Ranked among top chefs like Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain, Bobby Flay has achieved a lot in his career and is famously known for his many television appearances and TV shows.

He also stands tall along with the highest-earning and most successful chefs with a $30 million net worth.

Bobby Flay commenced his career at a relatively young age by working in a professional kitchen in his teenage years. At the age of 17, he quit high school; three years later, he was head chef.

He only grew more successful within the industry since then, going onto writing several cookbooks – 15 to be exact – and hosting over ten TV shows that featured top chefs in USA.

Bobby Flay and Barack Obama wearing a white apron and barbequing meat on a grill. Bobby Flay made news when he cooked dinner for President Obama in 2013 while Chinese president Xi Jinping attended
It wouldn't be wrong to say that Bobby Flay can easily be ranked as the best chef in USA when it comes to Mexican and Southwestern cuisine (Source: Visual Hunt)
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Early Days

Flay always had an interest in cooking, and on his eighth Christmas, he wanted an oven.

His parents acquiesced to his wishes and got him an Easy-bake oven as well as an action figure. When he was 17, he left high school and cleared tables at a restaurant.

Schooling didn't interest him much, to which his father demanded that he began a career. He started in a pizzeria and later moved to Baskin-Robbins.

After this brief stint, he started working in NYC at Joe Allen's, which his father co-owned. His first job here was as a table-clearer when the resident busboy had to take an emergency leave. Within two weeks of working here, he was asked to participate in the cooking area by the chef.

Flay agreed rather reluctantly, as his schedule was empty for the day. This accidental service was how his career as a chef began.

His boss was immensely impressed and decided to enroll him in New York's French Culinary Institute and pay for his tuition.

However, he had to rejoin school to acquire a GED, which was a prerequisite for further studies.

He graduated from the institute top of his class, and later, he was known as the best chef in America for Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.

A signature wall design of Bobby Flay Steak. Bobby Flay's famous steakhouse is located at the Borgata Hotel in New Jersey. It offers a classic spin on his Southwestern style mixed with steakhouse fare
Bobby Flay started his first restaurant in New York City in 1991 when he was 26 and has never looked back since then. His restaurants operate around the country in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and countless other locations (Source: Visual Hunt)

Career

Bobby Flay's forte is Southwestern and Mexican cuisine, but he is a culinary genius when it comes to barbecue as well. He was first introduced to Southwestern food through Jonathan Waxman, a restaurateur he was working under.

While working at a party at Waxman's restaurants, he met a chef. This encounter led him to work at three of Waxman's restaurants.

Despite being born and brought up in New York, Flay resides in Los Angeles now. He recently bought a 3820-square-foot house in Los Angeles. Besides that, he owns a house in East Hampton, a duplex in Chelsea, and an apartment in New York's Upper West Side.

Bobby Flay opened Mesa Grill (first restaurant) at 26, which continued to operate for twenty-three years in New York City. He started this venture in collaboration with Jerry Kretchmer, who was a popular restaurateur of that time. It was Jerry who suggested starting a restaurant that catered to Southwestern cuisine.

However, Mesa Grill has shut down in both New York and Las Vegas, and Bobby Flay opened another restaurant named Amalfi in Las Vegas.

He has also made a name for himself as a celebrity chef, hosting 16 cooking shows and segments on Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

In 1994, he debuted on The Food Network, starting with appearances in culinary-based programs and moving onto cooking shows. Like Julia Child recipes are for French cuisine, Bobby's are the go-to guides for Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines.

Some of his famous shows include "Boy Meets Grill," "Throwdown with Bobby Flay," "BBQ with Bobby Flay," "Hot off the Grill with Bobby Flay," "Beat Bobby Flay," and more.

Lately, he collaborates with Giada De Laurentiis on a cooking show based out of Italy. The duo was also paired against Mario Batali in Battle Cranberry and Batali, and Emeril Lagasse also matched off against Flay in an episode of Iron Chef.

Like the famous Julia Child cookbook editions that are her defining feature as a chef, Flay also has 15 accredited cookbooks to his name.

While he's renowned for his TV appearances, he's also quite a successful author, with cookbooks like "Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook," "Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes," and "Bobby Flay Fit"  to his name.

Bobby Flay also had the honor of cooking dinner for President Obama in 2013, which was also attended by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Previously, he had participated in the Young Men's Barbecue in 2009, which was held at the White House. Flay describes cooking for Obama as "his greatest professional moment."

Flay has made cameos on and off on "Iron Chef" for around 17 years, sharing the space with other famous chefs like Cat Cora.

He has had the honor of winning more competition on Iron Chef than any other competitor, winning over 43 battles, tying in 2, and losing 16 out of the total 61 battles he took part in.

Bobby Flay emptying the contents of a dish into a plate on a chef's counter with cooking ingredients laying on the side. Being one of the top chefs in America, Bobby is well aware of the right amount of ingredients to be used
If Julia Child is renowned for her beef bourguignon and French braised dishes, Bobby Flay is known for his unique take on Mexican cuisine. His achievements and various establishments are a testament to how good he is (Source: Visual Hunt)

Personal Life

Bobby Flay is an avid cat lover and named his feline Nacho Flay. His cat has a massive fandom on Instagram, amassing 210,000 plus followers.

To show his love for cats, a restaurant of his is named "Gato," — a Spanish word that means Cat in English. Flay's cat is quite a celebrity, traveling with him to shows and international tours.

Bobby has had three wives, and all three marriages ended with a divorce. His first marriage to Debra Ponzek was held in 1991, around the time he opened his first restaurant. Unfortunately, the couple split after two years.

In 1995, he married Kate Connelly, who he met on the sets of a talk show broadcasted on the Food Network, but this marriage was short-lived, with the pair divorcing in 1998.

His third wife was Stephanie March, a famous actress. They met at a luxurious restaurant, Nobu, and Flay proposed to her in December of 2003 at the Rockefeller Center's ice skating rink with a fabulous ring. They stayed married for a decade, splitting up in 2015.

From his first marriage, Bobby had a daughter. He named her Sophie, and now she is 23. She is an avid cook herself, and the pair loves cooking together.

Sophie has made appearances on many of Flay's TV shows, including 2013's "Rachel Ray," 2016's "Brunch at Bobby's," and two times – 2015 and 2017 – in "Beat Bobby Flay." They were also hosts on a show that aired on the Food Network's Snapchat Discovery channel.

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Ian