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Bobby Flay Has Found the Best Focaccia in the World

Bobby Flay Has Found the Best Focaccia in the World

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The Iron Chef just tweeted that he had the best focaccia ever at Osteria Mozza

When Bobby Flay lauds bread like this, you better listen.

Attention, folks: we have just received news that the best focaccia in the world has been found by Iron Chef and TV personality Bobby Flay. Yes, chef Flay believes that he just ate the most delicious iteration of this Sicilian pizza dough-like Italian bread.

Last night at @OsteriaMozza I had the best focaccia ever. @NancySilverton = genius. Best hands in the business.

— Bobby Flay (@bflay) February 26, 2015

Osteria Mozza, in Los Angeles, California, is co-owned by Nancy Silverton and Flay’s buddies Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. Is the focaccia really that amazing? Well, Silverton is one of the most celebrated bread bakers in the culinary world, having received a James Beard award for her book Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery.

She has quite the résumé, and we trust Bobby Flay’s opinion. If you can’t get over to Osteria Mozza yourself, The Los Angeles Times published a copy of chef Silverton’s famous recipe, which takes at least 15 hours to make.

If you’re feeling brazen, you can also try her recipe for crostini with butternut squash, applewood-smoked bacon, and bitter greens.

The Double Life Of Bobby Flay

Bobby Flay has cooked up quite a reputation as a celebrity chef, but behind the scenes, his personal life has been turning stomachs. Look up his name in Urban Dictionary, and get the definition "biggest jerk ever." We're not kidding. That exists.

Sure, it's cool for Flay to be immortalized as part of the pop culture lexicon, and he's known for being brash during televised cooking competitions — but the Flay hate isn't relegated to just the viewers at home. His peers aren't big Flay fans either. "That's why I laugh when they say, 'Let's see if he's a real chef. Let's get him up against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef," Gordon Ramsay once told Men's Journal. "I'm like, 'F**king do me a favor . come on. I've forgotten more than he's known!'" Ouch. The late, great Anthony Bourdain similarly went full Bourdain with a backhanded compliment on how Flay's cooking skills are utilized on TV. "Now does anyone actually believe that Bobby Flay can't make a better chili than a supermarket ground beef-bearing amateur?" he once said (via She Knows). "It's a cruel exercise in humiliation."

All that said, Flay's romantic foibles have grabbed even more headlines than his foie gras. He went through a spectacular split with his wife in 2015 and was accused of doing some really despicable stuff. Grab an apron and let's dig into the double life of Bobby Flay.

Bobby Flay's Delicious School Lunch Recipes

For this back to school season, "The Early Show"'s resident chef, Bobby Flay, has teamed up with =>Hellmann's Mayonnaise to help raise money for Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that connects children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives.

You can go to the Hellmann's Facebook page and build virtual "sandwiches" and, for every five sandwiches built as part of the Swap 'n' Share campaign, Hellmann's will donate $1 to Share our Strength, up to a maximum of $75,000.

Bobby got into the back-to-school spirit by bringing three recipes perfect for school lunches to the show - recipes he created specifically to help kick off the Share our Strength-Swap 'n' Share campaign.

All, of course, feature mayo!

Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Sandwich with Romano-Black Pepper Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Hellmann's Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Kosher salt
1 small eggplant, cut into four 1/2-inch thick slices
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
Basil leaves or baby arugula leaves
8 slices Italian or focaccia bread

1. Stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cheese, coarse black pepper and a pinch of salt until combined. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Heat a grill to high or a grill pan over high heat. Brush eggplant slices on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.
3. Brush the tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred on the outside and slightly softened, about 4 minutes total. Remove from the grill and slice the tomatoes in half, lengthwise.
4. Spread each slice of bread with some of the mayonnaise, top with a few basil leaves or arugula leaves, then top with the eggplant and tomato. Combine to make 4 sandwiches.

"Blackened" Chicken Breast with Creole Mustard Sauce

1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun spice (such as McCormick)
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each

1. Wisk together 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise and the Cajun spice, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
2. Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and parsley, season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Preheat the broiler. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of each breast with the Cajun mayonnaise. Broil on both sides until golden brown and slightly charred and just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with the Creole Mustard Sauce on the side.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 6-ounce flaky white fish fillets (such as sea bass or cod)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions, (green and pale green part) thinly sliced, plus more for garnish, if desired
16 large corn tortilla chips (white or yellow or blue)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Shredded cabbage

1. Preheat the broiler. Brush the fish with oil, season with salt and pepper and broil until slightly charred on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove, let cool slightly and flake with a fork.
2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lime zest and lime juice in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the tuna and green onion and mix with a fork until combined.
3. Place the tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Top each tortilla with some of the tuna salad and then some of the cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove and top each "taco" with some of the shredded cabbage and a small dollop of salsa.

After dropping out of high school at age 17, Flay began working as a busboy.

"I really had no interest in doing any school work whatsoever. My father, who is very much a scholarly guy, said: 'Well, you're going to have to get a job then,'" Flay told the Wall Street Journal.

After working in a pizza shop and at Baskin-Robbins, Flay began working at Joe Allen in New York City, where his father was a part-owner. He started as a busboy after the restaurant's resident busboy needed two weeks off to care for his sick grandmother.

After the two weeks were up, the chef asked Flay if he wanted to work in the kitchen.

"I said, 'Sure.' It was because I had nothing else to do that day. If I had plans with friends, I probably would have said no. I wasn't desperate to work in the kitchen," Flay said.

Chef Bobby Flay on his favorite customer: his mother

Back on a May morning in New York City when I was 12, my friends and I had tickets to see a Yankee game &ndash yes, it was so long ago kids could still do that sort of thing on their own!

I strolled into my mother's bedroom where she was sipping her first of many cups of coffee. I wished her a happy Mother's Day and I told her I was departing to see the Bronx Bombers do their thing.

"You're doing what?" she asked.

As the first tear streamed down her cheek, I knew that I was going to have explain to my friends that I wasn't making the game. I was staying home to make my mom a very sketchy breakfast at best.

Bobby Flay with his mother, Dorothy. CBS News

Dorothy Flay (known as Dame Dorothy to her closest friends) had a verve for life that was unbounded, though she spent most of her adult years as a single mother. And I'll just say this: I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, culminating with dropping out of high school after 9th grade. Still, when I finally found some focus and got a job, my mother wound being my greatest cheerleader. I knew from my experiences as a 12-year-old that Mother's Day had to be planned, no matter what.

First of all, it had to be brunch &ndash a classic Eggs Benedict and a Mimosa.

There was also dress code. I had to wear a suit, or at the very least a sports jacket. And then there was the mandatory carnation &ndash a tradition that signified if your mother was living (a pink one) or that she had passed (white).

My mother died almost exactly two years ago, and living through this pandemic had me thinking about her even more. In some ways I'm relieved she didn't have to navigate her way through the danger of it. I'm pretty sure I would have been pulling Dame Dorothy out of her favorite Jersey Shore hangout nursing a chocolate martini with her favorite bartender.

So, today is Mother's Day, and not even a global crisis is going to keep me from celebrating to me the greatest mother in the world. She wouldn't allow it, so, let's get it on!

Forty-three years ago the Yankees had to play a game with one less person in the stands. Today, coronavirus, you're gonna have to sit this one out. 'Cause brunch is served in all of its glory&hellip and there's nothing that can stop us.

Chef Bobby Flay. CBS News

Gordon Ramsay was up next with a stovetop variation. He starts by melting butter in a frying pan and adding diced onions.

Cook 'em for about 10 minutes until soft.

Get A Copy

Bobby Flay's Kentucky: Thoroughbred Horses and Buttermilk Biscuits

Bobby Flay is the ultimate New Yorker. But transport him to Kentucky, where he owns Thoroughbred racehorses, and he seems even more at home. Here, his story and his feel-good food.

Bobby Flay is the ultimate New Yorker. But transport him to Kentucky, where he owns Thoroughbred racehorses, and he seems even more at home. Here, his story and his feel-good food.

When I was 17 years old, I dropped out of high school and got a job working the salad station at Joe Allen in the Theater District," Bobby Flay says on a misty, raw morning in Kentucky, looking around at bluegrass pastures that couldn&apost be any farther from that restaurant in midtown Manhattan. He is stroking the nose of the Thoroughbred stallion Giant&aposs Causeway inside one of the immaculate gable-roofed bluestone barns that make up the Ashford Stud farm in Versailles, just outside Lexington.

"A couple years before that," Flay continues, "my grandfather took me upstate to Saratoga Springs for the first time. I wasn&apost into riding—look, I was a city kid𠅋ut I just loved the races. I always thought it would be fun to own a small piece of a horse one day."

In the 30 years since, Flay has not only become one of the most recognized chefs in America, he has also become an investor in several racehorses. Horse racing is big business, and Ashford is one of the sport&aposs top farms. At the peak of the market, in 2008, Giant&aposs Causeway was one of the highest-earning studs in racing history, siring two of Flay&aposs horses now in training—including one, Sophie&aposs Style, that Flay named after his teenage daughter.

Flay has owned high-earning horses—his filly More Than Real won one of the prestigious Breeders&apos Cup races in 2010𠅋ut for him, money is not the draw. "When I was finally old enough to make that first risky investment"�out 15 years ago—"I realized I liked the Thoroughbred business so much more than the racing business. There&aposs nothing like watching the horses exercise just after dawn, when it&aposs perfectly quiet except for the thundering of their hooves."

These days, he visits Lexington about six times a year to check in on his horses, to visit the stud farms where the matchmaking gets done and to watch the races. And although Flay has long been a fan of Southern food, becoming part of the racing community in Lexington has deepened his culinary knowledge. He&aposs found inspiration in iconic bluegrass foods—mutton barbecue, fried chicken𠅊nd he knows where to find the best sausage-and-egg biscuit at the Lexington Farmers&apos Market, too.

"I love it here," he says. "I love visiting the horses, I love the idea of growing families of horses."

Which is how this city-kid–turned–Iron Chef has ended up at Ashford cooking Kentucky-inspired dishes with trademark Flay flourishes and innovations. Back in the sprawling farmhouse-like building that serves as the stud farm&aposs headquarters, Flay straps on an apron and gets to work in the spacious kitchen. There is a lamb shoulder rubbed with ground spices, including ancho chile, coriander and allspice𠅏lay&aposs own take on the mutton barbecue in Owensboro, Kentucky. Earlier, he had fired up a Big Green Egg (the thick-walled ceramic cooker with a cult following), placed the lamb inside and shut the lid.

Back inside the kitchen, he whips up a batch of black pepper biscuits, providing running commentary on the technique as he mixes cold butter into flour with his hands. "Once you add the buttermilk, quit mixing as soon as the dough comes together," he says. "Overmixing creates biscuits that aren&apost tender and flaky." He pats the dough into a rectangle, cuts it into squares and places them far apart on a baking sheet: "Biscuits need room otherwise they&aposre gonna steam and won&apost develop a crust." He brushes each biscuit with buttermilk𠅏or browning—sprinkles coarse black pepper on top and slides the sheet in the oven.

"I may truly be a Southerner—genetically, I mean," he says, laughing. "I have the food of the South in my blood."

Just then, a hale man with a shock of silver hair and a ruddy complexion walks into the kitchen. It is Charlie O&aposConnor, Ashford&aposs director of sales. He shakes Flay&aposs hand and says in a thundering Irish brogue, "It smells good in here—you&aposre making us starve." And then: "Did you go to the sale [the racehorse auction] at Tattersalls, Bobby?"

"Nope, didn&apost make it," Flay replies.

They swap barn talk, and then it&aposs time to make the fried chicken with honey mustard. Flay&aposs latest take on the South&aposs iconic poultry dish might raise eyebrows in Lexington, but he has thought it through. "The problem with fried chicken is scorching the crust before the meat&aposs fully cooked," he says. "With this recipe, you bake it three-quarters of the way, so the only thing you&aposre thinking when you fry is getting a perfect, golden, crispy crust."

After feeding the folks at Ashford, Flay has an appointment with the Woodford Reserve distillery, just four miles down a winding country lane. During his time in Kentucky, he has become passionate about bourbon, and he offers a selection of his favorites at his restaurants.

Settled into a streamside tasting room at Woodford Reserve, Flay stares down at 14 glasses set on a grid in front of him. Under the guidance of Todd Roe, the jovial, Kentucky-born plant manager, and Marianne Eaves, a serious young master-taster-in-training, Flay will be trying eight different barrels of bourbon, parsing their personalities and quirks and composing a proprietary blend of two of them� gallons, more or less—that will be bottled and offered for sale only at Flay&aposs New York City flagship, Bar Americain.

Before the first pour, Flay observes, "It&aposs remarkable to be composing blends and flavors with just one ingredient I&aposm always putting six different ingredients together on a plate." But this tasting is far from easy𠅊t 136 proof and above, which is full-barrel strength, the bourbons almost hide their flavors under the heat of the alcohol. Roe calls out apricots and Eaves finds citrus and peaches, but Flay looks for a more personal connection to the experience. "This one knocks on your door—it tells you, &aposI&aposm here!&apos " he says. "Nuttiness is there. I like big flavor, so I like that."

