Food Network Maraton: 11:30-12:00, Hot Off The Grill with Bobby Flay

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Bobby Flay presents another Food Network problem. If my first major critique is that too much of Food TV is filler and fluff, my second major critique is that just because someone is a star chef doesn’t mean that they should be a star.

Being a great chef involves many skills–dexterity, intelligence, leadership–but does not necessarily require charm or humor beyond what’s required in the business world. Being affable does not mean that you belong on TV. Such is the case with Bobby Flay.

First, there’s his speech pattern which reminds me way too much of Steve on “Sex and the City.” His Rs and Ls are Ws, and he speaks gruffly and impatiently. He looks like he’s really uncomfortalbe on TV, and that’s probably why the producers padded the show with “colorful” commentators, like this lady who sits on a couch and banters with Bobby.

That banter is painful.

Bobby: “I love butter…I wish I could put butter on everything!”

Woman: “Oh Bobby, are you trying to get free butter from the butter people!”

This, however, is not ultrabad FoodTV. Bobby is incredibly talented—his food looks great. Today’s recipe was peppercorn crusted veal. I’ve eaten at The Mesa Grill in NY and loved it. Bobby knows his stuff but he can’t anchor a TV show. Other Food TV shows solve the problem with format: think of the Iron Chef. You can sit back and watch the chefs do what they do best which is cook, not banter. Bobby’s actually been on the Iron Chef and there he was–well, slightly obnoxious: he stood up on the cutting board in a victory pose and disgusted his competitor. But at least he wasn’t talking. And that, my friends, is a good start.

12 comments

  1. Emeril is a wonderful food TV host but he stunk out loud when he tried to do a sitcom about himself. Stunk. Out. Loud.

    Bobby Flay strikes me as being a bit of an a-hole. I saw him on Iron Chef once. He and his partner beat out the Iron Chef (Sakai? sp?) and Molto Mario even though their team appeared to be working together better.

  2. I hate Bobby Flay. He is so arrogant. It still makes me mad that he won the rematch against Morimoto on Iron Chef. It was fixed I tell you! Fixed!

  3. I don’t know. Flay kind of appeals to me the same way Anthony Bourdain does. They’re both arrogant and obnoxious, but clearly know their stuff.

    I initially disliked both Flay and Bourdain, and then as I got used to their obnoxious ways I started to like them. You know how you have that jerk friend that you’re not entirely sure why you’re friends with them, but they really do come through in a pinch? They both seem liek that kind of guy.

    I did like the way Flay got out of the way of the pickle guy in the one show and let the expert talk about his wares.

  4. Boy Meets Grill is a far superior (and one of my favorite) shows. It usually ends with a couple guys sittin around drinkin beer and eatin some of Flays food.

    Mmmm.

  5. I’m a huge fan of Flay’s food…and I admit to liking his cocky NY attitude. I like that he’s a great chef and knows it…what’s wrong with that?

    He does seem a little uncomfortable on Hot Off the Grill…but I like Boy Meets Grill…and I used to LOVE Grillin’ and Chillin’…those two played off of each other well…two different guys from totally different worlds…made for entertaining TV

  6. One of my nephews was Flay’s sous chef for a time, and he said the guy was great to work for, advancing moolah when needed. He just looks way too “white boy” for my taste.

  7. I like Bobby Flay’s Boy meets Grill. I think i like all the “New York-ness” about it. Bobby’s loft apartment in the show is somewhere in Williamsburg Brooklyn, I think (You can tell by the view in the background). The Cuban sandwiches episode where he flirts with the girl at the market and the episode with the NYC Firemen up in The Bronx are great episodes. They show the variety of this show. Plus, Flay makes some great food.

  8. Grillin’ and Chillin’ friggin’ RULED. That dude with the overalls and trucker hat juxtaposed with Bobby’s highbrow chefly ways…that’s TV magic, that’s what that is.

  9. I Love the grillmaster Bobby Flay and

    the show Boy Mets Grill love to eat on

    his roof top.

  10. Dear Bobby,

    I must tell you that I would be fantastic on a show for my Italian and Jewish cooking.Besides having a fantastic personality and attractive I have been told for years to do something.After seeing Racheal Ray I know how I would succeed.I have written alot of people and not sure who is listening but I am that sure that people would love to tune in and see what I was cooking…….I just have a natural way about me…I hope you recive this letter…I just need someone to give me a chance.I have been a single mom for 15 years and have a successful business in a different field. The oprah show said you should follow your heart. I am 49 and quite pretty..What makes me different is my personality….

    thankyou

    Nicole

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