Chef-restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality on the Food Network’s “Boy Meets Grill,” “Iron Chef” and “BBQ With Bobby Flay.” Flay owns and operates Mesa Grill, Bolo and Bar Americain in Manhattan and Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Origins: “I was born and bred here, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I’m a rare native New Yorker. My father was a partner in Joe Allen. I started as a dishwasher, and eventually Joe Allen sent me to the French Culinary Institute.”
What’s new?: “We’ve opened a restaurant in New York called Bar Americain. It’s an American brasserie, which is the way I like to eat — very simple. It’s going fantastically. We’re opening a restaurant in Atlantic City in July at the Borgata Hotel called Bobby Flay’s Steak. It’s our first steak house.”
New York state of mind: “I love to travel, but I have yet to find a city anywhere in the world I would rather live in. The city has unbelievable energy. Food is obviously a big part of my life, and New York is an amazing food city. You can eat the top end of any cuisine in the world right here. Food is something we have to deal with every day to survive, but it’s also how we entertain ourselves, part of our social life and theater.”
Down time: “I don’t really get off on weekends very much. But my ideal weekend would probably be walking around Soho shopping with my wife, Stephanie, then going for a casual lunch and drinking a big bottle of wine. We’ve been married a year. She’s a fried-chicken-and-biscuit kind of girl. She loves to eat, which is so much fun for me.”
Night moves: Balthazar, a Parisian brasserie down on Crosby street. It’s very popular.
Sustenance: “At the very high end, I like Daniel, a four-star French restaurant. For Japanese food, we still like Nobu a lot. For Italian food we’ve been eating at Elios. A steakhouse? I’ve been going to Wolfgang’s. Favorite dishes would be the dry aged beef at Daniel and the black cod at Nobu.”
What’s next? “We’re opening Mesa Grill at Atlantis in the Bahamas, probably in about a year. If you talk to most chefs, they’re not eating fois gras at midnight. It’s either fried chicken or a cheeseburger. My dream would be to open a chain of burger restaurants. You never know ….”