After tasting through all the candidates, Flay picks two barrels, and the blending process begins, with Roe combining all the possible permutations with enough water to bring the whiskey somewhere closer to the more palatable bottling proof of 90.4. Flay ends up selecting Batch E, a blend of barrels three and five, with a swelling sweetness and hints of citrus and butterscotch: well-balanced and bold at the same time.

The next day dawns bright, crystal clear and chilly, and Flay heads out on Versailles Road, passing horse farms on his way to Keeneland, a racetrack that dates to 1936. He moves around the grounds with authority, like the Thoroughbred owner that he is, checking in on the action in the saddling backfield before the race. As the horses move toward the track, Flay moves, too, to get in the line at the concessions under the stands for a bowl of burgoo, that ruddy Kentucky stew of potatoes, corn, tomatoes and, well, some kind of meat. As he reaches the head of the line, a commotion breaks out among the counter ladies, who squeal with glee and click off some pictures on their phones as the star chef smiles gamely. He tucks into his bowl of stew and tells them, "This is some good burgoo𠅊nd I know something about burgoo."

Though he has prime tickets to a shaded box seat upstairs, when the bugler calls the next race, Flay makes his way through the standing-room audience to get closer to the action. For a moment, he is lost in the crowd. Then he appears again, looking down the track at the horses filing in, a 17-year-old Saratoga railbird once again.

Matt Lee and Ted Lee are the authors ofThe Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, their third cookbook.

The Tastemakers: Bobby Flay

1/21/16 By Bailey Bennett

Welcome to The Tastemakers, a series in which we ask top culinary talents a few questions about the world of food and drink.

If you've flipped on virtually any cooking show in the last 15 years, you've probably heard of chef and TV personality Bobby Flay. And if you've had the opportunity to dine in one of Flay's many restaurants across the U.S., you also know that he's got some serious culinary chops—just ask the 40+ chefs he's defeated on Iron Chef America.

Starting his career when he was 18, Flay has been a fixture in the culinary community for almost three decades. After lending his skills to scores of Throwdown battles and years of reality cooking competitions, Flay has now returned to his hometown of New York City to open Gato, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in Noho. Calling it one of his most fulfilling and gratifying projects, Flay spends most nights there, managing the kitchen and creating dishes he loves to cook.

We chatted with Flay about some of the best meals he's had, the people he admires in the industry and the advice he'd give to all young chefs.

How did you get started in the industry? Did you always know that you wanted to work in food, or was there a specific moment that influenced you?

"I dropped out of high school when I was 17 and started working at a restaurant in the Broadway Theater District as a busboy for about two weeks. I went to the kitchen from there, not because I was looking for a way to be a cook, but because it was the job that was available. It took me a couple of months to understand that I really liked what I was doing. At first, it was just a job, but then all of a sudden, I started to really like going to work. About a year into that, I decided to go to culinary school and was in the very first class of the French Culinary Institute in 1984. The person who owned the restaurant I was working in told me about it, and on the first day of school, he handed me a check for the admission. I was 18. It was the first time I had found something that really interested me. While a lot of my friends were starting college, I was already starting my career. So in that way, it was kind of an advantage for me, being able to get a jump start at such a young age."

What's the most exciting thing you've worked on in the last year?

"Can we say the last 18 months? Because Gato has been such an important and fulfilling project for me. I've basically been cooking there nonstop since the day we opened, and it's been so gratifying in so many ways. First of all, just having a place like that where you just love walking into work every day is so satisfying. And it was the first restaurant that I'd opened in New York in a long time, so it was great to see it find success in this city."

Which dish that is currently on one of your menus are you most proud of?

"The kale and wild mushroom paella at Gato. I grew up in the restaurant business where meat was king and always at the center of the plate, and obviously over the last 20 years or so, people's tastes have changed. I think that chefs have become charged with making dishes that are very healthful or vegetarian or vegan that are just as creative as anything else they've done in the past, without being able to use an amazing piece of meat or some fish. The kale and wild mushroom paella was such a work in progress, and I can't tell you how many times I made it. I just kept thinking, I hate this dish I can't get it right I can't make it interesting enough I'm just going to take it off the menu. One of my colleagues, who has worked with me for many years, basically said, 'Bobby, you're insane. This dish is one or two steps away from being great.' And finally we figured it out, and it was like the underdog dish of the year. It's the number-one dish in popularity every single night at Gato. The fact that I could get a vegetarian entrée to be the top dish every night was really an accomplishment."

