World Chefs: Flay learns from losing to other chefs

Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:43am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a new cookbook celebrity chef Bobby Flay recounts what he learned from other chefs in a television cooking competition show in which he often loses to his opponents.

In each episode of "Throwdown!," the celebrity chef goes head-to-head with another cook. Flay serves up his twist on the other chef's signature dish and the two versions are judged.

The 45-year-old New York native spoke to Reuters about the new cookbook, "Bobby Flay's Throwdown!," reworking other chefs' recipes and how one cook turned the table on him.

Q: How do you and your assistants create a version of your competitor's recipe?

A: "Stephanie (Banyas), Miriam (Garron) and I sort of conference ... They do the research and I drive what the flavor profile would be. We just go to the kitchen and mess around a little bit. We don't try to perfect it in there. We just get used to the technique or the ingredients. There are certain ingredients and flavors I'm more gravitated toward so it sort of has my signature on it."

Q: Which is your favorite challenge?

A: "I loved doing one with sticky buns with Joanne Chang of Flour bakery (in Boston). Then there were the puffy tacos in San Antonio with Diana Barrios Trevinos (of La Hacienda de Los Barrios). That was great. There was the macaroni and cheese in Philadelphia. There were so many. I could just go on and on."

Q: As a professed non-baker, are the baking contests the hardest for you?   Continued...

<p>Chef Bobby Flay is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Ben Fink/Handout</p>