Memorial Day is the official unofficial start to the summer grilling season and to celebrate, as they do every year, Food Network is in the throws of it’s Grilling Week. It started on the Sunday before Memorial Day with a Food Network Challenge that featured a battle of the sexes All Star Grill-Off followed by Iron Chef: America pitting Curtis Stone against the grill master himself Bobby Flay.
Those were just warm ups. FN is kicking off Memorial Day with a four and half hour marathon of Grill It! with Bobby Flay, the companion series to the Iron chef’s popular cookbook. The marathon will feature a dozen episodes from various seasons so expect to see the comfortable Brooklyn back drop and the mountainous LA set as well.
For those who are unfamiliar Grill It! here’s the FN set-up:
Fans of Bobby Flay stop him at every corner, begging for a chance to cook with the chef – and now they can. Thirteen lucky Food Network viewers, all known for their own grill mastery, have been chosen to cook alongside the grilling guru himself in Grill It! with Bobby Flay. In each episode, the guest griller’s best recipe is the food of the day. The twist is that Chef Flay has no clue about the food of choice until the guest arrives, so he has to whip up his own recipe on the fly. It isn’t about the competition; it’s about the opportunity of a lifetime – to grill it with one of the best pit masters around.
If you haven’t already check out my exclusive interview with Bobby Flay.
Originally posted June 10, 2008.
Two weekends ago I warmed up for the new batch of Iron Chef America episodes by watching the ICA: Battle of the Masters mini-marathon on Food Network on Saturday. Those first ICA’s featured Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, and Wolfgang Puck. Flay competed in two of the three Masters episodes and won in both over the grand poobah of Iron Chefs, French master Hiroyuki Sakai. The first match was mano-e-mano with both chefs bringing their A games. Thinking back it occurs to me that both Flay and Sakai offered five dishes each that were absolute home runs. Honestly, all ten dishes were equally genius. In the second Flay/Sakai battle it was a mismatched tag team battle with Flay teaming with Morimoto and Sakai with Batali.
Having watched Flay school the dean of the Japanese IC, I prepared for the first new ICA episode, Flay versus Chef Bob Iacovone of restaurant Cuvée in New Orleans. The theme ingredient was languostine, a spectacular shellfish popular in Europe. Languostine are incredibly delicate and sweet. Flay remarked that the biggest challenge was in restraining himself from over pouring the languostine. Iacovone did not do as well at respecting the secret ingredient as the judges repeatedly remarked that they could not taste languostine in his otherwise inspired dishes. It was clear after hearing the judges’ comments to the challenger that Flay had won before his food was even tasted.
That ICA was followed by a special one-hour Throwdown in which Bobby rematched three former Throwdown competitors in Miami. This show was fascinating as you viewed the opulent hotel suite shared by the three competitors and the various twists that TFN threw at them like having them dress for a fancy dinner on a veranda and then showing up with raw steak and shrimp and a charcoal grill that they had to assemble before using. During this Throwdown something happened that many have been waiting for, Bobby got challenged to a Throwdown by yet another former challenger. The voting was close and had to go to a tie-breaker with Bobby just edging out the self-proclaimed Dream Team.
Originally published May 25, 2009.
Grill It! with Bobby Flay
Premieres: Saturday, May 30th at 10:30am – SEASON PREMIERE!
“Burgers with Bobby”
Bobby may be an Iron Chef, but when it comes to our favorite grilled foods, he loves a burger. Bobby and his guest, Giselle Raymond, a cook for TV and film crews, go beyond the same old burger and bun with her outrageous Onion 3-Way Burger and Bobby’s juicy Cheyenne Burger drenched in tangy BBQ sauce. On the side, the burger’s favorite accomplices: onion rings and fries.
Grill It! is filmed in Los Angeles.