Which ingredient or dish are you tired of seeing on menus?

"I'm pretty much a fan of everything, but I am tired of seeing Asian dishes in restaurants that aren't serving Asian food."

What is your go-to food city?

"New York. It's hard to beat. Although there are some very good things happening in Los Angeles for sure. And I just came back from Rome with my daughter, and I had some of my best meals of the year there as well."

What's something that new cooks often do wrong in the kitchen?

"They take shortcuts. Every chef has a different style of managing and teaching, and I'm very hands on. I'm never going to tell you how to do something—I'm going to show you. And it's night and day in terms of a chef's growth.

I have a cook now who has a lot of skill and enthusiasm in the kitchen, and he previously worked at a restaurant that's very popular and busy. In the summertime, they have outdoor seating, so their capacity goes from, say, 120 seats to 300 seats. So I asked him how they would always keep up with the demand. And he said, 'We just got it out.' So the next couple of nights, I kept watching him and noticing that he was just trying to take so many shortcuts at Gato to get the food out. And I said, 'I need you to slow down that's not what we do here.' I'm a stickler for the fundamentals. A lot of times I will strip new cooks of their 'tricks' for getting food to the plate to make sure every step is taken to get it right."

Who is the person you most admire in the food industry right now?

"So many people. I think that Torrisi and the guys behind Major Food Group, who own Carbone and Parm and a lot of others, are doing really good work. I like their New York City approach to things, because I'm a New Yorker, and I think that they're able to do a really great job across the board. And I think that the new Four Seasons restaurant will really define them.

I also love Drew Nieporent. He's been doing this for a long time and always strives to create great restaurants.

And Jonathan Waxman is my mentor and one of the best chefs out there.

And finally, Keith McNally. He owns the restaurants I spend the most time in on my days off: Morandi, Minetta Tavern and Balthazar. I always have a great time when I visit them."

What was the best meal you had in the past year?

"The best I've had was at Via Carota. In fact, I've been back five times so far this year. Order every vegetable dish, a few pastas and a crostino or two, and you'll be in trattoria heaven.

I also had an amazing meal recently in L.A. at a new place called Spartina. The best dish was definitely the raviolo with burrata and sea urchin."

What's one recipe that every cook should have in one's arsenal?

"I think that you should be able to make a great risotto or a great pasta dish. A chef should be able to go into his walk-in box, take a look at any of the ingredients he has there and create something spectacular by glueing it together with either a fresh pasta or a risotto. Pasta is something people really gravitate to, and it's something you can utilize in a pinch."

Bobby Flay's girlfriend had made quite an impression on him, the first time he saw her. In a 2017 interview given to People Magazine, Flay revealed that the pair met at a Knicks game. The two instantly hit it off and have been dating since 2017. Bobby also shared a picture with Helene at the time, but the couple did not share any pictures since then. Helene recently started sharing cosy pictures with another man, whose identity is still not known, with captions that hint towards a romance. Hence, there are high chances that they have separated.

Bobby Flay and his relationships

Another report in Fox News Report revealed that the 55-year-old American chef, is no stranger to romance, as he&rsquos been married three times. He has also reportedly courted many other women in the entertainment business. But, he did seem to fall out of favour with his fans when it was revealed that he began dating Helene less than a year after his divorce settlement with Stephanie March.

Out of all three of Bobby&rsquos marriages, his separation with Stephanie seemed to cause the biggest splash. The chef landed in hot water when reports started swirling claiming that he skipped out on his 10th anniversary with Stephanie. He was allegedly also absent when Stephanie needed surgery for a burst appendix. To add up to all of this, there had been affair rumours when Stephanie&rsquos friend blamed his alleged three-year affair with a cooking assistant for the split. In the past, the American chef was also accused of cheating with other women, one of whom was January Jones.

Bobby Flay shares Thanksgiving recipes

Around the time for Thanksgiving, Bobby Flay started sharing some intriguing recipes with his fans through his Instagram handle. The videos feature the chef making some delicious recipes. Here's a video.

Watch the video: Bobby Flays Double Life Revealed (May 2022).