacos here in Austin? Sure wish you could remember more cuz that doesn't ring a bell with me and I live in Austin.

                                                                                I know he did one with Flip Happy Crepes and they did a Cubano crepe (shredded pork, ham, cheddar cheese, pickles and tabasco sauce) and a caramelized banana and chocolate crepe. I've also heard he came to town for a chicken pot pie throwdown, but the Asian tacos have me stumped.

                                                                                1. re: amysuehere

                                                                                  I think that might be a reference to the puffy taco throwdown he did in San Antonio. The only other taco dish he did was fish tacos in San Diego.

                                                                                  Asian tacos from a truck actually sounds like the Kogi truck in LA. Kogi went to New York last summer as a promotional measure and they joked about possibly being on Throwdown.

                                                                              2. re: care2

                                                                                I don't understand the Flay hate. I'm assuming it comes from people who used to watch back in the 90s. He always comes off as very congenial in Throwdown (and even his recent grilling shows), and almost seems embarrassed when he wins. The show should be called "Beat Bobby Flay." Most of the time he doesn't have a chance because authenticity is almost always one of the judging categories. Although it's not like I've actually eaten any of the dishes made on the show, I often get the impression that tastewise it's either a draw or even in Bobby's favor but authenticity wins it for the hometeam.

                                                                                1. re: joeyz

                                                                                  Acually I've had more respect for him since the throwdown. I've never had a hate issue with him. Thought is was a little arrogant but he has mellowed on camera.

                                                                                  1. re: joeyz

                                                                                    Yes. The more unique the dish, the less likely Bobby will win. With more generic items, say pancakes or crabcakes, he often wins, because he's a great chef.

                                                                                    For example, did anyone think he'd go down to Charleston and win the "country captain" throwdown, where the dish is something most people outside of the low country have never even heard of, never mind cooked?

                                                                                    1. re: Bob W

                                                                                      i didn't know there was a country captain throwdown! i like country captain, but haven't had it in a coon's age. how did bobby doozy it up?

                                                                                      oh look, here are both recipes:
                                                                                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/throwdown-...

                                                                                      bobby amped the peppers. <i'm shocked....shocked, i say!>
                                                                                      ~~~~~~~

                                                                                      has anyone made his coconut cake? http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...
                                                                                      it looks awesome! like the best of coconut custard pie meets toasted coconut fluffy cake. (reviewers said recipe needed tweaking).

                                                                                  2. re: care2

                                                                                    I can't see a basis for these comments. As others have said, Flay is always gracious, lavishing praise on his hosts' culinary creations. And although he usually seems interested in doing battle, he has appeared genuinely upset by a few wins. The coconut cake was one (but I do think his cake looked a million times better - the hometown chef created a butter bomb). However, the episode that stands out for me was the falafel throwdown with the chef from Taim. He added a bit at the end, filmed apart from the actual throwdown, in which he flat out said, the judges made a mistake: go eat the falafel at Taim.