Bobby Flay Quit ‘Iron Chef’ In Dramatic Fashion Before Walking It Back

Getty Image

Bobby Flay did such an amazing job on Iron Chef back in 2000, that the Food Network was delighted to give him a show or two… or three. Actually seven, to be exact. He’s a smart money bet: Funny, charming, creative. But one thing Flay isn’t is stagnant.

According to author Allen Salkin‘s latest story for Vanity Fair, while filming for Iron Chef Showdown over the summer, Flay removed his apron and underneath was a T-shirt that read: THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER!”

Can we get a drop mic moment please? Strong finish, B-Flay.

Obviously, no one in the entertainment industry likes surprises from their big stars and producers were forced to use the segment because the taping was live. Cameras kept rolling, Flay kept cooking, the shirt stayed on. When the tape stopped, producers were ready to fillet Flay.

“Bobby,” they said, according to Salkin, “we’re not going to be able to cut around that.”

“I know,” Flay answered. “That’s the point.”

Both Triage Entertainment (the company that makes Iron Chef Showdown) and Food Network have not commented on Flay’s decision and have no idea why he did what he did. Food Network’s parent company, Scripps told VF: “Anything that Bobby Flay would do would be choreographed and instigated by us.”

Eventually, producers decided to blur the shirt. After the VF article, Flay told People it was all a joke gone awry:

This past summer when I was in production on Iron Chef Showdown, I wore a T-shirt to have a little fun during my last battle this season. In hindsight, it was probably not the best decision because it’s just creating confusion.

Food Network has been part of my family for over 20 years and will absolutely continue to be, and though there is a talented bench of Iron Chefs to tap, if I were asked, I’d be excited to return to Kitchen Stadium, whenever my schedule allows.

Still, if you were looking for an exit strategy from your 9-5, this one is pretty solid.