Chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay has been a fixture on Food Network for almost three decades. His cooking and signature style have been a part of the network’s programming since 1994 when Grillin’ and Chillin’ first made its debut.
Since then Flay has gone on to host a long list of series for the network including Beat Bobby Flay and Brunch at Bobby’s. He had also appeared on numerous other shows including Chopped, Worst Cooks in America and most notably, Iron Chef America where he was one of the Chairman’s original Iron Chefs.
And now it looks like all that is going to be coming to an end when the calendar turns to 2022.
It is being reported by Variety that Flay and Food Network are parting ways when Flay’s current contract ends this year. Contract negotiations to bring him back have been at a standstill for a while now and it is being reported that Food Network is preparing to move on without one of their most iconic and recognizable stars.
Can Food Network ever really hope to replace Bobby Flay?
According to Variety neither side is talking about the particulars of the situation, but it would seem that the big sticking issue is, no surprise here, about money. Flay obviously feels he is worth more then what Food Network is offering and the network isn’t interested in sweetening their offer.
To be honest here, Food Network has a lot more to lose by letting Flay walk than the chef does. Yes they have thousands of hours of shows featuring him and his cooking, but Discovery Plus changes the equation. People will only pay for the streaming service based on the strength of the original content and without Flay, there is now a huge hole they will have to fill.
Because so far, most of the original content on the Food Network side has been lackluster at best.
Bobby Flay is one of the original American celebrity chefs with a style that is as iconic as the chef himself. When you think of Southwestern cuisine, spices and peppers, you automatically think of Bobby Flay. Food Network is going to have a hard time replacing that.
Plus, once he leaves who’s to say his friends don’t follow him out the door? Michael Symon and Giada De Laurentiis, both good friends of Flay’s, may decide that if Food Network isn’t willing to pay one of their biggest stars, why are they sticking around?
You can be sure the fallout from this isn’t over by a long shot. And of course there is still time for the sides to come to an agreement on terms and Flay could be back in front of the camera like he never missed a beat. But foodies everywhere may have to get used to a Food Network without Bobby Flay.
What do you think about the news Guilty Eats Nation? Will you miss seeing Bobby Flay on Food Network? Or do you think it’s time for a change? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages.