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Aug 8, 2010 01:25 PM

Bobby Flay haters (Flayters?)...this one's for you

From Twitter:
closetmastrbakr #ohnohedidnt. b. flay says he's making real deal butterscotch by adding scotch. Scotch means to "score" or cut the candy not add alcohol.

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    1. re: grampart

      Or maybe he did and is joking; I used to work with him and he has an, um, odd sense of humor.

      1. re: bushwickgirl

        You used to work with him? Really, in what capacity? (if you don't mind my asking.) I'm not a hater. I actually have never had a bad meal at Mesa (LV) and I like him on Throwdown, when I happen to catch it.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          In NYC, years ago, I knew him from a popular restaurant in the East Village; his sucess at that place kinda put him on the map. I was the chef at a "sister" restaurant (same owners, different focus) down the street and we would get together frequently and talk bis & food, share experiences and techniques; he came and worked with me a few times and I with him. He's a seriously driven, decent, knowledgeable guy who works very hard, enjoys delegating but readily shares what he knows as well. That's how he was then, and somehow I don't think he's changed much, and is seemingly unaffected by his fame.

          I was fresh off the boat from CT and he taught me some things about chile peppers, his schtick even then, which at that point I had very limited knowledge of, except for maybe jalapeños.

          I have heard comments over the years from his detractors that he tends to come across as arrogant on his FN shows, but I never felt that way about him or his TV persona. He certainly doesn't seem arrogant on Throwdown, rather more humbled by his frequent losses.;-))

          Anyway, that's my brush with fame story. Here's his wiki bio:

          I think perhaps he just wanted to develop a " flavored" butterscotch.

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

            Personally, I think the point of Throwdown is to showcase these other chefs. I think that it's almost rigged for the OTHER chef to win and that Bobby is always chagrinned when he wins. Bobby always puts some nontraditional ingredients in his throwdown dishes to signal to the judges which one is his, in case there is any doubt, and that they are supposed to give the win to the OTHER chef's dish, all things being equal.

            On the other hand, I think Iron Chef is rigged the other way. All things being equal, the win goes to the I.C. I mean, you've really got to earn your victory absolutely convincingly over the IC to get the win.


            1. re: bushwickgirl

              I think he came off as arrogant when he won his first Iron Chef against Miromoto and he jumped on his cutting board, almost like a boxer, and pumped his arms. I've heard that was a turning point for him because he was slammed for it. Even Morimoto said he wasn't a true chef because a true chef would have more respect for his kitchen than that. He seems much more down to earth these days.

              1. re: chowser

                I still shake my head over that one. What was he thinking? EDIT: I wonder if it goes back to bushwickgirl's comment that his sense of humor is a little odd.


                1. re: chowser

                  I'm no Flay lover but you have this all wrong. He did the fist pumping when he finished his dishes, before he had won. He insulted Morimoto because the knife and cutting board are sacred to the asian chef. If you watch the video back, it wasn't that bad, he was just showing excitement, it didn't look like arrogance IMHO.

                  1. re: mlukan

                    Whether the jumping on the counter was staged or not is up to debate, but it certainly led to a rematch.

                  2. re: chowser

                    I remember that Iron Chef Japan episode, though, sort of. He prevailed against some pretty awful circumstances. I remember water was pooled on the floor and somehow wet some wiring and he got electrocuted. There was something else. Was it a cut? I can't remember. Does anyone remember?

                    I took the fist pumping as a sort of a "Yay! I lived through it!" and the jump on the table as an expression of triumph over insane circumstances.

                    1. re: runwestierun

                      Yes, he cut himself pretty early on. I forgot about the electrocution thing.


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        He probably had quite a case of nerves duirng that taping, poor guy.

                      2. re: runwestierun

                        I thought it was "Iron Chef New York" (a special one, produced by Fuji Television, like the Iron Chef Japan series). Watching the video linked here -- it was being called "Iron Chef on the Road, New York Battle, Webster Hall, in the last of the New York Summit"):

                        Interesting to see Bobby's "Bio" interview about the event:
                        thumb nearly amputated,
                        electric shocks from wires and standing water,
                        sous chefs about to walk off.

                        Bobby didn't even realize he was on the cutting board, he says, just the table (where his sous chef had hoisted him up).

                        Flay was exuberant. Morimoto was disgusted. Great theatre!

                        I'm not a "Flayter" but a "Fliker"! Maybe even a "Flover"....

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I always smile after I read one of your posts, alkapal. Thanks again.

                          I'm at least a "Fliker, if not a Flover", myself. ;)

                    2. re: bushwickgirl

                      I saw a bit of the arrogance when he was doing the show on FN with some girl. the pretense was that Bobby is cooking casually for all of his friends a la Molto Mario. That show had its ups and downs, mostly downs for me.

                      I think the main show that made him seem arrogant was the one that he co-hosted with a good old boy. He came off as a New York smartass.

                      1. re: Phaedrus

                        Grillin and Chillin. And I definitely agree.

                        1. re: Quine

                          I loved Grilling and Chillin. The whole premise was to be country and city, an he played up the part well.

                        2. re: Phaedrus

                          I think that was part of the shtick. NY smart ass with a new-fangled gas grill against red neck down home boy with an old-fashioned charcoal grill. That was the whole premise of the show.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            Bobby's smart ass attitude is definitely part of his charm. I like that his shows are always food centric and I've cooked his recipes and eaten at Mesa in LV and he's the real deal. The boy can cook.

                            Also, he seems the only one on the judging panel on NFNS that actually cares about the food being presented. In other words he has high standards and I respect that.

                            1. re: PattiCakes

                              I definitely agree that G&C, which was my intro to Bobby Flay, cast him as the arrogant jerk. I loved that show, mainly for good ol' boy Jack. Looking back, I agree that was part of the schtick of the show, but it kind of stuck with me until recently. "Throwdown" turned it around, as well as his ICA performances.

                              As for the Morimoto incident, I agree it was kind of obnoxious, but it's kind of nuts for Morimoto to appear on that ridiculous, over the top, "World Wrestling Federation" in the kitchen, kooky/creepy Chairman Kaga hosted kitchfest and get all high and mighty about the "integrity" of the chopping block or whatever he said. I love IC and I like ICA, but c'mon, the whole thing is pretty silly. I think BF was just getting into the spirit.

                            2. re: Phaedrus

                              As dmckean wrote, "he has high standards." He does.

                              I actually never watched Grillin' and Chillin', I must have been working alot then and I was not chillin'. When was it on? Bobby's pretty laid back on his Boy Meets Grill. I haven't seen Grill It! either.

                              I always wondered if that whole IC "jumping on cutting board" stunt was staged as well, to give his newly awarded IC status some oomph. A little controversy goes far.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                I haven't seen Grillin' and Chillin' or Boy Meets Grill, so if his persona on those shows is different than on I.C. or Throwdown, then I wouldn't know.

                                Is "Grill It!" the one where he cooks with a lay person? I've only caught bits and pieces of a couple of that show. He seems congenial enough. A little awkward, actually, based on the snippets I've seen.

                                It's funny, bushwickgirl, that you describe him as laid back on Boy Meets Grill (which, again, I've never seen) because one of the things I think is funny about him is how serious and intense he is on ICA. He really wants to win!

                                Yeah, hard to say if there was a staged element to his jumping on the cutting board or not. It could have been staged, who knows. According to wikipedia, there were two of these incidents: the first in NYC where Bobby stood on top of his cutting board (on top of the counter) at the end of the competition (even though he went on to lose) and the second for the rematch in Japan where he threw aside his cutting board, then stood on top of the counter (he went on to win.) My guess is that the first one was spontaneous and, as someone says, him celebrating having overcome some difficult circumstances, and the second, was premeditated, him showing he had learned about how sacred cutting boards are.

                                Or, it could have been that he was caught up in the moment and was trying to be campy and playful (as Iron Chef seems to be) but didn't read the vibe accurately. I'm not trying to belittle Japanese culture, but it's a little hard to swallow that chef's tools are so sacred, when they've built this whole phony, campy mythology around "Iron Chef" for the purposes of entertainment. I mean, is is sacred or is it entertainment?

                                True, Bobby may have read the situation wrong (assuming it wasn't staged), but it all seems a little overblown to me. Maybe Morimoto didn't think jumping on the counter was good sportsmanship in general (and maybe it wasn't) and the cutting board thing was just a small part of that whole general poor sportsmanshipness in people's eyes, but is this all sacred or is it entertainment. Is it honestly possible for it to be both?

