In A Shock Move, Bobby Flay Leaves Food Network; Nation Devastated

On Friday morning, we all woke up to shocking news, Food Network stalwart and the most competitive man to ever stand behind a grill, Bobby Flay, was leaving the network after 27 delicious years.

If you look at the Food Network roster like a hockey team, Guy Fieri is the flashy goal-scorer, Giada De Laurentiis is the goalie who says certain words in weird ways, and Bobby Flay is the enforcer.

Enforcers are competitive by nature and no one in the world of food (save for competitive eating legend Joey Chestnut) is more competitive than Bobby Flay.

There's something inherently fun to me about food-based aggression. Not necessarily a school lunchroom food fight, but adults running around a kitchen "stadium" yelling obscenities because their ice cream machine isn't working fast enough is hilarious.

Over the years he appeared on Iron Chef, Iron Chef: America, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and Beat Bobby Flay. And those are just the ones I could think of. What do they all have in common? They feature Bobby Flay trying to beat opponents into food submission.

My favorite of these shows was the one called Throwdown with Bobby Flay. In each episode, they would profile some small-town cook who was the best at making grilled cheese sandwiches in Macon, Georgia, or the best at making clam chowder in Schenectady. They think it's all fun and games until Bobby Flay rolls up and challenges them to a throwdown, which just means they're going to see who makes better food, as judged by the small-town chef's friends, family, and community.

I loved that show because there were only two outcomes and both of them were hilarious. The first was that Bobby Flay would show up and make their brisket look like complete trash. Now you've got a small-town chef who just got embarrassed by in front of everyone they know, by ta big city restauranteur.

The other outcome is that Bobby Flay inadvertently shoots himself in the foot by getting way too flashy and overthinks simple food much to the chagrin of the taste-testers. He'll dump truffle oil on a cheesesteak or throw some caviar on a taco and looks like an out-of-touch ass.

Either way, it's great TV.

Where does Bobby Flay go if he doesn't stay with the Food Network? Common sense would dictate that the best place for someone who deals in food would be on the Food Network. You'd be really confused if you were watching ESPN and all of a sudden a guy came on TV and started dissing your souffle-making ability.

Although, maybe that competitive edge would make ESPN a decent home for his food bouts. Not regular ESPN, but ham sandwich showdowns and steak grilling contests would fit on ESPN+ alongside Indian Premier League Cricket and Kontinental Hockey League Games


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