Take two competitors, have them battle it out, then put the winner toe to toe with one of the top chefs around, and what do you have? It's simple. You have "Beat Bobby Flay." But how simple can that really be? Thursday nights on the Food Network, you'll get to see if this daunting task is possible when two pros head into the kitchen to win the bragging rights of beating culinary master and one of our TV favorites, Bobby Flay. To mix up this competition even further, they're throwing in greats like Anne Burrell, Michael Symon, and Alex Guarnaschelli to take part in the fun. Before you tune in and get in on the action, we chatted it up with Bobby about some of his past adventures and asked him to explain further how this new and exciting contest of skills will go down.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): You do so many shows on the Food Network so in everyday life, do you ever get burned out of cooking?
Bobby Flay: No, definitely not. In fact, this week I'm opening a new restaurant in New York. Frankly, it's the thing I love to do the most whether it's at home, on TV, or at my restaurants. It's really what gets me motivated to do everything.
So when you are at home cooking, do you have a standard "go-to?"
It changes all of the time. In the summertime I cook a lot of fish tacos and I do a lot of slow barbequing if I have the time. I'll also make a lot of pizzas in the oven or on the grill. But at home in the colder months in my New York apartment, I do a lot of different pastas and chicken dishes. Things like that.
When you did "Throwdown," which was one of my favorite shows by the way, did anyone you challenged ever say no? I mean, some people looked so pissed.
Oh thank you! Yeah we haven't done Throwdown for five years but people loved it. After a while I couldn't surprise anybody so that's why we had to stop doing it. Only one person said no but I convinced them to do it finally. It was the "doughnut throwdown." It took me two hours to convince him but then, he was totally into it.
I actually watch a lot of your work on TV and I have to know for personal reasons, would you say that chipotle is your favorite spice? You use it a lot.
Yeah I use a fair amount of chipotle. [Laughs.] I always have it at my beck and call but lately, I've been using a lot of chili peppers from the Mediterranean. My new restaurant "Gato" is Mediterranean food so I've been sort of stuck on these Calabrian red chilies from Italy.
That sounds amazing! In regards to your new show "Beat Bobby Flay," since your friends are on the show as well, do you think they are harder on you or do you think they are fair?
Well my friends aren't really the judges. They're there to kind of wrangle up a chef to get me beat. Then we have three judges who come in and judge the cooking competition at the end. So my friends are there to basically get me taken down. [Laughs.]
How nice of them. So at the end whoever wins gets to challenge you to a dish of their choice?
Oh yeah and they really have the advantage because what happens is, two chefs go against each other in a twenty minute quick battle. Then my special guests who are trying to get me beat pick one of the two as the winner. The winner then reveals on the spot what we'll be cooking and we go to it.
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Can the competitors pick a dish that you've never cooked before so you'll be thrown off? Furthermore, is there anything you haven't cooked before?
Absolutely! Oh there are tons of things I've never made! That's the great thing about the world of food, it's endless!