                                It's also likely he's matured a little over the past 10 years that he's been on Food Network. He's about 46 or so now, which would meant he was about 36 when he started on FN in 2000. A lot of maturing can happen in that amount of time.


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  He's definitely more serious and intense on IC. Boy Meets Grill is just him grilling on a nice patio on the UES, with the 59th Street Bridge in the background; nice grilled food, cocktails, doesn't break a sweat and not much pressure to win anything.

                                  I'll have to check out Grill It! to see what's happening there.

                                  I think Davwud (I always see his screen name in my mind's eye as Dave Wood) nailed it when he commented that Bobby is " just a brash NYC'er." Arrogance I don't like, but brash I can handle.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    There is a fine line there. I think he crossed the arrogance line more often when he was younger than he has since he's gotten older and have gotten married.

                                    I like the guy more now than I did before.

                                    I still can't stand to watch NFNS though.

                              2. re: Phaedrus

                                Grillin' and Chillin' was the first show that I saw him in; Jack McDavid was the "good ol' boy". I really bought the act because I did not like him at all. I preferred Jack's methods and cooking style and his food. It wasn't until the later Grill It! show that I really began to like Bobby as a chef.

                                1. re: Phaedrus

                                  An arrogant chef??? No way, I've never heard of such a thing!!

                                2. re: bushwickgirl

                                  Miracle Grill was where Flay worked but what was the sister restaurant?

                                  1. re: bookhound

                                    Sister restaurant was The Levee, Cajun and Creole cuisine, 20+ years ago. It didn't last long, just a few years, not due to my cooking, LOL! I had moved on before it closed; the place just never took off. It was owned by a group of investors/owners with their fingers in a few other restaurants in the EV/Noho area as well.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      The Miracle Grill hung on for quite a while and now it's vacant. Hopefully someone picks up the spot soon. I really like the back garden. There aren't too many places in that neighborhood with a garen of that size.

                                      1. re: bookhound

                                        Yes, that was a lovely garden and made a popular restaurant even more so.

                                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                                    The thing that stuck out for me the most about BF is when I saw him asked if he put salt and pepper on the tables at his restaurants. He said of course he did. He thought that it was arrogant of chefs to not want their food seasoned more at the table. He pointed out that not everyone's taste buds are the same.
                                    Before that I'd always thought him an arrogant NYC'er. Then I realized he's just a brash NYC'er. They tend to be more gregarious.

                                    I didn't care one way or the other about the IC incident. While cutting boards and knives may be sacred to Asian cooks, they aren't to Americans. Perhaps if he were in Tokyo or something like that it would've been wrong. Here in NA, it's not worth getting upset about.


                                    1. re: Davwud

                                      In looking at the two personalities "from the outside", Morimoto is the one who always comes off as a bit of an intense stiff to me, not BF. Maybe it's cultural, but I'm just sayin' I'd feel a lot more comfortable with Flay in my kitchen (or even at a bar having a beer) than with Morimoto. I also think Flay has a good sense of humor.

                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                        Am I a sucker or what? I actually like all of the Iron Chefs, though, I don't have much of a feel for Garces yet.


                                      2. re: Davwud

                                        It was in New York, yes, but it was on a Japanese show.

                                        And then, during the rematch held in Japan, when he was finished, instead of standing on the cutting board he threw the cutting board on the floor and stood on the counter in victory. As if that's any better.

                                        1. re: stet

                                          I didn't see the second one but thing that's unforgivable. He knew better that time.


                                          1. re: stet

                                            As far as I'm concerned, both incidents were very, very bad. He has also never apologized in any form, as far as I know, or indicated regret that it might have been offensive to many people.

                                          2. re: Davwud

                                            That's interesting. I had perhaps the best steak meal of my life at his place in AC a few years ago. My only complaint? There were no salt and pepper shakers on the table (though the waiter did bring me a set when asked).

                                            1. re: gaffk

                                              it's always interesting to see how we all respond differently to certain details. i don't like pre-ground pepper, and i don't use table salt, so i actually prefer when they don't bother to clutter the table with unnecessary items...i just ask for a pepper grinder if i need it :)

                                          3. re: bushwickgirl

                                            Interesting background, bushwickgirl! Thanks. I actually like Bobby Flay's shows and personality a lot.

