How Bobby Flay came to be a famous celebrity chef and owner of more than two dozen Bobby Flay restaurants is a story of hard work, talent, and a little luck.
Flay dropped out of high school when he was seventeen. Starting his food career at a pizza place and a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store, he stepped into the restaurant world at the famous Joe Allen's in New York City. Bobby's dad was a partner in the restaurant, but Bobby worked hard and the owner, Joe Allen himself, paid for Bobby to attend the French Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 1984.
When an executive chef was fired at New York's Brighton Grill, Bobby had only been working there for a week. He was suddenly now the executive chef but it didn't last long. Bobby knew he wasn't ready for that position and found a new job that would help define his cooking style.
He took a job as a chef working for restaurateur Jonathan Waxman at a restaurant called Bud and Jams. This is where Bobby learned about southwestern and Cajun cuisine and the rest is spicy grillin' history.
Bobby has hosted sixteen cooking shows and specials on Food Network, including Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Ironchef America, Food Nation, BBQ With Bobby Flay, BBQ Addiction, Grill It!, and Brunch@Bobby's. The most well-known of this bevy of TV shows is the Emmy Award winning Boy Meets Grill.
Don't forget the cookbooks either! Fifteen cookbooks!
He's a three-time James Beard Foundation award winner including Rising Star Chef of the Year in 1993, National Television Food Show Award for Chef Mentor in 2005, and Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2007. I think we all know who Bobby Flay is by now.
He's even the first chef EVER to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
So where can you eat at a Bobby Flay restaurant? The restaurant business is tough even for a talented celeb chef like Bobby. Restaurants open and close and it can be hard to keep track. Here's what we found out.
Bobby Flay Restaurants
If you want to beat Bobby Flay at the restaurant game, you'll have quite a lot of work to do. With Italian restaurants, fresh fish restaurants, and more, Flay has quite a portfolio of eateries.
There were three Mesa Grills, including a New York City location, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the third is located in the Bahamas at The Cove at Atlantis Paradise Island. The NYC spot closed in 2013 due to jacked-up rent, and the Las Vegas, NV closed to change the dining room over to another Chef Bobby Flay restaurant called Amalfi, based on the Mediterranean recipes of Italy's Amalfi Coast.
Also in New York, Bolo opened in 1993 and operated until 2007 when the property was bought to build condos.
Bobby's first Bar Americain opened in 2005 in mid-town Manhattan and sadly closed in 2018 due to crazy Manhattan real estate and operating costs. You can still take a pretty drive up to Connecticut's Mohegan Sun casino, and there's a Bar Americain where you can still enjoy Bobby Flay's restaurant menu.
Gato is another NYC Bobby Flay Restaurant that is a hot spot for brunch.
The star of Bobby's Flay restaurants is definitely Bobby's Burger Palace. Also known as "BBP" this chain has exploded. The first opened in a mall in Long Island, New York. The mall was a hot spot for BBP and more locations opened in two New Jersey shopping malls. BBP opened along with the already operating Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun.
Bobby's Burger Palace stormed Las Vegas, Philadelphia, College Park, Maryland, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Washington DC. There are nineteen locations of this juicy burger Bobby Flay restaurant so far, so keep checking your state.
The Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey is where you can eat at a Bobby Flay Steak restaurant. Bobby loves a good steakhouse and a high roller casino is an obvious spot for Bobby's style of grilling meat to set up shop.
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