                                            On the question of whether he's arrogant, however, I do have to admit that years ago I found him, say, "brassy" at times in an early show where he would grill outside and one or two female regulars would sit and watch and interact with him while sipping their margaritas (even looking at the Wiki article, I cannot be sure which show it was by the title). The vibe I got there between him and the chief woman was that her role was to keep taking it when he would occasionally scoff at some idea she would suggest.

                                            Not to make too much of that one, old perception: he seems to me to have sweetened and become a large, generous TV food personality over the years. He's great. He's got a lot of Emeril's social pizzaz but with a more rigorous focus on technique.

                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                              I have the same feelings about him. He seems to have humbled/ matured over the years and I like how he's so down to earth on Throwdown. He always seems embarrassed when he wins--and on a show like that, it does take a lack of ego to know that you will lose 90% or so of the time.

                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                emeril knows technique. watch the old "cooking with emeril" tv series.

                                                granted, he was more loosey goosey on technique when he went "live."

                                                i agree bobby has mellowed. some of those early, early shows (with the "party" concept, and co-host jacqui maloof) were painful. """"Jacqui Malouf (born December 12, 1968, in Etobicoke Ontario, Canada) is a television host, cook, and author.
                                                Raised in Canada, she attended the University of Western Ontario, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, before beginning her career as a stand-up comic. Her first hosting job was on SportsFigures. Malouf then joined the Food Network as Bobby Flay's co-host on Hot Off the Grill with Bobby Flay. She remained in that role until her contract with the Food Network expired."""""""

                                          4. re: bushwickgirl

                                            I am cable-less so I've only seen him as an occasional morning news/talk show guest and on a network reality show a few years back. It was about finding a Martha Stewart type - he was one of the 3 judges, along with Candace Bushnell and David Evangelista. Everyone, including the contestants, wore their snark hats. So I really don't have an informed opinion, other than that if he WAS joking, he's been in the public eye long enough to know better than to make a comment that could make him come off as uninformed about his craft. I didn't know scotch means score, but I have no culinary training or experience.

                                            1. re: greygarious

                                              Are there actually so-called Flayters? That is ridiculous.
                                              He comes off as a very down-to-earth guy. I agree with greygarious 100%, I am pretty sure he posted a joke. Even if it wasn't, is that really a reason to hate someone. I am a Flaymirer :-)

                                        2. I just hosted a BF dinner this past weekend. All of the food was wonderful!!! I think he is probably a very nice person who works very hard for his accomplishments. His recipes are great! We made eight dishes and not a bad one in the bunch.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kprange

                                            I like him. There was him as a guest chef on the one show on the Food Network, then came Grillin and Chillin (which I found out afterward was done in a short amount of time with multiple shows in a day) so it made more sense when they were snarkier to each other or a little slap happy. There was the next one where he was cooking for friends in a loft kind of place with a hostess and would bring up a friend or two to help out with a specific dish - that one could be kind of clunky. Boy Meets Grill is wonderful - I have gotten several ideas from that one - sometimes he grills on gas, sometimes on charcoal. Grill It with Bobby Flay is the new concept with him grilling the same ingredient in a different way from a home griller - some are better than others but I like they way they discuss different ways of doing things on the grill and it looks like some of them give him ideas.

                                          2. On last night's new throwdown he beat a Mexican mother and son team at huevos rancheros, and when he walked through the door to surprise them, he got tangled up a bit in the venetian blinds and ruined his big entrance. He laughed about and poked some fun at himself. Seems if he were this big jerk egomaniac he would have had that bit edited out before airing. Also, he won using chorizo and chile peppers among other things, nothing any fancier than the mother and son.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jackbauer

                                              He's really not a bad guy. He actually doesn't like beating his competitors in the Throwdowns and says he feels awful when he does. Plus, he was super nice when I had to bug him to get a picture with my sister. He didn't have to, at all, but he was nice and chatted with her anyway. So, no, not a jerk at all. Not once have I had a problem with him.

                                            2. In his excitement, Bobby Flay may have came off as arrogant when he won his first Iron Chef against Miromoto; and jumped on his cutting board pumping his arms and saying raise the roof. Morimoto was clearly disgusted insulted, and went on to remark that Bobby Flay wasn't a true chef because a true chef would have more respect for his utensils – knifes and cutting board. Japanese culture and tradition respect the knife and the cutting board. This action by Flay communicated to Americas that he was exuberant about his first Iron Chef win. To the Japanese it communicated that Americans are arrogant, and has no respect for others are their profession.